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Al Ba (Romania, Bucharest)

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Britannica's Encyclopedia of Art and Britannica Biographical Encyclopedia of Artists
Britannica's Encyclopedia of Art and Britannica Biographical Encyclopedia of Artists
by Encyclopaedia Britannica
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Instructive and entertaining..., 12 Sep 2008
...just as all Britannica books are. This collection of artists and works of art will certainly give you a good insight into the world of art from its beginnings to the present day, and will make you better grasp its evolution in the very different places of the world.

It is not a ultimate collection, as it would have been impossible to do in just nine volumes. However, it covers the most famous works of art and the most influential artists of the world in good detail. It is a work for the general audience, who will find it useful for learning about the history of the world's art.


The J. R. R. Tolkien Companion and Guide: Chronology AND Reader's Guide
The J. R. R. Tolkien Companion and Guide: Chronology AND Reader's Guide
by Christina Scull
Edition: Hardcover

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A work of great quality, 3 Jun 2008
Apart from what the reviewers above mentioned, I will point out the exceptional quality of the edition itself. The hardback books, the dustjacket, the fine paper and the well-chosen font make for an outstanding work - it is a pleasure to own it in your bookcase - not to mention the extremely informative content. It's well worth the money. Please check the customer photos that I posted, they will give you a better insight. A set well worth its money.


Tolkien Bestiary
Tolkien Bestiary
by David Day
Edition: Hardcover

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not the best out there..., 1 Jun 2008
This review is from: Tolkien Bestiary (Hardcover)
This bestiary is of good quality, since it describes in great detail the peoples, plants and animals of Arda. However, it's not an encyclopaedia of proper names - so you won't find anything of the kind inside. The pluses are a schematic chronology of Middle-earth and Valinor, as well as genealogies for the races of Elves and Men (not proper names, but races as a whole.) There also are some beautiful drawings inside.

The great minus is the map provided. This looks nice, but it's far, far away from Tolkien's, mainly because it tries to be a compilation of all realms from all ages - impossible to do. Day should have bought the copyright from whoever owns the maps and published the original ones - his is a decent job, but one that could be bettered.


The Children of Húrin
The Children of Húrin
by J. R. R. Tolkien
Edition: Leather Bound

5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional!, 28 May 2008
For those of you who are hardcore Tolkien fans, this book is a definite must. It is a super-deluxe edition of "The Children of Hurin", and has the following qualities:

- only 500 pieces
- each numbered and signed by the author (Christopher Tolkien) and the illustrator (Alan Lee)
- leather-bound
- hand-sewn
- golden edges
- acid-free paper
- silk ribbon marker
- raised spine ribs

So it has everything you'll find in the normal edition, but this one is a treasure.


Harry Potter Boxed Set  (Adult Edition) (Contains all 7 books in the series)
Harry Potter Boxed Set (Adult Edition) (Contains all 7 books in the series)
by J. K. Rowling
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £74.75

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome set, 27 May 2008
I've read all books in Romanian, and have them all. When I saw this original English set, however, I was totally hooked. The set is great, the cover designs are lovely, better than those for the kid's version, and the box (made of cardboard) completes this set nicely. The binding is good, and the paper is of good quality. The price seems fair to me, too. I paid for this set more than 130 pounds, so the 70 pounds on this offer is really a bargain.


The Shaping of Middle-earth (The History of Middle-earth, Book 4)
The Shaping of Middle-earth (The History of Middle-earth, Book 4)
by Christopher Tolkien
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.32

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A marvellous expansion of "The Silmarillion", 6 May 2008
This book, the 4th in "The History of Middle-earth", is great in that it contains the first "Silmarillion" conceived by Tolkien, after the "Lost Tales" (for these, see volumes 1 and 2 of the "History..."), as well as the first Annals - of Valinor and Beleriand (greatly modified in later stages), the first map by Tolkien, printed in full color, and the fascinating "Ambarkanta", an essay accompanied by maps of the whole world, a unique opportunity to discover what else, besides the now familiar Middle-earth, there was in Arda (the World). Best read it after "The Silmarillion", so that you can see some of the earliest traces of this greatly expanded history of Tolkien.


The Children of Húrin
The Children of Húrin
by J. R. R. Tolkien
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.69

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In response to those who disapprove of this book..., 6 May 2008
This review is from: The Children of Húrin (Paperback)
I've read some comments that said the book is not worth buying. Well, they are wrong. Here are my reasons to it:

It is a good narative, full with the drama that the children of Hurin the Steadfast faced after the Fifth Battle of Beleriand, in the 1st Age of the Sun. Those who have read other Tolkien books will be impressed by the more serious and epic stile of "CoH" (The Children of Hurin). Those that liked the story of Turin Turambar in "The Silmarillion" will be delighted to discover his story at an enormously expanded scale.

