Reading Roundup – 8th November 2013

November 8, 2013

Although it’s not a book, this week I have been enjoying Peter Jackson’s extended edition Blu Ray of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey Extended Edition directed by Peter Jackson
Genres: Epic Fantasy
Format: Blu Ray DVD
Starring: Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Ian McKellan
Length: 3 hours 2 minutes
Buy from Amazon • 

Now, The Lord of the Rings is the first book that I can remember being truly gripped by back when I was a teenager.  I just couldn’t put that book down.  I took it with me on a family holiday and couldn’t keep my nose out of it.  When Peter Jackson made The Lord of the Rings trilogy a decade ago I was initially anxious until I saw the initial trailer.  I knew then that my beloved tale was in good hands with Peter Jackson and crew.  For the trilogy, Jackson tended to release an extended edition several months after the theatrical version release on DVD/Blu Ray.  This extended edition contained additional/extended scenes as well as commentary and hours and hours of background material and he has done the same for The Hobbit.

While I don’t necessarily agree with all of the creative storylining decisions made on The Hobbit (a sledge pulled by giant bunnies?  Please, no, just no.) I cannot fault Jackson’s production values.  The casting is spot on and the locations seem so real and developed.  The extended edition has a fascinating director’s commentary and I think about eight hours of background material on the creation of the movie.  There are interviews with creative designers as well as cast and crew which are all wonderfully interesting.  There is just so much incredible thought and detail into each part of the movie that may only be on screen for a second or two.

Some highlights for me were the interviews with the cast and crew about their experiences as well as seeing the set designs up close.  I would love to wander around Jackson’s Bag End.  I also loved the section on the music of the movie.  I adored Howard Shore’s score for the Lord of the Rings, and his score for The Hobbit is likewise gorgeous.  I still get shivers hearing the Dwarf company sing of their home beyond the misty mountains.

Apparently Martin Freeman, who plays Bilbo, is curious about his character’s sexual history – Freeman feels that a sex life is a basic hobbitian need.  We certainly see lots of little hobbit children running around, who must come from somewhere.  My gut feeling is that hobbits wouldn’t become sexually involved unless in a stable, long-term relationship.  Bilbo’s desire to explore outside of the Shire is due to curiosity not a desire to escape a bad relationship, and although he misses home, it seems to be more his comforts than any particular person.

Added to my library this week

Goddess in Time by Tera Lynn Childs.  This is a novella in Childs’ Oh My Gods series about Greek mythology in the modern day.  It is marketed at Percy Jackson fans, and at $3 on Kindle. I couldn’t pass up the chance.

I also took advantage of Audible’s deal of the day to pick up Gail Carriger’s Soulless for $4.  I don’t know much about it, but the synopsis seemed intriguing: Victorian romance mixes seamlessly with elegant prose and biting wit—and werewolves—in Gail Carriger’s delightful debut novel. Soulless introduces Alexia Tarabotti, a parasol-wielding Londoner getting dangerously close to spinster status. But there are more important things than finding a husband. For Alexia was born without a soul, giving her the ability to render any vampire or werewolf completely powerless. 

Another deal I picked up was Sarah J, Maas’s Throne of Glass from Audible.  I have the Kindle book, so with the Whispersync for Voice deal I was able to pick up the audiobook from Audible for $4.

So, please share your thoughts in the comments.  Do you think Freeman is right that sex is a basic hobbitian need?

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