Tuesday, July 19, 2011


I received a copy of J. R. R. TOLKEIN by Mark Horne, from Thomas Nelson via Booksneeze. It is part of the Christian Encounters series, a gathering of Christina-themed biographies. In the past, I have read the ones on Saint Nicholas and Anne Bradstreet, and loved them, so I knew I would enjoy this one as well. The biographies are short and easy to read. At times, they flow like novels. Normal biographies are long and complicated, with complex words. Since these are easy to understand, I have recommended them to a friend who teaches high school, for use in her English classroom.

This biography told the life story of J. R. R. Tolkien. He is famous for the Lord of the Rings series. While I greatly enjoy that work of fantasy, I never knew much about the author, not even what he looked like, so I was thrilled to see this cover. Jr. R. R. Tolkien looks like a jolly man, the perfect type of friend.

It was filled with interesting facts, such as his real name: John Ronald Reuel Tolkien. It also included facts about his childhood and family, his interests and passions. I felt the best part was how it strongly tied in with the Lord of the Rings. Some chapters referenced whole sections of his novels, and chapter titles included words such as “Between the Shire and Mordor.” Mark Horne describes Birmingham, one of Tolkien’s homes, as being a Mordor-like place.

The is the perfect book for literary and history lovers, as well as any fan of the Lord of the Rings.

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