Books and stories, Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, classical music, education, nature
First Lord of the Rings reading experience:
At about age 12, I was told it was like the Chronicles of Narnia, upon which I promptly decided I would never read it because nothing could ever be as good as Narnia. But then my older sister started reading it, and of course I wasn't going to be outdone by her! I read The Hobbit first and loved it, and when my sister finally quit hiding her copies of the Lord of the Rings, I read them all as fast as I possibly could. Since then I've read them at least 10 times. I think C.S. Lewis would forgive me if I said they are better than Narnia. :)
Favorite Tolkien character:
I don't think I could ever choose an absolute favorite, but one of my favorite characters has always been Sam. He reminds me of myself in that he's not extremely smart or a good leader, but he's faithful and he loves and understands his master. Sam understands the value of both the simple and the wise, and he's humble enough to count himself as one of the simple.