Tag Archives: Lord of the Rings

Literary Paraphernalia: Offbeat Valentine’s Day Gifts for Booklovers

I’m a fairly nontraditional person, so when it comes to romance, I go for nontraditional things too. Generally, I’m not one to celebrate Valentine’s day with a night out at an expensive restaurant, but I do still like to give gifts.

There are the traditional gifts, like roses and chocolate and teddy bears, but what fun are those? No, it’s way more fun to be offbeat for Valentine’s day than it is to be traditional.

That being said, guys and gals, here’s some cool offbeat Etsy.Com gear for your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day.

Time Machine Tie

This is billed as a “steam punk” tie, but it’s really just an awesome tie for anyone to wear, steam punk or not.

Cheshire Cat Brass Cuff

It’s way more fun to be mad than to be sane, anyway.

Lord of the Rings Shot Glasses

You can include this with a bottle of your sweetheart’s favorite liquor.

Handmade Crow Quill

The bead is customizable as are the tips!

(Don’t forget the ink)

Literary Paraphernalia: Tolkien-Inspired Tattoos

Today you folks get a double dose of Literary Paraphernalia, because we couldn’t get enough of Tolkien. (And also, because I’m itching to get some new ink—and I’ll take any excuse to look at some more literature-inspired tattoos.)

All of the tattoos below were inspired by Tolkien and his work. Do you have a favorite? Do you have your own Tolkien-esque ink you’d like to share? Tell us below!

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Meet Kaylee Sauvey and her Etsy Shop Full of Hobbits

Kaylee Sauvey and I were both writing tutors at Fullerton College, although we first met in a poetry class. She, I, and Melanie (co-founder of this blog) all worked in the same place, were all English majors at the same school, and all had similar interests. We loved writing and we loved books.

Melanie’s love for writing and books has taken her to Portland to pursue her MA in publishing. My passions have driven me to pursue my Ph.D. so I can teach and research English around the world (hopefully). Kaylee’s passions have driven her towards law school, which may seem a bit removed from her English-major and writing-tutor roots, but fear not. Legal matters are heavily rooted in writing, and Kaylee still keeps her passions for books and reading alive with her really cool Etsy shop.

Kaylee’s favorite book growing up was The Hobbit. She has this to say about the book itself:

In the spring of 1999, during a family trip to the library (which, in itself, was a special kind of treat for me), my dad checked out a book and later that evening, he began reading aloud, “In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit.” The next pages would reveal exactly what a hobbit was, but I wanted to know more and more as each page turned. That was my introduction to J.R.R. Tolkien; the foodless dessert at the family dinner table after a feast of cabbage rolls. I even remember what we ate that evening because every detail of that moment piqued my interest and launched me into a into my own adventure from which a part of me would never completely return; I went to Middle Earth that day and now, fifteen years later, a UCLA English graduate, I can attribute my passion for literature to that fateful day when an elaborately-imagined, adventurous world bloomed before my eyes.

Over the next few years, I anticipated the Peter Jackson films. My Irish twin sister and I would sit together, books in hand, and talk about what we hoped the characters would look like before they were cast. We were Tolkien hipsters and that is the one thing for which I will continue to be firmly hipster. I didn’t like Lord of the Rings or Tolkien because everybody else did, but I liked it before my age group did. I recall standing outside of a movie theater, disappointed at a missing detail in the Fellowship of the Ring film, when an eighteen-year-old friend of mine challenged eleven-year-old me about that particular detail, insisting that I was wrong and that the film got it right. We went home and checked our books. I was right. He apologized the next day. I say this to illustrate how much of an impact Middle Earth had on me. I studied it. It became more of a reality to me than my own life. I’m sure this is the description of obsession, but aren’t the greatest minds obsessed with and passionate about something that they consider special and beautiful? What is Tolkien’s world if not those two words?

