The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien is considered the prelude to one of the greatest fantasy series of all time (that series being The Lord of the Rings, a trilogy which is impossible not to hear of in your lifetime). It is the story of a hobbit—as you can tell from the title—and his journey with thirteen dwarfs and a wizard through the continent known as Middle-earth to recover a lost treasure.
Hobbits are peculiar creatures. Full-grown they they about 3-4 feet tall, and their feet are rough enough that they never have to wear shoes. In truth they are a lot like short humans, except that they have some pretty weird personalities. This particular hobbit was named Bilbo Baggins, and he did not want to leave his old home for any adventures, no matter what. Obviously, he was forced to go anyway.
Along the inevitable journey that followed, full of friendship, magic and interesting creatures, the reader is almost drawn completely into this awesome world. Tolkien is a devout master of character development, describing objects and places, using alliteration and similes, and creating mythology. Though some parts of the novel seem a little too boring, due to Tolkien being a little too descriptive, it's a great book and I'd recommend it to anyone who loves fantasy novels. The book is indeed hard to get through, but when it's finished you get a very satisfied feeling inside.
The Hobbit is at present being turned into a two-part feature film by New Line Cinema, with Part 1 currently set to release in late 2012.