The Complete Guide To Middle-Earth...Robert Foster...Del Rey
The Complete Guide To Middle-Earth...Robert Foster...George Allen & Unwin
The Tolkien Companion...J. E. A. Tyler...Avon
The Mythology Of Middle-Earth...Ruth S. Noel...Houghton Mifflin Company
The Languages Of Tolkien's Middle-Earth...Ruth S. Noel...Houghton Mifflin Company
Treasures From The Misty Mountains...James H. Gillam...Collector's Guide Publishing
The J. R. R. Tolkien Handbook...Colin Duriez...Baker Books
The J. R. R. Tolkien Companion And Guide: Reader's Guide...Christina Scull & Wayne G. Hammond...Houghton Mifflin
The J. R. R. Tolkien Companion And Guide: Chronology...Christina Scull & Wayne G. Hammond...Houghton Mifflin
A Guide To Middle-Earth was one of the first books I ever ordered through the mail. I remember it came in a padded paper sleeve. I carried it around with me through middle school; it still has small depressions in the cover from where my binder pressed into it. The first hobbits I ever drew were based on the Tim Kirk picture on the front, so all my hobbits for a while were views of their backs. This was the book that let me explain what the word dwimmerlaik meant to my drama teacher Mr. Fleming, who was reading the LOTR at the same time as I was. The Complete Guide came out after the publication of The Silmarillion.
The Tolkien Companion covers much of the same ground, but its entries are more in essay form. Ruth S. Noel's books cover her understanding of the roots of mythology in Tolkien's work, and all that was known about Tolkien's languages in 1980. Treasures From the Misty Mountains is a beautifully illustrated catalog of various editions and collectibles, including calendars, recordings, games, action figures, and more. The subtitle of The J. R. R. Tolkien Handbook is "A Concise Guide to His Life, Writings, and World of Middle-Earth," and so it is.
But for a complete, in-depth, up-to-date look at Tolkien, Middle-Earth, and Tolkien Studies, nothing comes close to the double volume set of Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond's The J. R. R. Tolkien Companion And Guide. 2200 pages, $100 value (which I got for considerably less), published less than three years ago, in a fine slip-case set. The Chronology is as close as you can get to a day-to-day look at what was going on in Tolkien's long life. For instance, today in 1965 Tolkien wrote to Dick Plotz about the Tolkien Society which Plotz was organizing. The Reader's Guide covers characters, themes, and works, giving summations of plot, publishing history, and critical responses to individual works.
Book Count: 1687.