The Silmarillion, written by JRR Tolkien and compiled by his son Christopher, tells the tale of the First Age of Middle Earth, setting down the history which is referenced in The Lord of the Rings. Though at times it reads a bit dry, almost like the Bible, it has some moments of absolute delight. It reads like an anthology, telling individual tales that are woven together to create the tapestry of the First Age. Among my favorite reads are "Of Beren and Luthien" and "Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin." Though in no way essential reading for someone to enjoy The Lord of the Rings, the richness that Tolkien imparted to his world shines through in The Silmarillion. While I read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings every year starting in December, I also read The Silmarillion every other year (alternately with either Unfinished Tales or The Tale of the Children of Hurin).
As much as I love both Harry Potter and The Wheel of Time, it is The Lord of the Rings that I can most easily be absorbed by, year after year.
Books: About halfway though The Hobbit.
Bottles: Nothing lately.
Writing: 2800 words on the novella, finished Chapter 4 and started on the Epilogue. I can taste it! I might finish it tonight.
Guitar: Working on learning about Contrapuntal Harmony, using "Ode to Joy" as an example.