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 Post subject: 'The Hobbit' Reading Group
PostPosted: July 30th, 2012, 11:04 pm 
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Since we have less than 6 months till the release of the first film I thought it would be a fun way to end the summer if A-U reads 'The Hobbit' together. I've got some questions and quotes and such for discussion prepared, but of course if other topics arise we'll go with those too. I want the reading and discussions to be led and informed by all of you, so you should definitely have a say in what we're talking about! Whether you've read 'The Hobbit' a million times or if you've never read it at all, this is your chance to read or reread Tolkien's first classic tale! Let's get people signed up this week, and then on Friday [3 July] I'll post the dates for the first reading. I think I'll give us a week to read, and we'll have to decide upon a reasonable length of reading.

So, as you sign up state how much reading you think you could feasibly do in a week in terms of chapters. That'll make our decision much easier. Thanks! Can't wait to get started with all of you!

- Larael :)

Reading Group Members:


Reading #1 (Sunday, 12 Aug - Sunday, 19 Aug)
Chapters:
- One: An Unexpected Party
- Two: Roast Mutton

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 Post subject: Re: 'The Hobbit' Reading Group
PostPosted: July 31st, 2012, 7:13 am 
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Oh, woo, sounds like fun :) I am in of course, I will happily read The Hobbit again.

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 Post subject: Re: 'The Hobbit' Reading Group
PostPosted: August 2nd, 2012, 3:38 pm 
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I'm up for it! Since I'm on vacation, I could probably read the book in about three days. :)

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 Post subject: Re: 'The Hobbit' Reading Group
PostPosted: August 2nd, 2012, 3:57 pm 
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Count me in! :D

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 Post subject: Re: 'The Hobbit' Reading Group
PostPosted: August 2nd, 2012, 7:54 pm 
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Sounds awesome!

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 Post subject: Re: 'The Hobbit' Reading Group
PostPosted: August 12th, 2012, 9:46 am 
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I'd love to join! :)

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 Post subject: Re: 'The Hobbit' Reading Group
PostPosted: August 12th, 2012, 3:51 pm 
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Complete failure on my part for not getting this started officially! Let's have chapter one and two (An Unexpected Party and Roast Mutton) read by this weekend. Be looking for anything you might want to discuss (characters, plot details, figurative language, themes etc.), questions you might have, and any film connections we could talk about (that don't seem to spoiler-y). I'm hoping this can be mostly run by everyone's discussion, though I do have some questions I can throw out there to keep us going.

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 Post subject: Re: 'The Hobbit' Reading Group
PostPosted: August 17th, 2012, 11:32 am 
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So, thoughts:

Tolkien describing Bilbo's hole reminds me very much of Lewis talking about Mr. Tumnus' cave in The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. Interesting!

"He may have lost the neighbours' respect but he gained - well, you will see whether he gained anything in the end."
So normally we'd read something like this and be like, "Of course he gained something!" and just move on. But did he really gain anything? The friendship of elves and dwarves, sure. An interesting adventure. The Ring. But through gaining the Ring, did he gain by the end of his story? I don't know. It's fascinating to think about. Would he have been better of if he hadn't have gone?

Gandalf's response to "Good morning!" :lol: Brilliant.

I like the way The Hobbit is written. Here at the beginning Tolkien makes a few comments that make it very clear this is part of the history of our world, not some alternate world.

Gandalf was friends with the Old Took. Why don't we get any of this backstory? And then Bilbo talks about him being responsible for "so many quiet lads and lasses going off in the Blue" and how he shook things up! I'm so intrigued! I want to know Gandalf's history with the hobbits!

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 Post subject: Re: 'The Hobbit' Reading Group
PostPosted: August 17th, 2012, 4:12 pm 
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Good point about if Bilbo would have been better off if he hadn't have gone on his adventure at all. I think he would have lived happily in his nice Hobbithole, but perhaps he would have felt dissatisfied with his life at an older age, because of his Tookish ancestry.

What really struck me in the first chapter was Bilbo's ambivalent attitude towards adventure: "Bless me, life used to be quite inter... I mean, you used to upset things badly in these parts once upon a time." Later, when the Dwarves arrive, he shows annoyance at first, and even fright at the mention of "may never return" but when they just assume he's not up for the job, he steps in to show them what he's made off.

