the Hobbit~ book and movie review

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The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

As I’m sure you can tell, this post was supposed to go up around Christmas time. It didn’t happen, but that’s life. I reread The Hobbit a few months ago and watched the movies about the same time, so I hope they are still a little fresh in my mind.

The Hobbit is a classic, beloved and enjoyed for years. It’s the prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Lighter and more whimsical than the trilogy, it seems to be more of a fairy tale than a history.  The hero of the story is as unexpected as his journey. Bilbo Baggins is a fusspot, to put it simply. He’s fond of the comforts of home and good food. He is a Hobbit, after all. But when a wizard shows up with a gaggle of dwarves, how can he not go with them?

Now, I’m not sure how this happened, but Peter Jackson managed to squeeze three 3 hour movies out of a book that’s about three hundred pages long, if that. I enjoy the movies, don’t get me wrong. Yes, there are many, many things that drive me over the edge sometimes, but they are still good movies.

What I liked:
The story was fleshed out more. The book seems to be the bare bones of what happened. Where did Gandalf go? What does a Hobbit hole look like? You know, little things like that.
I love the lushness of the landscape and the story. It’s so sweeping and dramatic.
I liked seeing the Dwarves and their wild, mad behavior.
Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield. ‘Nuff said.
And Bilbo. Ah! I love him. His funny twitches, his loyalty, his bravery, and just him. He rocks, he really does.

What I didn’t like:
The whole Azog storyline. No, just no.
The Battle of the Five Armies. Again, just no. My eyes were raw after. Never again.

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RKLW {reading, knitting, listening, watching}

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{A once-a-week post about what I’m reading, knitting, listening to, and watching.}
{Joining Ginny for YarnAlong.}

Reading: Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan. I’ve been reading the Percy Jackson series for years now. I’m sad to say, the final installment left me pretty…underwhelmed. I’ll go more over that later.

I’ve been having trouble finding something new to read. If you have any suggestions, I’ll gladly take them! Just leave me a comment with your recommendation and I’ll be sure to look into them.

Knitting: I finished my Hugs by Post and it turned out so cute! Very dainty, which is a look I like. I also started a pair of the most eye-searingly bright socks in the history of eye-searing. I’m using Reiga Fluormania in the Neon Beach colorway and my normal sock pattern. Let’s see, what else? My Bofur socks, of course. I’m also knitting my April socks a bit early, using the Show-Off Stranded stitch pattern and my normal sock numbers. I recently ordered a bunch of gorgeous yarn from Knit Picks which got here on Wednesday! I’m fighting castonitis, since I want to cast everything on! Lots of knitting happening around here, y’all.

OH! And let us not forget a project that was influenced by other knitters in the blog sphere. The sock yarn blanket. I have never had any great desire to knit one. Then I saw Kristin’s post. And Andi’s. It was all over after that. Oh, yeah, I got sucked in. I cast this on at 10pm one day. Finally! Justification for knitting socks. Okay, I don’t need justification for knitting socks. Maybe for buying sock yarn…

Listening: Music. It varies from day to day. I’ve been loving me some Lindsey Stirling, Ivan Torrent, and Adrien von Ziegler of late.

Watching: Still finishing Call the Midwife and I managed to find Season 4 of Downton Abbey from the library. After Season 5 is over, of course…

Wow, this is a link-rich post. Be sure to click on them if you’re interested.

What are y’all reading, knitting, listening to, or watching?

RKLW {reading, knitting, listening, watching}

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{A once-a-week post about what I’m reading, knitting, listening to, and watching.}
{Joining Ginny for YarnAlong. And drinking lots of tea.}

Reading: Walden by Henry David Thoreau. It’s boring my brain.

Knitting: Okay, so you’ll notice that there are two pictures for this week. The first one I took on Monday and the second one today. Since Monday, I’ve finished my first March sock, Burning Rings of Fire, cast on the second one, and started another cute shawlette, Hugs by Post. The pattern is so cute and easy, I’m surprised more people haven’t knit it. There are only nine other projects. I’m using some baby acrylic from the stash. And I love the Burning Rings of Fire pattern. It looks odd on the needles, but amazing once on. 🙂 I nicknamed this pair Bofur’s socks, since the yarn looks like the colors from Bofur’s scarf. Yeah, I do crazy things like that; nickname socks and plop them on my head and… Oh, did I say that out loud?

Listening: A new favorite song: The Empire by Jason Munday. It’s the story of Episode Five: The Empire Strikes Back condensed down into a song. LOVE. Another nerdy heart love. 🙂

Watching: Call the Midwife, a new to me BBC drama. So far, it’s enjoyable, although there are a few episodes and circumstances I didn’t like. In the middle of season 2.

What are y’all reading, knitting, listening to, or watching?

Ranger’s Apprentice~ series review

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Ranger’s Apprentice Series by John Flanagan

I love this series. It’s the kind of love that makes any of them a comfort read. I’ll grab any of the series to read when I’m kind of at a loss for what to read. That’s a comfort read for me. 🙂 The series follows Will, a young orphan from the Kingdom of Arulen, as he becomes a Ranger’s apprentice and grows up. I’m really not sure I can do this amazing adventure of a series justice with my small words, but I want to, since it makes me happy.

For me, what makes a good series or story are the characters. They can make or break the story. If they don’t have depth or connectability, I don’t love them. However, I love Will. His optimism and joy for life stays with him through good times and bad. He is so likable and so human. Despite being a Ranger, (kind of like a secret agent slash Special Ops slash archer slash a couple other things), he stays grounded with a twinkle and a snappy comeback. Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention that the series is set in a medieval  precursor of Europe.

