Sunday, February 17, 2013

Chunkster Challenge 2013

I did promise not to sign up for any more challenges, but if I can fulfull a new challenge while knocking a few books off the TBR shelf, why not?  Especially big fat books?  Bring on the Chunkster Challenge 2013!

Last year I was easily able to complete the Do These Books Make My Butt Look Big Challenge?, so I'm going to sign up for that level again.  Here's what I need to complete it, and some possible titles:


Two books between 450 and 550 pages:

The Shuttle by Frances Hodgson Burnett (512 pages)
Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Mildred Jung Chang (544 pages) Completed 10/28/13
The Persephone Book of Short Stories (477 pages)
Completed 4/30/13
Giants of the Earth by H. E. Rolvaag (453 pages) Completed 7/9/13
The Makioka Sisters by Junichiro Tanizaki  (530 pages)
Completed 4/25/13
The New York Stories of Edith Wharton (464 pages) Completed 8/2/13
The Earth by Emile Zola (512 pages)

Two books between 551 and 750 pages:



The Children's Book by A. S. Byatt (675 pages) Completed 9/6/13
Few Eggs and No Oranges by Vere Hodgson (590 pages)
Moby-Dick by Herman Melville (625 pages)
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton (552 pages) Completed 8/28/13
The Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker (626 pages)
Lark Rise to Candleford by Flora Thompson (556 pages)
The American Senator by Anthony Trollope (561 pages) Completed 4/6/13

Two books of 750 pages or more:
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susannah Clark (782 pages)
The Crimson Petal and the White by Michael Faber (894 pages)
The Art of Eating by M. F. K. Fisher (784 pages)
The Good Soldier Svejk by Jaroslav Hacek (752 pages) Completed 8/24/13
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (1232) pages)
Orley Farm by Anthony Trollope (825 pages) Completed 10/11/13

Plus, I could choose any one of a number of Victorian triple-deckers by Trollope still on my shelves -- I think I have about ten that would fulfill the requirements!!   I'm slightly annoyed that I didn't sign up for this before completing The Last Chronicle of Barset (and that I started it before January 1, thereby disqualifying it from the challenge.  Oh, well, it's not as if I don't have enough other choices!)

Which do you recommend, bloggers?  And is anyone else signing up for this challenge?

14 comments:

  1. Oh you must read the Shuttle, it won't feel like a chunkster at all. I should admit I haven't read it yet (it is on my shelf) but I have read two other long FHB novels (T. Tembarom and The Making of a Marchioness) and both of them flew by. To date I have found Moby Dick unreadable. Knowing the story of Les Mis, I have often wondered if the 1200 pages would fly by. Might be kind of delightful. If you have a hankering for something more modern, something that combines the Internet boom of the 1990s with a great WWII story, you should look into Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson. I am on page 550 of 909 and am loving it.

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    1. Cryptonomicon does sound interesting, and I find WWII fascinating. Moby Dick scares me but I got a free copy from Penguin a couple of years ago, so I feel like I should at least try.

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  2. Sounds like a fun challenge! The Makioka Sisters was one of my favorite reads last year, The Children's Book is on my tbr shelf, and you can never go wrong with M.F.K. Fisher. Good luck.

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    1. I listened to an essay by Fisher on a CD by Selected Shorts and it was one of the funniest things I've ever heard. And The Makioka Sisters is supposed to be sort of like Pride & Prejudice -- I love Jane Austen AND Japan so I think I'll love it.

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  3. So tempted to join in too! As I am planning to read great deal of chunksters this year (like Moby Dick and Les Miserables, definitely).

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    1. I really want to read Les Mis. Or maybe I just want to have read it, if you know what I mean. I feel the same way about Moby Dick.

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  4. I am currently about 1/3rd of the way through The Count of Monte Cristo's 1200+ pages - I should sign up for this too! I really want to read Les Miserables too, but I can't start it til after the Double Dog Dare ends April 1st. I added several chunksters to my shelves last year, including Wm. Thackeray's Pendennis - and of course I also have all those Trollopes waiting.

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    1. I've signed up for a Trollope readalong with an online group and I'm sure they'll end up choosing one of the books I don't actually own! I'm going to try and work on the standalones before I tackle the Pallisers.

      I haven't read Monte Cristo either, but it'll have to wait until after Les Mis.

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  5. Wild Swans was a very quick read as I recall; non-fiction but it almost reads like a novel. The Makioka Sister’s was a slower read for me, maybe it was the translation or the fact that the culture is so different from mine that slowed me down. I can see where people would make comparisons to Jane Austen. The Crimson Petal and the White and Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell can either fly by or can be tedious I think, depending upon the reader. Well, I suppose that is true of all books. I stalled out on The Crimson Petal and the White about 3/4th of the way through and had to make myself read one page at a time until I was able to get back into the groove. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell had me at hello and I was immediately engrossed in its fabulous alternative history. I look forward to reading about what you think of them.

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    1. I just read something wonderful about Jonathan Strange on Ann Patchett's bookstore blog -- did you know she opened a bookstore in Nashville, Parnassus Books? Pretty awesome!

      I keep hearing great things about Wild Swans. I'm thinking about saving it for May which is Asian-Pacific Heritage month -- I've chosen a book about China and a book about India for my two library groups, so I'm thinking about doing a whole month of Asian-themed books. Might squeeze in The Makioka Sisters too, or another nonfiction work.

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  6. The Children's Book is chunky, but wonderful! It is a fast read, too. I don't think I'll read any super chunks this year except for maybe Bleak House.

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    1. I was just looking at that one today! I'm working on a display of books at the library for Downton Abbey withdrawal and I realized it's a similar time period (well, for Season 1 of DA at least). I haven't read any A. S. Byatt since Possession and it sounds interesting.

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  7. I'm enjoying the audio of Moby Dick. It really is fascinating and the drama parts are fun. To be honest, I'm finding it much more enjoyable than Anna Karenina in terms of the dry boring parts to interesting lively parts. And I am thinking that it is the audio/listening experience that makes it fun - I might not enjoy reading it. Hard to say.

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    1. I think I want to read/listen to Moby Dick this summer -- I'm listening to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea on audio in the car and I like it so far. I love all the nautical things -- I'm fascinated by old sailing stories even though I've never actually been sailing.

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