Category Archives: What are They Reading?

What Are They Reading? The Kili edition

What’s with all your Hobbit and Lord of the Rings posts for this feature?  Jeez, can’t you pick someone else from another book?  You do realize that Kili wasn’t even much of a feature in the original Hobbit book right?

Well, yes I do realize that.  Obviously I am using the easy-on-the-eyes Peter Jackson version of Kili and not the book version or the what-the-hell-is-that Rankin-Bass version of Kili.  This will be my last one from the world of Tolkien okay?!  Just allow me a girl crush moment will ya?  Jeez.

Next to Bilbo and Gandalf in the Hobbit film, the next most interesting character to me was Kili (yes, even more than Thorin).  Considering he was the youngest of the royal blood line and that he seemed more head-in-the-clouds and more non-traditional than the other dwarves, I found him the most intriguing.  (And maybe, just maybe, the actor who played him had something to do with it.)

Dark, brooding and sultry Peter Jackson version of Kili (Aidan Turner)

Dark, brooding and sultry Peter Jackson version of Kili (Aidan Turner)

The I-don't-really-know-what-that-is-but-man-is-it-adorable Rankin-Bass version of Kili

The I-don’t-really-know-what-that-is-but-man-is-it-adorable Rankin-Bass version of Kili














So I had to know, what would Kili be reading?

the complete book of elves


By Colin McComb

It becomes clear in the second installment of the Hobbit trilogy; Kili has a thing for elves.  And, being the young dwarf that he is, he is going to want to know as much as he can about them.  But Kili is also smart – what do you think he and his brother do in all the down time on their journey?  Why, play Dungeons and Dragons of course!  What young dwarf dreaming of adventure wouldn’t?  He’s found a way to learn as much as he can about elves, without being obvious.

An excerpt: Our lives are long and filled with happiness, for we recognize the impermanence of all things, excepting ourselves. Indeed, we do not suffer death as do the mortals. Only through violence, accident, or disease do we die at all. Although we vanish from the ken of mortal knowledge after hundreds of years of existence in this plane, you may rest assured that we continue elsewhere. Even those who perish on the battlefield do not truly die, but instead become part of the earth’s cycle of growth and rebirth. Our spirits linger on, for we are intimately tied to the world and its core. Indeed, we are the integral part of that core.


9780762406319_p0_v1_s260x420DATING FOR DUMMIES

By Dr. Joy Browne

It seems, from watching Kili on-screen, that he doesn’t have much experience out in the world.  Which means, he wouldn’t have much experience with women period.  Let’s cut him a little slack for having this book on hand.

An excerpt:  Dating is about two people who are interested in one another and want to get together at a specific time and place. We’re not talking rocket science here. Since the original fix-up — you know, the one between Adam and Eve (who had the advantage of the ultimate Matchmaker) — dating has evolved. 





By Bart King

Being one of the youngest in the company and the most lighthearted, Kili comes across as – well – naive if not endearing.  His youthful zeal would be a welcome on any long journey however, it would be that mischievous light in his eyes that would get the better of him (and his companions).  There have been probably a few dwarves that have fallen victim to many of Kili’s pranks.

An excerpt: What is it that makes a great mischief maker? Being clever is good. After all, it’s hard to be a smart aleck if you’re not actually smart to begin with. (Stupid alecks are a lot less impressive.) And of course, you need to be willing to make trouble on a small, amusing, and non-destructive scale.



game of thrones series


By George R.R. Martin

Kili has read every single one of these and reads them every year.  They have fueled his passion for adventure and acts of heroism and courage.  In the moments when he is alone, he thinks about his own journey with his fellow dwarves and imagines Jon Snow or Arya on the journey with him.  How do I know all of this, you ask?  I don’t, I made it up.  Yay imagination!

An excerpt:  “…Yet our way is the older way.  The blood of the First Men still flows in the veins of the Starks, and we hold to the belief that the man who passes the sentence should swing the sword.  If you would take a man’s life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his final words.  And if you cannot bear to do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die.”


What Are They Reading? Frodo Edition

When I enter someone’s home and I see a shelf of books, like a moth to a flame, I am drawn towards it.  I must know what people have read – what their tastes are.  It is a constant curiosity I have when it comes to a book.  Just like a cat is unable to stop itself from pouncing on a mouse or chittering at a bird, I am unable to not peruse the titles of someone’s personal library.

In fact I’ve gone to great lengths to see what people are reading – you can read about it at an older post: On Being a Book Ninja

So it wouldn’t surprise you to know that once in awhile, I imagine what books a fictional character might read (this is after I’ve thought about cats and ways to save the world – my life isn’t just about books you know).

I started a new feature on this blog called What Are they Reading and began it with Gandalf.

But now I want to know what Frodo is reading.

frodobaggins reading

As a reader, you don’t go on a long quest without a good book or two or five.  We know Frodo carried at least one book with him on his mission (I’m going off the movie – not the book on this one) so what kinds of books would he be carrying on him?

