The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
I reread this at the beginning of the year for discussions at A Good Story is Hard to Find podcast where we covered the book in two parts: one, two. (We also discussed the movies in relationship to the books in a separate episode.)
Also, if you'd like an actual review;I really cannot do a better than Joseph R. did, so please go read his.
Recently I felt the call of the book and was forcing myself not to pick it up again. "You JUST read this behemoth. For the third time! Enough already!"
Evidently not. I finally gave in and am relishing every word.
I had jury duty yesterday. There's nothing like several hours in the jury pool room for getting a lot of pages under your belt.
Interestingly, as I surveyed the huge room, there were very few people using e-readers. Almost everyone had newspapers, magazines, or actual books. Some had computer printouts and were using markers as they read. I know what the sales number say about print being dead but you couldn't have told it from that large cross-section of humanity.
At this early point in the book, on the road to Rivendell while running from the Black Riders, I'm struck by how difficult it is to navigate without a compass, even for Aaragorn.
I never noticed how Aaragorn seems masterful until Glorfindel comes along to help, as which point Aaragorn is grateful for help and advice.
And again I'm touched by the Beren and Luthien poem, thinking of Tolkien putting Beren on his headstone and Luthien on his wife's. A beautiful gesture of love and devotion.
It made me think about whose names I could put on our own headstones that would so neatly sum up my feelings about my relationship with Tom. Not Beren and Luthien. That implies the lady lifted up her husband to higher levels.
Then it struck me. Of course.
Faramir and Eowyn.
Not as we have seen them portrayed in the movie, which does a fair job on Eowyn but completely changed Faramir's character. But as we see them in the book. Telling Tom this would make no sense to him since he hasn't read the book. But I can give him this tribute here where people will see it who have read it and understand how the husband has gently enlightened and taught the lady a better way.