My Reaction ---- YES! YES, the public on Goodreads.com finally agrees with me. This should be a celebrated book. I know I probably have Hollywood to thank for its' popularity, but I'm going to pretend like everyone that voted for it has read it and pretend like they all voted for it because it is obviously a great great book.
Why This One? ---- The Hobbit is one of the great granddaddies of the modern high fantasy book as we know it. Granted, there had been plenty of fantasy-esque books published before this time, ( see : John Carter of Mars series, and Gladiator ) that are said to contribute elements as well, none of them have been so remember as well as Tolkien's The Hobbit. I have a great theory (that I won't go into too much detail with because if luck with have it, I will write a doctoral paper over it) that Tolkien actually wrote the novel to help him cope with the experiences he had in World War I and that the book itself is a thinnly disguised autobiography. If you have read a biography on his life, you'll notice some very interesting similarities ;)
The Hobbit is hands down the winner of the Swick Book Award For Best Book of the Decade - 1930s