Review: Letters from Father Christmas by J. R. R. Tolkien.

letters-to-father-christmasLast Christmas I learnt about the existence of Letters from Father Christmas and I instantly knew I would have to read it. However, I held back because I wanted to be able to read and review it around the Christmas period.

As a result of this, a month ago when I was searching for Christmas books I could review throughout Blogmas, Letters from Father Christmas hopped straight into my basket.

We all know the stories of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings and how Tolkien would tell his children these stories, but Letters from Father Christmas is a little different to his other works. Letters from Father Christmas is a compilation of letters written by Tolkien in the hand of Father Christmas and his companions addressed to his own children.

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Review: Leaf by Niggle by J. R. R. Tolkien.

leaf by niggleTolkien is very well known for his writings on hobbits and elves and dwarves etc in various pieces of work including The Lord of the RingsThe Hobbit and so on. While these stories share a common author with Leaf by Niggle, it doesn’t share any of these remarkable creatures. Leaf by Niggle is a separate short story about a man named, well, Niggle, as the title suggests.

Niggle is a painter. He is currently working on this one painting of a tree and day by day this painting is growing, expanding and Niggle is adding other, smaller pictures he’s created onto the edges. It’s not just a tree anymore, it’s a magnificent never-ending landscape, but with a neighbour in need and a journey he has to make quickly approaching, will Niggle ever finish his painting?

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Books I Want To Reread.

“If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” – Oscar Wilde. (I cannot remember if I have used this quote before or not – you’ll see throughout this post that I have a pretty terrible memory – but it seemed relevant for this post.)

I have always been a big lover of reading and this stems back to as far as I can possibly remember. As a result I have read a lot of books and have lots of books I would love to reread whether this be because I loved them so much, or because I cannot actually remember how I felt about the book.

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The Bookish Christmas Tag.

At the moment I am working 5-6 days a week, so this does not leave a lot of time for reading. As a result, I am really struggling lately to get books read and reviews written. Fortunately, however, I can do book tags, so at least I can provide you all with something bookish to read, including this lovely tag recently invented by Callum McLaughlin, so thank you for tagging me to do this.

twilightFather Christmas: Name a book you received as a child that you treasure to this day.

I don’t actually own a lot of books I received as a child anymore. However, there is one from when I was eleven years old and while I am not a big fan of it anymore, I cannot deny that at the time I loved it.

Yes, this book is Twilight by Stephenie Meyer which I had received as a Christmas present from my nan.

The ghost of Christmas past: Is there a book or series you like to revisit each year at Christmas time?

Honestly, I usually have so many new books still to read by the end of the year that I don’t even consider rereading something. However, I do try and revisit Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling every one to three years, although I don’t plan it specifically for Christmas.

city of bonesChristmas tree: Name a series that reaches new heights with every entry.

The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare.

I haven’t mentioned these books for quite a while it seems, but I absolutely love them and feel that they keep getting better and better with more extreme villains, the invention of new runes etc.

This is a rare thing to say, but I actually think that the last book in the series was one of my favourites.

Sharp Objects GFFriends and family: Name a book with fantastic characters.

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn.

If you have read this book, you may be confused because you will be aware that there are extremely few likeable characters within this book.

However, I have chosen this book because of the unlikeable characters, such as Amma. Despite my dislike for a lot of the characters, it is undeniable that the way Flynn has written them is fantastic.

The HobbitDecorations: Name a book with a gorgeous cover you would proudly display on your shelves.

There are so many books I could use for this question, but The Hobbit was the lazy response as it was one of the first images I saw on my laptop when I opened the pictures folder.

I absolutely love this cover of the book and it is definitely my favourite out of all of The Hobbit covers which have been created. This book is also a hardback which only seems to make it more gorgeous.

Christmas cards: Name a book that carries a great message.

tmohtbiThe Manifesto on How to Be Interesting by Holly Bourne.

The message from this book teaches us the importance of being yourself and how you shouldn’t let your fear of how everyone else may react influence how you behave if it makes you happy and as long as you’re not causing any harm.

I feel like this is a really good message for people just starting secondary school because it’s at that age where you want to make a good impression to those who you’ll be seeing almost every day for the next five years and as a result, it can make people feel pressured to act a certain way in order to be “normal” and fit in.

FrankensteinIce and snow: Name a book that you were hoping to love but which ultimately left you feeling cold.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.

I tried to love it, I wanted to love it, but the sad reality is that I didn’t love it.

It was incredibly written; however, all the detail and the descriptions just ended up boring me.

Christmas lunch: Name a book that was big and intimidating but oh so worth it in the end.

hpatgofI was considering using The Book Thief for this one, but I cannot recall actually being intimidated by this book, despite it being bigger than books I usually tend to read.

However, when I was younger I definitely remember being scared to read Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire because of it’s length (little did I know that the next book in the series would be even longer). As I am sure that you can all agree, those 636 pages were definitely worth reading.

Mince pies: Name a book you found sweet and satisfying.

the night circusThis is another one of those questions where I feel that I have a lot of books at my disposal.

The temptation to go for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is strong, but I don’t think I can get away with two Harry Potter responses in a row.

