Tag: Dragon

J. R. R. Tolkien – The Hobbit | Review

Title: The Hobbit

Author: J. R. R. Tolkien

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 288

Rating: 9/10


J. R. R. Tolkien - The Hobbit

J. R. R. Tolkien – The Hobbit


The Hobbit is easily the most easily readable of Tolkien’s books, and it’s the best introduction to his work that you could hope for – that’s probably why it’s so iconic. It was the first Tolkien book that I read, when I was about fourteen, and I enjoyed it so much that I’ve gone on to read almost a dozen more of his books. But there aren’t many of his works that are this easy to read, and so it’s definitely recommended as a starter book. Besides, it introduces you perfectly to Middle Earth!

In this story, Bilbo Baggins is recruited by Gandalf the Wizard to join his party to enter the lair of Smaug, the dragon, and help to reclaim the birthright of Thorin Oakenshield. At least, I think that’s right – it’s been a little while since I read it, and I didn’t bother to check. Either way, something like that happens, and then Bilbo finds this thing that sort of changes everything, and then some other stuff happens and there’s a big battle with a guy called Dain of the Iron Hills, who was played by Billy Conolly in the movie. That would be the guy I’m named after, although my mom insisted on changing the spelling so that my name was a little bit more… normal.

Overall, then, The Hobbit is just a vital part of your reading education, even if you don’t enjoy it and go on to read The Lord of the Rings. After all, there are always the movies if you don’t manage to stick through the books – they are heavy going.


J.R.R. Tolkien

J.R.R. Tolkien


Click here to buy The Hobbit.

Julia Suzuki – Yoshiko and the Gift of Charms | Review

Title: Yoshiko and the Gift of Charms

Author: Julia Suzuki

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 282

Rating: 8/10


Julia Suzuki - Yoshiko and the Gift of Charms

Julia Suzuki – Yoshiko and the Gift of Charms


Disclaimer: Julia is a former client of mine from back in the day, when I worked at a PR agency.

Yoshiko and the Gift of Charms is a gorgeous little book that tells the story of a young dragon called Yoshiko, who gets shunned by his peers but whose unique set of talents come through and help him to overcome adversity. As such, it’s great for teaching kids about bullying, and why they shouldn’t do it – I think it’s a noble mission, and one that’s a conscious decision by Suzuki.

My copy is one of the early incarnations, and I think it’s been re-released several times since then, which is a good thing – it was already a good book when I had it, and I can only imagine that subsequent iterations have helped to refine it even further. Really, this was one of the first books that I read that was written by someone I know and which didn’t show any hallmarks of being unprofessional – everything, from the cover and the editing to the marketing (after all, we were hired) and the website presence was awesome. I’m not sure if it’s the same now, but there used to be a lot of interactivity, and you could find out a bunch of stuff about the world, including which clan you’d belong to.

Overall, then, this is a lot of fun, and a great read for children of all ages – older kids will be able to read it by themselves, which is the most fun of all!


Julia Suzuki

Julia Suzuki


Click here to buy Yoshiko and the Gift of Charms.