Friday, June 6, 2014

2014 Big Book Summer Challenge

Ok, I am joining my first challenge as a book blogger! It is called the Big Book Summer Challenge for 2014, hosted by Sue at Book by Book. It's a fairly low-key and easy summer challenge--the rules are that you read at least one book of 400 or more pages before Labor Day. I think I can do it!

Too bad I didn't save this hefty tome for the Big Book Summer Challenge:

The Goldfinch is a certifiable chunkster at 775 pages! Yep, it's a Big Book, alright. And I have even blogged about my foot-dragging on reading it, partly because of its length (On My Strange and Embarrassing Reluctance to Start "The Goldfinch"). Well, I finally--at long last--completed it, and you can read my review here. Bummer, it won't qualify for this challenge! I would have felt like I had an impressive entry with that one.

Ok, since that one won't cut it for the Big Book Challenge, let me see what else I can offer. I have quite a list of books I hope to tackle over the summer months, but many of them are under 400 pages. And my summer reading list tends to deviate from what I planned as the season wears on. But, I have two books I think I can commit to this summer that are 400 pages or more.

First, Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, 477 pages. I've never read Adichie, who of course has received a great deal of critical praise and attention... so it's time to rectify that. Americanah is an award-winning novel about love and race, set in Nigeria and America.

And secondly, The Rise and Fall of Great Powers by Tom Rachman, which JUST squeaks by for this challenge at 400 pages. Rachman's novel centers on an American woman living a quiet life as a bookshop owner in Wales. She receives surprising news from an old boyfriend that prompts her on a quest to uncover the mysteries of her puzzling past. Sounds intriguing... and I won a copy from Goodreads, so I oughta read it!

Ok, so I don't have any really first-class chunksters on the menu for the season. This is not the summer for me to take on Tolstoy, or Vikram Seth's A Suitable Boy, a veritable monster at 1,474 pages, which continues to sit unread in my study. Nope, not this year. I think the two novels above, although the hardly the longest books out there, will do nicely for this challenge.

How about you... Are you interested in tackling any Big Books this summer?


  1. Nice! I have The Rise and Fall of Great Powers coming up, but I am envious that you won a copy to keep!

    1. I think Great Powers sounds good, don't you? I'm waiting for my copy to arrive! I haven't read Tom Rachman before.

  2. Welcome to the Big Book Summer Challenge, Leila! I am so honored that mine is the first challenge you've undertaken as a book blogger!

    Looks like some great books planned - I have heard wonderful things about Americanah. I hadn't heard of Great Powers yet, but you have to love any novel set in a bookstore, right?

    Enjoy your big books and the challenge!


    2014 Big Book Summer Challenge