book reviews

The Hobbit

Hello there!

I’ve finally read J.R.R. Tolkien’s prelude to his famous Lord of the Rings trilogy. Of course, I’ve seen most of the films, but reading this classic was a treat. The world that Tolkien gives us is enchanting, and feels very much like a fairy tale to me–but one with a happy ending. (Looking at you, Brothers Grimm.)

It took a while for me to adjust to the way in which Tolkien writes–think of children’s books where the prose goes onto the next page, Yertle the Turtle, style–but as soon as I did, I was enjoying all the insights into Bilbo’s journey.

One thing I enjoyed the most was the humor. Personally, I liked how often Bilbo wished that he was back in his hobbit hole. The funny thing about Bilbo’s longing is that, even while he’s wishing dearly that he was home, he is still having a grand time being out in the wide world. Despite the danger he’s facing, he’s still keeping his feet firmly on solid ground. If he had refused the dwarves and remained in Hobbiton, he wouldn’t have made solid friends with lads like Fili and Kili.

I guess, like a fairy tale, Tolkien is teaching us that in order to fully enjoy–and embrace–life, we must step outside our front doors, stepping onto the Road, not exacting knowing where it will take us.

My last family vacation felt like stepping into the Road. While we knew where we were headed every day, I still felt awe at the sights. I still felt elation knowing that every day would be a new adventure, an uncharted path. Like all good family vacations, I bonded even more deeply with my parents and my sister. (We missed our two dogs, Bogan and Bentley, a lot!) We developed some great memories, and had some pretty funny inside jokes along the way.

Just like Bilbo, I would never have discovered the unfathomable beauty of the Grand Canyon, if I had stayed home. In a way, I am a homebody; when the moment strikes me, I too long for adventure. If I’d stayed home–which was out of the question, of course I wanted to go–I would have never fully grasped the vastness of the Grand Canyon. It’s hard to capture in photographs, no matter how good a camera you have on you. The beauty is inspiring and breathtaking. Because I left the comfort of my home, I have fantastic memories of visiting various national parks, and spending quality time with my family.

Here’s to Bilbo, for leaving his comfy hobbit hole in Bag End:

Roads go ever ever on,

Over rock and under tree,

By caves where never sun has shone,

By streams that never find the sea;

Over snow by winter sown,

And through the merry flowers of June,

Over grass and over stone,

And under mountains in the moon. (pg. 283)

Rating: 5 out of 5.
films, music, video games & more!

Stardew Valley

Hello, everyone!

These past few months, I’ve become obsessed with a little farming game called Stardew Valley. I never played Harvest Moon as a child, but I did watch a friend of mine play it for a bit.

Stardew is about a guy or girl, possibly in their twenties, inheriting their grandfather’s farm. One of the last things your grandfather says to you is that the fast-paced world will become too much for you. When this happens, you are able to go to the farm and live among the residents of Pelican Town.

One thing that I love deeply about this game is the relaxing atmosphere. The pixelated artwork is full of lush trees, bushes, and berries. There is very little violence, which only takes place when you’re in the mines searching for rocks or precious minerals. Even as the game has become busier for me–taking care of chickens and cows and watering my crops–I still feel calm while playing.

The longer I’ve played, the more invested I feel in this imaginary world. I can tell that Concerned Ape–the game developer–and Chucklefish did a really good job, because I find the animals utterly adorable. They also act like real animals, too: the cows moo, and my dog will wag his tail furiously when he’s by me.

I’m excited to expand upon my knowledge of this wonderful world, a place where I feel closer to nature.

bucket list

My Bucket List

places I want to visit

  • more national parks in the U.S.
  • the U.K.
  • Canada
  • Switzerland
  • Germany

places I want to find in NYC

  • Lispenard Street & Greene Street
  • the statue of Balto in Central Park

books I want to read/ book series I want to finish

  • All of Mary Oliver’s poetry
  • Read more of Ed Bok Lee’s poetry
  • Read more of Billy Collins’ poetry
  • The Hobbit [completed Feb. 17, 2018]
  • J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy [completed August 29, 2019]
  • The Orphan Master’s Son [completed]
  • finish Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy
  • Wonder [completed July 27, 2019]
  • basically, read everything on my bookshelves (see the Bookshelf Project)

