Lit Nerd: “The Silmarillion” with The Nerdist Summer Book Club

the valar by lelia
the valar by lelia

The Silmarillion

by J.R.R. Tolkien

As you well know, The Collective Bloggers are pretty hardcore television fangirls, but we are also certified literature geeks through and through. With the encouragement and company of the Collectress, I embarked on a journey through Eä in a J.R.R. Tolkien class a few years back. I read the Silmarillion before I read any other Tolkien books, which apparently in the world of Tolkien nerds, is kind of a big deal. While I do not claim to be an expert (that would be the Collectress), I do love to read and discuss books, and so I joined the summer reading group over at, mostly because I’ve already read the book but never really understood it in terms of the larger picture. Hopefully, this second reading will change that.

The nerd in charge is Amy Ratcliffe, who writes for Nerdist and heads our arduous journey through the dense forest that is The Silmarillion. The #NerdistBookClub is a gathering of a vast array of readers who have committed to reading and discussing the text over the course of two months. Amy has penned a lovely reading schedule that I have shared below.

Part 1: Ainulindalë and Valaquenta – discussion July 8
Part 2: Chapters 1-4 – discussion July 15
Part 3: Chapters 5-8 – discussion July 22
Part 4: Chapters 9-10 – discussion July 29
Part 5: Chapters 11-13 – discussion August 5
Part 6: Chapters 14-16 – discussion August 12
Part 7: Chapters 17-18 – discussion August 19
Part 8: Chapter 19 – discussion August 26
Part 9: Chapter 20 – discussion September 2
Part 10: Chapter 21 – discussion September 9
Part 11: Chapters 22-24 – discussion September 16
Part 12: Akallabêth – discussion September 23
Part 13: Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age – discussion September 30

For those of you interested, there is not a “chat” per say. Instead, we provide feedback and discussion in the comments at the end of Amy’s weekly post, which will summarize the reading, focus on main characters and offer questions for readers to ponder.

Let’s get this straight: The Silmarillion is not an easy read. There is a reason the group can only handle 2-3 chapters a week. This is the creation story for, not only Middle Earth, but the entirety of Tolkien’s universe. There are villains and heroes as well as cameos from characters the discerning reader may remember from the LOTR series. Mostly, this is a book to help comprehend the underlying metanarrative woven meticulously through all of Tolkien’s stories. While fans of LOTR can get along without reading The Silmarillion, this book is a challenging treat that I highly recommend for any committed Tolkien geek.

If you’re interested in joining the discussion, you’ve got some catching up to do. Read Parts 1&2 by Tuesday, July 15 and then visit or the hashtag #NerdistBookClub on twitter to wax eloquent with me and the other geeks.

Nerding out constantly,

The Collectiva Diva