Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2012 Chunkster Challenge

I found this challenge over at Allie's Literary Odyssey.  I know it's terrible of me to sign up for another challenge, but I have so many Big Fat Books on my to-read shelves, it's really no problem for me to sign up for just one more.  In 2011 I read eight books that were more than 500 pages so this should be easy-peasy.  Every single one of these books is on the TBR shelf.

I'm signing up for the Do These Books Make My Butt Look Big? level:  six books, of which two are 450 -550 pages; two books between 551-750 pages; and the final two books are at least 751 pages in length.  And is it cheating if I repeat books from other challenges?

My tentative list, vaguely in order by page length:

They Knew Mr. Knight (496 pages) OR They Were Sisters (455 pages) by Dorothy Whipple.  I've had this pair of Whipples unread on the Persephone shelf for a year, since I received both as Christmas gifts in 2010.  I was on a roll completing the Persephones but I've slowed down a bit.  This looks like a good excuse to read another, or maybe even both.

Doctor Thorne (496 pages) by Anthony Trollope -- I'm way behind on the Barsetshire series.  I borrowed this copy from my mother a year ago and still haven't touched it!

South Riding by Winifred Holtby (512 pages).  I won this last year in a Virago Reading Week giveaway courtesy of Thomas at My Porch.  The miniseries is still in the DVR queue and I don't want to watch it until I've read the book.

The Earth by Emile Zola -- I couldn't forget Zola, and it's 512 pages, so that's perfect.  And I just got it for Christmas!  Or maybe L'Assommoir (480 pages) or La Debacle (592 pages)  Amanda at Ramblings got me hooked on Zola, and we're hoping to do a Zola buddy read sometime soon.

The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay (528 pages).  This has been highly recommended over and over, and I hope that 2012 will finally be the year I get to this one.

East of Eden by John Steinbeck.  (601 pages)  I love Steinbeck, but the size is intimidating.

Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham (615 pages).  I'm already committed to reading this with my real-life classics book group, and I nominated it, so I have to read it!  It'll be a re-read but it's been so long it'll be like a brand-new book to me.

Martin Chuzzlewit by Charles Dickens (864 pages) I'm reading it with an online group, plus 2012 is going to be all about Dickens.  Might even get to Our Mutual Friend (880 pages) as well.

A Dance With Dragons (1016 pages) by George R. R. Martin.   I must find out what happens in Westeros -- really looking forward to Season 2 of Game of Thrones on HBO.


  1. Thanks for signing up for the challenge! East of Eden is one of my favorite books of all-time. Don't let its size intimidate you. After the first few chapters, the book really picks up and you'll fly through it. Good luck with the challenge and happy reading!

  2. This is a great challenge! I actually have a lot of BIG books left on my project list, so I could probably knock out 20 chunksters this year (and I probably will).

    Zola is amazing. I've only read Germinal, but I have a few others on the shelf. I can't wait to read more of him!

  3. Just the name alone tempts me to sign up for it!

  4. East of Eden is incredible - I read it for the first time a couple of months ago. I think I inadvertently did a chunkster challenge last year! (A Suitable Boy - 1400 pages doesn't get more chunkster-y, Middlesex, The Lacuna, East of Eden, Titus Groan...)

  5. Vasilly -- I don't know why I've waited so long, I loved Grapes of Wrath and nearly everything else by Steinbeck. Maybe I'll even tackle Moby Dick!

    Allie -- I'm so glad you like Zola, he's one of my absolute favorites. I usually fly through his books and some of them aren't that long.

    Lisa May -- maybe this will be my year of Chunksters. I think I should have signed up to read more!

    Tracy -- A Suitable Boy, what an achievement! And Titus Groan intrigues me -- sounds very Dickensian with a little George R. R. Martin thrown in, which is exactly what I'm into at the moment.

  6. East of Eden is one of my all time favorite books. It is long but so worth it!

  7. I'm signed up for this challenge as well. I wasn't organized enough to put my entire list up ahead of time, but I'm starting out with Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel.

    Best of luck to you!

  8. I'd totally do this challenge if it weren't for the ridiculous rule that they don't count ebooks? Huh? really? Reading 1000 pages on ebook is not as hard are reading 1000 bound pages? Most of my chunksters have FEWER pages via ebook but they still top 700 pages.

    Anyway, rant over. I'm loving your list. East of Eden is one of my favorite books ever so don't be intimidated by it's size. You'll just love the characters and never want it to end. :)


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