The third Hobbit Movie has been released, bringing an end to the second movie trilogy based on JRR Tolkien's granddaddy of all fantasy worlds - Middle Earth. Most everyone has at least heard of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. If you haven't... well, you should stop reading right now and fix that.
Perhaps you've only seen the movies or read the books as a teenager. I first encountered them when I was in the fourth grade. My father showed me the truly awful 1977 animated version of The Hobbit. It was so bad, I didn't read the books until 15 years later. I think he still feels bad about that.
The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are usually the first (and only) of Tolkien's works that people read. However, they're only a small part of the entire history of this fictional world.
After his father's death, Christopher Tolkien began gathering and publishing his father's works concerning other aspects of Middle Earth. The most famous of these is The Silmarillion, which tells the creation story and early history. It's pretty dense and reads like Greek Mythology, but for those die-hard Tolkien fans, it's worth the struggle.
To celebrate the conclusion the The Hobbit movie trilogy, lot's of internet people are releasing content about Middle Earth. My favorite so far has the be CGP Grey's Video The Lord of the Rings Mythology Explained. It's probably not for the casual reader, but if you want to learn more about Middle Earth, it's a great place to start.
Thoughts from a Midwestern Librarian