It is true that the story appears in "Unfinished Tales...", but there it is frequently interrupted by commentaries that are of great interest, but nonetheless spoil the story itself. Moreover, you could not have read the story as it is told in "CoH" before, simply because it had nowhere been published like this.

Citing Christopher Tolkien, in "The Children of Hurin", ed. HarperCollins, 2007, p. 7, Preface:
"...it has seemed to me for a long time that there was a good case for presenting my father's long version of the legend of the Children of Hurin as an independent work, between its own covers, with a minimum of editorial presence, and above all in continuous narrative without gaps or interruptions, if this could be done without distortion or invention, despite the unfinished state in which he left some parts of it."

This has been done in a very professional way, providing readers with a solid story to delight them.

It's worth buying, even if you already own "Unfinished Tales..." and "The Silmarillion", because "CoH" is a legend in its own right.


The Silmarillion
The Silmarillion
by J. R. R. Tolkien
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the best Tolkien book out there..., 5 May 2008
This review is from: The Silmarillion (Paperback)
Now, contrary to my title, I consider it the best book of all that I've read by any author. However, opinions are greatly divergent. "The Silmarillion" was the first Tolkien book I've read, before "The Hobbit" and "LotR". It consists of several parts:

Ainulindale, or "The Music of the Ainur", which depicts the making of the Universe by the One God, Eru Iluvatar, and His servants the Ainur, and is, in my opinion, the most glorious and most fascinating of all Tolkien writings.

Valaquenta, a short essay describing the nature of the Valar, the guarding Ainur that descended into Arda, the World.

Quenta Silmarillion, making the bulk of the book, it contains the enthralling legends of the Elder Days, ending some 6,500 years before the action of "LotR", and containing the stories that Tolkien mostly treasured of his whole work.

Akallabeth, describing the Second Age of the Sun in Arda, and concentrating on the history of the island of Numenor and its ruin by Sauron, a history closely reminding of the mysterious Atlantida.

The Rings of Power and the Third Age, briefly describing the events that culminated with the War of the Ring and the overthrow of Sauron.

This book is magnificent in every aspect, and is filled with heroic stories of ages long past. Although the style is a bit more difficult than that of "LotR", it's nevertheless a masterpiece in its own right.

A truly dedicated reader should know, however, that "The Silmarillion" is an editorial attempt of Tolkien's son, Christopher, and if one should want to see how intricate the story really was, one should move to "The History of Middle-earth", a profound study depicting the intricate evolution of the Silmarillion stories along the decades (volumes 1-5, 9-12).

Buy "The Silmarillion" and enjoy Tolkien at his greatest!


The Hobbit
The Hobbit
by J. R. R. Tolkien
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good story for children and grown-ups, too, 5 May 2008
This review is from: The Hobbit (Mass Market Paperback)
"The Hobbit" was published in 1937 for the first time, and it was because of it that "The Lord of the Rings" came into existence. It's funny and entertaining, and it shows Bilbo Baggins' most important adventure of his life in an appealing manner. One should clearly understand that this book was at first intended for Tolkien's own children, and only later was published. One should therefore not expect the powerful and often deadly serious narrative of "LotR". As a trivial example, Sauron is not named in "The Hobbit", but appears under the name "the Necromancer", and is of no importance other than keeping Gandalf away from the party of Dwarves for a while, thus allowing for more breath-taking adventures.

I recommend this book if you are parents of young children (Rayner Unwin, the first reviewer, was 10 when he approved for it and convinced his father to print it), since it is an easy reading, that can develop a taste for Tolkien and deeper novels, such as "LotR" or "The Silmarillion". Also, if you've read "LotR", give "The Hobbit" a try - it's not at all a bad story.


The Lays of Beleriand (The History of Middle-earth, Book 3)
The Lays of Beleriand (The History of Middle-earth, Book 3)
by Christopher Tolkien
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.69

5.0 out of 5 stars The History of Middle-earth unveiled..., 5 May 2008
Owning the 12 books of Tolkien's "History...", I managed to get a much better understanding of the complexity of work done by the author during his lifetime. The 3rd volume, "The Lays of Beleriand", reveals the two most important tales of the First Age of the Sun in the form of epic poems, shining with grandeur.

This book is perhaps the most beautiful in the series, and the poems are so reachly detailed that any "Silmarillion" enthusiast will find them enthralling. In "The Lay of Leithian" (The poem on Beren and Luthien), in Canto 12, there is a superb description of the desperate battle of Fingolfin with Melkor Morgoth, right in front of Angband's gates. And there are fragments of other poems as well, such as the description of Tuor's coming to Gondolin and something on Earendil, too - all in verse.

The book is greatly enhanced by the commentaries of Christopher Tolkien, who makes the intricate poems readily understandable for the reader. A good level of English is however (in my opinion, at least) recommended in order to fully appreciate the poems, and especially the one on Turin Turambar, which is in alliterative verse.

If you are a Tolkien fan and have some money to spend, don't hesitate for a moment about this book. It's worth every single penny!


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