I decided to re-read The Hobbit because of the movie coming out very soon, so I wanted to remember the plot as well as I could. I was read this as a bedtime story when I was quite young.
This is the prequel to the epic, Lord of the Rings, but is notably shorter and less serious in tone, with a lot of humour throughout, and it feels like it is aimed at younger audiences.
The book is about Bilbo Baggins, father of Frodo, who made some brief appearances in Lord of the Rings, and his journey with Gandalf and a band of dwarves to get Thorin's gold back from Smaug the dragon; Bilbo spends the whole story just wishing he could be back home as he reluctantly goes along with the group. Most of the story is actually about their journey, and all the perils they encounter on the way - including goblins, spiders, wolves, suspicious elves, and even Gollum.
Gollum only appears in one chapter, but it is quite a significant one and my favourite one in the book, as it explains how Bilbo got Gollum's magic ring in the first place, setting up the events of Lord of the Rings.
The story builds up to an epic climax, including not only confrontations with Smaug but an entertaining (if short) battle. I have always loved this book, and I feel that it is something I could read again and again.
Number of pages: 279
Next book: Villette by Charlotte Brontë