The Wisdom of the Shire

A Short Guide to a Long and Happy Life

Noble Smith; Foreword by Peter S. Beagle

Thomas Dunne Books

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In The Wisdom of the Shire, Noble Smith sheds a light on the life-changing ideas tucked away inside the classic works of J.R.R. Tolkien and his most beloved creation—the stouthearted Hobbits. 

The Wisdom of the Shire draws important lessons from The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Silmarillion, and other tales of the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, the wizard Gandalf, and the many residents of Middle-earth. Author Noble Smith shows how a snug Hobbit-hole is actually just a state of mind and how even the smallest person can have the valor of a Rider of Rohan. He explores subjects dear to a Halfling's heart, such as beer, food, and friendship, as well as more serious concerns, such as courage, living in harmony with nature, and good versus evil.

How can simple pleasures such as gardening, taking long walks, and eating delicious meals with friends make you significantly happier? Why is the act of giving presents on your birthday instead of getting them such a revolutionary idea? What should you do when dealing with the Gollum in your life? And how can we carry the burden of our own "magic ring of power" without becoming devoured by it? For fans of Tolkien's books and their award-winning film adaptations by director Peter Jackson, The Wisdon of the Shire holds the answers to these and more of life's essential questions.

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Book Excerpts

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Chapter 1
HOW SNUG IS YOUR HOBBIT-HOLE?

 
Throughout my life I’ve often heard people describe a snug home or a particularly cozy room as being “just like a Hobbit-hole.” This is one of the highest compliments a Tolkien fan can give, for it’s the sort of place where they’d want to spend some serious leisure time—to read a book or have a conversation, to eat a delicious meal or just sit and think.
On the very first page of The Hobbit Tolkien introduced the world to Bilbo Baggins (and Middle-earth for that matter) with a lengthy and loving description

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Reviews

Praise for The Wisdom of the Shire

“How to live long and prosper, Hobbit-style. … A life-affirming, must-have morsel for Tolkien’s colossal fan base.”

Kirkus Reviews

“Delves into Middle-earth to show us how Tolkien can instruct us how to live a better life on Regular-earth.”

The Boston Globe

“Smith urges hobbit-wannabes to embrace the original small-is-beautiful lifestyle -- grow your own food, walk everywhere. And sing. ​Even to love Tolkien-style!”

 —USA Today

“A definitive guide to Tolkien’s worldview.”

Wired.com

“A splendidly fun guide to life . . . a constant companion. I'd recommend it to anyone!”

TheHobbitMovie.co.uk

“Previous readers of Tolkien may suddenly crave a reread of their favorite passages (or favorite books!), and those who have never cracked the spine of The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings might suddenly have the urge to curl up with one of the books after having read The Wisdom of the Shire.”

Middle-earth News

“Funny, insightful, thought provoking and a thoroughly enjoyable read.”

TheOneRing.net

“For the Tolkien enthusiast, Wisdom of the Shire is a gentle book that will remind you of all the things you love about Tolkien’s work, with practical ways of making them part of your everyday life.”

Amazing Stories

“Smith, a playwright and film producer, shrewdly connects spiritual writing to the popularity of J. R. R. Tolkien’s fantasy work…A fine companion to the Hobbit movies for the fantasy reader or spiritual seeker.”

Library Journal

"Noble Smith reminds us that we can all be as constantly surprising as the Hobbits."

—Peter S. Beagle, author of The Last Unicorn and the introduction to The Lord of the Rings

“I haven't had too many 'Personal Gollums' in my life but the next time I happen upon one I will take Noble Smith's book out and thumb through it like a manual. My only fear is that I will find someone doing the same thing to figure out how to deal with me. Such a fun book!”

—Ty Burrell, Emmy winning star of Modern Family

“Good books transport us, great books transform us. Noble Smith was clearly transformed by reading J. R. R. Tolkien's classic novels, and this book is the delightful result. It's a humorous but impassioned celebration of enduring values, worthy sacrifices, and simple pleasures. You can't beat that combination, either in the novels or in this irresistible homage.”

—Mark Salzman, author of Iron and Silk

“It is one of history's great ironies that in the creation of The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien - an Oxford Anglo-Saxon professor and one of the least 'hip' inhabitants on earth - gave the revolutionary ‘60s New Age, Back-to-the-Land counter-culture its most celebrated and enduring anti-hero. The Wisdom of the Shire brings us back to essential philosophy of creatures that were – as Tolkien stated – ‘more in touch with “nature,” and abnormally, for humans, free from ambition, greed or wealth.’ Noble Smith takes the reader on a journey of discovery of the Hobbit's 'small is beautiful' philosophy, and dovetails it to today's environmental axiom to 'act locally and think globally'. Smith shows us how the humane principles of the Hobbit philosophy have not only survived the vogue and politics of the sixties, but retain their soundness as the most sensible and sustainable route to true happiness for the 21st Century Everyman.”

—David Day, author of A Tolkien Bestiary and Tolkien: The Illustrated Encyclopedia

 

 


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About the Author

Noble Smith; Foreword by Peter S. Beagle

NOBLE SMITH is an award-winning playwright who has worked as a video game writer, a documentary film executive producer, and the media director of an international human rights foundation. His novel Sons of Zeus will be published in 2013 by Thomas Dunne Books. He lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and children.

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Available Formats and Book Details

The Wisdom of the Shire
A Short Guide to a Long and Happy Life
Noble Smith; Foreword by Peter S. Beagle

Hardcover

Hardcover
St. Martin's Press
Thomas Dunne Books
October 2012
Hardcover
ISBN: 9781250025562
ISBN10: 1250025567
5 x 7 1/8 inches, 224 pages
$22.99
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