Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

Ok, I admit it: now that LoTR has penetrated the popular consciousness, it's not as special to me as it once was. Nevertheless, this remains the work that defined all modern fantasy and is still the one to beat. Tolkien's blend of Celtic, Norse, Anglo-Saxon, and Christian mythology is, from a certain perspective, the most impressive and perhaps important work of literature ever created.

Although the Hobbit is often left out of this series, I think it is a great intro volume and suggest reading them in chronological order: the Hobbit, Fellowship of the Ring, the Two Towers, and Return of the King.

Rating: 4 of 5
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Other books by J.R.R. Tolkien:
Category Title Author Rating Description
Fantasy The Silmarillion J.R.R. Tolkien
This is Tolkien's true masterwork, to my mind, but it should not be read until after you've completed Lord of the Rings.