On My
Bookshelf

The Hobbit

by J.R.R. TOLKIEN
SYNOPSIS

A great modern classic and the prelude to The Lord of the Rings.

Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely traveling any farther than his pantry or cellar. But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard Gandalf and a company of dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an adventure. They have launched a plot to raid the treasure hoard guarded by Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon. Bilbo reluctantly joins their quest, unaware that on his journey to the Lonely Mountain he will encounter both a magic ring and a frightening creature known as Gollum.

“A glorious account of a magnificent adventure, filled with suspense and seasoned with a quiet humor that is irresistible . . . All those, young or old, who love a fine adventurous tale, beautifully told, will take The Hobbit to their hearts.” – New York Times Book Review

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT IT

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.” — J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

This is my favorite opening paragraph of any book I’ve ever read. Why? Because it’s so memorable and full of charm and it puts you in a place outside the world: it nudges you gently into the fantasy that is about to unfold.

The Hobbit was my first adventure into high fantasy, and it left an indelible mark on me. I first read it when I was nine or so, again in my teens, and again just a couple of years ago. Its magic never wanes. It’s a book that can be enjoyed by both children and adults. A frolicking adventure, The Hobbit is a smart, witty, and timeless classic that I can’t wait to read with my children some day (assuming I’ll have them).