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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    316

    Book suggestions?

    Here are the books I currently own:

    The Hobbit
    LotR trilogy
    The Silmarillion

    That's only 5 books, but I'm aware that there are many other works/books that pertain to Middle Earth. I've heard good things about "Unfinished Tales," and I will definitely be getting that book very soon. There are 167 results for J. R. R. Tolkien on Amazon.com, but it will take a long time to skim through that long list, reading reviews and book descriptions. So I'm asking you fellow Tolkien fans for some book suggestions! Besides the list I gave up top, what other books would you recommend to a fellow Tolkien fan?

    (sorry if I'm rehashing an old thread. I searched and couldn't find anything)

  2. #2
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    Nov 2011
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    Unfinished Tales is the way to go, and then Children of Húrin. Note that a very important portion of the latter's content is in UT, but with heavy editorial notes; in CoH you'll enjoy the story in its entirety, all editorial work buried in the background as in Silmarillion.

    Then it will be time to delve into the world of Tolkien nerdistica and tackle the volumes of the History of Middle-earth. I recommend reading that huge collection piecemeal and here's my (totally personal) suggestion as to dividing it:

    • The Book of Lost Tales 1 & 2 (vol. 1, 2)
    • The Lays of Beleriand (vol. 3)
    • The Shaping of Middle-earth & The Lost Road and Other Writings (vol. 4, 5)
    • The Return of the Shadow & The Treason of Isengard & The War of the Ring & Sauron Defeated (vol. 6, 7, 8, 9; collectively titled as History of the Lord of the Rings)
    • Morgoth's Ring & The War of the Jewels (vol. 10, 11)
    • The Peoples of Middle-earth (vol. 12)

    The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, Children of Húrin and the whole History of Middle-earth series were edited posthumously by Christopher Tolkien. In addition to the above you may consider getting History of the Hobbit by John Rateliff.

    Oh, The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien is also something Tolkien lore nerds should keep handy
    Kibilturg; Watchers of Elendil (Landroval) & Tarciryan Knights (Crickhollow)
    RIP Imladris

  3. #3
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    Jun 2011
    Location
    Manchester, UK
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    464
    The tale of Tom Bombadil and other stories.

    But be advised that it is a poetry collection, rather than a book per se.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    316
    Quote Originally Posted by Urwendil View Post

    Unfinished Tales is the way to go, and then Children of Húrin. Note that a very important portion of the latter's content is in UT, but with heavy editorial notes; in CoH you'll enjoy the story in its entirety, all editorial work buried in the background as in Silmarillion.

    Then it will be time to delve into the world of Tolkien nerdistica and tackle the volumes of the History of Middle-earth. I recommend reading that huge collection piecemeal and here's my (totally personal) suggestion as to dividing it:

    • The Book of Lost Tales 1 & 2 (vol. 1, 2)
    • The Lays of Beleriand (vol. 3)
    • The Shaping of Middle-earth & The Lost Road and Other Writings (vol. 4, 5)
    • The Return of the Shadow & The Treason of Isengard & The War of the Ring & Sauron Defeated (vol. 6, 7, 8, 9; collectively titled as History of the Lord of the Rings)
    • Morgoth's Ring & The War of the Jewels (vol. 10, 11)
    • The Peoples of Middle-earth (vol. 12)

    The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, Children of Húrin and the whole History of Middle-earth series were edited posthumously by Christopher Tolkien. In addition to the above you may consider getting History of the Hobbit by John Rateliff.

    Oh, The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien is also something Tolkien lore nerds should keep handy
    Wow, there sure are many other books I need to consider which is great! Thanks for your in-depth post containing all the titles of each one of the volumes of the History of Middle Earth series.

    Here's another question that I'm beginning to consider greatly: In what order would you recommend I read some of these books? Right now I have read The Hobbit and I'm currently about halfway through The Fellowship of the Ring (I'm at the chapter "A Knife in the Dark"). My current plan is to wrap up LotR, then move on to The Silmarillion, and then move on to Unfinished Tales. Is this a good direction to go in? Or should I consider reading certain volumes of the History of Middle Earth in between some of those books? Or should I just go the route that I outlined and then move on to Vol. 1 of the History of Middle Earth and read them in order of the volume number (Vol. 1, then 2, then 3, etc.)?

  5. #5
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    Glad to be of help

    Your current order sounds good. Hobbit, LotR, Silmarillion; then you may choose to read Children of Húrin before Unfinished Tales or after that. But the History would better come last. Of course that's totally my personal opinion.
    Kibilturg; Watchers of Elendil (Landroval) & Tarciryan Knights (Crickhollow)
    RIP Imladris

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    OK great, I'll just continue on in my current direction, thanks.

  7. #7
    Before moving onto the Children of Hurin, I would suggest after finishing The Silmarillion that you go back and re-read The Hobbit, LOTR and Silmarillion again. First, it will give you a better base from which to understand the less polished writings, and secondly, having read the Silmarillion you gain a better understanding of the LOTR and Hobbit, now having a background and history for their settings. Definately have the good, solid base of having read Hobbit, LOTR and Silmarillion a couple times before hitting the other books.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    316
    Quote Originally Posted by Khorgrim View Post
    Before moving onto the Children of Hurin, I would suggest after finishing The Silmarillion that you go back and re-read The Hobbit, LOTR and Silmarillion again. First, it will give you a better base from which to understand the less polished writings, and secondly, having read the Silmarillion you gain a better understanding of the LOTR and Hobbit, now having a background and history for their settings. Definately have the good, solid base of having read Hobbit, LOTR and Silmarillion a couple times before hitting the other books.
    Thanks for the tips. I definitely plan on re-reading The Hobbit sometime soon (before the next hobbit film comes out) but right now I'm in the middle of the LotR which I'm enjoying very much right now.

    I've recently come across a podcast (The Tolkien Professor) which is excellent. There's lectures on individual chapters of Tolkien's works, which I've begun to listen to after I have read the chapters in question. So far the lectures (they're all free on iTunes, just search for "The Tolkien Professor" and download the episodes) have helped me focus a lot more of the many themes of the books, as well as helped me gain an overall understanding and appreciation for the books as a whole. It's quite fun for me, and once I finish the LotR and move on to The Silmarillion, I already expect that these podcasts will come in very handily because I've heard from many other people so far that The Silmarillion is the most complicated reads of Tolkien's books.

 

 

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