The HobbitJ. R. R. Tolkien
Aside from being a wonderful story, The Hobbit (in itself and as a gateway to Tolkien's other works) is a book that frequently sends its readers down varied and rewarding intellectual paths. Ask any medievalist and you¿ll probably find someone who read Tolkien as a child! For me, The Hobbit spurred my early interests in drawing, calligraphy, and amateur cartography, and in writing poetry and fantasy. In college it led me to pursue interests in linguistics and comparative mythology. I can trace my current work in literary criticism, and particularly my focus on war in Tolkien's works, all back to first reading The Hobbit at the age of eight.