Sunday, January 07, 2007

Chunkster Challenge

Even though I am still working on the last books for my "From the Stacks" challenge, I decided to join this challenge as well, because...well, because it's fun. The idea behind the Chunkster Challenge is to read long books, with lots of pages. Since we have six months in which to read, I decided to list 3 books that qualify. I was planning to read these books in 2007 anyway.

First on my list is North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell, with 521 pages. I've had this on the shelf for a while, and it will be my first book by Mrs. Gaskell.

Next (although I don't know what order I might actually read these) is The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, with 614 pages. Again, this will my first novel by Kingsolver.

And finally, The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens, with 743 pages. This will not be my first go with Dickens, but this novel was his first published book. After I finish reading it, I plan to go back to the Pickwick chapter in Little Women and see if it makes more sense, or if knowing Dickens' book adds any kind of meaning to that section. I've read Little Women enough times to remember the literary allusion to Pickwick Papers, but I have not read this particular work by Dickens before, so I might have missed something.

I also have one nonfiction book on my list of reading plans for 2007: From Dawn to Decadence by Jacques Barzun. It is some 800 pages long, but I am planning to read it across the entire year, so it will not be finished by the June 30th deadline for this challenge.

I'm not really scared of big, chunky books. I've read plenty of them in my reading lifetime. These days, it's more an issue of time than anything else. Short stories, quick reads, and novellas just go a lot faster. As witnessed by my extremely slow progress in War and Peace. I won't even be starting any of these other chunky books until I finish that one. Right now I'm leaning toward North and South as the first one. I'm still a bit disgruntled by A Tale of Two Cities, and don't really want to read Dickens right now.


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