This week, we're reading a short story by the classic J R R Tolkien (the "J R R" stands for John Ronald Reuel).
I'm hoping that if you're interested enough in books to be reading our blog, you've at least heard of this man in passing, though I can't blame if you if you've never tackled one of his books... the Lord of the Rings books and all the associated material (there are many volumes chronicling the history of Middle Earth) are dense tomes of high fantasy, and if that isn't your bag, you probably wouldn't like slogging through a Tolkien. Even The Hobbit, written for children, is pretty intense, though much shorter and far more light-hearted than the others.
Tolkien lived January 3, 1892 to September 2, 1973 (13 years to the day before I was born, fun fact). He was born in South Africa (before it was known as such) but moved to England at the age of three after his father's death.
His cousins had a constructed language they called Animalic, which introduced him (in his early teens) to the concept. You might be passingly familiar with Quenya and Sindarin (two forms of Elvish) and some of the other complete, speakable languages from Middle Earth. (On a personal note, I think this was his strongest suit... background, languages, cultures of fictional peoples. I would have enjoyed reading encyclopediae about the world he created, but I have barely the slightest interest in reading about them via his novels.)
At any rate, this guy did more for the genre of fantasy than I'm willing to type up without a book deal of my own.