Hobbits and Hostages {52 Books}

Fear not!

I know everyone is so worried about me and my lack of reading. **insert eye roll here** I have not fallen off the reading bandwagon – just the blogging one.

There is only so much one woman can do while trying to keep up on life and whatnot. I have been feeling rundown lately and unable to keep up. Last Thursday I had a doctor appointment to get the results of my blood work, only to find out that indeed I have wonkiness in my hormones and this would be why I feel so crappy.

Stress kills.

  • Being a Hashimotarian has it’s many challenges.

And you are correct, I totally made that word up. I tend to add to the dictionary on a regular basis; other favourite Donloree word is ‘googleage‘. Making up words keeps life interesting.

In the last couple weeks I have read The Two Towers, A House in the Sky and The Return of the King.

Thats a lot of pages right there!

Thats a lot of pages right there!

Hobbits first.

The first book of The Lord of the Rings was definitely my favourite – the last two; not so much.

The remaining two books are actually just other sections of the massive book and overly full of traveling details, additional characters that mostly died quickly after meeting them and way too much description for my liking. In the Return of the King the ring gets destroyed and then there are nearly 100 pages left. Why you ask? To wrap up all the new characters that were introduced just pages before. Reading the last 50 or so pages of the book it felt a bit like packing up a massive board game with hundreds of small pieces; each with an exact place in the box.

Tedious.

And I love a well told story – details do not bother me when they add to the story. If I had photocopied the 20 page of maps from the back of the books, made little flags for each of the characters and moved them along and the story progressed it may have helped.

Unfortunately, I read while I wait; somehow pulling out maps on the bus in rush hour doesn’t seem feasible.

My opinion may have to do with the fact that I read them broken up, not in one long sitting or in a week. It really is just one, massive book full or crazy names and places that needs to be consumed in a slow burn of focussed reading.

Or perhaps I just have an aversion to hairy feet?

There were still quite a few gems in the books, quotes and thoughts woven into details that helped me to keep reading.

  • Don’t screw up at the end“When have I been hasty or unwary, who have waited and prepared for so many long years?” said Aragorn. “Never yet. Do not then stumble at the end of the road,” answered Gandalf.  Page 580
  • What you think about matters. “I mean a danger to yourself alone. … Already you are being twisted. … Do not let that thought grow in you! The desire of it may betray you to a bitter end.” Page 626
  • Finishing is important. “Folk seem to have been just landed in them usually – their paths were laid that way, as you put it. But I expect they had lots of chances, like us, of turning back, only they didn’t. And if they had, we shouldn’t know, because thye’d have been forgotten.” Page 696

I would have some great quotes from the Return of the King, but I had to return it to the library so all my dog eared pages are in someone else’s hands.

Watching the movies was a good way to fully understand the story, but as I watched I also realized they are about 10 years old. Gollum and the Orc characters were rather unbelievable and I also found the length tenuous.

Watching after reading helped make sense of everything.

Watching after reading helped make sense of everything.

I suppose there is only so much killing of strange creatures one woman can handle within a few weeks.

The ‘hobbitses‘ get a 2.75 out of 5 star rating from me.

Hostages.

A House In The Sky is Amanda Lindhout’s memoir about being held hostage in Somalia for over a year. She is a Canadian from a small town ‘just around the corner’ from where I live – Sylvan Lake and later Calgary.

Crazy stuff happens in the world all the time and we fail to realize or recognize what is going on. Amanda shares in detail what it was like to be captured, tortured and reduced to nearly becoming non-human.

I read all over the place and candy bars in cups seems to help the reading go down!

I read all over the place and candy bars in cups seems to help the reading go down!

  • Resiliency.

After I finished reading her book and checked out what she is doing now, I was and still am amazing at her resiliency. Choosing forgiveness, taking what was and creating something new and not letting what happened to her become her identity.

Like a phoenix, she has chosen to rise out of the ashes even though it is not easy or a one time event.

For my own good, I strive toward forgiveness and compassion above all the other feelings – anger, hatred, confusions, self-pity – that surface in me. I understand that those boys and even the leaders of the group were products of their environment – a violent, seeming unending war that had orphaned thousands of children and reaches back over twenty years now.

I choose to forgive the people who took my freedom from me and abused me, despite the fact that what they were doing was absolutely wrong. I choose also to forgive myself for the impact that my decision to go to Somalia had on family and friends at home. Forgiving is not an easy thing to do. Some days it’s no more than a distant spot on the horizon. I look toward it. I point my feet inits direction. Some days I get there and other days I don’t. More than anything else, thought, it’s what has helped me move forward with my life.
~ Page 366

Well written, engaging and hard to read; an eye opening memoir about what happened and is still happening while we lie safe in our beds.

Forgiveness helps you find your voice.

Forgiveness helps you find your voice.

Forgiving yourself and others is a key that unlocks century old locks that have rusted shut.

Through her story, I wonder and think about my own resilience.

  • Who do I need to forgive and what do I need to forgive myself for?

What does resiliency look like for me? For you? For the world?