30 November 2017

Coming Soon from Funko: More LOTR Pops!

Rejoice, Middle-earth collectors! Funko announced on their blog today that this winter (January-February) they will be releasing another wave of Lord of the Rings Funko Pop! vinyl figures, including Mystery Mini blind bags.

The mystery bags will feature several store exclusives, such as Lurtz, Eowyn, and the Witch-king of Angmar at Hot Topic and Galadriel (glowing), Frodo Baggins (clear), and Gimli (gold) at Barnes & Noble.

Additionally, new figures have been added to the existing line of Pop! movie figures, including two variations of Gollum (with and without fish), Lurtz, Merry Brandybuck, Pippin Took, Aragorn, Treebeard, and two more exclusives - indivisible Gollum (Barnes & Noble) and King Elessar (Toys R Us).

Which figures are you most excited to add to your collection?

Personally, I am looking forward to getting Treebeard (he was on my Funko wishlist back in July) and the Mystery Minis! Those miniature villains are so adorable!

28 September 2017

Cooking for Halflings & Monsters

A few months ago, I received a copy of Tolkien scholar Astrid Tuttle Winegar's Cooking for Halflings & Monsters, a cookbook filled with 111 fantasy-inspired recipes and
In Cooking for Halflings and Monsters: 111 Comfy, Cozy Recipes for Fantasy-Loving Souls, Tolkien scholar Astrid Tuttle Winegar has created 'eleventy-one' original recipes to inspire you. Lovingly illustrated and written with dry humor throughout, this charming cookbook is sure to delight you and your family, friends, and any other lucky halflings (or monsters) who show up in your kitchen. So crack open a beer, rustle up some "Gündürnüb's Grüb," and come along on this epic culinary journey. Your quest for delicious recipes is complete!
The eight chapters of this cookbook each imagine a restaurant (inn, cafe, or bistro) which caters to particular archetypal characters in the fantasy genre and presents a delicious meal for them. But don't worry—you don't have to be a gourmet monster chef! You simply need to love comfort food to enjoy all the recipes within! (Amazon)

While it took me a bit longer than I'd hoped to get started on this review, the timing actually turned out to be pretty good: I ended up baking at the end of Tolkien Week, on the annual celebration of Hobbit Day (aka Bilbo's and Frodo's birthday celebration), and also the official beginning of fall. Originally, my aim was to make a three-course meal using one of the suggestions found at the back of the book; but there were too many desserts to choose from!

I enlisted the help of my mother, since she's a more experienced baker than I am (plus it was a fun mother-daughter experience) and we found three tasty desserts to make. We made all three at once in a span of about two hours. All three recipes called for pecans, which we had an over-abundance of, thanks to my aunt! The remaining ingredients were already in our kitchen. The best part about making these three desserts is that my house still smells of spices, creating a very cozy fall atmosphere.

This was my first review of a cookbook, and it was so much fun baking these three recipes that I'll likely return to this book and make some other meals to review at a later date – so be sure to check back! But in the meantime, visit Amazon to get your own copy of Cooking With Halflings & Monsters so you can make your own delicious treats! The book is full of fun illustrations, dry humour, and lovely photos – whether you're a fan of cooking or a fan of fantasy, it's a must have either way!

Read on to see photos and descriptions of the individual desserts!

01 September 2017

2018 Tolkien Calendar Features Artwork from 'Beren and Lúthien'

The 2018 Tolkien calendar has been published and features watercolours and pencil sketches (by Alan Lee) taken from the recently published Beren and Lúthien.

From the publisher:
The official Tolkien calendar, this year containing 12 of the finest watercolours by Alan Lee, selected from BEREN AND LÚTHIEN by J.R.R. Tolkien, and accompanied by numerous pencil sketches, many unique to this calendar.
The Tolkien calendar has become an established publishing event, eagerly looked forward to by Tolkien fans the world over. This year's is more sumptuous than ever, and is not only illustrated by the acclaimed and Oscar-winning Tolkien artist, it has been designed by him, too, with the same care and attention to detail that has seen his work embraced by the Tolkien Estate, Peter Jackson and discerning fans around the world. The content itself is particularly special, as it is inspired by a Tolkien work that is seeing print in its complete form for the very first time.

