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J.R.R. Tolkien Books

1. J.R.R. Tolkien 2. Christopher Tolkien 3. About Tolkien 4. Other books by Tolkien


1. Books by J.R.R. Tolkien
These books by Tolkien were published during his lifetime.

  • The Hobbit
    In a hole in the ground ...
    The begin of fantasy literature and predecessor of The Lord of the Rings. Essential!
    The fault of The Hobbit is that it was written as a book for children although it shouldn't be one. The author himself later said that it is a mistake to address children directly. Nonetheless it's a brillant book and the entry into a huge, fantastic world.
    Paperback or Hardcover

    The Annotated Hobbit
    The Hobbit with many annotations and pictures from international Hobbit editions.

  • The Lord of the Rings
    Somebody once said: 'The world is divided into people who have read The Lord of the Rings already and people who will read it'.
    The most often sold fictional book. One reason for that is that there is absolutely nothing comparable to it. No other author created for his work such a huge background including languages, history and geography of a complete world of its own.
    Paperback or Hardcover


2. Books by Christopher Tolkien
Written by J.R.R. Tolkien and published after his death by Christopher Tolkien.

  • The Silmarillion
    The old legends of the Elves.
    More difficult to read and more somber than the other books by Tolkien tells The Silmarillion of a much more extensive world and is indispensable for the deeper understanding of the other books. It tells of the history of Elves and Men during the first age and in short of the other ages, whereas the main story stretches over 600 years. Tolkien wrote more than 55 years until his death on this book.
    Paperback or Hardcover

  • Unfinished Tales
    A collection of very different stories from the three ages that all are unfinished somehow. Absolutely recommendable for readers that know already the books above. Most interesting is the 'Narn i Hin Hurin' which implies the knowledge of The Silmarillion, but there are many other interesting stories included.
    Paperback or Hardcover

  • The Children of Hurin
    This book is the long awaited complete story of Turin and Nienor, which before only was told in fragments. Christopher Tolkien has now merged the story as a whole. It is the first complete book by Tolkien since The Silmarillion in 1977. The story is one of the strongest ever written by Tolkien. Tolkien-beginners will find an understandable book here. And even those that already know the Unfinished Tales and The Silmarillion will find much new and a great story finally in one piece.
    The Children of Hurin: Deluxe Edition

  • The Book of Lost Tales 1 & 2 (HoM 1 & 2)
    These two books contain the oldest forms of these legends that later became The Silmarillion.
    Enlightening for people who are interested in the progression of this book, but difficult to read.
    Paperback: Part 1, Part 2
    Hardcover: Part 1, Part 2

  • The Lays of Beleriand (HoM #3)
    The book contains old Poems of the Nolder, particularly 'The Lay of the Children of Hurin' and the 'Lay of Leithian', the longest narrative of Beren and Luthien.
    Paperback or Hardcover

  • The Shaping of Middle-Earth (HoM #4)
    The first shape of the Silmarillion, some interesting maps, annals of Valinor and Beleriand and the unique Ambarkanta (of the shape of the world).
    Paperback or Hardcover

  • The Lost Road (HoM #5)
    Much about Numenor, the next step of The Silmarillion and about names and languages.
    Paperback or Hardcover

  • The History of the Lord of the Rings (The Return of the Shadow, The Treason of Isengard, The War of the Ring, Sauron Defeated; HoM #6-9)
    About the development of the Lord of the Rings.
    These books give an overview of the progression of the book, tell of given up or later changed ideas and much that didn't made it into the final version.
    Volume 9 contains in the single edition additionally the not very interesting Numenor-fragment 'The Notion Club Papers'.

    Paperback single: Volume 6, Volume 7, Volume 8 , Volume 9
    Hardcover single: Volume 6, Volume 7, Volume 8, Volume 9

  • Morgoth's Ring, The War of the Jewels (HoM #10-11)
    The later development of The Silmarillion and many other things that complete it. Morgoth's Ring deals especially with valinorian themes, whereas The War of the Jewels is set after the return of the Noldor.

  • The Peoples of Middle-Earth (HoM #12)
    Actually about the development of the appendices of the Lord of the Rings.
    But what makes this book interesting first of all are the stories that didn't make it into the appendices as well as other, mostly short texts that don't fit anywhere else, like an opening chapter for a story that should become the sequel of The Lord of the Rings. This book is the best of the History of Middle-Earth.


3. Books about Tolkien
Books by other authors about Tolkien and Middle-Earth.

  • Atlas of Middle-Earth (Karen Wynn Fonstad)
    Detailed atlas about all lands from Tolkiens books like Middle-Earth, Numenor and Valinor, made by a professor for cartography.
    The best supplement for Tolkiens books gives a detailed view into the geography of this world. Contains global and regional maps and shows clearly the ways of the persons from The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings.
    Paperback or Hardcover

  • The Complete Guide to Middle-Earth (Robert Foster)
    The Tolkien lexicon with all names from The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion and The Adventures of Tom Bombadil.
    Paperback or Hardcover

  • J.R.R. Tolkien. Artist and Illustrater (Hammond / Scull)
    Paintings from Tolkien himself, to stories of his books and other. A beautiful book with beautiful paintings - the only true paintings of Middle-Earth.
    Paperback or Hardcover

  • J.R.R. Tolkien - A Biographie (Humphrey Carpenter)
    Biography of an English professor that invented a whole world.
    The story of Tolkiens life is told here, from his earliest childhood in South Africa, his experiences as a soldier in World War One and his acting as professor to old age as a world-famous author. The reader can learn much about the progression of his books, especially The Lord of the Rings, about his private life and his profession.

  • J.R.R. Tolkien - Author of the Century (Tom Shippey)
    Deep analysis of Tolkiens works. Shippey himself like Tolkien professor for English literature and language, discusses Tolkiens books under an linguistic aspect, shows origins and parallels to old and ancient literature and poetry and deals with his critics. An interesting and profound book.
    Paperback or Hardcover

  • The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien (Humphrey Carpenter)
    Letters that Tolkien wrote during his whole life, about his books, his work or other, including many about the writing of The Lord of the Rings. This book gives an unique view into the thoughts of the author.
    Paperback or Hardcover

  • The History of the Hobbit (John D. Rateliff)
    About the writing of The Hobbit. I haven't read it yet, but it sounds very interesting.


4. Other books by Tolkien
Books that have nothing to do with Middle-Earth.

  • Roverandom
    A book for children and adults as well, very imaginative and ironic.
    Hero of the book is a dog that annoys a wizard who therefore turns him into a toy. His adventures on his way to find the wizard again takes him to the moon and to the bottom of the sea.
    Paperback or Hardcover

  • The Tolkien Reader
    'The Adventures of Tom Bombadil', a poem book with 16 nice stories from the world of the Hobbits. Very interesting and entertaining.
    'Farmer Giles of Ham', an ironic-satirical fantasy-story from middle age England.
    'On Fairy-stories', where Tolkien discusses this special form of literature.


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