The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
The book that started it all, The Hobbit, is filled with adventure and discovery. Most everyone should be familiar with the book by now, even if they haven’t read it. Tolkien creates a world so well thought out and so detailed that I often wondered if he had difficulty distinguishing the real world from fantasy as he wrote it.
The book served as the foundation to a whole sector of the fantasy genre. Many other writers “borrowed” from Tolkien’s world, so reading it now I sometimes felt deja vu despite the fact I was reading original material. If you have yet to experience the writings of Tolkien, the beginning is a great way to start.