The Silmarillion - J.R.R. Tolkien, Martin Shaw A summary of this book would pale in comparison to what actually happens, but I'll try my hand nonetheless.

These are the events that happened long ago in the history of Elves and Men. Before a Hobbit found a ring. Before a Fellowship was formed. Before a journey was made. These are the stories of the creation of Middle Earth, the gods and goddesses (the Valar) of this world, the beginnings of the Elves and their glory days. Here in these pages reside stories of lust and greed, of bravery and endurance, of love and passion.

I absolutely adore this book. It's taken a few readings (and rereading "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings") to really get it, but every time I read this, I'm floored by how beautiful and intricate Tolkien's world is. It's so lush and gorgeous, there is so much depth to his stories, I literally ACHE when I read this.

Sure, it's not perfect. Tolkien has a tendency to lose focus at times, going off on random tangents. There aren't a whole lot of females in this book, and the ones that are there tend to be merely "beautiful" or "wives". Some of the stories (such as the tale of Luthien and Beren) aren't my favorite.

But I can overlook these faults when I read about the music the Ainur sing. I adore reading about the Valar and their realm in Valinor. I cringe as Feanor develops greed and creates a thing of beauty - the Silmarils - that then end up causing so much death and strife and hurt. I love the stories of Turin and Nienor, Finrod Felagund, Beleg, Tuor, Maeglin, Earendil and Elwing. I love the worlds of Valinor, of Tol Eresea, of Numenor and of Beleriand.

This book won't be for everyone. It's nothing like either "The Hobbit" (a great little adventure) or "The Lord of the Rings" (epic fantasy). This is pure mythology, of the likes of the Greeks and the Romans (and probably others, like Norse and Eastern Asian, but I have little experience with those, so I won't categorize it with them). It's deep and spell-binding.

To say I enjoyed this would be an understatement. I LOVED this book. I wanted never to END this book. I wanted to CRY when I got to the final words. I'll even go so far as to say this is my favorite of Tolkien's works. A pure joy to read (or listen to!). I'll definitely be rereading this AGAIN in the future.