Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Seth's review of The Wisdom of the Shire by Noble Smith
In The Wisdom of the Shire, Noble Smith sheds a light on the life-changing ideas tucked away inside the classic works of J.R.R. Tolkien and his most beloved creation—the stouthearted Hobbits.
Drawing on The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and other tales of Middle-earth, Smith shows how a snug Hobbit-hole is actually just a state of mind and how even the smallest person can have the valor of a Rider of Rohan. He explores subjects dear to a Halfling's heart, such as beer, food, and friendship, as well as more serious concerns, such as courage, living in harmony with nature, and good versus evil.
How can simple pleasures such as gardening, taking long walks, and eating delicious meals with friends make you significantly happier? Why is the act of giving presents on your birthday instead of getting them such a revolutionary idea? And how can we carry the burden of our own "magic ring of power" without becoming devoured by it? The Wisdom of the Shire holds the answers to these and more of life's essential questions.
This book was much like reading all of the Lord of the Rings books and The Hobbit in one setting, in a vague overview sort of way. The author obviously put a lot of thought and time into making this book. Most people who have read the series have probably picked up on many of the Wisdoms albeit not in as direct a way.
I have a few points that I got a little hung up on. The first is that the ARC I received seemed to not be complete based upon the table of contents. It seems to be missing approximately twenty or so pages. I understand this is something that may happen from time to time with an ARC. The second point that bugged me was the constant rehashing and reusing of the same situations to squeeze different meanings from the same event.
This book left me a bit uplifted at the end, and despite the gripes I have over it, I think I will hold onto it. It might even have earned itself a place next to my LotR series. Which if you know me, I take seriously. Very seriously. I wish I could say more about this book, but honestly I am a bit on the tired side and you can learn all you need to by flipping through the chapters and reading the wisdoms at the end of each.
Seth gives The Wisdom of the Shire: 3.5/5.
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I received this ARC in the mail from the author in exchange for an honest review. Neither Seth nor I were compensated for this review.