In order, the following are my picks for best fictional book series of all time (that I’ve read):
J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter
Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game & its parallel series Ender’s Shadow
C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia
Scott Adams’s The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Frank Herbert’s Dune
C.S. Lewis’s Space Trilogy (Out of the Silent Planet, etc.)
Isaac Asimov’s Foundation
Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time
If interested, please list your own favorites in the comments — especially if you’ve got favorites I’ve neglected to mention or haven’t read myself.
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1892-1973), courtesy of popularity of the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy has received tons of fanfare recently. His books are selling, the movies are making millions of dollars, and new fans are being made.
A Brief History of Tolkien & The Lord of the Rings
Tolkien grew up in England. By the time he was 12, both of his parents had died and his younger brother were taken in by a priest. He attended King Edward’s College and there he began to experience other languages and develop his linguistic abilities. After World War 1, he spent most of his adult life writing fiction, the most famous of which are The Hobbit and the LOTR(Lord of the Rings) trilogy. The LOTR is by far his most expansive work and incorporates previous creations. The Silmarillion, edited and published posthumously by his son Christopher Tolkien, was the back-story for LOTR which he’d been working on for quite a while. Tolkien also created several languages (including a couple elfish dialects) which appear in poems and dialogue throughout the books. The inclusion of this amount of work is an indication of how grandiose the tale is.
The LOTR series was originally meant to be a sequel to The Hobbit, which it is, but he became more excited about the project than he initially was and it grew into the trilogy and took him twelve years to complete. He never expected it to become popular and was surprised when it was. Based on the sales of the books, the money made by the movies, and the number of fans his works have spawned, it is one of the most incredible successes of twentieth century literature.
• The Fellowship of the Ring
• The Two Towers
• The Return of the King
Tolkien merchandise (at Amazon)
Lord of the Rings Fanatics
The One Ring
LOTR: Official Movie Site
Tolkien Inspired Poetry
The Lord of the Rings Fanatics
Wikipedia: J.R.R. Tolkien – comprehensive encyclopedia-like compilation of everything Tokien
As you can see in this post, I’ve had a lot of Tolkien on the brain lately. I finished reading both The Two Towers and The Return of the King in the past two weeks. Yesterday I went to the library and checked out The Hobbit and The Silmarillion.
The richness of the stories amazes me. This world is fantasy, but he’s put in far more thought to it than anything I’ve ever created in my life. Reading it inspires me to create something of my own. To do something of my own. Stories like his may not completely alter somebody’s life, but the ideas they contain provide encouragement. When I think of Bilbo Baggins traveling on a great quest, being thrown into it by the wizard Gandalf without any notice, and then him becoming wiser, feistier, and more courageous during his travels, yet still longing to return to the comfort of home, I see myself. None of us entered this world by our own choice or cognition, but as a Result or Caused by Something Else. And with this life, adventures and challenges often come unasked for.
What will you do with your adventure?