Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Wisdom of the Shire

The Wisdom of the Shire

A Short Guide to a Long and Happy Life

Noble Smith, with a foreword by Peter S. Beagle

Thomas Dunne Books




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.

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? The Wisdom of the Shire holds the answers to these and more of life's essential questions.


Chapter 1

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...


Praise for The Wisdom of the Shire

“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

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

“A definitive guide to Tolkien's worldview.” —

“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

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

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

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Noble Smith, with a 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. He is author of the novella Stolen from Gypsies and the novel Sons of Zeus, the first book in the Warrior Trilogy. He lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and children.

Noble Smith

Pavlina Ortiz

Peter S. Beagle

From the Publisher

Thomas Dunne Books

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