1. Every week, the Times Literary Supplement digs into its archives and reprints an old review. The one for the June 28 issue turned out to be . . . wait for it . . . C. S. Lewis's review of The Hobbit from 1937! I think the line I like best is "But there are dwarfs and dwarfs, and no common recipe for children's stories will give you creatures so rooted in their own soil and history as those of Professor Tolkien -- who obviously knows much more about them than he needs for this tale."
Even in 1937, the TLS was completely smitten with Tolkien. And so they remain to this day, since Tom Shippey is one of their more regular contributors. (I think it was Shippey who made the finest observation ever made about Tolkien's writing style, comparing the Council of Elrond to a badly-chaired faculty meeting.)
2. Next up, Elephant Journal reminds us all just how badass Tolkien could be, showcasing his response to potential Nazi publishers of The Hobbit when they asked whether he was Jewish.
3. And finally, another bar for Peej to clear. For his version of The Hobbit to be good, he has to rise above earlier versions. I've already covered the areas in which he beats out both the Rankin-Bass cartoon and the original book, but it turns out there's a third comparison lurking in the background. Did you know that there was a really weird and trippy half-hour cartoon version made in 1966? Neither did I. Apparently, it omits much of the actual storyline, but it does give us the all-important Princess of Dale and her blonde bouffant hairdo. A friend for Tauriel, perhaps?