I know, I'm late to the party. And I didn't read it of my own free will. It was the only book I could get enough copies of in time for the start of classes in September and so I had to just bite the bullet and do it.
So there it is. Apparently the next step is to face The Lord of the Rings. There's probably no way around it. Its just that I really don't like suspense, or violence, in movies or in books. That's why my reading diet consists almost solely of PG Wodehouse, with occasional trips to visit Lord Peter Wimsey (its not really suspense, is it? or violence, its just Lord Peter) and a history book here or there (because I already know what happened).
My students, of course, have loved The Hobbit. I don't think any of the other books on my list will top it in pure literary delight--good solid books probably (I don't actually know, its almost entirely a list of books I was too afraid to read as a child, or didn't have time for) but I don't think any of them will touch Tolkien.