What Karen Joy Fowler learned from reading The Hobbit as a child

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"I learned how to comport myself among trolls, elves, hobbits or goblins. I learned that a friend can be lost to greed and avarice. I learned that solving riddles may be as important a survival skill as bowmanship.

I know how to talk to a dragon and that it's best not to.

Added to the pleasures of the book itself was the shared experience — a whole class full of kids simultaneously transported to Middle Earth. We were all hobbits then. It was like a fever." — Wit's End author Karen Joy Fowler, quoted in the L.A. Times.