Remember when you were a kid and so happy that summer was here but you got saddled with the dreaded summer reading list which meant that you were forced to read a bunch of books you totally hated and never remembered until the final Jeopardy answer was not forthcoming from your childhood-addled brain?
I still love to read however and always have a stack of books I want to read. My granddaughter Claudia is an infant book fiend too. We are amazed at how much she loves books and will sit, at just one year, patiently turning the pages while we read to her. Books with sound and music are her absolute favorite but I’ve been known to read her stories from Whinny The Phoo with remarkable success.
My BFF and I prefer more adult titles however. I just got through four of the five monster books in the A Song Of Ice And Fire series by George R.R. Martin. HBO made a series out of the whole saga which they named after the first installment; Game of Thrones. It’s sort of a lustier Lord of The Rings with a lot of sex and even more gore. When I found out there was another fifth book, however, I was really upset.
“He had better wrap this up,” I warned my BFF who has yet to pick up the first book. “I’m too involved already.”
My BFF has books — I swear — that are breeding other baby books in her home. Every time I come over, I see that her stack of books have spread, multiplied, and reproduced like a virus, across her domain. Like a crazy cat lady, she is oblivious to this phenomenon which I find impressive because I try to corral my books. Again, like herding cats, this is not an easy thing to accomplish. This being said, the BFF is more efficient than I am. If she likes a series that I’ve read the books for and she’s in the middle of other books, she will simply ask me to sum it all up for her.
“Just give me the short version,” she will demand.
She did this to me when the Lord of the Rings trilogy was made into three astounding movies. After the first movie, she literally turned to me in the theatre, grabbed the front of my shirt while the credits rolled, leaned in nearly nose to nose and she demanded that I tell her how it ended, how it ALL ended. She wasn’t about to wait another year for The Two Towers or God forbid, two years for The Return of the King. And I wasn’t about to suggest she read Tolkin when I knew she had stopped reading three chapters into the Hobbit decades ago.
And now, back comes Peter Jackson and his crack Kiwi production team to make not one but two movies out The Hobbit. Sort of backwards if you know that The Hobbit came well before the LOTR trilogy but it’s coming none the less. My BFF, upon hearing this, emailed me and demanded to know what the movies were about. I thought about telling her to read the book — for about five seconds — but thought better of it. I’ve got my recovery to think about and I remember how patient she was after seeing the first installment of LOTR. So, I sent her the following which pretty well sums up what happens in The Hobbit:
1. Bilbo the Hobbit has a wonderful life.
2. Stupid Wizard decides a wonderful life is completely unnecessary and sends him on A Quest.
3. Bilbo gets lost, ends up battling with trolls and goblins and then Gollum and yes, he takes The One Ring from Gollum, accidentally, of course. This may turn out to be an issue at some later date.
4. Bilbo continues on His Quest, with 13 very greedy dwarfs, all whom expect him to steal treasure from Smaug, the Dragon. Bilbo missed the memo on that one.
5. Bilbo decides this is a very career limiting move. But he does it anyway, with the help of The Ring naturally.
6. Dragon loses his temper over lost treasure but also loses his life. All points bulletin to the peoples of Middle Earth who decide to battle it out for their share of the treasure because everyone knows that dragons are really poor at estate planning and rarely leave wills bequeathing their treasure so....
7. Stupid Goblins, like lawyers, they go and ruin everything.
8. All the people's of Middle Earth end up battling the goblins and Orcs and most of the dwarfs end up very dead, very sad. But ultimately profitable for those who survived.
9. Bilbo ends with some nice treasure of his own and a lot of stories to tell but mostly he's got to deal with the fact that he's developed a real thing for the Elves. Perverted Hobbit.
10. Bilbo goes home. With the ring. This may turn out to be an issue at some later date. Stupid Wizard.