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January 2016

Another busy month …
I have said often enough that the two primary criteria for something to make it to these transactions is 1) that I actually see it, and 2) that I find it interesting or relevant or otherwise worthy enough to spend time on sharing it with you.
I am sure that many things that would meet the second criterion never makes the first, but the reverse is also true: I see a lot of stuff that fails to meet the second criterion – this month including, among other things, spurious and foolish claims about that chimney and folly in Birmingham, the possible auditioning of an acclaimed musician (however much I like his music) in connection with the Jackson films (the Beatles’ bid for a The Lord of the Rings film is more interesting in a Tolkienian context), and what appears to be violations of the copyrights of the Tolkien Estate. You will find no trace of any of these below.

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December 2015

First of all:
Happy New Year!

Now, with that out of the way, it is appropriate to highlight the Tolkien Birthday Toast on the evening of January 3rd (21:00 – or 9 PM – local time). For more information on the Birthday Toast, please refer to the Tolkien Society web-site.

Christmas this year marked the end (hopefully) of a very busy period for me, but fortunately I seem to have been able to catch up at least with my transactions over the holiday period (and still have completed other tasks), making me once again on time with this post. No promises can or will, of course, be made as for next month 🙂

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I am still amazed at the ill logic people resort to when throwing down the gauntlet at Peter Jackson’s “Hobbit” trilogy.  I am on record as trashing the second movie and barely acknowledging the third, so I feel like I have earned my spurs in this charade of film criticism that has dominated many fannish and armchair critic discussions.  But I will summarize my feelings again just so we’re clear on where I stand: I LOVED the first movie, HATED the second one, and prefer the third to the second. (more…)

If you rush down to the shops tomorrow morning – or Amazon this evening – you might just able to get some of these by Christmas Day on Friday. Failing that, there’s always some post-Christmas presents to oneself… or perhaps next year! In any case, here is my list of 10 of the best gifts out there, with a little something for everyone! (more…)

November 2015

All the usual disclaimers apply about newness, completeness and relevance (or any other implication of responsibility) 🙂

These transactions are posted on my blog, Parma-kenta (Enquiry into the books) and on the Tolkien Society website.

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Remember how we were accused of somehow having rigged all the popular polls that chose The Lord of the Rings as the most popular novel, or even one of the most popular novels, of the last century?

Well, it looks like the crafty Tolkien Society must have suborned 81 distinguished foreign critics choosing the 100 greatest British novels of all time, because there it is, in no. 26, not an undistinguished place.

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