The Best J. R. R. Tolkien Books

List Rules
Vote for the J. R. R. Tolkien books you just couldn't put down. If you haven't read a book, don't downvote it.

List of the best J. R. R. Tolkien books, ranked by voracious readers in the Ranker community. With commercial success and critical acclaim, there's no doubt that J. R. R. Tolkien is one of the most popular authors of the last 100 years. Tolkien is known for his Lord of the Rings trilogy, which, along with its prequel The Hobbit, has been made into a wildly successful Hollywood film franchise. If you're a huge fan of his work, then vote on your favorite novels below and make your opinion count. This poll is also a great resource for new fans of J. R. R. Tolkien who want to know which novels they should start reading first. With memorable characters and excellent storytelling, there's no reason why you shouldn't check out his work if you're a big reader.

The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion are included on this list along with many more. What are J. R. R. Tolkien's best novels? Vote on this list and help us definitively answer that question.
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  • The Fellowship of the Ring is the first of three volumes of the epic novel The Lord of the Rings by the English author J. R. R. Tolkien. It takes place in the fictional universe of Middle-earth. It was originally published on July 29, 1954 in the United Kingdom. The volume consists of a prologue titled "Concerning Hobbits, and other matters" followed by Book I and Book II.
    • Author: J. R. R. Tolkien
    • First Published: 1954-07-24
    • Subjects: Epic film, Classics
    • Genres (Book): Biography, Fiction, Autobiography, Reference, Fantasy
    • Original Language: English Language
  • The Hobbit
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    2
    242 votes
    The Hobbit, or There and Back Again is a fantasy novel and children's book by English author J. R. R. Tolkien. It was published on 21 September 1937 to wide critical acclaim, being nominated for the Carnegie Medal and awarded a prize from the New York Herald Tribune for best juvenile fiction. The book remains popular and is recognized as a classic in children's literature. Set in a time "Between the Dawn of Færie and the Dominion of Men", The Hobbit follows the quest of home-loving hobbit Bilbo Baggins to win a share of the treasure guarded by the dragon, Smaug. Bilbo's journey takes him from light-hearted, rural surroundings into more sinister territory. The story is told in the form of an ...more
    • Author: J. R. R. Tolkien
    • First Published: 1937-09-21
    • Subjects: Wizards, Literary, Epic film, Literature, Classics
    • Genres (Book): Children's literature, Fiction, Epic, Fantasy
    • Original Language: English Language
  • The Return of the King is the third and final volume of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, following The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers. The story begins in the kingdom of Gondor, which is soon to be attacked by the Dark Lord Sauron.
    • Author: J. R. R. Tolkien
    • First Published: 1955-10-20
    • Subjects: Literary, Epic film, Literature, Classics
    • Genres (Book): Speculative fiction, Biography, Fiction, Autobiography, Science Fiction
    • Original Language: English Language
  • 4
    191 votes
    The Two Towers is the second volume of J. R. R. Tolkien's high fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings. It is preceded by The Fellowship of the Ring and followed by The Return of the King.
    • Author: J. R. R. Tolkien
    • First Published: 1954-11-11
    • Subjects: Literary, Epic film, Literature, Classics
    • Genres (Book): Speculative fiction, Children's literature, Fiction, Science Fiction, Fantasy
    • Original Language: English Language
  • The Silmarillion
    Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY
    The Silmarillion is a collection of J. R. R. Tolkien's mythopoeic works, edited and published posthumously by his son, Christopher Tolkien, in 1977, with assistance from Guy Gavriel Kay, who later became a noted fantasy writer. The Silmarillion, along with J. R. R. Tolkien's other works, forms an extensive, though incomplete, narrative that describes the universe of Eä in which are found the lands of Valinor, Beleriand, Númenor, and Middle-earth within which The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings take place. After the success of The Hobbit, Tolkien's publisher requested a sequel. Tolkien sent them an early draft of The Silmarillion but through a misunderstanding, the publisher rejected the ...more
    • Author: J. R. R. Tolkien
    • First Published: 1977
    • Genres (Book): Speculative fiction, Fantasy
    • Original Language: English Language
  • The Children of Húrin
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Fair use
    The Children of Húrin is an epic fantasy novel which forms the completion of a tale by J. R. R. Tolkien. He wrote the original version of the story in the late 1910s, revised it several times later, but did not complete it before his death in 1973. His son, Christopher Tolkien, edited the manuscripts to form a consistent narrative, and published it in 2007 as an independent work.
    • Author: J. R. R. Tolkien
    • First Published: 2007-04-16
    • Genres (Book): Fiction, Fantasy, High fantasy
    • Original Language: English Language