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ARCs Art Biography Book Reviews Books Featured Graphic Historical Nonfiction

Tolkien’s Worlds: The Places That Inspired the Writer’s Imagination by John Garth

A lavishly illustrated look at the locales familiar to J. R. R. Tolkien, the creator of Middle-earth.

This book takes you to the places that inspired J. R. R. Tolkien to create his fictional locations in The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and other classic works. Written by renowned Tolkien expert John Garth and prepared with the full cooperation of the Tolkien estate, Tolkien’s Worlds features a wealth of breathtaking illustrations, including Tolkien’s own drawings, contributions from other artists, rare archival images, and spectacular color photos of contemporary locations across Britain and beyond, from the battlefields of World War I to Africa.

Garth identifies the locales that served as the basis for Hobbiton, the elven valley of Rivendell, the Glittering Caves of Helm’s Deep, and many other settings in Middle-earth, from mountains and forests to rivers, lakes, and shorelands. He reveals the rich interplay between Tolkien’s personal travels, his wide reading, and his deep scholarship as an Oxford don. Garth draws on his own profound knowledge of Tolkien’s life and work to shed light on the extraordinary processes of invention behind Tolkien’s works of fantasy. He also debunks popular misconceptions about the inspirations for Middle-earth and puts forward strong new claims of his own.

An illustrated journey into the life and imagination of one of the world’s best-loved authors, Tolkien’s Worlds provides a unique exploration of the relationship between the real and the fantastical and is an essential companion for anyone who wants to follow in Tolkien’s footsteps.

The Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien: The places that inspired the writer's imaginationThe Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien: The places that inspired the writer’s imagination by John Garth
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

FTC disclosure: I would like to thank Quarto Publishing Group – White Lion for providing me with an advance reader copy via access to the galley for free through the NetGalley program.

This book was awesome.

From gorgeous illustrations to the impressive amount of research, it’s a must have book for any Tolkien collector out there. It will make a beautiful coffee table book in my home and one I’d also recommend as a companion piece to anyone reading one of his pieces or for those just being introduced to the world of Tolkien.

I loved the organization, the range and amount of photos and illustrations, and the amount of detailed discussion of the origin and inspiration that Tolkien depicted in his writing style and world-building mega feat of what I think is the epitome of writing genius.

This book packed so much punch, I admired every bit of information covering the incredibly detailed influences of his work such as geographical processes, ancient architecture, even his recurring nightmares of a wave engulfing the land, bereavements to shipwrecks, and the Elvish language creation which ranged from onomatopoeic words and his studies of Latin.

His imagination was incredible. Some of which also being rooted in a multi-cultural, Gothic atmosphere incorporating unusual caricature from backgrounds of Celtic, Welsh, English, South Africa, and Icelandic tradition, folklore, and wartime events. This book covered it all.

I’ve been a fan of Tolkien since first picking up my first read, The Hobbit, in the 5th grade, and this gave me an even greater appreciation for the creativity that went into his writing.

It was also compelling in the way it made me want to visit all the glorious places, exhilarating locations as some of the foundations for settings in his books, a Tolkien tour.

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Categories
Adventure Book Reviews Books Childrens Featured Fiction Graphic

The Boy Who Spoke to the Earth by Chris Burkard

When a young boy asks the Earth where he can find happiness, the Earth agrees to show him the way. Join the Earth and the boy in this epic tale as you experience your own journey to happiness. You may learn together what it means to stand still for just a moment and find joy every step of the way.

The Boy who Spoke to the EarthThe Boy who Spoke to the Earth by Chris Burkard

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is an adorable book! I’d recommend it to anyone. It would make a great gift for any child.

I (and my family) enjoyed the simple storyline which had a compelling message and the illustrations were absolutely beautiful!

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Categories
Art Book Reviews Books Educational Featured Graphic Historical Nonfiction Nonfiction

Face Paint: The Story of Makeup by Lisa Eldridge

Makeup, as we know it, has only been commercially available in the last 100 years, but applying decoration to the face and body may be one of the oldest global social practices. In Face Paint, Lisa Eldridge reveals the entire history of the art form, from Egyptian and Classical times up through the Victorian age and golden era of Hollywood, and also surveys the cutting-edge makeup science of today and tomorrow. Face Paint explores the practical and idiosyncratic reasons behind makeup’s use, the actual materials employed over generations, and the glamorous icons that people emulate and how they achieved their effects. An engaging history of style, it is also a social history of women and the ways in which we can understand their lives through the prism and impact of makeup.

Face Paint: The Story of MakeupFace Paint: The Story of Makeup by Lisa Eldridge

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I absolutely love this book! I read it through and through upon its initial release and continue to reference it for makeup looks and inspiration. It is an excellent addition to any literary makeup collection. I would highly recommend it to anyone with a passion for makeup.

Written as story about makeup, it’s not a how to makeup application book per se but will certainly give anyone inspiration especially to makeup enthusiasts interested in reading a well-researched historical timeline of the origin of pigments and formulations, cultural views, trends, business and industry aspects, and muses. It also contains a lovely curation of photos and illustrations and provides excellent visual appeal with its page construction, layouts, and high quality images and printing. I really appreciated the author, Lisa Eldridge’s proper writing skills, organization of topics, and how references were provided. In fact I think it deserves additional stars for including proper reference citations and formal photo credits, not only for academic completeness which I find is actually incredibly rare for this type of book genre, but also for my personal desire to look up original articles and more information about historical figures, photographers, brands, and additional interests of mine.

MY FAVORITE LINES:

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye.” -Miss Piggy

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Add it to Goodreads

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*Some links may be affiliates which means I may earn a small commission when you make a purchase using them at no additional cost to you. If you choose to use them I would like to say thank you and I appreciate the support!