If you are into LOTR, I would recommend the 'Unfinished Tales' and the 'Silmarilion'... very great books...
My mother is just reading The Simarillion
now, she's been a massive fan of Lord of the Rings since she was a kid and I swear she's going to find reading too slow, tear off the pages, eat them to gain their knowledge, and then throw the spine behind her like an orange rind.
I've just picked up part two in Catherynne M. Valente's Prester John series, The Folded World
. (The first book is Habitation of the Blessed
.) I love her work, she's nigh-unknown but her style is lyrical and poetic and challenging. She's supremely High Fantasy, and is very good at taking old folk tales or legends and updating them with her own markings, like the Russian tale of Marya Morevna in Deathless
. I found her when I picked up Palimpsest
at the behest of a serial fiction author I
follow who is also in love with her.
I'm also a big fan of Asimov. I've read Nine Tomorrows
and of course I, Robot
, but my favourite story of his is Gold
, from the book of the same name, which nobody seems to know.
I went through Iain M. Banks' The Algebraist
recently, too. That one is incredibly lush science fiction, written in a slightly different style depending on which character is being followed at the moment, always spinning their actions in a supportive light whether the obvious Big Bad Villain or the main protagonist.
Also I want to weigh in on 50 Shades of Grey
, because I have strong feelings about it: It's Twilight
with BDSM. Not only is the abusive relationship at the core of the books exactly the same, 50 Shades
was originally Twilight
fanfiction. No, really. Check Wikipedia. There's even a third trilogy coming that keeps the pseudo-BDSM elements and adds back in the vampires, called Gabriel's Inferno
I'm not passing (too much) judgment on the method by which it was written. I love fanfiction at the best of times. But yeah. The source of it all is incredibly questionable.