I could have done 30 days of Tolkien stories and poems. I could have put in the most random story of his that I love (such as Leaf by Niggle), or some of my favourite quotes ("'and my companion, who, alas! is overcome with weariness' - here he gave the other a dig with his foot").
But I tried all that when naming my two cats, and they ended up called Frodo and Sam (of course, in daily life, they're actually called Chirpy and Shmuzz, but that's another story).
So here we are. The Lord of the Rings.
I think I first read The Hobbit when I was 10 or so, and read The Lord of the Rings the year after. It touched something deep inside, or sparked something that blossomed and grew. I'd read the Chronicles of Narnia at about that time. Suddenly I was sketching the towers of Minas Tirith on the backs of school notebooks during classes - and I can't draw for beans!
Since then, I've reread The Lord of the Rings every year - I'm past my second decade now. I've read everything else of his that I can get my hands on; for instance, I've just discovered there's an expanded edition of Smith of Wootton Major - forget adding it to a wishlist, Tolkien is an immediate buy!
I realise I've got nothing erudite to say here, but keep blabbing like a fan girl. And I realise that not everyone is as enamoured of these books as I am. So for this post, instead of book covers, I thought I'd share some of my favourites of Tolkien's art (the man could paint, too!):
The End of the World
The Shores of Faery
Lake Mithrim and heraldic devices