Thursday, March 27, 2008

Gryphons & Dragons No More

I'm afraid I have a sad announcement. There just hasn't been enough interest in Gryphons & Dragons lately to support its continued existence. April (Thursday, 4/10, 7:00) will be our last time to gather under this name. We're reading The Hobbit, which is a classic and will be a movie in a few years, so I hope you can make it. Unfortunately, I won't even be able to join you. I'll be out of town, so Rachel, one of our other librarians, will be filling in leading the discussion. I hope to continue to see you at the library and hear about the good books you are reading.

Something to look forward to, though: we'll be having a visit from a teen fantasy author this summer. She lives in Kansas City and has just written her first book to rave reviews. Her name is Elizabeth C. Bunce and the book is A Curse Dark as Gold. She'll be at Lackman Thursday, July 10 at 1:30. Put it on your calendar now.

Keep in contact,

What is a Hobbit? I suppose hobbits need some description nowadays, since they have become rare and shy of the Big People, as they call us. They are (or were) a little people, about half our height, and smaller than the bearded dwarves. Hobbits have no beards. There is little or no magic about them, except the ordinary everyday sort which helps them to disappear quietly and quickly when large stupid fold like you and me come blundering along, making a noise like elephants which they can hear a mile off. They are inclined to be fat in the stomach; they dress in bright colours (chiefly green and yellow); wear no shoes, because their feet grow natural leathery soles and thick warm brown hair like the stuff on their heads (which is curly); have long clever brown fingers, good-natured faces, and laugh deep fruity laughs (especially after dinner, which they have twice a day when they can get it). Now you know enough to go on with.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Don't Wait to Start The Hobbit

So I have 7 copies of The Hobbit sitting on the Gryphons & Dragons shelf just waiting to be checked out and read. Don't delay coming by to get yourself one and risk running out of time to finish it. This is one of the classics, but it never grows old. It was one of my first fantasy reads in middle school and helped me fall in love with the genre. We'll be gathering to discuss it Thursday, April 10.

The Hobbit, if you don't know, is the story of completely unadventurous and timid Bilbo Baggins, who is unwillingly swept up into an adventure by the wizard Gandalf the Grey. In the company of 13 dwarves, he finds himself traveling over perilous mountains and through dark woods--encountering orcs and giant spiders and all manner of unfriendly creatures along the way--in their attempt to get to the lonely mountain to retrieve their treasure from the dragon who has stolen it. Bilbo discovers he is quite the master thief and may be better in a pinch than he ever imagined.

Tolkien wrote The Hobbit for fun, then spent years developing the world he had created before following it up with the much darker and more serious Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Dragon's Keep

This is by no means an action-adventure book like, say, Eragon, yet neither is it slow or boring. A bit less personal and intimate, perhaps, more proper; it's a fairy tale, and told like a tale. I have to admit I wasn't that into it for the first half of the book, but I'm glad I gave it a chance. The second half, once the dragons really enter it, is much more gripping. By the end, I realized it was really powerful and I'd just enjoyed an excellent book. I recommend giving it a try, just realize you may need to be patient with it.