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You should read The Silmarillion after reading The Lord of the Rings trilogy. To start off with an analogy: The Silmarillion starts on such a gigantic scale that if you begin with it everything else is going to seem confusing, petty, or irrelevant. If you want to understand the history of the American Civil War, you don't start with the Big Bang. What'...


35

The question of reading order for The Chronicles of Narnia is a complicated one, with much debate even among avid fans of the series. But you've asked only why publishers changed the order, which is much easier to answer objectively than which order is "best"/preferable. The answer lies in a letter which Lewis wrote, dated April 1957, to a young ...


23

Voronwë's answer is excellent, but I'm going to post the answer I was planning to anyway. LotR is a gripping tale; the Silmarillion is more like a textbook or encyclopedia. This is a slight exaggeration, but the Sil is definitely written in a much less engaging style; it describes the history of eons rather than the events of an exciting war. It focuses ...


23

TL;DR: Begin your Holmesian adventure with short stories from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. Continue with the early novels before moving on to the later short stories. End with The Valley of Fear and then The Hound of the Baskervilles, to see Holmes (and Doyle) at his finest. The order is, for the most part, ...


20

Warning: This is long. A reminder: Percy Jackson and the Olympians deals with the Greek gods. The Heroes of Olympus deals with the Greek and Roman gods. The Kane Chronicles deals with the Egyptian gods. Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard deals with the Norse gods. The Trials of Apollo has Greek and Roman gods. Warning: There may be some slight spoilers ...


18

I've already posted about this on another SE site. Let me try to go into even more detail here. There are two obvious possibilities for the ordering: publication order and in-universe chronological order. These do not agree, but in most cases where they do agree, they should probably not be contradicted (i.e. if book A comes before book B in both of these ...


17

You don't need to read them in any order. Overall advice The interesting thing about The Hardy Boys is that the writing style has changed over time. I don't know just how many ghostwriters have been used since their beginning in 1927, but it's got to be quite a few (Wikipedia suggests it's more than a dozen, often collaborating). Combine that with the fact ...


16

Definitely read To Kill a Mockingbird first. Although Go Set a Watchman reads more as a first draft of To Kill a Mockingbird, without reading Mockingbird, much of the bigotry Atticus displays in Watchman will not be unusual. In Mockingbird, Atticus is portrayed as a hero defending the underprivileged blacks, and in Watchman, that illusion of him is ...


15

Another point that hasn't been mentioned. The Silmarillion has a summary of the Lord of the Rings as its final chapter, "Of the Rings of Power and The Third Age". It is a full summary of LoTR and would be a gigantic spoiler. Clearly the Silmarillion was meant to be read after LoTR. I realize you have already seen the movies, so a spoiler isn't that big ...


14

I would agree with the posters saying: first LotR (to enjoy it fully, and it is an easier read, and the huge scale of the Silmarillion events will not "dwarf it down"). But not in your specific case. In your case: you already know about (most of) the LotR events, through Jackson's filter (which discards some things, and changes some others, to make it more ...


12

The Commonwealth universe consists of three series of books that should be read in publication order: Commonwealth Saga: Misspent Youth (2002), "prequel" Pandora's Star (2004) Judas Unchained (2005) Void Trilogy: The Dreaming Void (2007) The Temporal Void (2008) The Evolutionary Void (2010) The Chronicle of the Fallers: The Abyss Beyond Dreams (2014) A ...


10

This solves your problems. It shows a nice chart outlining a few different ways to read the cosmere. Here it is: On the other hand, as long as you read each series in order, you can really do whatever you want. However, there are characters who recur in different books, and certain reading orders are preferred. Here's what I usually recommend in terms ...


10

HDE's great answer is much more detailed than mine and has more reasoning for each of his reading order choices, but with that in mind, I thought I'd chime in. I've read all of the Sherlock Holmes stories, and I'd say to have a full appreciation for the literary masterpiece Doyle created, an absolute beginner to the series should start with The Adventures ...


10

You are asking two different questions here, one in the title ("should I read the Silmarillion before or after LotR?") and one in the text ("what would be the upside to reading the Silmarillion before LotR?"). You have gotten very good answers to the first question, although there are some factual inaccuracies (e.g. if we're going for time-order, it turns ...


9

I first read the books in the chronological ordering when I was about five. And that, I think, makes a big difference, because to a five-year-old, The Magician's Nephew is a slog. I didn't understand what the Victorian era was, or why we were in the Victorian era, or why the characters used such odd slang, or what a hansom cab was, or any of the references ...