Will’s teacher, Halt, is…I’m not even sure how to describe him. He’s like Obi-Wan Kenobi, but sharper, more sarcastic, WAYYY more sarcastic, funnier, and with the driest sense of humor ever. He and Will have the best relationship, with Halt kind of adopting the younger man. Almost every time Halt says something, I want to howl with laughter. He’s just so great. Of course, there are other characters in the series. Horace is another of my most favorites. He and Will are best friends who really have each other’s backs and look out for each other, no matter what.

There are girls, of course. Because what kind of story would this be without a little romantic angst? Emphasis on little. It’s really more of an action-adventure, brotherhood and bonding, with a bunch of danger, bad guys, fighting, and snarky quips tossed in there for good measure, shaken, and served up. And I love it. It’s kind of like an Errol Flynn movie, come to think of it. Like, Errol Flynn playing Robin Hood. Ahh…. Ahem! Sorry!

The series has twelve books and let’s see if I can list them in order off the top of my head. 😉 Here goes:

The Ruins of Gorlan
The Burning Bridge 

The Icebound Land
The Battle for Skandia
The Sorcerer of the North
The Siege of Macindaw
Erak’s Ransom
The Kings of Clonmel
Halt’s Peril
The Emperor of Nihon-Ja
The Lost Stories (kind of a filler, since book 10 was supposed to be the last one, I think)
The Royal Ranger

Yes! I rock! 😉 Anywho, I love them all, except The Royal Ranger. No, nein, non. We doesn’t like it, Precious. It kind of lost the feel of the rest of the whole darn series. I won’t get into why, but yeah. Me no like.

Strange but true; I now mentally associate The Kings of Clonmel and Halt’s Peril with the song Hello Seattle (remix) by Owl City. Listening to the song makes me think of the books and reading the books makes me hear the song playing in my head. The only way I can explain this strange phenomenon is that I listened to Hello Seattle on repeat the whole time I read the two books for the first time. So yeah. Good stuff, y’all. 🙂 Read them…you will love them…

RKLW {reading, knitting, listening, watching}

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{The one in which I knit all the socks. And reassess my love of socks. Not.}
{Joining Ginny for YarnAlong while eating pretzels.}

Reading: This week, I’m reading Ivanhoe. This is another one of those books I’m still not quite sure what’s going on… But, it’s a classic, so I’m trying to work my way through it. I also read Animal Farm this week and my brain is still reeling from the weirdness. I know it’s supposed to be a political satire, but it’s still weird.

Knitting: Socks. Lots and lots of socks!!I have five pairs on the needles. Yes, FIVE. But! (And this is how I justify it.) All but one of them are the second sock. Booyah! I have two toeless socks, a pair of Charade anklets because my brain would die if I worked six inches of the pattern, and the second Shelves Upon Shelves. I deliberately left out my gray Hermoine’s because I just don’t want to look at them. And I figured y’all were tired of seeing them, too. I know I am… Anywho, the toeless socks are my solution to cold feet while reading with the book between my toes. Turns out, they also work really well for spinning socks! I have been spinning a bit as well as knitting. Fun stuff, mates, fun stuff.

Listening: I’ve recently been bitten by the love of Celtic music. Oh, The High Kings, you slay me with your voices. I’m a sucker for a good accent…which is probably why I watch so much BBC… Do you think there might be a connection? I’ve also discovered Sky Sailing, which is Adam Young (Owl City) singing acoustic. AHHHHH!!!!!!! My life is complete. 🙂

Watching: Blue Planet and the Aristocats. I love the Aristocats. Of almost all of the Disney movies, I think it’s one of my most favorites. 🙂

What are y’all reading, knitting, listening to, or watching? Leave a comment, loves. 

RKLW {reading, knitting, listening, watching}

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{A once-a-week post about what I am reading, knitting, listening to, and watching.}
{Joining Ginny for YarnAlong.}

Reading: Again, I have no picture of my book. You want to know why? Because I finished War and Peace! In a month! Wahoo! I’m so happy to have finished it. 🙂 I’m not really reading anything else right now. Off to find a new book!

Knitting: I must be out of my ever-loving mind. I am knitting gray and black and white in January, almost February. When the world is white and black and gray. This simply will not do. More color must be cast on. Do I have a problem with that? No I don’t.
I finished Yoda today, just before writing this post. Isn’t he cute? I don’t know how this happened, but he turned out looking more like a bowling pin than Yoda. It may have had something to do with my minor modifications to the pattern…. {Pattern: Yodagurumi}
Also on the needles: my Hermione’s and Shelves Upon Shelves. I really like the Shelves pattern. It’s a nice change from vanilla socks. Simple enough to be able to watch a movie while knitting, but interesting enough you don’t fall asleep.
Also, my table is a mess.

Listening: The soundtrack from Miss Potter, title theme from North and South, and the soundtrack from Pride and Prejudice (1995).

Watching: Revenge of the Sith. A warning: Never, ever, ever, ever, EVER watch Star Wars with a capital N Nerd. Not only will the Nerd talk the movie to death, you will have to listen to nerdiness from the moment you pop the DVD in the player. So what I’m saying is never watch Star Wars with me. You may regret it. 😉

What are you reading, knitting, listening to, or watching?