Genre Friday – Hobbit Day Tribute Edition

Baggins BDay

Welcome to the house that Tolkien built. Epic Fantasy (also known as High Fantasy) is the quintessential fantasy sub-genre, the fount from which all other fantasy sub-genres have flowed, and J.R.R. Tolkien’s elves and orcs and rings (oh my) utterly dominate the field. There are, of course, stand-outs and outliers, stories that forge news paths in an old sub-genre, but even when a tale isn’t filled with staff wielding wizards and subterranean, master-craftsmen called dwarfs anything called epic fantasy still contains a few essential elements that were originally established when Tolkien first fleshed out Middle-earth on paper.

Epic fantasies create entire worlds, with long and complex histories and vivid cultures and lifestyles. How complex and vivid? Tolkien actually created (or adapted) a historic timeline leading back to the creation of the world, myths, legends, deities, several races of creatures (many of which have become staples of the fantasy genre), multiple kingdoms, and an entire language for the fictional inhabitants of his world! If you look hard enough in the right places I bet it wouldn’t take too much effort to find someone that speaks at least passing Elvish. They are not all that in depth, but that is the kind of detail you are potentially looking at when you jump into an epic fantasy.

In case that isn’t enough to wrap your head around, epic fantasy also almost always has a large cast of characters taking part in quests and adventures that will affect the fate of an entire kingdom or world. Possibly multiple worlds.

So, it is a complex workout for your imagination and memory. What else?

MiddleEarth

While hand-drawn maps of the world are not strictly mandatory, they are strongly encouraged. 

It’s big. Aside from its often immense geographic scope, as it is not unusual for the cast of characters to have to trek across continents and cross oceans in the pursuit of their goal, these stories can also cover large spans of time, with years, decades or even generations passing by in the course of the story (or series of stories). They are also big in another way – these are not typically short books. Once you get sucked into an epic fantasy series you are in it for the long haul.

 

Examples:

Sheepfarmer's DaughterThe Belgariad series by David Eddings

The Deed of Paksenarrion trilogy by Elizabeth Moon

The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson

The Original Shannara Trilogy by Terry Brooks

The Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind

The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan

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14 Favorite Book Sidekicks to Celebrate on Dr. Watson’s Birthday

Goodreads Blog: Posted by Hayley Igarashi on July 07, 2017

BudsToday is the birthday of one of literature’s most beloved and long-suffering sidekicks, Dr. John Watson. A war veteran as well as an accomplished writer and detective, Watson gives Sherlock Holmes much-needed backup and friendship, all while enduring less-than-complimentary observations about his character. “You have a grand gift for silence, Watson,” Sherlock says at one point. “It makes you quite invaluable as a companion.”

To celebrate the good doctor’s birthday, [goodreads.com] asked you on Facebook and Twitter to share your favorite book sidekicks. Check out some of the most popular answers below and add your own in the comments!

Sherlock1. Dr. John Watson
Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes books and stories

Sherlock’s friend, roommate, biographer, crime-solving partner and on-hand physician

 

Harry Potter2. Ron and Hermione
J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books

Harry’s fellow Gryffindors, friends, partners in managing mischief, frequent rescuers (especially Hermione) and family

Click here for the rest of the list…

Author Birthdays – The Last Birthdays Ever

No. Not all of them. Don’t worry, your candles and cake are safe. We’re just talking about “Author Birthdays,” the blog segment.

Why? We’ve come full circle, literally. The Earth has completed an entire orbit around the sun since we started with “Author Birthdays” (that means a year has gone by) and after this week there won’t be any more weeks that we haven’t already covered together.

I know. I know. There are many authors that we missed the first time around and newly famous/infamous authors are popping up all the time, but lets give the numbers time to build back up a bit before we start in again. We’ll do other things that are just as cool. Maybe (dare I say it) cooler.

In the meantime, The Last Author Birthdays (Possibly) Ever!

George Orwell (b. June 25, 1903, Motihari, India; d. January 21, 1950, London, UK)

Orwell“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: 1984

For more information on George Orwell, click here.

 

Jean-Jacques Rousseau (b. June 28, 1712, Geneva, Switzerland; d. July 2, 1778, Ermenonville, France)

Rousseau“Insults are the arguments employed by those who are in the wrong.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: The Confessions

For more information on Jean-Jacques Rousseau, click here.

 

Author Birthdays – Father’s Day Edition

People have gotta come from somewhere and authors are no exception – special shout-out to the fathers of this week’s authors! And all the other fathers too. Hi, dad!

Salman Rushdie (b. June 19, 1947, Mumbai, India)

Rushdie“A purpose of our lives is to broaden what we can understand and say and therefore be.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: The Satanic Verses 

For more information on Salman Rushdie, click here.

 

Joseph Kesselring (b. July 21, 1902, New York, NY; d. November 5, 1967, Kingston, NY)

Kesselring“You see, insanity runs in my family. It practically gallops.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: Arsenic and Old Lace

For more information on Joseph Kesselring, click here.

 

Jean-Paul Sartre (b. June 21, 1905, Paris, France; d. April 15, 1980, Paris, France)

Sartre“If you are lonely when you’re alone, you are in bad company.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: Nausea

For more information on Jean-Paul Sartre, click here.