To accompany each watercolour painting from
BEREN AND LÚTHIEN, the newly published epic tale of adventure by J.R.R. Tolkien, every month features complementary pencil drawings selected by Alan and there are also brand new sketches produced exclusively for this calendar.

Alan Lee has depicted famous scenes including Gollum and Bilbo, Rivendell and Smaug the Dragon in his celebrated illustrated editions of The Hobbit’ and The Lord of the Rings’, but with these brand new paintings and drawings he will take the reader deeper into the enchanting world of Middle-earth than ever before.
The calendar is available for £9.99 through HarperCollins

Celebrate the Music of Game of Thrones, The Lord of the Rings, and The Hobbit This November

Fans of The Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones can enjoy for the first time ever a joining of the two series in concert this November.

'A Celebration of the Music from Game of Thrones, The Lord of the Rings, and The Hobbit Live in Concert with Symphony Orchestra and Choir' will make its one-time debut at the London Palladium on Sunday, November 12, 2017. Presented by Senbla and Silva Screen Live, it will celebrate the music of Middle-earth and the Seven Kingdoms. 

Ramin Djawadi is the composer behind the Game of Thrones soundtrack, while Howard Shore composed the scores for Peter Jackson's film adaptations of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit .

Tickets (priced between £36.50 and £71.50) are now on general sale and can be purchased via Really Useful Theatre or Ticketmaster.

28 August 2017

Tolkien Collection Haul: August 22-24

During my vacation last week, my boyfriend and I spent three days in the White Mountains/western Maine area to celebrate our eight year anniversary. We've made this a tradition over the last few years, as there's plenty of gorgeous scenery to enjoy in Maine and Northern New Hampshire; and there are several bookstores that I can't always get to, aside from during these trips.


Our first stop on the way was The Maine Bookhouse in Oxford, Maine. The owner, Harry, was about to close up shop, so to avoid wasting his time, I simply inquired as to what Tolkien items he had. He immediately remembered me and began searching behind his desk for me while I browsed the usual section, and when I came back, he had pulled out The Lord of the Rings on audio cassette. He mentioned the possibility of having more tucked away somewhere, and that he would try to dig them out for me if we came by later.

[For more on The Maine Bookhouse, visit their website or Facebook]

The next day, we ventured into my favourite town of North Conway, New Hampshire, where we hit another of my regular bookstores: The Local BOOKie. The woman I usually deal with, Karen, happened to be off that day, but Pat was just as delightful and shed some light on just how much effort Karen puts into each and every book that comes into her store. I only ended up with one book I didn't already have – The Two Towers – but I managed to replace a bunch of worn copies and also stock up on some books for future giveaways/trades/etc.

[You can find The Local BOOKie on Facebook]


Our last shopping spree was in Norway, Maine, just down the street from Oxford. Harry had told me before that The Maine Bookhouse had opened up a sister store, Food For Thought, and we finally had a chance to check it out. I asked the woman (whose name I unfortunately didn't catch, but she was wonderful!) if she knew of any Tolkien items, and she pulled out a few items I already had... but then she showed me Lin Carter's A Look Behind the Lord of the Rings in a different version than what I had and a different version of The Hobbit (1977) soundtrack on vinyl that I obviously couldn't turn down!

Down the street was Dragon's Lair comic shop, where I picked up The Hobbit Monopoly. Then we made our way back to The Maine Bookhouse. Harry wasn't there, but the woman who was, Jolene, pulled out two items he had set aside for me: The Hobbit on audio cassette and The Tale of Beren and Lúthien on vinyl, read by Christopher Tolkien.

Our final stop was Route 26 Antiques, where I scored well on books last year. This year I found none, but I managed to get three action figures (Twilight Frodo, Frodo in the Barrow-Downs, and a Haradrim Warrior). As we were leaving, my boyfriend spotted two Balrog figures – a bust from Gentle Giant and a polystone statue from Sideshow Collectibles – both at extremely reasonable prices. He ended up grabbing those as my big anniversary gift.

Overall, it was an extremely fruitful trip. We did a lot of other fun things as well, but this was definitely a highlight. I'd also like to give a huge shout-out to my boyfriend, not only for putting up with me and my Tolkien obsession for eight years, but for going out of his way to actively support and encourage my collecting habit the way he does is really special.