Books That Inspire 2012

The Lord of the Rings
J. R. R. Tolkien

The Lord of the Rings is a work that I have returned to many times since childhood, drawing out different elements as my perspective changes. The book ultimately rests not in the story or characters, but in Tolkien's craft with language and his descriptions of landscape. Open it at random. Virtually every page is filled with evocative descriptions of wilderness lands, often with great insights into sensual and textural details of the experience of nature. When the storyline of the hero's journey falls away, the reader is left with a travelogue vividly describing the wilderness in a way that recalls the joy of being in natural places.

Marc Jensen
Program Specialist I/Adjunct Professor of Music
OU Lean Institute