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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Question/Request: Is there a good book list/recommendation of Tolkien's works?

Lurker in the Mirk
Valinor


Jun 1 2014, 4:07am

Post #1 of 23 (302 views)
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Question/Request: Is there a good book list/recommendation of Tolkien's works? Can't Post

I've got LotR, TH, Silmarillon, and Unfinished Tales, and I'm looking for a definitive list + reading guide review on the recommendations to further my ME education Smile Particular interest on references and materials that focus on timeline and geography. Thanks.


Fan of both books and movies. Oh, and it seems I have severely misnamed myself... for the moment.

Thranduil Appreciation: I, II, III, IV, V

"BoFA"= The Battle || "BotFA"/"tBofTA" = The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies


Laineth
Rivendell

Jun 1 2014, 4:27am

Post #2 of 23 (187 views)
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Ask Middle Earth... [In reply to] Can't Post

is a great blog in general. Here and here are two good starter posts. This tag has a lot of topic-specific posts.

I hope this helps! Smile


IdrilLalaith
Rivendell


Jun 1 2014, 5:04am

Post #3 of 23 (178 views)
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If you're interesting in geography [In reply to] Can't Post

I highly recommend The Atlas of Middle-earth (http://www.amazon.com/...olkiens+middle+earth). It's super thorough and I found it very helpful. It spans all three ages, so that's good too.

TolkienBlog.com


malickfan
Gondor


Jun 1 2014, 11:16am

Post #4 of 23 (199 views)
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You might find these links useful [In reply to] Can't Post

As an overview for what to read:

http://www.reddit.com/...ng_for_tolkien_fans/

(This is from late 2012 I think)

http://www.tolkiensociety.org/author/faq/#order

As for general reference works, I have heard good things about both of these

http://www.amazon.co.uk/...Foster/dp/0007169426

This comes with Christopher Tolkien's personal recommendation

http://www.amazon.co.uk/...-Tyler/dp/0330411659


The Atlas of Middle Earth (A Revised Edition was published in 2005),

http://www.amazon.co.uk/...onstad/dp/0618126996

The Annotated Hobbit (Revised Edition 2002/3)

http://www.amazon.co.uk/...the+annotated+hobbit

The Lord Of The Rings: A Readers Companion

http://www.amazon.co.uk/...reader%27s+companion

(This is a newly revised and corrected edition, to be published along with thr 60th Anniversary Edition of LOTR, I'm not sure if older editions are still in print)

The History Of The Hobbit, is a fascinating, VERY in depth book, and a great companion to The Annotated Hobbit;

http://tolkiengateway.net/...istory_of_The_Hobbit

Are all fascinating books, packed with interesting background info, commentary, notes on the text, essays, timelines rare writings by Tolkien, detailed maps etc. I'm not sure if all of the books I've listed are still in print or not , but I'm pretty sure you can pick up used copies online quite cheap (I don't read E books though).

Hope that helped


Smile








Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Jun 1 2014, 2:45pm

Post #5 of 23 (171 views)
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A particular recommendation: The Tolkien Reader [In reply to] Can't Post

SInce you have already received several good replies, I will just recommend locating a copy of The Tolkien Reader (1966; Ballantine). With an introduction by Peter S. Beagle, The Tolkien Reader contains the following short works:

- The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth Beorhthelm's Son
- Tree and Leaf
- Farmer Giles of Ham
- The Adventures of Tom Bombadil.

The last is a collection of poems, several of which were attributed to Bilbo Baggins, Frodo or Samwise Gamgee. You will probably also want to track down a copy of Tolkien's novella Smith of Wootten Major (1967) although the work is not directly connected to the legendarium of Middle-earth.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring


Lurker in the Mirk
Valinor


Jun 2 2014, 3:09am

Post #6 of 23 (133 views)
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Laineth: Thanks! [In reply to] Can't Post

I knew of that tumblr, but have not perused it enough apparently. Smile


Fan of both books and movies. Oh, and it seems I have severely misnamed myself... for the moment.

Thranduil Appreciation: I, II, III, IV, V

"BoFA"= The Battle || "BotFA"/"tBofTA" = The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies


Lurker in the Mirk
Valinor


Jun 2 2014, 3:11am

Post #7 of 23 (136 views)
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IdrilLalaith: lovely [In reply to] Can't Post

I have heard of this, that though it is not a Tolkien, nor Tolkien estate sanctioned, it is pretty faithful and has good reviews, and you have given another reason to get it.


