I was absolutely crazy about the Tolkien books when I was younger. I don't feel the same fervor now but I'm still moved by JRRT's love of language and of landscape. His painstaking descriptions of his settings are so beautiful (and so British somehow).
I was pretty excited when the movies were announced but I ended up never watching them-- in part because, while I realized that Tolkien's dialogue would never work as it was, I didn't really want to hear Jackson's / Boyens' attempts at movieizing it.
For those who enjoy Russian novels I'd recommend Turgenev's Fathers and Sons. Great book, less ponderous than Tolstoy or Dostoevsky.