Re: Questions about Fantasy books
The Belgariad by David Eddings (5 book series) is a good read, and easy if you've already been through LotR. He did another series that followed it, but I didn't like it as much.
Personally, I love Patricia McKillip's works--The Riddle-Master Trilogy is great if you want a long read, or try Alphabet of Thorn or Forgotten Beasts of Eld for a single novel.
For a series with a great hero/anti-hero pair, try The Coldfire Trilogy by C. S. Friedman.
One of Tolkien's influences is Lord Dunsany--take a look at The King of Elfland's Daughter if you're interested in reading pre-Tolkien fantasy. If you're up for a challenge, try one of William Morris's fantasy novels (like Wood Beyond the World)--the language is rather stilted, but if you get the hang of it, you're in for a treat. Morris was even more of an inspiration for Tolkien than Dunsany, and would probably more rightfully be considered the father of fantasy, if modern readers could deal with his style. (On the other hand, if you found Tolkien difficult to read, you will probably not like Morris.)
You're probably already familier wih C. S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia--if you liked it but want something "more for grown-ups" try Til We Have Faces.
As with all my recommendations, I *strongly* suggest you check them out at the library or at least peruse them at the bookstore before buying--nothing worse than buying books that you find you don't like.
Depending on what you do like, I could probably recommend more stuff.
Also, I know I am going to come back to this thread as I am always looking for new fantasy to read. I get kinda picky about what I like in fantasy sometimes, so I have started whole bunches of novels and series and never finished, because I didn't care for them (like the Shannara series, the Thomas Covenant series, and the Riftwar saga--all of these are well-liked by others but I didn't care for them myself and never finished them).