Saturday, January 5, 2019

A Belated Happy Birthday for a Top Ten Author

As I stated in yesterday's post, I'm a reader - a rather voracious one. That said, I do have several authors who rise to the top of my "Best Loved" list, a list that spreads through time and that is always open to change under the right circumstances. Today I'm remembering one of my Top Ten Authors, a name familiar to most of you - J.R.R. Tolkien. 

Reading the works of Tolkien had a huge impact
on my life. I was totally pulled into a world in
a way I had never been before. I couldn't get
enough of Middle Earth. 

Why mention Tolkien? Why now? Well, it's mainly because yesterday was his birthday - a date celebrated by many of my virtual friends and by readers throughout the world. Many of you posted about him yesterday, and his name appeared in other blogs as well. Me? I usually end up a day late for his birthday - not because I don't love and admire him, just because I'm horrible with dates. 

An introduction to an author of J.R.R. Tolkien's stature is really not necessary. It's a fact that his books are still read, enjoyed, being analyzed and written about, and are the basis for tens of thousands of fan-fiction stories. Few authors have had so much of a lasting effect upon their readers. 

I owned the original Ballentine paperbacks of
the "Lord of the Rings". In fact, I ended up
owning several sets because I read them to
death. I still have one of these sets, as well
as several other sets and hardcovers and
illustrated, and ... and ... and. Yeah! Addict! 

I entered the magical world of the "Lord of the Rings" in 1968, when the Ballentine edition paperbacks became available in the US. I had owned "The Hobbit" four years earlier, but was never able to really get into it. The trilogy, however, pulled me in and as the next books were published, I was waiting at the bookshop door. As I recall, they were issued monthly or every six weeks during the winter, into the spring of that year. While the world was going to hell - protests, riots on the street, and the Vietnam war on the television during our dinner hours, I had a quest to follow. I had characters to love. I had a plot of depth and side-characters of merit and prose worthy of celebration. 

Tolkien has been on my Top Ten Books list for
50 years. I don't think any other book on my
list has been there as long, although there is at
least one other that's been there for 40+ years. 

I've never turned away from that love. "The Lord of the Rings" has been in my Top-Ten list since then, and it always will be. At this stage of my life, I suspect I've read it more than 100 times and would absolutely choose it as one of the books I'd carry with me to a deserted island. So, I might be a day late, but my wishes are just as heartfelt. Thank you, Professor, and Happy Belated Birthday. 

Have a great weekend. I'll be back on Monday for a VERY rushed morning. But, I'll still be here because that's the way I am - stubborn. LOL 

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