Well, here we are, the final question in the 30 Days of Books list. It is, of course:
Day 30 – Your favorite book of all time
However can you choose such a thing? Certainly along the course of this exercise I’ve hit upon a few that would be very strong contenders:
- The Illearth War by Stephen R. Donaldson
- A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin
- The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
- We Were The Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates
- To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Not a bad list at all, actually looking at it. But I think I will choose the book that shaped the reader (and viewer) I am today: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien.
Compared to its cousin The Lord of the Rings, I find The Hobbit to be more personal, less epic. The story of Bilbo as he is unwittingly drawn into the dwarves’ quest and almost despite himself survives many harrowing adventures is known, of course, to all nerds and nerds-ascendant. What I like most is how Bilbo learns throughout his travails and becomes a lot more canny than the simple hobbit he was when he started out. This theme, of course, is echoed by the four hobbits at the center of LotR.
Is LotR better? Maybe. Probably. But The Hobbit got there first and I loved it first. I rooted for Bilbo, thought about what it would be like to wield Sting (the sword, not the singer), cringed at coming across Gollum in a dark cave, and dreamt of shooting a black arrow into the heart of a dragon. For those things — and for all the doors that reading The Hobbit opened up, I have to say it’s my favorite.
Thanks for coming along on this 30 Days (which actually took about 155 days, but who’s counting?) — I’ve really enjoyed all the feedback and opinions.