The Hobbit. Going back to our younger days, Jaye recounts fire lit winter evenings with her family listening to Father read Tolkien aloud. This was of course before the established days of fantasy as a genre. Then Tolkien was just a writer who wrote very well, transporting Jaye's young mind into daring escapades where all the fates of life were at stake. It was one of her first books while I came to LOTR in junior high and have never actually read the Hobbit and came to the story through the animated film which subsequently gave me nightmares.
For all the hype about Harry Potter, I still have to say that it is a product of this modern world and it feels that way. Whereas Middle Earth sinks into the soul of a person without the flare of presentation associated with modern writing. As the comment lines are open, arguments can be had. Perhaps I am even committing fraud by making a comparison. The most recent blog is here.