*On a funny note – look up Mordor on Wikitravel

alice-in-wonderlandAlice’s Adventures in Wonderland

I can clearly picture this book in Frodo’s bag. He himself is so much like Alice – down a rabbit hole, faced with challenge, obstacles, darkness – heading towards a destination (following the rabbit). Meeting new friends, going on a grand adventure. I imagine this is one of Frodo’s favourites.

Book Summary:
We all know what adventure Alice goes on and if you don’t – are you even from this planet?




Short – Walking Tall When You’re Not Tall At Allshort walking tall by john schwartz

Okay, so maybe not that many Hobbits care about their height but they certainly face more obstacles in Middle-earth than any other species because of it.  Frodo had some confidence issues to work on in the beginning of his journey so it’s no surprise that a book based on how size doesn’t matter would have helped him out some.

Book summary:
When veteran journalist John Schwartz took a close look at famous height studies, he made a surprising discovery: being short doesn’t have to be a disadvantage! Part advice book, part memoir, and part science primer, this fascinating book explores the marketing, psychology, and mythology behind our obsession with height and delivers a reassuring message to kids of all types that they can walk tall—whatever it is that makes them different.

WildernessSurvival-Davenport.2Wilderness Survival: 2nd Edition

This speaks for itself.  Frodo and Sam are going out into the unknown – you think Frodo is going unprepared?  He’s been in the Shire his whole life – you don’t just go out into the wilderness on an adventure without some survival tips.

Book Summary:
A comprehensive, well-organized, and user-friendly guide to staying alive in the back country.  With concise explanations and detailed illustrations, survival expert Gregory Davenport covers the five basic elements of survival–personal protection, signaling, finding food and water, travel, and health–providing the reader with complete information on how to stay calm and alive until rescue arrives.



The Real Middle Earth – Magic and Mystery in the Dark Agesthe real middle earth brian bates

One thing that seemed clear about Frodo, was his open mind. He has a healthy curiosity and a longing to know more than just the Shire.  So I think Frodo would want to know the origins of Middle-earth – from a more modern human perspective.

Book Summary:
Tolkien readily admitted that the concept of Middle-earth was not his own invention. An Old English term for the Dark Age world, it was always assumed that the importance of magic in this world existed only in Tolkien`s works; now Professor Brian Bates reveals the vivid truth about this historical culture. Behind the stories we know of Dark Age king and queens, warriors and battles, lies the hidden history of Middle-earth, a world of magic, mystery and destiny. Fiery dragons were seen to fly across the sky, monsters haunted the marshes, and elves fired poisoned arrows. Wizards cast healing spells, wise trees gave blessings, and omens foretold the deaths of kings.  Repressed by a millennium of Christianity, this belief system all but disappeared, leaving only faint traces in folk memory and fairy tales. In this remarkable book Professor Brian Bates has drawn on the latest archaeological findings to reconstruct the imaginative world of our past, revealing a culture with insights that may yet help us understand our own place in the world.

What Are They Reading? Gandalf edition

First off, Gandalf exists.  Somewhere in an alternate universe.  This is true because of the multiverse theory and since he does exist somewhere he likely has a library.  Why wouldn’t he?  He is Gandalf.  So I’m introducing a new feature to this blog – What Are They Reading?  A feature that takes a look at what books our favourite characters are reading or have read.  Basically, a look at what’s on their bookshelves.


Let’s take a look at some of Gandalf’s well read books:

A New Human

‘Hobbits really are amazing creatures, as I have said before. You can learn all that there is to know about their ways in a month, and yet after a hundred years they can still surprise you at a pinch.”

Based on Gandalf’s comment above, it totally makes sense for him to find out as much as can about the existence of Hobbits.  I imagine there are many dog-eared pages in this book.  It’s the discovery of the ages – 3 feet tall human beings?   Homo floresiensis – or Hobbit if you will – was discovered in Indonesia by an archeologist.  Is that where Hobbiton actually originates?


How the Hippies Saved Physics

Gandalf is the king hippy – all about nature, smoking weed, spouting words filled with wisdom, love and kookiness.  A book about physics from a mystic and spiritual aspect is right at home on Gandalf’s shelf.  Can’t wait to borrow it from him

.hippies saved physics

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Gandalf has to save everyone’s ass; from hobbits to dwarves to Middle-earth.  Can you image the crap that crowds his mind?  He needs help separating the big stuff from the small stuff.

don't sweat the small stuff

The Unofficial Middle-earth Monster’s Guide

Don’t let the title mislead you – this is written from the point of view of the bad guys in Middle-earth.  If Gandalf is to stay one step ahead of the bad guys – he needs to know what they are thinking.


Join us next week when we discover what books are on Frodo’s bookshelf.

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