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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The Mean Girls Book Tag.

mean girls book tag.png

I must admit, I am very happy to have been tagged to do this particular book tag as who doesn’t love Mean Girls? Thank you to The Daydreaming Bookworm for tagging me!

the silmarillionWhich fictional character’s name did you get completely wrong?

Just one?

To be honest, I feel like I can barely pronounce any names whether this be fictional characters, places or titles in The Silmarillion by J. R. R. Tolkien.

As a matter of fact, it’s largely the reason I gave up reading the book since it made it difficult to read. I will go back to it one day though!

The Bane ChroniclesWhich character would you like to place in a fictional world from another book or series?

I think it would be rather funny if you placed Magnus Bane from Cassandra Clare’s books into the wizarding world of Harry Potter. I can imagine it being very entertaining to see Magnus’ reaction to the way wizards and witches perform magic and how he would interact with them.

Repetition. Repetition. Which book gave you deja vu of another book whilst reading it?

I may have read a great many books, but nothing is springing to mind. Erm…

of mice and menWhich book gave you the complete opposite of girl power feels?

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. I mean, there is one female character and she doesn’t even get a name. Girl power? There’s barely a girl.

Name a character you felt like you wanted to cheer on whilst reading. 

Ooh! I feel like I could use a lot of people for this question. Obviously, there is Harry Potter, there’s also Celia from The Night Circus, Charlie from The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Percy Jackson etc. How do people pick just one book for some of these questions?

How long do you typically spend at a bookshop?

At the very least an hour. My best friend always groans, but I bet she loves it really, especially when we make fun of books or read aloud ones from the humour section.

clockwork angelWhich character would have to get out a restraining order on you, if they were real?

I know everyone loves Will Herondale, but personally, I do lean slightly more towards Jem. Don’t get me wrong, I love them both, but if I had to choose I reckon I’m the type of person to pick Jem.

In case you do not recognise these characters they are from Cassandra Clare’s The Infernal Devices series, the first book of which is pictured to the left.

throne of glassWhich overhyped book were you most cautious about reading?

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas.

As a matter of fact, this question requires switching up the tenses since I haven’t yet read it; however, I am cautious about reading it since I have heard so much about how “great” it is and I’m scared that I won’t enjoy it like everyone else (especially when I’ve already bought all the books).

We all love Regina George. Name a villain you just love to hate.

Paris from The Iliad (supposedly) by Homer.

Your favourite fictional parent.

Molly Weasley! How can anyone not love Molly?

the night circusWhich book or series would you love to catch on?

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern; this book still hasn’t left my mind since reading it back in September.

Describe your ideal character to read about.

I like funny witty, sarcastic characters as they make the book more enjoyable. I also like characters which are aware that they often ramble on too much because I enjoy that as I love soaking up as much information as I can about characters when I read a good book. Another ideal aspect of a character is positivity. No one likes hearing people constantly moaning and that goes the same for characters in books.

What do you do when a book gives you a bad case of the feels?

Depending on the situation I’ll either keep reading or have to go in search of chocolate!

vampire diariesWhich character’s one liners would you love to claim for your own?

My first thought is Damon Salvatore from The Vampire Diaries by L. J. Smith.

However, upon further reflection, I can’t remember what his lines were like in the book because it’s been a long time since I read them, but fortunately, I can still refer to Damon from the TV adaptation, even if this is a book tag…

Name a character’s decision that has made you roll your eyes.

Every time I read a Harry Potter book, I often tend to roll my eyes at basically the same time Hermione rolls her eyes at the boys, haha.

I am going to tag:

YOU!

Yes. You reading this!

If you want to do this, consider yourself tagged and when you do it leave me a link below so that I can read your responses!

-driftinglexi

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Twitter.

“I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.” – J.R.R. Tolkien.

Two years ago when I first created this blog I also created a twitter of the same name in order to continue posting thoughts I wanted to share with people, but not necessarily people I know. I created a few tweets on that old account before and, like with blogging, I gave up on it.

Since April, blogging seems to be going well with me and I have no thoughts on stopping at all. As a result, today I decided to resurrect my old twitter account and connect it to this blog. I have deleted all of my old tweets in order to give myself a fresh start on twitter and I would be very pleased if any of you with twitter were to follow me on there.

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The Pastry Book Tag.

For today’s Tag Tuesday I have been tagged by the lovely Whimsy Journals to do the Pastry Book Tag, which I hope isn’t going to make me hungry.

  1. hpatpsCroissant: Name a popular book or series that everyone (including you) loves.

Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling.

I can never resist using Harry Potter in a book tag and while it is the obvious choice, it is an incredibly loved and popular series. Harry Potter will always be one of my all time favourites, so if I can use it in a book tag then I will!

Plus, Goblet of Fire has French students and croissants are French so there’s a lovely little connection between the question and this series.

the fellowship of the ring2. Macaron: Name a book that was hard to get through but worth it at the end.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien.

I am sure that a lot of people would agree that while The Hobbit was a pretty easy read, The Lord of the Rings series was a step up. Once you got into it, it became easier to read, but I did find it a little difficult when I picked up the first book. However, this series was definitely worth that little struggle at the beginning because The Lord of the Rings series is another favourite of mine.

Nirvana3. Vol-au-vent: Name a book that you thought would be amazing but fell flat.

Nirvana by J. R. Stewart.

The concept of the book was really good, so I had high hopes for it, but I was very disappointed with how it turned out.

I wasn’t particularly keen on the plot, and where it went, there wasn’t as much action as I would have expected and the characters didn’t really interest me very much.

eleanor and park4. Pain au chocolat: Name a book that you thought would be one thing but turned out to be something else.

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell.

This question was difficult, but I’ve settled on Eleanor and Park because it wasn’t what I expected. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the book and it turned out better than I could have hoped for, but I expected it to be your typical love story and while it had love, it wasn’t what I thought it would be. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed the book and was glad it was written the way it was.

the night circus5. Profiterole: Name a book or series that doesn’t get enough attention.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.

I know that this is my third mention of this book within the past week on this blog, but I enjoyed this book so much and if I hadn’t spotted it in Waterstones I may have never been made aware of this book.

I’m sorry if I talk about this book a lot, but I really cannot help it.

john dies at the end6. Croquembouche: Name a book or series that’s extremely complex.

John Dies at the End by David Wong.

It’s not so much that this book is complex, but it is really confusing and doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

7. Napoleon: Name a movie or TV show based off a book that you liked better than the book itself.

Dear John by Nicholas Sparks.

dear johnA few years ago I picked up a few of Sparks’ books, especially this one because of the movie coming out starring Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried, two actors I love.

I found the book to be difficult to get into and rather boring and I much preferred the movie. However, I would like to point out that from Sparks’ other books (at least those I’ve read) I much preferred them to their movie adaptation.

perks8. Empanada: Name a book that was bittersweet.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.

I had great pleasure reading this book and love it so much, but I also cannot read it without crying. I can’t even watch the film without crying, to be honest.

9. Kolompeh: Name a book or series that takes place somewhere other than your home country.

city of bonesA very large portion of the books I read are set in America or a fictional world (or both), so this is difficult for me due to the massive quantity of possible books I could choose. As a result of this, I am going to pick…

The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare.

The Mortal Instruments series starts off in America, but also ventures to the fictional world of Idris located in Europe.

This series is also another of my favourites I would like to add.

10. Pate a Choux: Name one food from a book or series that you would like to try.

This is a surprisingly tough one, as a result I am going to end this tag the same way I started it, with Harry Potter. Chocolate Frogs, Cauldron Cake, Pumpkin Pasties, Butterbeer (although that is a beverage) etc. I cannot pick just one!

Thank you for tagging me, Whimsy Journals, I really enjoyed this tag. Now it is my turn to tag some people, so I tag:

-driftinglexi

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.

-driftinglexi

August Favourites.

“Never laugh at live dragons, Bilbo you fool!” he said to himself, and it became a favourite saying of his later, and passed into a proverb. “You aren’t nearly through this adventure yet,” he added, and that was pretty true as well.” – J.R.R. Tolkien.

It is the end of August and I feel like I have only just written about my July Favourites. Nevertheless, I do have some favourites to share, so let’s get stuck into it.

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Everyday Jewellery Favourites.

“What a pity that Bilbo did not stab that vile creature, when he had a chance!’
Pity? It was Pity that stayed his hand. Pity, and Mercy: not to strike without need. And he has been well rewarded, Frodo. Be sure that he took so little hurt from the evil, and escaped in the end, because he began his ownership of the Ring so. With Pity.” – J.R.R. Tolkien.

I love jewellery and there are particular pieces of which that I cannot bring myself to leave the house without. I never used to wear a lot of jewellery, although I did love bracelets and always enjoyed wearing plenty of colourful bangles when on holiday. Nowadays, my most treasured jewellery consists of rings, so they are what I am going to begin with.

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