 

Octavia Butler (b. June 22, 1947, Pasadena, CA; d. February 24, 2006, Lake Forest Park, WA)

Butler“Sometimes being a friend means mastering the art of timing. There is a time for silence. A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their own destiny. And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it’s all over.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: Kindred

For more information on Octavia Butler, click here.

 

Michael Shaara (b. June 23, 1928, Jersey City, NJ; d. May 5, 1988, Tallahassee, FL)

Shaara“A man who has been shot at is a new realist, and what do you say to a realist when the war is a war of ideals?” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: The Killer Angels

For more information on Michael Shaara, click here.

 

Richard Bach (b. June 23, 1936, Oak Park, IL)

Bach“If you love someone, set them free. If they come back they’re yours; if they don’t they never were.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: Jonathan Livingston Seagull

For more information on Richard Bach, click here.

 

“Welcome to the party, pal!”

Do you miss ’80s action movies as much as we do? I know, it’s silly to even ask.

Of course you do.

Die Hard

“Yippee-ki-yay, Moline Library patron.”

If you are still with us then you will be happy to know that today is a very special day. John McClane turns 62 today (in our heads and in our hearts if not in reality… since he isn’t a real person)! Congrats on surviving this long John!

It is on this happy day that we just wanted to take a moment and remind you that we can help you find more than just books. Whether you’re craving the one man against impossible odds of Die Hard, the buddy-cop violence of Lethal Weapon, the creepy, sci-fi feel of Predator, the brutal,  post-apocylptic wasteland of Road Warrior, or even the… I’m-not-entirely-sure-what-just-happened-there-but-I-kind-of-liked-it of Big Trouble in Little China, we can help with that. And if we don’t actually have it we can very likely find a library that does and have it sent here for you. It never hurts to ask.

Author Birthdays

Alexander Pope (b. May 21, 1688, London, UK; d. May 30, 1744, Twickenham, UK)

Pope“To err is human; to forgive, divine.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: An Essay on Man

For more information on Alexander Pope, click here.

 

Arthur Conan Doyle (b. May 22, 1859, Edinburgh, UK; d. July 7, 1930, Crowborough, UK)

Doyle“When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: A Study in Scarlet… or anything with Sherlock Holmes

For more information on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, click here.

 

Mitch Albom (b. May 23, 1958, Passaic, NJ)

Albom“If you’re always battling against getting older, you’re always going to be unhappy, because it’s going to happen anyhow.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: Tuesdays with Morrie

For more information on Mitch Albom, click here.

 

Ralph Waldo Emerson (b. May 25, 1803, Boston, MA; d. April 27, 1882, Concord, MA)

Emerson“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: Nature

For more information on Ralph Waldo Emerson, click here.

 

Robert Ludlum (b. May 25, 1927, New York, NY; d. March 12, 2001, Naples, FL)

Ludlum“Life is extremely complicated.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: The Bourne Identity

For more information on Robert Ludlum, click here.

 

Tony Hillerman (b. May 27, 1925, Sacred Heart, OK ; d. October 26, 2008, Albuquerque, NM)

Hillerman“You write for two people, yourself and your audience, who are usually better educated and at least as smart.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: The Blessing Way

For more information on Tony Hillerman, click here.

 

Harlan Ellison (b. May 27, 1934, Cleveland, OH)

Ellison_H“The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream

For more information on Harlan Ellison, click here.

Author Birthdays – And let’s hear it for their mothers too! Happy Mother’s Day!

L. Frank Baum (b. May 15, 1856, Chittenango, NY; d. May 6, 1919, Los Angeles, CA)

Baum“Hearts will never be practical until they can be made unbreakable.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

For more information on L. Frank Baum, click here.

 

Mikhail Bulgakov (b. May 15, 1891, Kiev, Ukraine; d. March 10, 1940, Moscow, Russia)

BulgakovCowardice is the most terrible of vices.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: The Master and Margarita

For more information on Mikhail Bulgakov, click here.

 

 

Peter Shaffer (b. May 15, 1926, Liverpool, UK; d. June 6, 2016, County Cork, Ireland)

Shaffer“Tragedy, for me, is not a conflict between right and wrong, but between two different kinds of right.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: Amadeus

For more information on Sir Peter Shaffer, click here.

 

 

Malcolm X (b. May 19, 1925, Omaha, NE; d. February 21, 1965, New York, NY)

X“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: The Autobiography of Malcolm X

For more information on Malcolm X, click here.

 

Lorraine Hansberry (b. May 19, 1930, Chicago, IL; d. January 12, 1965, New York, NY)

Hansberry“There is always something left to love. And if you ain’t learned that, you ain’t learned nothing.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: A Raisin in the Sun

For more information on Lorraine Hansberry, click here.

 

Honoré de Balzac (b. May 20, 1799, Tours, France; d. August 18, 1850, Paris, France)

Balzac“Laws are spider webs through which the big flies pass and the little ones get caught.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: The Human Comedy

For more information on Honoré de Balzac, click here.