Tolkien Invented The Elvish Language

ElvesWriter

Day 2 of Tolkien Week (Here is yesterday’s humble offering). One of the mind-boggling accomplishments of this Oxford professor was that he invented an entire language.

happy-tolkien-weekSure, you might say, he was a philologist, but how many other philologists wrote a language that lived up to every criteria that philologists consider critical to a complete language (In the interest of transparency, I have no idea)!

Here is a great tribute to this aspect of Tolkien’s expertise: one of his disciples singingHappy Birthdayto him … in elvish!

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Alon Shalev is the author of the 2013 Eric Hoffer YA Book Award winner,At The Walls of Galbriethand four other novels all released by Tourmaline Books and currently all ebooks are at 99 cents each to celebrate his latest,the sixth in the series, which will be released on October 15, 2016.

More about the author at

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Happy Hobbit Day

ElvesWriter

Today’s the day!  According to the scholars and the blissfully lost, both Bilbo Baggins and his nephew, Frodo, celebrate their birthdays on this very day. So, we do too!

Turns out, why waste such joy on one day a year? So the powers that be have declared a 7-day holiday: Tolkien Week. For the next seven days, I plan to share one of the ridiculously numerous posts I have written about the Great Master over the years.

happy-tolkien-week

I would apologize to anyone who thinks this is an overload. While you are right, I cannot truly offer contrition since I don’t feel any. Feel free to skip or indulge!

The Professor, with his pipe and tweed, has often been considered a stuffy academic, but there is certainly a soft and humorous side.  Here is acute story.

imgres-1Thank you to everyone who is buying up copies of the first five…

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About those KinderGuides…

educating alice

I had to read and reread PW’s piece about KinderGuides, because I thought it had to be a joke. But evidently it isn’t. So then I figured I’d put my fingers in my ears and say “lalala” so as to pretend they didn’t exist. Until today when Allison Flood’s sharp piece, “Children Don’t Really Need a Picture-Book Version of On the Road,” in the Guardian forced my irritated fingers out of my ears and on to my keyboard.

According to their website, this is a series that will

introduce some of the most iconic works of classic literature to young readers. Through visually-stunning illustrations and simplified, educational content we explore these timeless stories and the cultures that spawned them.

Without a smidgen of irony they plan to make these classics fit for children by creating for each a

condensed, simplified version of the plot, as well as a section devoted to…

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New Book Cover Revealed: Countdown Begins

ElvesWriter

This week, Tourmaline Books released  the cover for Calhei No More, the sixth and probably final book of the award-winning Wycaan Master series. In addition, they made a surprise announcement. Scroll down to find out what.

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The cover shows Abel, the Mushroom Man, who first appeared in From Ashes They Rose, and became a popular figure. Guess he earned his place on the cover both for his role in the novel and launching a new hobby for the author – almost every dish I’ve cooked since has had common or exotic mushrooms in it.

A big Thank You to our long-suffering cover artist, William J. Kenney. Art is an incredible talent that the unskilled like me view as magic. But William also possesses the talent to take my jumble of verbal images and produce a work of art.

As a way to encourage readers to finish the previous…

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Book Review: The Wheel of Osheim by Mark Lawrence

Leona's Blog of Shadows

The Wheel of OsheimGenre: Dark Fantasy
Series: Red Queen’s War
Author info: http://www.marklawrence.buzz/

This book picks up the adventure where The Liar’s Key left it, with a bang -quite literally! This book is one of the best conclusions of a series I have ever read to date and it answers all of the questions in the most brilliant way with mind blowing twists and reveals. No question was left unanswered for me and the climax was brilliant.

And, if you are a Jorg fan, you will get a stunning scene featuring Jorg and Jalan’s dialogue with Jorg is one of my favorite parts in this book. Jalan’s desert scenes were splendid, but his journey through Hell with Snorri was even more so. Snorri is one of the best fantasy side characters ever and the emotional depth in Snorri’s character arc is incredible.

I am not a fan of battle scenes featuring the zombie/undead…

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So I Read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

educating alice

My brief and informalgoodreads review:

I wasn’t sure at first if I even wanted to read this not being a fan fiction reader, but was encouraged to do so and am glad I did. That said, this is clearly in that realm as it requires a relatively strong background in Harry Potter lore to make sense of it all. So much revisits pieces of the earlier books, amplifies themes, characters, and possibilities. I found that great fun (especially after having recently spent a pleasurable day at Orlando’s Harry Potter World).

I also am a regular theatergoer and so enjoyed reading the script and imagining the staging. I’m guessing it will eventually end up on Broadway and I will then have a chance to see it.

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Coming Soon: Shaun Tan’s The Singing Bones

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I’m so pleased that those in the U. S. will soon have an opportunity to see Shaun Tan’s brilliant Grimm fairy tale sculptures in the forthcoming The Singing Bones from Scholastic. I first heard of them several years ago when I met the German publisher Klaus Humann of Aladin Verlag who told me about a wonderful new project — having Shaun Tan illustrate (with small sculptures) Philip Pullman’s retellings of the Grimm fairy tales. Since I do read German (poorly) and was eager to see the book I ordered it from Germany and was not disappointed. (You can read my reaction here.)  I wondered about this new book and so found more information on Shaun’s website.

Naturally I was very keen to bring my illustrations to readers in other languages, but other editions of Pullman’s Grimm Tales for Young and Old precluded this (and worked perfectly fine without them). In…

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Coming Soon: The BFG Movie

educating alice

This past week, through the kindness of Walden Pond Press, I was able to attend a screening of the Steven Spielberg adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The BFG.  I went into it knowing little, as it is one of the few Dahl titles I have not read, attributable to my working full time, doing a part-time graduate degree, running competitively (did my second NYC marathon that year), and slowly giving up on my dream of becoming a children’s book illustrator the year it came out. When I heard about the movie last year I started reading the book, but soon gave up — I found the BFG’s made-up vocabulary highly irritating. However, knowing how much others love the book, the positiveresponses to the movie so far, and the impressive people involved made me eager to see it.

And now I am here to report that it is delightful. I don’t know if it is a great departure from the…

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