Tolkein Data Dump
I finished The Magical Worlds of "Lord of the Rings" by David Colbert. It is a nice introduction to the background of Tolkein's Middle Earth. It is a middle-school level book, which makes it a bit simplistic at times but there is a nice "further reading" section in the back to dig deeper. Each section begins with a question, like "why do elves and dwarves dislike each other?" or "are the Undying Lands heaven?" and answers it in 2-6 pages, with room for illustrations. The best bits, to me, were about Tolkein's influences. References to Beowulf, the Bible, and various mythologies are more prevalent in the books than i ever knew. I would recommend it if you haven't read any background works on Tolkein and his life but if you have you'll want to skip it. a 4.