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POPSUGAR Reading Challenge 2021 Update: Week Six

Good morning, everyone! I hope that you are having a wonderful weekend so far, and that you are continuing to stay healthy.

Before we get started on this week’s Reading Challenge update, I wanted to take a little bit of time to bring you all up to date on my mum’s condition. As many of you already know, Mum was diagnosed with brain cancer in August of 2019, and has been undergoing treatment for the past 18-19 months. She had surgery to remove a third tumor before Christmas, but has been dealing with a significant amount of aphasia and memory problems as a result of cumulative damage caused by the tumors. She has also continued to have headaches on a daily basis.

Mum had an MRI on Monday afternoon, and a follow-up appointment with her doctor the following morning. While the results of the scan were not unexpected, they were definitely not what we’d hoped for. The scan showed that there is new tumor growth present in the same location as the previous tumor, and Mum also has developed a blood clot in her brain. Her doctor has started her on a blood thinner, which will hopefully help to dissolve the clot, but the options regarding the tumor itself are few in number.

Mum has decided that she is not going to undergo radiation treatments again, as they were very hard on her the last time, but there is a possibility that she may be able eligible for a targeted bio-therapy treatment. The treatment itself is still experimental, so we currently do not know if it will be approved, or if it will be effective.

Right now we are taking things one day at a time, and we’re doing our best to make the most of every day. If you are willing, my family would greatly appreciate it if you would keep us in your thoughts and prayers over the coming weeks.

This week for the POPSUGAR Reading Challenge, I decided to read The Art of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, which was written and edited by Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull.

“A book about art or an artist…”

The Art of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien is a collection of the illustrations that Tolkien created for The Hobbit. The book not only includes the finished pieces of art, but also his original sketches and revisions. Along with the illustrations, Hammond and Scull also include their own commentary about the various images, discuss how specific illustrations changed during Tolkien’s revision process, and offer some context regarding the subject(s) of the illustrations.

I really enjoyed The Art of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. The authors do a really nice job of presenting Tolkien’s artwork, and it’s clear that they are experts on Tolkien and his work. But what really makes this book special is the artwork itself. Despite Tolkien’s own protests about his artistic ability, the illustrations he created are fantastic. My particular favorite is called “Conversation with Smaug,” which features Bilbo’s encounter with the dragon. I dearly wish that it was available for purchase as an art print, because I would 100% have a framed copy hanging on the wall in my office.

“Conversation with Smaug,” as seen on page 104 of Hammond and Scull’s The Art of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. Original illustration by J.R.R. Tolkien.

If you are a fan of J.R.R. Tolkien and love The Hobbit, I highly recommend taking the time to read this book. It’s also a great title for anyone who enjoys art, especially if you’re interested in book illustrations, but it will have a much greater impact if you are familiar with the story of The Hobbit.

Next week’s POPSUGAR Reading Challenge update will be posted on February 13th. In the meantime, I hope you will join me here on The Unapologetic Bookworm throughout the week for book reviews and a special wrap-up post about my experience with this year’s Mini Manga Readathon.

If you are curious about how my readathon experience is going, I am continuing to post frequent updates regarding my progress on both Twitter and Instagram. Following me on social media will give you access to additional book recommendations, personal updates, and pictures of my adorable feline/velociraptor roommate. And, for the remainder of the Mini Manga Readathon (which runs from February 5-7th), you will also have the opportunity to help me choose which series I read next. You’ll be able to find the latest poll on my Twitter profile later today.

Have a fantastic weekend!

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