I read "Tolkien A Biography" by Michael White recently. It was a worthy read, but I would say mainly for Tolkien fans. The highlights for me were that Tolkien began writing "the Hobbit" on a test he was grading, the conversation between C.S. Lewis about the nature of Christianity, and looking at Tolkien’s process of "sub-creation." It took Tolkien decades to write Lord of the Rings! Oh, lastly per Tolkien Mordor is in the Balkans (this is interesting, as WW1, which Tolkien was part of started in the Balkans).