The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Hobbit; or, There and Back Again
(HarperCollinsPublishers, London: 1999)
Originally published in 1937 by George Allen & Unwin
READ: May 2005
This is a wonderful book. I don't think I really need to say any more, do I?
But really, The Hobbit, or There and Back Again is a marvelous tale and everyone should read it at least once, even if they're not a Lord of the Rings fan. The Hobbit was of course written about 17 years earlier, in 1937. The book tells the fantastical tale of Mr. Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit of the Shire in Middle-Earth, and how he was "persuaded" to join a troupe of dwarves out to reclaim long-lost treasures and land from Smaug, a terrible dragon. He was hired to be a thief, but he wasn't much of a thief, I'm afraid; in fact, he knew very little indeed about the profession before he set out. At just under 300 pages, The Hobbit exacts much less of a time commitment than its companion LOTR, and if you have the same edition as me, it includes the first chapter from LOTR which of course is intended to entice you to continue on to the further challenge of Tolkien's larger masterpiece.