Fan of both books and movies. Oh, and it seems I have severely misnamed myself... for the moment.

Thranduil Appreciation: I, II, III, IV, V

"BoFA"= The Battle || "BotFA"/"tBofTA" = The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies


Lurker in the Mirk
Valinor


Jun 2 2014, 3:13am

Post #8 of 23 (139 views)
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Very useful indeed... [In reply to] Can't Post

Malickfan. Thanks. I'm going to compile your recs and the ones in Laineth's post, and go from there. Looks like it's going to be a long shopping list.


Fan of both books and movies. Oh, and it seems I have severely misnamed myself... for the moment.

Thranduil Appreciation: I, II, III, IV, V

"BoFA"= The Battle || "BotFA"/"tBofTA" = The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies


Lurker in the Mirk
Valinor


Jun 2 2014, 3:17am

Post #9 of 23 (135 views)
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Arigatou, Sempai [In reply to] Can't Post

For the writeup as well as rec. Since it's an goldie oldie, I'm not sure I can find a physical copy, but I will probably look in places like the Project Gutenberg site and hope for the best!

I'll come back here and report on the results of my book gathering expedition. Smile


Fan of both books and movies. Oh, and it seems I have severely misnamed myself... for the moment.

Thranduil Appreciation: I, II, III, IV, V

"BoFA"= The Battle || "BotFA"/"tBofTA" = The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies


squire
Valinor


Jun 2 2014, 11:41am

Post #10 of 23 (135 views)
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'The Tolkien Reader' is still in print [In reply to] Can't Post

It's a paperback by Del Rey (Ballantine). You can get it at any online bookseller or any large bookstore with a good Tolkien selection.

I second the recommendation, too. It's a great opportunity to poke around in the further corners of Tolkien's imagination, and greatly enriches anyone's readings of The Lord of the Rings and (to a lesser extent) The Silmarillion.

I've never learned to love Smith of Wootton Major, but it does illustrate a bit of where Tolkien's fairy-tale sensibilities lay at the end of his writing career. It too is in paperback reprint by the same house as above - all you have to do is not mind owning two anthologies with 'Farmer Giles of Ham' in them, as that charming piece was paired with 'Smith' to fill out the second volume but also was always part of 'The Tolkien Reader'.



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Footeramas: The 3rd & 4th TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion and NOW the 1st BotR Discussion too! and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Jun 2 2014, 2:19pm

Post #11 of 23 (119 views)
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Thanx for the clarification, squire! // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring


malickfan
Gondor


Jun 2 2014, 6:54pm

Post #12 of 23 (113 views)
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Even more reccomendations and links: [In reply to] Can't Post

Just a thought, you could try tracking down a copy of 'Tales from the Perilous Realm' instead of the Tolkien Reader.

This is a more recent compilation of Tolkien's shorter works (published 2008 by Harper Collins-Tolkien's official publishers in the UK and Canada), containing Roverandom, Farmer Giles of Ham, Smith of Wooton Major, The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, Leaf by Niggle and Tolkien's essay 'On Fairy Stories', so it might be easier to get hold of than the Tolkien Reader. Alan Lee also contributed some wonderful drawings to illustrate the works.


It is also worth noting that most of the above have been released in separate expanded/annotated 'special editions', contain commentary, early or alternate drafts, background notes and biographical information on the stories etc (I'm not sure how easy these are to get hold of outside the UK, not all are still in print, it might be wise to keep a note of the ISBN's if you are interested-you don't want to buy the wrong edition)


http://www.amazon.co.uk/...&keywords=roverandom


http://www.amazon.co.uk/...=farmer+giles+of+ham



http://www.amazon.co.uk/...wooton+major+flieger

-Obviously this is out of print (which explains the astronomical price) but a Smith of Wooton Major 'Pocket Hardback' is scheduled to be released in March 2015, no idea if this is a reprint or merely the story itself:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/...1-5&keywords=tolkien


http://www.amazon.co.uk/...airy+stories+tolkien

(This was originally released in a hardback edition a few years ago, which is currently out of print as far as I'm aware, it might be cheaper to look for a used copy than wait for the paperback, if you are interested)

