Back in January 2018, while waiting around in the cold and snow after school to pick up my personal "miniatures", I discovered a wonderful book club.
You see, at the time we were living down on the edge of the Denver front range and my youngest children attended school locally. However, we had put our oldest into school up in the mountains where we are moving so that he can stay in one high school for his full four years. This meant that I had about ninety minutes per day of driving without anyone else in the truck. I had not had this sort of schedule for many years and I wanted to enjoy the time.
So back to the snowy afternoon...
Not having any real experience with podcasts yet I first picked an app ( PodBean...recommend it if you're still looking ) and then starting searching for some of my personal favorite key words. I didn't want to get into something too old as I feared I would never catch up. Plus, I was initially searching for gaming related podcasts and wanted to stick with newer rule sets. Well, I was excited to find one pretty quick that was not gaming related at all but rather expressed itself to be a book-club format doing a re-read of the Lord of the Rings.
This was so exciting to me! Although I've re-read the series several times in my life it has been a number of years. Things have just been so busy and not much time to just sit and read. And I've not had anyone recently to talk with about the books. May daughter had recently read the trilogy ( proud parent moment!! ) and we had some nice talks about it as she discovered the world, but I wasn't able to keep up with her reading pace. She lost me sometime between Rivendell and Moria and I never caught back up.
But this new podcast promised to be reading a chapter every couple weeks and then discussing all different aspects of that chapter. The two hosts were each easy to listen to, fun, and were very much in love with Tolkien's world. They came from different places in discovering Tolkien in their life but were equally enthusiastic.
In addition to the expected read-and-discuss format they have had some AMAZING extras. They have had interviews with Tami Lane, who has done prosthetic makeup for The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe films, and also with Shane Rangi who has done stunts and acting work in the LotR and Narnia films. They also have an ever-growing community that shares so much additional insight and information to the community.
I have had some trouble keeping up during summer vacations (not much solo driving time) but when school has gotten back to session I've typically caught up well. I've been following them now for about 18 months and enjoy it as much today as I did when they started.
My success with this podcast has encouraged me to reach out to a few others, which I will cover later. And I will post some specific episode discussions here now and then. But in case you have read this far and would enjoy hearing some educated, fun and thoughtful discussion of LotR, chapter by chapter (and with some extras!)...go check them out.