I am going to go with The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. This is because three months later I still love this book so much and I remember being really satisfied and content with the way it ended, although I don’t feel that the words “sweet and satisfying” do the book justice.

Presents: What book do you wish you could give everyone to read?

Harry Potter IllustratedHarry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: Illustrated Edition by J. K. Rowling and illustrated by Jim Kay.

This book is so pretty and gorgeous and beautiful. It is truly the perfect Christmas present. Also, everyone loves Harry Potter and let’s be honest, if you don’t like Harry Potter, you’re probably not someone I should be buying a Christmas present for.

Spreading the festive cheer: Tag some friends to help spread the festive bookish love.

I am going to tag:

Once again, thank you Callum for this tag!

Please click here for my other blogmas posts.


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Time of the Day Book Tag.

Today for Tag Tuesday I am doing the Time of the Day Book Tag. I was not tagged to do this by anyone, I just thought it looked fun. As a result I will not be tagging anybody at the end, but do feel free to do this if you fancy it. I love looking at the different responses people give to the same questions, so let me know if you do this tag as I will be happy to see your answers.

Let’s get started!

Gone Girl1. Time to wake up: A book that opened your eyes to a genre you didn’t previously read.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn opened me up to the genre of crime and I haven’t looked back since. I don’t recall having read many, or perhaps even any, crime books until Gone Girl, but after this book I decided that I would make an effort to do so.

I read Gone Girl last December and since then I have read a couple of crime books, including another book by Flynn.

a monster calls2. No time for breakfast: A book that has been sitting on your shelf for ages.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness.

I bought this book a good year and a half ago, but still haven’t read it. There have just been so many books to read that this one has gotten lost beneath them all.

I will get around to reading this eventually… And I look forward to when that day comes as I enjoyed reading Ness’ Chaos Walking trilogy and More Than This.

3. Time to travel to work: A book you read whilst travelling.

I don’t really have much opportunity to read whilst travelling. I use buses when I meet up with friends, but the bag I tend to use is too small for books and reading in the car makes me travel sick. I very rarely use trains and I try to walk to places as best I can. This makes this question difficult for me, but if I was going to read a book whilst travelling I would just take whatever I am currently reading and at the time of this tag I am currently reading is Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff.

the silmarillion4. You’ve had a hard time at work: A book you struggled to get through.

The Silmarillion by J. R. R Tolkien.

As a matter of fact, I am still struggling to get through this book.

This book takes us deeper into Tolkien’s world of hobbits and elves etc. and is set long before the events of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.

The reason I am struggling with this book is that there are so many words/names which are difficult to pronounce, therefore making reading it hard.

hpatps5. Lunch time: A quick and easy read.

Either Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling, or The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. However, if it was Harry Potter it would have to be one of the first three books in the series as they get very big after that, I mean, have you seen the size of the Order of the Phoenix?!

This is because I’ve read them all so many times that I don’t necessarily need to finish it over the lunch break as I know everything that happens. Furthermore, they are quite short so I would most likely be able to finish it off in the evening.

the bone season6. Time for your performance review: A book you bought because of a review you read/watched.

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon.

It wasn’t exactly a review I saw that made me want to buy this book, but Carrie from Itswaypastmybedtime mentioned it in a video and was saying that she was really enjoying it so I decided to buy it.

Unfortunately, I have still not gotten round to reading this book, but I aim to have read it by the end of this year, so you can definitely expect a review on it at some point in the (hopefully near) future.

The Hobbit7. Time to travel home: A book that follows a character on some kind of journey.

The Hobbit is the first book which springs to mind when the words “journey” and “adventure” are involved.

The Hobbit is a beautiful book and one of those which you can easily reread, like with Harry Potter. I prefer The Hobbit to The Lord of the Rings because it is much easier to read and I prefer Bilbo over Frodo, so I chose the prequel for this question, rather than the trilogy, though both apply very well.

love letters to the dead8. Dinner time and conversation: A book you don’t hear people talk about much, but you loved.

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira.

I really enjoyed this book, but I haven’t seen anyone talking about this at all. The only time I saw it mentioned online was in a tweet from Stephen Chbosky.

I don’t know if the reason people don’t talk about it is because people didn’t like it very much, or if they just didn’t read it, but I really liked it. If anyone is intrigued I have a review for this book here.

The Book Thef9. Time to zone out in front of the TV: Your favourite book that has been turned into a movie or TV show.

I could list so many books here, but I’ll go for one I haven’t mentioned yet and that is The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

I really enjoyed this book and also the movie, though I know a lot of people didn’t enjoy the latter. I was even pleasantly surprised when my dad said he enjoyed the movie!

Also, I absolutely love the cover of this book from the illustration of Liesel dancing with death, to the colouring used and even the font.

10. Bedtime: The book that is currently on your nightstand.

Just one? I have sixteen.

We Were Liars11. Night-time: A book you couldn’t put down so you stayed up way too late reading.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart.

I haven’t mentioned this book in quite a while! This book was very enjoyable and had a massive plot twist at the end. To read my review of this book please click here.

As I said at the beginning, I am not tagging anybody to do this, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it if you want to. If you do I would be interested in your responses so feel free to let me know that you’ve done it and I’ll check your post out.