I can’t do a book list without including this book. For everything that I love about storytelling, about epic journeys about larger than life characters (and smaller than average ones as well) came from the seeds this book planted.
Does it have its faults, indubitably. But it, beyond any other book, made 9 year old me want to turn the page. To find out what happened next. To see where the story led. I wanted to be a Ranger like Strider (though never a king like Aragorn, too much spotlight), A wizard like Gandalf, and a burglar like Bilbo Baggins.
I read it many times in my youth, and my original copies have cracked and broken bindings that are well past repair. I read it again, around the time the movies were released (cause I’m THAT kind of nerd) just to re-familiarize myself with the minutiae and there was still depth to the story that I missed as a child. Few books can do that.
I posted the cover to this version, because for one I had a hard time finding a cover that matched my original one and secondly, This is just the best damn picture of Gandalf ever. Thank you John Howe!
Here’s a version that isn’t battered and cracked.
As for what comes tomorrow, I’m somewhat torn as to which way I’ll go. It will either involve Magicians or Sorcerers. I haven’t quite decided yet.