Welcome to the Shire - meet our Hobbit community bloggers
3 October 2012 / 0 Comments
J.R.R Tolkien's The Hobbit - An Unexpected Journey has been read and enjoyed by countless adults and children since its release in 1937. However, this December Peter Jackson's much anticipated film adaption is set to bring Tolkien's classic to a still greater audience.
To celebrate this momentous cinematic and literary event, and to say a big Happy Birthday to Bilbo and co' in the year of the book's 75th anniversary, Reading Groups for Everyone and The Reading Agency have teamed up with nine reading groups across the country. The groups will be reading the book and blogging about their experiences of the Shire, as well as telling us about all of the fantastic Hobbit-related events that they get up to in the build up to the film's release.
Watch the film's trailer here, and get acquainted with our Hobbit Community bloggers below.
Meet the Gateshead Reading Activists group
In Gateshead we're lucky to have a reading group made up of members of the Gateshead Reading Activists group, a gang of plucky teens full of creative ideas, ambition and talent. Drum roll please...
Emily - Our in-house artist, Emily is our digital-savvy life-saver, responsible for our "filmed book reviews and any form of artistic creativity produced. Promoting events such as Muggle Mania would not be possible without Emily's dedication to the group.
Katherine - It's only a matter of time before we open a magazine to find an article written by our very own Katherine Phillips. Katherine's journalistic traits have been utilized on several occasions, including Gateshead Reading Activists's interview with author R.J. Palacio.
Lucy - Without Lucy our meetings would be run-of-the-mill, devoid of scintillating stories and enlightening conversation. Thanks to Lucy, the Gateshead Reading Activists group considers the various aspects of our events and how they could appeal to a target audience - Gateshead Central Library's homage to The Nightmare Before Christmas would have been lacklustre without Lucy's face-painting prowess.
Mim - When Mim sets her mind to a challenge, it is easily conquered. Our upcoming Murder Mystery event is supplemented with a detailed storyline and meticulous character profiles, single-handedly constructed by Mim. Muggle Mastermind, with a signed Daniel Radcliffe photograph as the star prize, was another one of Mim's spectacular creations.
Rachel- Without Rachel as the voice of reason, our meetings would be counter-productive. Her candid nature and commitment to continually attending meetings despite joining the group at a later stage is appreciated by us all.
Reef - Admittedly, conversation can easily be led astray by the mere presence of food. Reef possesses a wise head on young shoulders, ensuring productivity is on a par with consideration for others. Our group's surprise engagement party for our volunteer co-ordinator, Susan Kershaw, was thought of and orchestrated by Reef.
Sarah - Sarah's contribution in terms of volunteering is immeasurable. Her perseverance and wealth of knowledge is what makes us proud to have her as a representative for the group, a role she carried out by participating in the One Year On workshop with author Malorie Blackman in London.
Ysmay - Even before the group was fully fledged, Ysmay's punctilious nature ensured that our first event - 'Gig in the Garden' - and every event since has run to schedule and without a hitch, often due to her forward-thinking and logistical solutions.
Zosia - Always willing to participate in every event, Zosia is empathetic in times of trouble, reassuring other members that things don't always go to plan. Her participation includes walking the runway at our 'Promzilla' event, as well as providing us with a variety of delicious baked goods!
Rozemah - Always planning and always thinking ahead, Rozemah ensures that all of our events run smoothly and without problems. She will happily undertake any task and even took on the lead role in making sure that the group's Summer Carnival event was a great success. Our events are always safe thanks to her meticulous risk assessments!
Jemma - New to the group but already part of the team, Jemma has proven herself an asset to the group with her Oscar-worthy camera skills, as shown in the Murder Mystery film that she directed.
Claire - An honorary member of our group, Claire now spends most of her time in London studying medicine (and crashing film premiers) but whenever she's on study leave she always rejoins the Gateshead Reading Activists group. Claire's hard work and dedication towards Muggle Mania was second to none, and her sensible head can always find the solution to any problem.
