Open a book this minute and start reading. Don’t move until you’ve reached page fifty. Until you’ve buried your thoughts in print. Cover yourself with words. Wash yourself away. Dissolve. Carol Shields Republic of Love

Chunkster Reading Challenge 2012

Image Links to Challenge Page

If one has reconciled oneself to joining a challenge which requires one to read chunksters, how could one NOT select the level “Do these books make my butt look big?”

This requires that I read six chunksters in 2012, two with page counts between 450 and 550, two with page counts between 551 and 750, and two with page counts over 750.

This is not something that I take on lightly. Heh.

I don’t read long books easily. I carry my books with me everywhere I go, and the heavier ones get neglected.

But I also hate the fact that I miss out on some terrific books because I don’t make a point of making time for them.

So I hope this challenge will urge me in some less-comfy (physically) but uber-rewarding reading directions.

Here are some of my hopefuls from the comfy view of January, when the reading year is yet ahead and nearly endless:


450-550 pages

M. Barnard Eldershaw’s Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow (1947, censored) 456 pages
Dmitry Glukhovsky’s Metro 2033 (2007; Trans. Natasha Randall 2009) 458 pages
Pamela Dean’s Tam Lin (1991) 468 pages
Kenneth J. Harvey’s The Town that Forgot How to Breathe (2003) 471 pages
Lawrence Hill’s The Book of Negroes (2007) 486 pages
Sergei Lukyanenko’s The Night Watch (1998; Trans. Andrew Bromfield 2004) 489 pages
Rohinton Mistry’s Family Matters (2002) 489 pages
Marisha Pessl’s Special Topics in Calamity Physics (2006)514 pages
Christina Stead’s The Man Who Loved Children (1940) 527 pages
Sarah Grand’s The Beth Book (1897) 527 pages
Andrea Levy’s Small Island (2004) 530 pages

551-750 pages
Mrs. Humphrey Ward’s Marcella (1894) 560 pages
Julio Cortazar’s Hopscotch (1963; Trans. Gregory Rabassa, 1966) 564 pages
Wallace Stegner’s Angle of Repose (1971) 569 pages
Shauna Singh Baldwin’s The Tiger Claw (2004) 570 pages
Isabel Wilkerson’s The Warmth of Other Suns (2010) 587 pages
Maria Dueñas’ The Time in Between (2011; Trans. Daniel Hahn) 612 pages
Colette’s The Complete Claudine (1956; 1958; 1960; 1962) 632 pages
Wilkie Collins’ The Woman in White (1859-60) 648 pages
Hortense Callisher’s Sunday Jews (2002) 694 pages
Frank O’Connor’s Collected Stories (1982) 702 pages
Naomi Mitchison’s The Corn King and the Spring Queen (1931) 719 pages

750+ pages 
The Magic of Shirley Jackson (3 novels; 11 stories) 753 pages
Charles Palliser’s The Quincunx (1989) 781 pages
Samuel R. Delaney’s Dhalgren (1974) 879 pages
Emily Carr’s The Complete Writings 893 pages
Wally Lamb’s I Know This Much is True (1998) 897 pages
Robert Bolano’s 2666 (2004; Trans. Natasha Wimmer 2008) 898 pages
Gregory David Roberts’ Shantaram (2003)933 pages
Kathleen Winsor’s Forever Amber (1944) 972 pages
Mervyn Peake’s The Gormenghast Trilogy (1946; 1950; 1959) 1023 pages
Mary Gentle’s Ash (2000, omnibus) 1111 pages
Sigrid Undset’s Kristin Lavransdatter (1920-22; 2005 Trans. Tiina Nunnally) 1146 pages

I’ll record my reads below:
450-550 pages
1.  Jane Harris’ Gillespie and I (2011) 504 pages
2. Lawrence Hill’s The Book of Negroes (2007) 486 pages
3. Charles de Lint’s Dreams Underfoot (1993) 459 pages
4. Pasha Malla’s People Park (2012) 484 pages
5. Patrick Somerville’s This Bright River (2012) 451 pages
6. Tahir Shah’s Timbuctoo (2012) 527 pages

551-750 pages
1. Isabel Wilkerson’s The Warmth of Other Suns (2010) 587 pages
2. Maria Dueñas’ The Time in Between (2011; Trans. Daniel Hahn) 612 pages

750+ pages
1. G.R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones (1996) 807 pages
2. Sigrid Undset’s Kristin Lavransdatter (1920-22; 2005 Trans. Tiina Nunnally) 1146 pages
3. Ann-Marie MacDonald’s How the Crow Flies (2003) 820 pages

And may I gracefully accept the fact that they will, undoubtedly, make my butt look big.

[Edited to say, Complete!]

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2 comments to Chunkster Reading Challenge 2012

  • Ha! I love this. Thanks for signing up for the challenge!

    Physically, chunksters are so awkward to read that I usually leave them at home and rarely take them out with me. I’ve been keeping my thickest books on my nightstand. Hopefully this weekend, I can get through one of them.

    I didn’t know that The Book of Negroes is a chunkster! I need to get a copy now.

  • Thanks, Vasilly. It’s just barely a chunkster, hmm? I peeked inside today, when I was picking up a book from a nearby shelf, and it really does look good. But I’ve got to keep my chunkster-reading to a one-at-a-time thing, and I’m already committed to Undset’s trilogy and Wilkerson’s book (both of which are intriguing for very different reasons).

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