The Adventures of Tom Bombadil is to be released in a Expanded, Annotated edition on October 9th this year:


http://www.amazon.co.uk/...-23&keywords=tolkien


Two gigantic reference works about Tolkien and his writings, I haven't read either myself but I've heard good things about the former:


http://www.amazon.co.uk/...nology/dp/0007169728


http://www.amazon.co.uk/...tolkien+encyclopedia

There's also several books containing artwork by or about Tolkien and his works (though again I haven't read any of these)

http://www.tolkienlibrary.com/tolkienart.htm

(click on the photos for separate product descriptions)

http://www.amazon.co.uk/...he+art+of+the+hobbit


Finally(!) a few websites about Tolkien, his books, collecting etc that might be useful as a reference point:

http://tolkiengateway.net/...gory:Scholarly_books

(An extremely long list of critical/biographical books on Tolkien and his works, very useful as a reference point)

http://tolkiengateway.net/...gs_by_J.R.R._Tolkien

(I have found Tolkien Gateway to be very useful, but it is a wiki, so it may not be 100% accurate)

http://www.tolkienbooks.net/

http://www.tolkienlibrary.com/collecting.php

Do read the reviews if you can, particularly on scholarly or biographical books, praise and criticism ore both very subjective, so it's best to to get as many opinions as possible before you make any decisions[/b[

Hope that helped



Smile








malickfan
Gondor


Jun 2 2014, 7:16pm

Post #13 of 23 (120 views)
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Even more recommendations and links for you Lurker (ignore my earlier post I missed the edit window): [In reply to] Can't Post

Just a thought, you could try tracking down a copy of 'Tales from the Perilous Realm' instead of the Tolkien Reader:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/...m+the+perilous+realm

This is a more recent compilation of Tolkien's shorter works (published 2008 by Harper Collins-Tolkien's official publishers in the UK and Canada), containing Roverandom, Farmer Giles of Ham, Smith of Wooton Major, The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, Leaf by Niggle and Tolkien's essay 'On Fairy Stories', so it might be easier to get hold of than the Tolkien Reader. Alan Lee also contributed some wonderful drawings to illustrate the works.


It is also worth noting that most of the above have been released in separate expanded/annotated 'special editions', contain commentary, early or alternate drafts, background notes and biographical information on the stories etc (I'm not sure how easy these are to get hold of outside the UK, not all are still in print, it might be wise to keep a note of the ISBN's if you are interested-you don't want to buy the wrong edition)


http://www.amazon.co.uk/...&keywords=roverandom


http://www.amazon.co.uk/...=farmer+giles+of+ham



http://www.amazon.co.uk/...wooton+major+flieger

-Obviously this is out of print (which explains the astronomical price) but a Smith of Wooton Major 'Pocket Hardback' is scheduled to be released in March 2015, no idea if this is a reprint or merely the story itself:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/...1-5&keywords=tolkien


http://www.amazon.co.uk/...airy+stories+tolkien

(This was originally released in a hardback edition a few years ago, which is currently out of print as far as I'm aware, it might be cheaper to look for a used copy than wait for the paperback, if you are interested)

The Adventures of Tom Bombadil is to be released in a Expanded, Annotated edition on October 9th this year:


http://www.amazon.co.uk/...-23&keywords=tolkien


Two gigantic reference works about Tolkien and his writings, I haven't read either myself but I've heard good things about the former:


http://www.amazon.co.uk/...nology/dp/0007169728


http://www.amazon.co.uk/...tolkien+encyclopedia

There's also several books containing artwork by or about Tolkien and his works (though again I haven't read any of these)

http://www.tolkienlibrary.com/tolkienart.htm

(click on the photos for separate product descriptions)

http://www.amazon.co.uk/...he+art+of+the+hobbit


Finally(!) a few websites about Tolkien, his books, collecting etc that might be useful as a reference point:

http://tolkiengateway.net/...gory:Scholarly_books

(An extremely long list of critical/biographical books on Tolkien and his works, very useful as a reference point)

http://tolkiengateway.net/...gs_by_J.R.R._Tolkien


(I have found Tolkien Gateway to be very useful, but it is a wiki, so it may not be 100% accurate)