8

Yes, a reader of Wide Sargasso Sea who is unaware of its connection to Jane Eyre is pretty much guaranteed to have missed the entire point of the novel. Jane Eyre is so iconic that Rhys could simply assume knowledge of its plot while writing her own book. The heroine of Wide Sargasso Sea, her husband, and her half-brother are all very important characters ...


7

Orson Scott Card said something about this (shamelessfully stolen from this answer on SFF) You can read them in the order written - Ender's Game, Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, Children of the Mind, then Ender's Shadow, Shadow of the Hegemon, Shadow Puppets, Shadow of the Giant. Or you can read them in chronological order of story beginnings, which is ...


7

Yes, the books are related and are intended to be read in order. In Search of Lost Time is one work in seven volumes. Each volume is not an independent work. Rather, the novel is a developing story; the narrator is relating events from his life, and each volume furthers the narrative. Outside of specialized research or publication/translation contexts, it is ...


7

Read the Malayalam original first. Whatever your aim in reading the English translation, you will achieve it more readily by having the knowledge of the original in mind. As the quote you have provided from P P Ravindran says, the two works are far enough in Vijayan's career as to belong to completely different stages in the development of his sensibility. ...


6

There's no need to read the Poirot books in any particular order. Agatha Christie has rewritten a few of the early Poirot short stories (see list) from the book Poirot's Early Cases (1923) and The Regatta Mystery and Other Stories (1939) and the posthumous collection While the Light Lasts and Other Stories (1997) into full novels later. Thus, if you read ...


6

I think the best way to understand Hero is to read or watch The Power of Myth; the book is a transcript of the series of interviews by the same name. Bill Moyers sat with Campbell to discuss Hero, and frankly I wouldn't have attempted Hero without it. The Power of Myth is also a bit rambling, but it's two people talking, which is a lot easier to understand ...


6

If you're tackling the first three books, I'd say Lot 49, followed by V., followed by Gravity's Rainbow. "A Journey into the Mind of Watts" makes a nice addition somewhere in there. There is a serious ramp-up in difficulty across those three books: Lot 49 is slender and doesn't require too much prior knowledge to follow what's happening or why something ...


6

Corey has suggested they are best read in publication order, (main novels in bold): Leviathan Wakes (2011) The Butcher of Anderson Station (2011) Caliban's War (2012) Gods of Risk (2012) Drive (2012) Abaddon's Gate (2013) The Churn (2014) Cibola Burn (2014) Nemesis Games (2015) The Vital Abyss (2015) Babylon's Ashes (2016) Untitled ...


6

There is no consensus among critics about whether Wide Sargasso Sea stands on its own or not. For example, Francis Wyndham wrote in his introduction to the first edition (1966): For many years, Jean Rhys has been haunted by the figure of the first Mrs Rochester—the mad wife in Jane Eyre. The present novel—completed at last after much revision and agonized ...


6

General Review of The Tales of Goldstone Wood This is a wonderful book series. It's Christian fantasy allegory, so if you liked Narnia, you'll probably like this. However, two caveats: Most of the book covers aren't accurate to the content of the books. Just ignore them completely. The books are published out of chronological order, to the detriment of the ...


6

tl;dr Yes, they can be read independently. On the nature of myth (hand-wavy background stuff) In a comment to your question, you note: these were originally oral traditions rather than written books.... [So] I suspect that the Odyssey doesn't require knowledge of the Iliad. This comment is spot-on, and gets to the heart of the matter. What does "...


5

I read the books out of order (first The Da Vinci Code, then The Lost Symbol, then Angels and Demons, and then Inferno), and I don't think there is much reason to read them in any particular order. The stories are completely separate from each other; the only connection between them (besides Langdon himself) that I recall is a brief mention of Vittoria in ...


5

I would agree that the Silmarillion should be read after the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit, but for quite a different reason than everyone seems to be espousing. For me, when I finished the Hobbit, I wanted to enter the world again. The Lord of the Rings does so, but in a "vaster" way - the battles and acts have a large impact on Middle Earth, and it ...


5

As others have said, The first list is in date of publication (but not necessarily date of writing) order. The second is in "apparent timeline order". The Magician's Nephew is unquestionably first in time order (within Narnian space-time). In other space-times anything can happen relatively. The time-location of The Horse and His Boy is more ...


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