people I want to see live

  • see Blue October play live a second time
  • see Steven Colbert live in NYC

personal goals

  • visit Rory (my boyfriend) at least once a month, weather permitting
  • someday have my own apartment
  • own bookshelves to house all my books
  • someday get a puppy & name him Oliver, Ollie for short
  • finish all my coloring books [working on it]
  • publish a book of poetry before I’m 30
  • finish playing Skyrim
  • finish playing Stardew Valley [completed]
  • watch the new Watership Down movie [completed]
  • watch all of Stranger Things [in progress]
  • finish my sci-fi novel [completed]

What are your bucket list goals?

about me

about me & my blog

My first time at the Grand Canyon! Taken 8/2/2017.
I’m working on my sister’s blanket out on our cozy porch. Pattern: Fisherman’s Rib Blanket. Taken 6/26/2020.
Me, far left. My sister, Abbie, far right. I’m a U of M Morris alum. Taken 7/9/2020.


Hello there! My name is Meghan B. Welcome to The Nerdy Nook, a place that’s much like a book-nook. This is a safe space for everyone who comes here, a place where you can connect with me and be yourself. This is mostly a book blog, but I also write about music I listen to, films I love, movies and TV shows I’ve watched, knitting projects I’m working on, plays I’ve seen, and occasionally post poems and my personal thoughts.

The Nerdy Nook is my second, but official, blog. (My very first blog is still up for viewing purposes. My first blog–On the Prairie–catalogs my attempts at figuring out how to blog. In learning how to blog, I wrote my years in college, books I was reading at the time, and other topics that interested me, like music.)

Overall, this blog is my way of sharing my passions with other people.

Thus The Nerdy Nook was born.

This second blog is the perfect place for me to strengthen my writing skills, and to write about my interests and hobbies. I want to continue to reach out to other people, and make those special connections with others.

I also humbly and happily accept any awards that people might happen to send my way.

Past awards from On the Prairie:

  • Versatile Blogger (awarded January 2015)
  • Liebster (awarded February 2015)
  • Sisterhood of the World (awarded May 2015)

Fun facts

How to talk Minnesotan: The Minnesota Long Goodbye (which is VERY accurate!)
  • I’m a proud Minnesotan, the land of 10,000 lakes (I do occasionally eat hot dish, we get lots of snow, and of course there’s the very real long Minnesotan goodbye that takes place when I visit my cousins or grandparents)
  • my favorite color is blue, all shades of blue
  • I love to write, and enjoy writing novels in fantasy or sci-fi worlds. I also write free-verse poetry
  • I love finding poetry out in the “wild,” in the everyday world we live in (poetry–for me–can be found in music, in books, in everyday conversations…)
  • I love to go hiking in the mountains, especially in Colorado
  • I graduated with my BA in English from the University of Minnesota, Morris in 2015
  • I’ve got way too many fandoms to count, so here’s my short top list: Doctor Who, Harry Potter, Sherlock, Game of Thrones, Mindhunter, Attack on Titan, My Hero Academia, & Supernatural
  • my dream job? Writing creatively for a company
  • my all-time favorite band is Blue October, an alternative rock group based out of Texas
Blue October members left to right: Ryan, Justin, Matt N., & Jeremy (not pictured: Matt O.)
  • I love to read, write, knit, color, and play video games. A few of my favorite games are listed below

  • 278uh1vb
    a relaxing & happy farming simulator for anyone who enjoys nature

    Ah, Don’t Starve Together: Where bees, rain, hounds, trees, and even the dark can kill you. Really, you’re just trying to survive! Even more fun when you play with friends

    Dragons. Endless quests. Loot. Magic. Awesome armor. Cool weapons. And *lots* of running

    a complex historical Medieval strategy game. Now, who wants to be King?

  • Who is my favorite Doctor? Well…
  • tenthdoctor
    Ten (played by David Tennant)
    Eleven (played by Matt Smith)
    Twelve (played by Peter Capaldi)
    Thirteen (played by Jodie Whittaker)

    Thanks for reading!

    Happy blogging, everyone!

    – Meghan B. 2020