Most of us know about J. R. R. Tolkien from his book THE HOBBIT and his LORD OF THE RINGS Trilogy, but he wrote more than 30 thirty books! Aside from writing fantasy-fiction, he also was a poet, translator, medievalist, and professor.
In 2003, the Tolkien Society chose March 25 as Tolkien Reading Day to encourage the reading of J.R.R. Tolkien’s work, as well as to inspire readers to learn more about the author himself. The day matches the fall of Sauron in Tolkien’s THE LORD OF THE RINGS.
Celebrate it by reading one of the books by or about Tolkien in our collection:
History of Middle Earth Series
BOOK OF LOST TALES: PART I (DB 20827)
Stories the author wrote sixty to seventy years ago are now provided with commentary by his son Christopher. In these tales the traveler Eriol comes to the Lonely Island, Tol Eressea, and is offered hospitality by its elven folk. From them he learns of the gods called Valar, how the world was created, and the early history of the Eldar themselves. 1984.
BOOK OF LOST TALES: PART 2, THE HISTORY OF MIDDLE-EARTH (DB 48494)
Versions of six legends and myths invented by Tolkien as background for his early writing and reworked for later publications. His son has edited the manuscripts and added commentary. Sequel to “THE BOOK OF LOST TALES, PART 1.” 1986.
Stand Alone Tales of Middle Earth
BEREN AND LUTHIEN (DB 88461)
The love story of Beren, a human man, and Luthien, an elf maiden. Set during the First Age of Middle-earth, Luthien’s father’s consent to the couple’s marriage is contingent on Beren surviving a dangerous quest to retrieve the Silmaril jewel. This story was restored from Tolkien’s manuscripts by his son. 2017.
FALL OF GONDOLIN (DB 92472, BR 22395, LB 11427)
Tuor is sent to Gondolin by the god Ulmo, only to fall in love with the elf king’s daughter, Idril. Their bliss is shattered when the evil Morgoth sends an army to destroy Gondolin. This previously unpublished Middle-earth tale was edited by the author’s son Christopher. Bestseller. 2018.
SILMARILLION (DB 60367, BR 11510)
Collection of imaginative tales and legends, and an account of the Elder Days, of the First Age of the World. Morgoth, the first Dark Lord, dwells in Middle-earth, and the High Elves make war upon him for the recovery of the Silmarils. Bestseller, 1977.
TALE OF THE CHILDREN OF HURIN: NARN I CHN HURIN (DB 64650, BR 17216)
A tale of the Elder Days of Middle-earth, variations of which appeared in UNFINISHED TALES (DB 65877, BR 17613) and THE SILMARILLION (DB 60367, BR 11510). Describes the fates of Hurin–cursed lord of Dorlomin — and his children Turin and Ninor. Restored, edited, and introduced by the author’s son, Christopher Tolkien. Bestseller. 2007. en español: DB 62999
UNFINISHED TALES: OF NUMENOR AND MIDDLE-EARTH (DB 65877, BR 17615)
Collection of tales and essays, published after the author’s death, that further explore the environment and inhabitants of Tolkien’s special world. It provides a rare glimpse of how he developed his fantasy world over the years. Bestseller. 1980.
Lord of the Rings Series
HOBBIT: OR, THERE AND BACK AGAIN (DB 48978, BR 11595, LB 04884)
The wandering wizard Gandalf recruits Bilbo Baggins, a Hobbit, to be the fourteenth member of an expedition. Hobbits prefer comfort to adventures, but Bilbo joins the quest and encounters many perils including a dragon. For Grades six through nine and older readers. en español: DB 60980; en français: DBG 09502; на русском: DBF 03791
FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING: BEING THE FIRST PART OF THE LORD OF THE RINGS (DB 47486, BR 09745, LB 04282)
In this first volume of The Lord of the Rings, Frodo, a home-loving hobbit, inherits the magic ring that his Uncle Bilbo brought back from his adventures in THE HOBBIT (RC 11497). To protect the ring from the powers of darkness, Frodo must make a long, dangerous journey. Prequel to THE TWO TOWERS (DB 47487). For Grades six through nine and older readers. en español: DB 61051
TWO TOWERS: BEING THE SECOND PART OF THE LORD OF THE RINGS (DB 47487, BR 09747, LB 04273)
In this second volume of the Lord of the Rings, the now-separated companions of the Ring meet Saruman the wizard, cross the Dead Marshes, and prepare for the Great War in which the power of the Ring will be undone. Sequel to the Fellowship of the Ring. For Grades six through nine and older readers. en español: DB 61042
RETURN OF THE KING: BEING THE THIRD PART OF THE LORD OF THE RINGS (DB 47488, BR 09749, LB 04274)
In this third volume of the Ring trilogy, Frodo and Sam bear the Ring to Mount Doom. The War of the Ring, fought between the forces for good and the Dark Lord of evil, is ended. Sequel to THE TWO TOWERS. For Grades six through nine and older readers.
