Case in point was the most recent post about the new book arrival, wh. was also my newest publication; finally got this off a day or two ago, after having begun a week before. During that time, another three packages with books arrived on the door step. So in the interests of playing catch-up, the following descriptions may be briefer and brisker than wd otherwise be the case.
In any case, this current lot represent books I ordered to fill in around the corners, mindful of the difficulty that can result if I wait too long (e.g., the ridiculous prices some books on Tolkien shoot up to when they go out-of-print).*
New Tolkien Book #1: Martha C. Sammons' WAR OF THE FANTASY WORLDS . This is one of two books I've been meaning to get for a year or so but kept putting off month by month because of the expense (in this case, $45 for a text that sans notes &c. runs less than 200 pages).* I'm interested in this one, because books on Tolkien and Lewis tend to conflate the two, which I think does an injustice to both: they were v. different men, with v. different ideas and aesthetics; more alike perhaps in their goals than in how they tried to reach them. Sammons, by contrast, looks to stress the differences between their writings. We'll see if she's able to do justice to an interesting thesis.
What shd have been New Tolkien Book #2, Alison Milbanks' CHESTERTON & TOLKIEN AS THEOLOGIANS, was also fairly pricey ($40 for a 200 page paperback), and while quite interested to see what she had to say about Tolkien as theologian (a topic about wh. not much has been written), I admit to being put of by the fact that what I've read of Chesterton's theology (ORTHODOXY) didn't make me inclined to read more if I cd avoid it. In this case, looks like I hestiated too long: Amazon cancelled this book from my order, claiming the book is no longer available. I can still get it used, but again there's the dis-encouragement of now having to pay $40+ for a secondhand book
Book #3 is Oliver Loo's A TOLKIEN ENGLISH GLOSSARY ("2004-2009"). That title might cause some confusion, given that Tolkien is writing in English, but the subtitle clarifies things: A GUIDE TO OLD, UNCOMMON AND ARCHAIC WORDS USED IN THE HOBBIT AND THE LORD OF THE RINGS. So, if you were a bit puzzled by words like "eyrie" and "furrier" when first read THE HOBBIT, this is the book for you; Tomnoddy, Attercop, Lob, and Cob all make an appearance. On the other hand, it's cluttered with words that are far from exotic, like "rug" and "toe"; Loo seems to presuppose that his target audience is a bright ten-year-old. Which is all well and good, but it means that practically anybody who'd buy his book wdn't need it, having already mastered difficult words like Glossary and Archaic. I'm sure his inspiration must have been the (v. useful) glossary of archaic words Christopher Tolkien appended to THE BOOK OF LOST TALES, but Loo sets the barrier much, much lower. I suspect his book wd be of most help to non-native speakers reading LotR in English but not entirely conversant in the large vocabulary Tolkien delights in using.
current book: 1948
current e-book: THE HOUSE OF SILK
current audiobook: THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET'S NEST
*Frederick & McBride's WOMEN AMONG THE INKLINGS being a case in point, having only attracted minor attention until it went out of print, whereupon prices soared.