59. “The Hobbit,” JRR Tolkien

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.

Hi, my name is Eli, and I know 90% of the opening of this book by heart.

So, Bilbo Baggins is an utterly respectable hobbit just entering his middle years. He comes from good hobbit stock, in that he enjoys blowing smoke rings and never takes any interest in adventures of any kind. That is, until adventure arrives on his doorstep in the form of thirteen dwarves and one wizard with a treasure map. Before he can say what’s what, he finds himself running out his door without so much as a handkerchief, recruited as the lucky fourteenth member of the treasure-seeking group, and their resident burglar.

Along the way, he finds himself utterly embroiled in adventure of every kind, and to his surprise, he is not only good at adventuring, he enjoys it. He returns home (and this is a children’s story and prequel to perhaps one of the most famous books of all time, so I don’t think it will be a surprise that he does return) quite a different hobbit than the one that left and also, I love him.

Page count: 317
Page total: 16,088

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