like "journey with me into the darkest heart of Mordor — the depths of Khazad-Dum — the mysteries of Lothlorien — The splendor of Gil-Galad— the home comfort of Hobb....wait, come back! Seriously, it will be fun!"

Every year for the past 10 years, I've tried to read as much of the Middle-Earth canon as possible over Winter break. This includes The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings (all three volumes*) and the Silmarillion. The first couple of times I tried this, I attempted to go in historical order, i.e. starting with Sil., then Hob., then LOTR. That doesn't work, though, since it puts the hardest read right up top, so now I go in publication order. But to get to my point (and I do have one):

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I've had a hard time making it through it all the past few years, and I was thinking I might have some success if I had a posse/gang/comitatus of Middle-Earthers reading with me.

So if you're in, I'll be officially kicking off the Middle Earth Book club Tuesday, Dec. 17. I'll be starting with The Hobbit, which is a really easy read. I'll start up a conversation thread about once a week to check in. And if no one wants to join, well, you're all stupid and I hope you have fun being stupid, stupid I'll just make up a bunch of Burner sock puppets to tell me how insightful and intelligent I am.

Now, what we should really do is assign ourselves some reflective journals, and from the accumulated notes, write a seminar paper (20-30 pages) on themes.... wait! Come back! I was just kidding about the seminar paper!

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*Being pretentious again: LOTR is a single work in six book and three volumes, not a trilogy of books as it is often called.