It is often said, “If you want to understand a man, read his books,” but if you want to understand the books a man wrote, you need to understand the books that he read, too. In this episode, Professor Rachel Fulton Brown explores the books in Tolkien’s library, more particularly, the books catalogued by Oronzo Cilli in Tolkien’s Library: An Annotated Checklist (2019) to determine what we can know about the sources of Tolkien’s imagination, particularly his Catholicism. We encounter some expected—C.S. Lewis, Andrew Lang—and not so expected sources (spoiler alert!), while also looking into Tolkien’s students and the lectures that he gave as a professor at Oxford. Have you ever wondered why Thomas Aquinas is so hard to read? Did Tolkien actually dislike allegory as much as he pretended? And what was it like for Peter, James, and John to see Jesus transfigured on the mountain and hear the Voice saying, “This is my beloved Son, hear Him”?