Given the history, I would say read 'The Hobbit or There and Back Again' first. It is the easiest (written by JRR Tolkien for his children, basically) then the main Lord of the Rings. Pay attention to the appendices. Then more of 'The Silmarillion' will make more sense. After that, go into the 'History of Middle Earth' set, which will make things clearer (at least it did for me) when you reconsider 'The Silmarillion' and its editing. This is the way things went for me: first 'The Hobbit' where I learned of it at the University back in the 70s, then 'The Lord of the Rings' itself, then 'The Silmarillion' (of course, some of this was the result of the publishing chronology). Follow this with the 'Unfinished Tales' and subsequent 'History of Middle Earth' series. If you find that you like it, then the separately published Turinssaga, aka 'The Children of Hurin' Thalion might not feel so dark, but more tragic (in the Greek literature sense for me).
"No sadder words of tongue or pen are the words: 'Might have been'." -- John Greenleaf Whittier
"Do or do not. There is no try." -- Yoda
On planet Earth, there is a try.
Indeed, in a world and life full of change, the only constant is human nature (A is A, after all :P).
We old vets need to keep in mind those who come after us.