http://www.tolkienbooks.net/

http://www.tolkienlibrary.com/


http://www.tolkiensociety.co.uk/

There are a number of Tolkien Fanzines or Scholarly Journals in circulation, such as 'Tolkien Studies', 'Mythlore', 'Beyond Bree' and 'Amon Hen', but I know almost nothing about them, so I can't offer any opinions or further information, it might be an areas you could explore further:

http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Category:Journals


Do read reviews if you can, particularly on scholarly or biographical books, praise and criticism are both very subjective, so it's best to to get as many opinions as possible before you make any decisions, there is a frankly bewildering amount of Tolkien authored/related books on the market, many of which can be pretty pricey new.

Hope that helped (and didn't bore you)!

And no, I don't work for Tolkien's publishers...



Smile








geordie
Tol Eressea

Jun 2 2014, 8:02pm

Post #14 of 23 (128 views)
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Not that one! :-) [In reply to] Can't Post

- Christopher Tolkien uses Robert Foster's book 'The Complete Guide to Middle-earth'.

.


IdrilLalaith
Rivendell


Jun 3 2014, 2:04am

Post #15 of 23 (97 views)
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I haven't cracked it open in a while [In reply to] Can't Post

But one of the things I liked most about it was how thorough it is. There are even maps for cities and homes and such. I think there are some pretty detailed maps about where the Fellowship and other characters journeyed. It's great for reference when you're writing.

TolkienBlog.com


IdrilLalaith
Rivendell


Jun 3 2014, 2:09am

Post #16 of 23 (100 views)
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Complete Guide to Middle-earth [In reply to] Can't Post

is awesome. It was my best friend when I was first getting into the Silmarillion and couldn't remember the difference between Finarfin and Fingon! It is impressive that Christopher Tolkien recommends (and even references) it.

The only downside is that it covers only The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion. That's the closest thing we have to canon, so it makes sense. Just keep in mind that there's a ton more to learn besides what Foster (so thoroughly) covers. (Note: This is true in my edition, which I've had for over a decade. I have no idea if there are newer editions that cover more.)

TolkienBlog.com


Lurker in the Mirk
Valinor


Jun 3 2014, 6:49am

Post #17 of 23 (87 views)
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Cool, thanks, squire! [In reply to] Can't Post

Got to plan this. Books here are expensive, and shipping costs of getting stuff online can be killer. Unimpressed But I'll work it out.


Fan of both books and movies. Oh, and it seems I have severely misnamed myself... for the moment.

Thranduil Appreciation: I, II, III, IV, V

"BoFA"= The Battle || "BotFA"/"tBofTA" = The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies


Lurker in the Mirk
Valinor


Jun 3 2014, 6:51am

Post #18 of 23 (91 views)
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Thank you very much, malickfan. [In reply to] Can't Post

That is a very conmprehensive list. I will have to sit down and work my way through and figure out a procurement plan. Smile


Fan of both books and movies. Oh, and it seems I have severely misnamed myself... for the moment.

Thranduil Appreciation: I, II, III, IV, V

"BoFA"= The Battle || "BotFA"/"tBofTA" = The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies


malickfan
Gondor


Jun 3 2014, 10:38am

Post #19 of 23 (93 views)
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Whoops! [In reply to] Can't Post

Honest mistake (personally I actually prefer JEA Taylor's book, though I've only ever read the '91 edition of Foster's book)

What would we do without you Geordie...








(This post was edited by malickfan on Jun 3 2014, 10:39am)


malickfan
Gondor


Jun 3 2014, 11:08am

Post #20 of 23 (84 views)
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My Pleasure... [In reply to] Can't Post

Though a better procurement plan might be to check your local library first, you never know what you might find (my local library still has copies of LOTR and Foster's book dating back to the 70's, not to mention a surprisingly large number of reference works on Tolkien...). It is also worth noting sveral websites offer print on demand services if you are after certain editions of Tolkien's works.

