Download The Wisdom of the Shire: A Short Guide to a Long and Happy Life Audiobook

The Wisdom of the Shire: A Short Guide to a Long and Happy Life Audiobook, by Noble Smith Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Noble Smith Narrator: Simon Vance Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2013 ISBN: 9781481555692
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (120 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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In The Wisdom of the Shire, Noble Smith sheds light on the life-changing ideas tucked away inside the classic works of J. R. R. Tolkien and his most beloved creation—the stouthearted Hobbits.

Drawing on The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and other tales of Middle-earth, Smith shows how a snug hobbit-hole is actually just a state of mind and how even the smallest person can have the valor of a Rider of Rohan. He explores subjects dear to a halfling’s heart, such as beer, food, and friendship, as well as more serious concerns, such as courage, living in harmony with nature, and good versus evil.

How can simple pleasures such as gardening, taking long walks, and eating delicious meals with friends make you significantly happier? Why is the act of giving presents on your birthday instead of getting them such a revolutionary idea? And how can we carry the burden of our own “Ring of Power” without becoming devoured by it? The Wisdom of the Shire holds the answers to these and more of life’s essential questions.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Smith urges hobbit-wannabes to embrace the original small-is-beautiful lifestyle—grow your own food, walk everywhere. And sing. ​Even to love Tolkien-style!”

    USA Today

  • “Delves into Middle-earth to show us how Tolkien can instruct us how to live a better life on Regular-earth.”

    Boston Globe

  • “A definitive guide to Tolkien’s worldview.”


  • The Wisdom of the Shire is an idea whose time has unquestionably come…I’d buy it like a shot, give copies away to deserving friends, and keep it by the bed for bad nights.”

    Peter S. Beagle, award-winning author of The Last Unicorn

  • “Smith, a playwright and film producer, shrewdly connects spiritual writing to the popularity of J. R. R. Tolkien’s fantasy work…A fine companion to the Hobbit movies for the fantasy reader or spiritual seeker.”

    Library Journal

  • “How to live long and prosper, Hobbit-style…Tolkien fans breathlessly awaiting Peter Jackson’s upcoming three-part feature film will be pleasantly satiated with this self-help guide channeling the effervescent spirit and timeless morality of the much-loved Hobbit population…The author’s many comparisons between the ‘safe, warm, comfortable’ facets of Hobbit life and contemporary reality lived outside Middle-earth are creative and satisfyingly good-natured…Interwoven throughout the text are factoids about Tolkien’s life…A life-affirming, must-have morsel for Tolkien’s colossal fan base.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “I haven’t had too many ‘Personal Gollums’ in my life but the next time I happen upon one I will take Noble Smith’s book out and thumb through it like a manual. My only fear is that I will find someone doing the same thing to figure out how to deal with me. Such a fun book!”

    Ty Burrell, Emmy Award–winning star of Modern Family

  • “Good books transport us, great books transform us. Noble Smith was clearly transformed by reading J. R. R. Tolkien’s classic novels, and this book is the delightful result. It’s a humorous but impassioned celebration of enduring values, worthy sacrifices, and simple pleasures. You can’t beat that combination, either in the novels or in this irresistible homage.”

    Mark Salzman, author of Iron and Silk

  • A Publishers Weekly Top 10 Book Fall 2012

Listener Reviews

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  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Helen | 1/29/2014

    " Lovely and made me want to read LOTR all over again! I am so a hobbit and am not ashamed! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melliereed | 1/19/2014

    " Like all things Tolkien? Want a quick read that has something to do with The Lord of the Rings? Noble Smith's The Wisdom of the Shire will fill the bill for before bedtime decompression. It's fairly easy to follow along with short non-taxing chapters, filled with little back story tidbits from the actual LOTR books. But the basic structure is aimed towards those who have seen the three films rather than those who have read the books. Noble has a nice and easy way of sharing life comparison lessons that draw the reader into the ambient lighting of Tolkein's deeper work and each chapter ends with a 'wisdom of the shire thought' by Noble with the very apparent idea that they were meant to be 'quotable'. But since he leaves out much of the rich Christian background that permeates the trilogy and tries to take a secular view it leaves the dedicated reader who has done his Tolkienian homework feeling a little underfed. The book has a good intriguing pace until Noble's lack of complete thinking begins to taper off towards the end. Its as if he were straining to find the ending 'wisdom quotes' with enough 'zing' as one of my old English professors use to say. Nice time. I give it three stars. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 TaschaBear | 1/2/2014

    " A must read for anyone truly looking for simplifying and hobbit-fying your life. I have learned so much from this self-help book and the answers are honestly - simple. I will keep this book on my shelf for the rest of my long,hobbit life. :) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sydney | 11/17/2013

    " I haven't even finished this book and I am so completely enamored with it. Not only delving into the world of our favorite Shirelings, but also testing the waters of the Dwarves and the Elves too! A must for any fan of Tolkien. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leslie | 10/21/2013

    " Cheerful. Charming. Makes me want to read all the Lord of the Rings books again. Borrowed this from the library but will probably buy my own copy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sadie | 7/25/2013

    " Well written, author definitely immersed himself in ALL of Tolkien's works and this was the result. Being a Hobbit would be awesome and the little Hobbit Quiz at the end is a nice touch as well! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brenda | 6/9/2013

    " Parts of it were a little too political for me, but it was mostly a sweet little book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maurice | 2/28/2013

    " A lovely book. Plus, I learned a lot about Middle Earth that I didn't know. And I got a great mushroom and stout beer recipe. "

About the Author

Noble Smith is an author and award-winning playwright who has worked as a video-game writer, a documentary film executive producer, and the media director of an international human rights foundation. He is the author of the novella Stolen from Gypsies, the nonfiction book The Wisdom of the Shire: A Short Guide to a Long and Happy Life, and the first book in the Warrior Trilogy, Sons of Zeus. He lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and children.

About the Narrator

Simon Vance (a.k.a. Robert Whitfield) is an award-winning actor and narrator. He has earned more than fifty Earphones Awards and won the prestigious Audie Award for best narration thirteen times. He was named Booklist’s very first Voice of Choice in 2008 and has been named an AudioFile Golden Voice as well as an AudioFile Best Voice of 2009. He has narrated more than eight hundred audiobooks over almost thirty years, beginning when he was a radio newsreader for the BBC in London. He is also an actor who has appeared on both stage and television.