J.R.R. Tolkien rewrote my future, in a sense. He directed me down the path of studying literature. He showed me that you can be passionately obsessed with fiction. But ultimately he showed me that we are capable of more than we realize; within his stories, the smallest characters have the most impact. It’s a ripple effect. You, as a single thread in the tapestry of the world, have the power make a difference; your color can be seen and admired by those who look at it and in turn, others will be inspired and attempt to be strong and stand tall. Tolkien showed me that the journey of life is often unexpected and full of death-defying obstacles, but through perseverance and belief in yourself, you can make it through Mirkwood, you can slay a dragon, you can survive being the main course in a troll feast, and yes, you can simply walk into Mordor.

Kaylee’s love for Tolkien can be found in her Etsy shop, where she has many cool Hobbit and Lord of the Ring themed items. Her clothing is hand painted and her notebooks are hand assembled. If you’re so inclined, you can find other pop culture and literature-based goodies in her shop.

Here’s a complete list of what she offers in the way of Tolkien goods.

Thorin Oakenshield Triple Panty Set

She has hand-painted panty sets for the girl that just can’t get enough Thorin on her crotch.

Happy Birthday Bilbo and Frodo

It’s September 22nd. Do you know what that means? It’s time to celebrate our favorite hobbits – Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, both of whom happen to have the same birthday. Which is today.

They’re excited. Are you?
(Image Source: Guardian.Co.Uk)

Today we have some tips for you on how to celebrate birthdays like a hobbit.

First and foremost, you must eat all of the hobbit meals. And I do mean ALL of them.

7:00am – Breakfast
9:00am – Second Breakfast
11:00am – Elevenses
1:00pm – Luncheon
4:00pm – Afternoon Tea
6:00pm – Dinner
8:00pm – Supper

NPR.Org has a great menu, or you can come up with your own.

Now that you have seven meals you must eat, you should also have something to do while enjoying your hobbit day feast. Might I suggest a marathon of the Lord of the Ring movies, or, perhaps, a reading marathon of all four books?

You can also watch this classic animated version of The Hobbit from 1977 or watch the latest incarnation of the beloved children’s book in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, with the third and final installment of the modern adaptations due out this winter.

And, of course, you should be eating all of these meals and watching these movies and/or reading this books in your own little Hobbit hole.

Elijah Wood has one, why don’t you?
(Image Source: Zimbio.Com)

The Bookstores of Berkeley: Shakespeare & Co.

As stated in an earlier post, I spent some time up in Berkeley, California, at a conference. I took a short flight up the coast of California and lugged my stuff into the dorm I’d be sharing for my stay and then I was free until the conference started the next day.

On our cab ride in from the airport, I saw something magical. I saw a book store. I wanted to go there, so after grabbing some pizza, I did. It was called Shakespeare & Co.

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Of course it was the name that first drew me to this bookstore, but once inside, it was the books that drew me to this book store.

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This store had a great collection of used books to choose from, including a section of rare books that I just wanted to touch. So I did.

5 Reasons Why I’m Excited for J.R.R. Tolkien’s Translation of Beowulf

J.R.R. Tolkien, noted author of The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy, has a new book coming out this May, eighty-eight years after he wrote it. Also, I should probably mention, the book itself is a story written between 975-1025 AD. Yes, I know those numbers can be confusing, but they are accurate. In 1926, Tolkien finished a work of passion—a translation of Beowulf, the oldest Anglo-Saxon poem still in existence and the earliest example of English literature we have.

Translations aren’t an easy gig—the subtleties of language and the nuances of meaning leave a lot of room for differences between translated texts. Don’t believe me? Play with Google Translate for a few minutes, and you’ll get what I mean. Enter in a phrase and run it through a few languages, then back to English, and you’ll see how meaning can change.

Anglo-Saxon wasn't an option, but you get the gist. It's a subtle change, but subtly is a big part of story telling.
Anglo-Saxon wasn’t an option, but you get the gist. It’s a subtle change, but subtly is a big part of story telling.

All that being said, J.R.R. Tolkien’s version of Beowulf has me excited, and I’ll tell you why, in no particular order.