One last thing (I promise!)you might like to note, the History of Middle Earth books, if you are interested (here are some overviews)

http://www.greenmanreview.com/...ok_tolkien_home.html

http://www.forodrim.org/daeron/md_hm.html


can be very hard to get hold of (and get into), and rather expensive, I have these editions (mainly due to convenience):

http://www.amazon.co.uk/...tory+of+middle+earth

http://www.amazon.co.uk/...ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_y

http://www.amazon.co.uk/...ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_y

I assume you aren't based in the UK, so I wouldn't necessarily recommend shipping such heavy books internationally, infact it's probably alot cheaper to try and track down copies of the individual volumes from another website such Abebooks.

But I would highly recommend borrowing a volume or two before you decide to purchase anything-they are very, very complex books, and only for very dedicated readers.








geordie
Tol Eressea

Jun 3 2014, 9:05pm

Post #21 of 23 (78 views)
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What would you do without me? you ask.. [In reply to] Can't Post

Dunno. You can't do a damn thing with me!

Wink


(This post was edited by geordie on Jun 3 2014, 9:06pm)


Lurker in the Mirk
Valinor


Jun 4 2014, 10:32am

Post #22 of 23 (60 views)
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The local library would be a great idea elsewhere [In reply to] Can't Post

The ones here stock titles and has a great search dbase for them. The problem is, the titles I'd like to check out are almost always out. You know they're there, but they never explain why they keep lingering in the shadows Tongue


Fan of both books and movies. Oh, and it seems I have severely misnamed myself... for the moment.

Thranduil Appreciation: I, II, III, IV, V

"BoFA"= The Battle || "BotFA"/"tBofTA" = The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies


Elthir
Gondor

Jun 4 2014, 12:13pm

Post #23 of 23 (104 views)
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Foster versus Tyler [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Honest mistake (personally I actually prefer JEA Taylor's book, though I've only ever read the '91 edition of Foster's book)



While not perfect, in my opinion Foster outshines Tyler here.

Plus I believe Tyler later attempted to include Unfinished Tales, which in my opinion is a mistake. David Bratman once put this review up at Amazon: 'Third edition of an encyclopedia whose first two, pre- and post-Silmarillion, versions have been floating around for years. A reliable source but a very poor second choice to Robert Foster's Complete Guide to Middle-earth (less detail, more omissions, few dates, hardly any page references), Tyler's tome now includes entries from Unfinished Tales, 24 years after that book was published. It ignores almost everything else since then, whether it fits into the (illusory) "final" legendarium or not. Tyler claims he's dropped his pretence that Middle-earth is real, but entries like that for Orcs, identifying them as the true origin of mythic goblins, show that he hasn't. This new edition is only worth having if a copy drops into your lap.'

Okay, that might be a bit harsh Wink

But I do think employing Unfinished Tales only muddies the waters, as to my mind...

A) one either publishes a book about the 'internal' World of Middle-earth [Foster, in my opinion]...

B) or one publishes a book that includes obvious references to both internal text and tales, and external variations [Hammond and Scull]

To create B is arguably more difficult, although Hammond and Scull are true scholars at being purely descriptive -- not letting opinion 'seep' into their descriptions and explanations, and being clear when they are describing opinion.

One might argue that Foster, since he primarily employs only those works which were published by Tolkien himself, but plus the constructed Silmarillion, is not truly being internal* -- but my response to that is: if one wants to include Silmarillion material in any significant amount, there is no other way to do it since there is no finished, published Silmarillion from Tolkien himself.

That is, one can hardly present the internal world of the First Age without making personal choices -- even Christopher Tolkien [with Guy Kay] has done so, with respect to the constructed version; but whether one agrees or disagrees with those choices, it is the only 'shared internal version' the public has [although this will also include certain details that were invented by CJRT and Guy Kay, most notably with regard to the Fall of Doriath].

Otherwise, anyone creating a guide book for 'everyone' will arguably present a different internal world of the First Age, according to what the author decides is best, or thinks Tolkien was ultimately headed about a given matter, and so on.

_________

*Internal: the tales as they are found in the imagined legendarium, or 'The Red Book'. For example, Foster will not indulge in the various problematic versions of the history of Galadriel and Celeborn, but will present what is known from the works published only by JRR Tolkien himself.

External: the tales as they are found in the Primary World -- which includes the confusing history of Galadriel and Celeborn set out in Unfinished Tales, to employ the same example.

Well, that's what I mean here by these terms anyway Smile


(This post was edited by Elthir on Jun 4 2014, 12:22pm)

 
 

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