As we close in on Christmas, this is a great time to finish the last few books on the ever growing TBR pile. This year has been hectic and stressful at times. Many changes will be occurring in the next few months. Which put me in the mood for a comfort read. I set aside several other books and just let myself be swept up in the tale of a small hobbit. It honestly was the perfect read.
The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
Genre – Fantasy
Series – A prequel to the Lord the Rings, written first
Rating – PG for peril and danger
Bilbo Baggins is a quiet Hobbit who loves the comforts of his own home. One day Gandalf, the Wizard, comes by asking if Bilbo would like to go on an adventure. Despite Bilbo’s protesting, Dwarves begin showing up one evening. They cause a ruckus and poor Bilbo is unsure what is going on. With a little prodding he joins their mission to go to the Lonely Mountain and capture their long forgotten gold from a dragon.
My Thoughts –
This story has become so ingrained in our culture; most people know at least vaguely about The Hobbit. However, recently I’ve meet two individuals who had never heard of The Hobbit, which surprised me greatly. These books were such a big part of my childhood. I can remember seeing The Hobbit & Lord of the Rings sitting on our bookshelf when I was little. I was 13 when I first read The Hobbit. The cover I used up above is the same cover that I have. You cannot look at it without being intrigued. One time I was not feeling so good, and I remember my mom sitting next to me reading An Unexpected Party. So, it goes without saying that I love this book!
Anyway, it has been several years since I’ve picked up The Hobbit. I had reread The Lord of Rings a little over a year ago. So felt in the need for some more Tolkien. 🙂
Tolkien is a master wordsmith. He writes in such a way as to create a realistic world similar enough to our own and yet unique. Middle earth is filled with lush landscape and dark forests filled with all manner of creatures. I mean he invented orcs and mines of Moria.
Of all the characters in The Hobbit, I relate to Bilbo the most. We would be kindred spirits. He loves his hobbit-hole and is quite fond of food. While I don’t eat as much as hobbits do, I love comfort food. Tea, biscuits, cake, cheese! Yes, please! I love how Tolkien develops Bilbo and he goes from a scared rather flighty person to someone who will risk is own share of the treasure for the peace and safety of his friends.
Also, the elves. I had forgotten how cheerful and musical they were in the book. Would love to spend time in Rivendell and hear all the stories of old. Elrond sounds like a great host.
It was nice seeing Gandalf take more of a back seat and more a conductor then playing a big role. Now way back when I don’t remember ever really liking Bard. But this go around I really loved his small role. I do like how the movies portrayed him. Gave him more background and family, yet keeping in line with the book.
There are so many great things I could say about this book!! I mean talking dragons, riddles – which I struggled to solve on my first read. The songs are a lot of fun too!!
“This is a story of how a Baggins had an adventure, and found himself doing and saying things altogether unexpected. He may have lost the neighbor’s respect, but he gained – well you will see whether he gained anything in the end” (p. 2)
“In a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit.” (p. 1).
“As they sang the hobbit fell the love of beautiful things made by hands” (p. 15)
“”That would be no good” said the wizard, “not without a mighty warrior, even a hero. I tried to find one; but warriors are busy fighting one another in distant lands” (p. 21-22).
“You are a very fine person, Mr. Baggins, and I am very fond of you; but you are only quite a little fellow in a wide world after all” (p. 305).
Content – Honestly, there isn’t much to mention here. We have fights and battles. A few scary creatures like goblins, trolls, and wargs. A few characters die.
What a nice to book to sip with a warm tea on a cold night. As I look back on the books I’ve read this past year, I want to give myself grace next year. More freedom to just pick up whatever book fancies me. Less pressure to finish a certain amount. The Hobbit is a wonderful book, although originally written for children, it has lessons that even us adults can appreciate. Plus, who doesn’t love a solid fantasy story that has held up well with time. This is a classic that everyone should read sometime in their life.
Up Next – I’m hoping to do a post reviewing some of my favorite books of the year!
What are your thoughts on The Hobbit? Is this a book you grew up with or discovered later? Do you like the movie?