Let’s Talk Bookish: What is one book everyone must read?

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books and Dani @ Literary Lion. Today’s topic is What is one book everyone must read?

There are some books that are just required…or at least you personally think they are! Maybe it’s a book that changed your view on everything, or maybe it’s just the BEST vampire book ever written. What book do you try to get everyone in your life to read, even the non-readers?

I’m really curious to read other bloggers’ responses to this week’s prompt! If you’re a regular visitor to my blog, you probably know what I’m going to say, but here goes.

Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien.

It’s the one book I recommend to absolutely everyone, regardless of if they like fantasy or not and even if they’re not readers. The Lord of the Rings has been the pride of my bookshelves for many years now. I first read the books when I was 11 years old and I’ve gone back every few years since – and the best part is that though the story hasn’t changed, there’s something new to appreciate about it, because I’ve changed and I look at it differently each time. While it was not my introduction to fantasy (that honor goes to Harry Potter which I finished reading shortly before I picked this up), it was the book that cemented my love for the genre.

Understandably, many readers are daunted by the size of the book, over 1200 pages (atleast in the combined volume that I have), and it is definitely not an easy undertaking. But the reasons that make it so are also the reasons why I consider Lord of the Rings to be the best fantasy novel ever written and the definitive work of epic fantasy that all others are measured by. It is the kind of book that will force you to slow down and drink in the details so you can truly appreciate Tolkien’s genius. One only needs to take a look at the expansive world of Middle-Earth: there are not only detailed maps of all the regions, but each race present in the story has their own language, culture and history written out, often in beautiful verse, and it is this level of attention to detail that makes this world truly come to life.

Lord of the Rings is very different from contemporary fantasy novels. It’s painstakingly slow – and that’s intentional. It takes its own sweet time getting to the point, even offering the brave protagonists pit stops of a sort to refresh themselves after a particularly dramatic sequence (and giving the reader a breather too) – which I have never seen in any other fantasy novel – it’s always breakneck action as things get steadily more dire for the characters (maintaining the pace, which appears to be seen almost as a necessity these days) – this change in pace is not easy to pull off and I’ve never seen it done in any of the more modern fantasy novels I’ve read. Very few books in recent years tackle a world and plot on such a scale that allows the reader to lose themselves in it as this does. The journey is as important as the destination on this epic quest and the way it is written makes you feel like you are right there beside Frodo, from the green hills of the Shire, each step of the way to Mount Doom.

Lord of the Rings is absolutely worth the read, you won’t regret it. But for pity’s sake, try not to watch the movies first – I adore them, but I could write a whole other post or ten about the subtleties and plot points it has skipped over.

What book would you recommend to everyone? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


22 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Bookish: What is one book everyone must read?

    • Raji (@journeyintofantasy) August 22, 2021 / 5:36 pm

      Haha, yeah this is definitely one book where watching the movies first will lessen the experience of the book.


  1. frayedbooks August 20, 2021 / 3:23 pm

    LotR is definitely a great choice! I tried to read Fellowship when I was in middle or maybe high school and I couldn’t get through it, but I think I should go back to it as an adult and give it another try. I have already seen the movies but its been ages since I last watched them, so hopefully that won’t cloud my judgement too much!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raji (@journeyintofantasy) August 22, 2021 / 5:40 pm

      Hopefully it won’t! I read it very early on too and while I enjoyed it then, it’s a very different experience reading them again as an adult since you pick up so many of the smaller details that makes it even more fun!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lindsey August 21, 2021 / 6:04 am

    I haven’t read lord of the rings for years but been feeling for a while that it’s due a re-read – think this just bumped it straight up my list. Love this post – nice to be reminded of why I loved something so much.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. JamieAdStories August 21, 2021 / 11:17 am

    Agreed, this is a big one. I would suggest everyone needs to read Narnia. The Lion, the Witch and Wardrobe is epic and so brilliantly woven.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. readandreviewit1 August 21, 2021 / 12:17 pm

    Love this! I still haven’t read Lord Of The Rings yet but you’ve convinced me to pick it up – I’m particularly intrigued about the change of pacing! Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jaya Avendel August 21, 2021 / 1:50 pm

    Lord of the Rings is my must-read recommendation too! I find it so refreshing to read it and revel in the different style and feeling of the words. It is a different kind of story, but a beautiful story where so much of the character relationship is left up to personal interpretation.
    Thank you for sharing why you love the trilogy! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raji (@journeyintofantasy) August 22, 2021 / 5:48 pm

      Thanks for reading Jaya! I agree, I really like how the focus is on the story but there is just enough about the characters to let the reader interpret them in their own way.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Books with Anjali August 21, 2021 / 1:54 pm

    I need to try and reread LoTR one of these days. I picked it up way too young and just couldn’t get into it. I wonder if my opinion would change on a reread

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raji (@journeyintofantasy) August 22, 2021 / 5:45 pm

      I think this is one book that has something new on every read, it was definitely a different experience for me rereading it as an adult!


  7. Gem 📚🌱☕ (@GemKoeman) August 22, 2021 / 7:13 am

    LOTR is a great pick to be honest but it won’t be everyones cup of tea. I LOVE the universe but find it pretty difficult to read.

    I would say that I connected more with ASOIAF series so that would be my go to. Again, it’s a pretty big undertaking because the books are so beefy. Anyone that likes politics, scheming, emotion and mystery would probably do well with the Game of Thrones books.

    It’s hard to pick a must read becuase we’re all different 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raji (@journeyintofantasy) August 22, 2021 / 5:53 pm

      Agreed, this is such a subjective prompt since everyone’s reading taste is so different. ASOIAF was actually my second pick for this, but I’m currently stopped on book 4 with no time to pick up such a massive read 😞 Hoping to finish it sometime soon though! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!


  8. Jodie | That Happy Reader August 22, 2021 / 10:34 am

    I read LOTR as a teenager many, many years ago. I enjoyed it then but I think my reading has evolved through the years and I would not be nearly as likely to pick it up now. I love the diversity of books out there and the fact that readers all have different tastes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raji (@journeyintofantasy) August 22, 2021 / 10:16 pm

      Thanks for reading! Agreed, I found this to be a very interesting prompt for that same reason. It was fun to see different readers’ picks.


  9. Simona ~ The Grumpy Olive August 23, 2021 / 7:39 am

    Lord of The Rings is a big YES from me! I read it years ago and it’s definitely one that I can’t forget! I wouldn’t attempt such a big read ever again most likely, but I remember trying to read through all of it with so much interest. Thank you for reminding me about those few weeks! x

    Liked by 1 person

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