In our own various ways, each member contributes something unique to the Gateshead Reading Activists group. And their top three favourite books are:
Malorie Blackman - Noughts and Crosses series
Meg Cabot - Princess Diaries series
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Meet Bawtry Readers' Group
Bawtry Readers' Group have been meeting now for well over ten years, we meet once a month for some great discussions as well as tea and biscuits! We are a small group and consist of around 8 - 12 members at each meet.
We all love getting together to have a chat and read books that we wouldn't normally pick off the shelves. The group also enables us to recommend books that we're reading outside of the group to other members, as well as finding out about author events happening close by.
Our Library has just moved over to being volunteer-led so we're extremely busy learning the ropes, fortunately this hasn't dampened our spirits when it comes to reading!
Our top three reads:
We need to talk about Kevin - Lionel Shriver
Never let me go - Kazuo Ishiguro
Far from the madding crowd - Thomas Hardy
Meet Myth & Magic
The Ironville School in Derbyshire runs the after-school 'Tolkien Study Fellowship' Myth & Magic. The nine members of the group meet twice a week to discuss the work of Tolkien and other writers that inspire them. They are currently organizing a Hobbit Activity Day in partnership with Derbyshire Libraries and preparing a paper for a Tolkien conference that will take place in Helsinki next year. The photo above shows members of the group delivering a talk on the mythology of the Hobbit as part of the 2012 Derbyshire Literature Festival.
Meet the Hobbit Girls
Central Bedfordshire Library's reading group have gotten into the spirit of things and named themselves "The Hobbit Girls".The group consists of:
Sue - group leader, "I love reading and cross stitch and trampoling with my 5 year old".
Faye - aged 10, likes reading, crafts and listening to music.
Nicky - Faye's mum, likes reading, gardening and catching up with friends.
Paige - aged 9, likes to watch tv and sleep and read in bed!
Rachel - Paige's mum, likes reading, baking and listening to music.
The girls' favourite authors are Jacqueline Wilson and Roald Dahl, and the mums' like James Patterson, Dick Francis and Joanne Harris.
Meet Adventures in Reading
Halton's Adventures in Reading have this to say for themselves:
"We are a mixed group with a broad range of reading tastes, and the book selections might be considered to be the books that other reading groups wouldn't necessarily consider. Our books are a mixture of fiction and non-fiction. The fiction has a tendency towards magic (and not in the Harry Potter sense), strangeness, or sometimes just a little on the weird side. The non-fiction has a strong science theme, looking at anything from the oddness of psychology to the fascinating history of salt.
Top 3 reads:
• The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
• Under the Skin by Michel Faber
• The Tooth Fairy by Graham Joyce
Sara: Administrator at Liverpool John Moores University; I will read anything, currently reading Ken Follett Winter of the World; I love to learn, I am learning to cook Chinese food at the moment and enjoying every bit...
Janette: RDO for libraries...book reviewer for local radio...lots of book and reading related stuff...dog person and Warcraft player and Tolkien geek who really looking forward to re-reading this childhoods favourite http://www.goodreads.com/Janfleming
Alison: retired, but in between looking after aged parent and grandchildren.....lots of rambling, reading and occasional singing....have enjoyed rediscovering my illustrated version of The Hobbit.
Julie: My name is Julie, I work as a lecturer and I have always loved reading anything and everything. I have very fond memories of reading The Hobbit when I was 10, and am looking forward to having another go.
Joe: have a love for lit which an English Lit degree only served to encourage further. Currently working in student lettings but aiming to pursue a career in media/journalism. Tolkien is the perfect subject of discussion for this fan who wrote his dissertation on Middle-Earth's mythologie
Amanda: I love reading: SciFi, Strange fiction, Science Fact. Partly encouraged by reading 'The Hobbit' as a child and being drawn into the fantastic world.
Cilla: I enjoy reading books on all subjects and always on the look out for something knew to read. I have not been converted to a kindle yet! Enjoy attending reading events and literary Lunches.
Is your reading group or book club reading The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings? Do let us know how you are getting on - send us an email or post a comment - we'd love to hear from you.
Watch out for the blog posts from our Hobbit Community as they read their way through the book.