Scary Big Books List…


For reasons unknown (but probably are deeply embedded in my psyche :-)), I have been intimidated by large books: large in page numbers not the actual page size itself. Books with huge numbers of pages seem rather overwhelming to me, although I still add them to my TBR pile in the idle hope that perhaps I might still pick one up every now and then. However, to be honest, I haven’t been picking them up and as I collected some of them from the shelves, it seems that I have quite a pile.

I thought I might tackle some (or one) of them this year, and so went gathering them up from where they lay in the book cases. I have quite a few, it seems, and thus the plan is born: I will read one (or more) of these really large books this year.  Pretty do-able goal, I think.

Each of the books featured have spines that measure 1.5 inches or more (which was my criteria for inclusion). Page numbers are unknown, but believed to be scary-high for most.

Titles include (as included in the photo top to bottom, left pile first):

  • The Emperor of Maladies – Siddartha Meukherjee (NF) – UPDATE: READ THIS ONE.
  • Bound to Please – Michael Dirda (NF)
  • Working – Studs Terkel (NF) (gave this one away)
  • Taste: The Story of Britain Through its Cooking – Kate Colquhoun (NF and expected response from non—UK readers – lots of blank pages)
  • Steve Jobs bio – Walter Isaacson (NF)  (gave this one away)
  • Austerity Britain: 1945-1951 – David Kynaston (NF – looks a bit *serious* to me but good reviews)

Right hand pile, top to bottom:

  • London Belongs to Me – Normal Collins (F) Completed.
  • The Victorians – A. N. Wilson (NF)
  • Bloody Foreigners: The Story of Immigration to Britain – Robert Winder (NF)
  • And Ladies of the Club – Helen Hooven Santmyer (F) – DNF

And they’re off from the starting post. First up: And Ladies of the Club… Progress updated as warranted.

Edited to add (April 2014): Remarkably little progress so far. And Ladies… was crushingly boring and a DNF. (Sorry – I know that a lot people really love this one.) And London Belongs to Me was ok, but took up almost a whole month and didn’t feel worth it. The  project continues, but dawdles more than anything.

ETA (February 2019): Still not a great deal of progress, except that I’ve given away the Steve Jobs bio and the Studs Terkel title. Did just read two SBBs not on that list though: Roots (Alex Haley – 912 pp) and Victoria: A Life by A.N. Wilson (642 pp), so it’s all baby steps. 🙂

ETA (Sept. 2019): Actually read (and totally enjoyed) The Emperor of Maladies. Woohoo! Progress of sorts.

9 thoughts on “Scary Big Books List…

  1. Wow! Some impressively big books there! I’ve had a problem committing to long books oddly enough since I started blogging since there would be a big gap between reviews – must try to conquer this phobia (or read more…)

    • Kaggsy – That is one of my hang-ups as well – long gaps between blogging. However, I usually read more than one book at a time, so am thinking that if I read a long book, then I can put shorter books in between and perhaps address that in that way, We’ll see. Some of these books I’ve had a long time so we’ll see if I can get past this phobia. Thanks for popping by.

      • Oddly enough, I thought I might try that tactic and started Don Quixote and some short novels. But I got so sidetracked by Russians that I haven’t picked up the Don for weeks. Ah well…..

  2. Big books can be scary especially for a super slow reader like me, but strangely I seem to have knack for acquiring them too. Michael Dirda’s Bound to Please is a real delight. But be warned though, your TBR list is sure to get longer than ever, as DIrda convinces you to read all those other books he recommends in there!

  3. I don’t read a lot of big books, but there are quite a few on my “yet to read” shelf. I think it has more to do with not wanting to carry around heavy books around with me since I always have to have my book with me. Good luck on your quest.

  4. It’s been 20 years since I read And Ladies of the Club, but I remember loving it! I picked up a copy at a used books sale a couple of years ago in hopes of rereading but, of course, haven’t gotten around to it. Enjoy!

  5. Pingback: Sister Carrie – Theodore Dreiser (1900) | Just One More Page…

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