Out of the silent planet- C.S. Lewis

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Out of the Silent Planet is the first novel is the rare C.S Lewis series known as The Space Trilogy. I have found these books particularly difficult to come by, so I was delighted one day to find an outlet store in the city that had just two copies of the series in full.

Lewis is known for his theological works for adults and fantasy work for children, but few readers are aware that this great author dabbled in sci-fi. It is rumoured that his good friend Tolkien, neither approved of nor enjoyed the manuscripts of his space trilogy when he was given them to read.

This first book tells the story of philologist, Dr Ransom, who is kidnapped by a cosmologist and taken to the planet Malacandra, where he believes he is to be sacrificed to the planets inhabitants. Typically infused with Lewis’ symbolism, the book is a symphony of descriptions which warm the heart. It also provides insightful commentary on the human race and its destructive nature. All in all, if you are a Lewis fan, you will probably enjoy this story.

I paired this with the equally intricate Steenberg Shiraz, a textured and peppery wine.

 

The Hobbit – J.R.R Tolkien

   
There is very little point in reviewing a classic, but I am one of the many Inklings fans and I tend to re-read the works of Tolkien and Lewis at least once a year. Their works of art are like family to me, old familiar favorites that I return to time after time, for comfort, for joy and for assurance.
So this was the first time I’ve re-read The Hobbit since the series of movies came out. It’s hard for a die-hard fan to admit, but I did find the screen adaptations quite disappointing, often exclaiming to myself “that didn’t happen in the book!” 

So it was a pleasant surprise to discover, in re-reading the beloved tale once again, that not only did the movies not ruin the story for me, but they were also relatively accurate in their portrayal of the novel.

If you haven’t yet read the classic story of how someone small can find adventure, courage and friends worth more than gold and treasure, then what are you waiting for?

I paired this with the Solms Delta vintage Shiraz 2013. The wine is not a particularly spicy blend, but has a chocolate taste and is smooth on the palate. 

A Middle Earth Itch

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Every year around December, I get what I call a Middle Earth itch. Its the need to find some escapism and solace in the classic tale of The Lord of the Rings. I’m not a purist, and I saw the movies before I read the books. (I am a huge fan, I own all the necessary memorabilia and know all the necessary facts to qualify me as one.) With The Hobbit being released this year at cinema’s, I finally had to satisfy the itch by revisiting, firstly, all the movies (I did the marathon over three days) and then the books, which took me a total of three months. Suffice to say a Lord of the Rings marathon is the only kind of marathon I’ll be doing (except perhaps a Star Wars/ Indiana Jones Marathon).

Reading the books for a second time was much MUCH more delightful and enchanting than the first. Reading it now that I am older also brings a fresh perspective. It’s a story about unending friendship, about how the smallest person can face the biggest, darkest times and overcome them, about how light, no matter how faint, is still stronger than darkness. A story like this (brewed in the brilliant mind of Tolkien) only comes around once in a century, and for me, it came just when I needed to learn that life lesson again.

If you are going to read this story, non-stop, I suggest a red wine with deep body and soul, like the Warrick First Lady

Article by Aimee McDonald

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