en español: DB 62979
Stand Alone Novel
ROVERANDOM (DB 47216, BR 11808)
A young and foolish dog is turned into a toy after biting a sorcerer. As a plaything, Roverandom is owned by a little boy named Two. After many adventures, Roverandom manages to be turned back into a real dog. Grades six through nine. 1998.
Nonfiction by Tolkien
LEGEND OF SIGURD AND GUDRUN (DB 71835, BR 18640)
A retelling in English narrative verse of the epic Norse tales about Sigurd the Volsung and the fate of Gudrun’s family, the Niflungs. First publication, with an introduction and commentary by Christopher Tolkien, his father’s literary executor. 2009.
LETTERS FROM FATHER CHRISTMAS (DB 63808)
A collection of Christmas letters penned by J.R.R. Tolkien and signed as Father Christmas that were sent to Tolkien’s children from 1920-1943. Each recapped activities of the preceding year at the North Pole, including reindeer running amok and the North Polar Bear breaking the moon into four pieces. 2004.
LETTERS OF J.R.R. TOLKIEN (DB 17875)
Collection of letters in which the famous author of LORD OF THE RINGS writes about his personal and professional life to family, friends, colleagues, and fans. The letters, arranged chronologically, cover the period of Tolkein’s life from 1914 to 1973.
SIR GAWAIN AND THE GREEN KNIGHT, PEARL, AND SIR ORFEO (DB 56740, BR 15685)
Three medieval poems from the age of Arthurian legend, translated into modern English by the author of THE HOBBIT (RC 48978, BR 11595) and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. 1975.
Nonfiction About Tolkien
FELLOWSHIP: THE LITERARY LIVES OF THE INKLINGS; J.R.R. TOLKIEN, C.S. LEWIS, OWEN BARFIELD, AND CHARLES WILLIAMS by Philip Zaleski (DB 82527)
For three decades, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and their closest associates (namely, Owen Barfield and Charles Williams) formed the Inklings, a weekly literary club. An accounting of the Inklings’ lives and work is provided, along with the ideas, affections, and vexations that drove the group’s members. 2015.
INKLINGS: C.S. LEWIS, J.R.R. TOLKIEN, CHARLES WILLIAMS, AND THEIR FRIENDS by Humphrey Carpenter (DB 105865)
The author discusses the group of friends called the Inklings, which was founded during the 1930s at Oxford and included renowned authors C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien. The author, who also attended Oxford at the time, reconstructs the group’s meetings and friendships. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 1978.
INVENTING THE MIDDLE AGES: THE LIVES, WORKS, AND IDEAS OF THE GREAT MEDIEVALISTS OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY by Norman F. Cantor (DB 36850)
The medievalist, professor, and author analyzes twentieth-century notions of what the Middle Ages were like and profiles the lives and works of the men who formed modern ideas of that period. Among those represented are C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Ernst Kantorowicz, Marc Bloch, David Knowles, Joseph Strayer, Frederic Maitland, and Erwin Panofsky.
TOLKIEN: A BIOGRAPHY by Humphrey Carpenter (DB 52637)
Traces Tolkien’s life from early childhood in South Africa through the lonely period that followed the deaths of both parents and ended with his marriage. Relates his years as a distinguished Oxford professor and his acclaim as the author of the Hobbit series.
MYTH MAKER: J.R.R. TOLKIEN by Anne E. Neimark (DB 47919)
A brief biography of the creator of THE HOBBIT (DB 11497, BR 11595). Presents in narrative form Tolkien’s early childhood in South Africa, his move to England, becoming an orphan, and the importance of religion and education in his development. Discusses his marriage, his career as a professor, and the mythological world he created. For grades five through eight and older readers.