I was also wondering about Gandalf's earlier visits to the Shire and his friendship with the Old Took, especially after Bilbo's reference to Gandalf upsetting things around Hobbiton/in the Shire.

The way all the Dwarves were described was nice. After paying close attention, I noticed Tolkien gave every Dwarve a hood with a different colour, and he also mentions which Dwarf plays which instrument.

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 Post subject: Re: 'The Hobbit' Reading Group
PostPosted: August 19th, 2012, 4:38 am 
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Count me in!

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 Post subject: Re: 'The Hobbit' Reading Group
PostPosted: August 19th, 2012, 5:07 pm 
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Gandalf's "Good Morning" conversation has to be one of the best exchanges in English literature. I absolutely love it. Pokes fun at everyday people's use of language, too!

Nurrantiel Mashiara wrote:
Gandalf was friends with the Old Took. Why don't we get any of this backstory? And then Bilbo talks about him being responsible for "so many quiet lads and lasses going off in the Blue" and how he shook things up! I'm so intrigued! I want to know Gandalf's history with the hobbits!

Seriously! There's so much enigma wrapped in that one sentence! What on earth were they up to, these hobbits Gandalf sent off??

Also, I've always wondered why the trolls' wallet talks. Huh?? Talking wallets??? Now you've lost me, Tolkien. I suppose that the 'children's story' genetics coming through, where there doesn't necessarily have to be any rhyme or reason because kids will take anything as is. But I feel it clashes a bit with the reality of the story. (Because for some reason I buy the existence of trolls but not the existence of their talking wallets. :teehee:)

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 Post subject: Re: 'The Hobbit' Reading Group
PostPosted: August 23rd, 2012, 11:36 am 
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I'll read it again, gladly!

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 Post subject: Re: 'The Hobbit' Reading Group
PostPosted: September 5th, 2012, 11:01 pm 
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Taurquende wrote:
Also, I've always wondered why the trolls' wallet talks. Huh?? Talking wallets??? Now you've lost me, Tolkien. I suppose that the 'children's story' genetics coming through, where there doesn't necessarily have to be any rhyme or reason because kids will take anything as is. But I feel it clashes a bit with the reality of the story. (Because for some reason I buy the existence of trolls but not the existence of their talking wallets. :teehee:)


Hey, that's legitimate criticism! :teehee: I was having the same type of conversation with my mother a while back about that Geico commercial where the gecko says "I wonder if I can see Mount Rushmore from here" while standing inside one of the eyes. And I'm just like, "That makes no sense. The eye would've been drilled out, so the only way in would be climbing into the eye from the outside. At which point he would've know he was on Mount Rushmore." To which my mom replied, "He's a talking gecko. With a cell phone." Mom, that's not the point. In a world where talking, cell phone using geckos exist, they would have to climb up Mount Rushmore to get into the eye. :lol:

But either way, you do have enchanted objects in Middle Earth. I guess the trolls enchant it to make sure no one steals it!

Reading the next few chapters, I definitely start to see the shift of Bilbo's character. (I don't have my book at the moment so no notes, but I'll try and remember.) When going into Rivendell's valley, they meet with elves. Bilbo thinks something to the effect of wanting to talk to them and hear their opinion on his adventure. Now, from what I remember of the Bilbo of LotR, I don't see him as someone who would be asking the opinion of random elves about the trip that he's taking. So I see this as an insecure and timid Bilbo. He's still very much an outsider of the journey, almost like an anthropologist in my mind. By the end of the next chapter, he's had an excursion with the goblins and I think the Tookishness starts to shine out a bit more. And of course, we're coming up to Riddles in the Dark where he manages to show his strength and cool head under pressure, and then after this I think we really start to have the Bilbo we know.

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 Post subject: Re: 'The Hobbit' Reading Group
PostPosted: November 26th, 2012, 10:03 am 
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Hello everyone,
I am new here. I want to read the Hobbit with you guys but I think I am late now. Can I still participate?


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 Post subject: Re: 'The Hobbit' Reading Group
PostPosted: November 26th, 2012, 9:18 pm 
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I'm interested to, but are you guys even still doing it?

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 Post subject: Re: 'The Hobbit' Reading Group
PostPosted: November 27th, 2012, 2:01 pm 
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As you can see Nurr's last post dates from quite a while back, but I don't see why we wouldn't start again. I'd be interested in starting again as well, so let's see what other people will join us.

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