June book review…one is better than none, right?


It has been a small marvel to me having the Fourth of July holiday on a Tuesday. Like one very long extended week of a weekend. To add to the celebratory mood, we took Graham with us and made a super fast trip to Dallas to meet up with John for a Ranger’s game for his early birthday. 

I will share a bit of that tomorrow, but for today I submit my one book read for the month of June. 

Yes, I finished The Lord of the Rings Part Two; The Two Towers. 

It was amazing. 

As I have mentioned, our Sarah loaned me her three books. She and I loved the movies and at her urging, I am tackling reading the books. It is fun to text her at various points and we are both in agreement that the writing of Tolkien far exceeds what the movie industry was able to pull off. 

It takes me a while to read these because, not only am I a slow reader, I keep going back over things to make sure I understand where we are in the narration and trying to imagine the geography and logistics of it all. 

Tolkien’s use of words and phrases often grips me and I have to stop and read over the passage several times taking in all he had described in a chosen set of sentences, many or few. 

The battle of good against evil with “good” being mostly just the best of flawed humanity pitted against the most heinous and powerful of evil is carried with an underlying sense that there is a greater goodness supporting and leading those who continue to do right in the face of overwhelming odds. 

Here are some tidbits that I am taking away with me from this book:

Some of my favorite quotes I had to jot down and while they may not make sense out of context, to me they carry such exquisite truths:

In a conversation with two characters where both are concerned about the allegiance of the other as they have just met and are very near to the area of occupation by the one who desires to destroy all of the earth, Frodo the Hobbit says this in response to his questioner of his own position in the battle: “Think what you will, I am a friend to all enemies of the One Enemy.” LOTR The Two Towers, page 338

I love that. 

Think what you will of me, this is my true heart. I am a friend to anyone who is an enemy of the main enemy of all creation. 

Another quote in conversation between these same two characters occurs when, in conversation, one asks too deep of questions concerning the knowledge carried by the other in the presence of many ears. 

He says at one point, as they are later alone: “I pressed you hard at first…but even as I spoke with you, I drew nearer the mark, and so deliberately shot wide.” LOTR The Two Towers, page 352.

I could relate to conversations I have had where questions were opening up places that were sacred and not appropriate for the existing company. 

What a lovely thought that when we have been curiously seeking information, something within us would caution us to stop and move wide of the Pandora’s Box we have threatened to crack open. 

Towards the end of the book, two passages really touched my heart. 

The first has to do with the conversation between two “Orcs” – creatures of doom and destruction created by the evil wizardry of the supreme evil force to aid him in his quest to conquer and rule the world. 

As they are discussing what the future battle will bring, they plot to perhaps take off on their own. They express a lack of confidence that their dark lord and master will actually win the final battle and they figure they could just take what they can get and live off somewhere free of being ruled by the victors with whatever spoils they can haul away. 

It occurred to me as I read this that those who follow the Lord God wholeheartedly believe firmly that He is Sovereign and that the battle is ultimately won as we play out the middle time to the final return of Christ. 

I was also reminded that the greed and self-centered service of those who are slaves to the enemy of God, do not have the characteristics of loyalty and faithfulness. As the characters of the Fellowship of the Ring continue to give last chances to the most wretched of beings, there is a higher calling they answer to than what is serving of them personally. 

The contrast of these two sides was so interesting to ponder. 

Lastly, there is a lengthy discussion between the two hobbits, Frodo and Sam, about greatness and those we would call “heroes.” 

Sam concludes, as they face the final challenges of the journey, that while he had always thought those who were the brave ones in stories and songs had gone out and looked for wonderful things to do; instead he was beginning to see that the tasks were in some way handed to them. 

He realized that each one had the choice, many times to turn back.  

He sums up that in any tale, whether a sad-ending or a happy-ending, the ones in the story didn’t know how it would end. They just continued through it. 

Our little stories are like that. 

While we know the end of the big story, we do not know how our stories will go. 

I find as I read these books, a sense of stepping outside of my own little story and an understanding that I must keep moving forward, doing what is right, sometimes unsure that I have chosen well, but keeping on with the journey. 

And now to tackle the final book in the trilogy. 

What are you reading, friends? 

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