Catching Hobbit-fever? The library has the cure
Updated: September 17, 2012 6:10AM
OAK PARK — When J.R.R. Tolkien published The Hobbit 75 years ago this September, it became instantly successful.
According to the Tolkien Society, this beloved novel and its sequels brought Tolkien so much fame that he had to change his address and phone number to escape his adoring fans. Today, Tolkien’s novels continue to have a strong hold on readers. The three movies based on The Lord of the Rings trilogy made almost $3 billion in box office sales worldwide according to Internet Movie Database. With the first of a new movie trilogy based on The Hobbit coming out in December, it seems quite certain that the world is again about to catch hobbit-fever.
After you’ve re-read The Hobbit, here are some titles available at Oak Park Public Library that will help fulfill your fantasy needs.
The Book of Three by Alexander Lloyd tells the story of those that inhabit the land of Prydain as they set out on a quest to fight a great evil. This children’s book, the first in a series, features a Tolkien-esque host of characters including witches, wizards, dwarves and bards. Enjoyable for those interested in reading another novel with a setting based on British mythology and culture.
The Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings tells the story of a young boy named Garion who grows up on a farm under the supervision of two sorcerers. This first title in a series sets Garion off on an adventure that gives it a similar feel to Tolkien’s novels. It’s fast-paced, atmospheric and has a strong sense of place.
A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin tells the story of a young wizard’s apprentice named Sparrowhawk who sets a great evil free and then must fight to undo the wrong. This first in a series has a coming of age story similar to The Hobbit and is also world-building and fast-paced.
Some nonfiction titles about Tolkien’s landmark series may also be of interest.
J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century by T.A. Shippey provides a critical overview of the author’s works including The Hobbit. This academic work explores the way in which Tolkien created some of his most well-beloved works.
The Complete Tolkien Companion by J.E.A. Tyler is an encyclopedia of all things Middle Earth including culture, language and history. This volume might be particularly interesting to those looking to delve deeper into the realm of fantasy after re-reading The Hobbit.
While these books provide a slice of what the Oak Park Public Library has to offer on or similar to The Hobbit, this list is by no means comprehensive. If these titles are not to your taste, feel free to ask us for a customized suggestion.
Christi Hawn is a library assistant at the Maze Branch Library, 845 Gunderson Ave., in Oak Park.