May 15, 2012

I Like Big Books & I Cannot Lie

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week they post a new topic/Top Ten list and invite everyone to share their own answers. I'm so obsessed with lists!

This week's topic was originally about what ten authors we'd like to see on a reality show, but it was recently updated to be a freebie week. While I actually like the reality show topic (and hope some people still do that), I could not think of anything for that list for the life of me. So, I created my own topic this week.

I have a confession about my reading habits. I love really fat books, but I also put off reading them. I let them linger in my TBR pile for so long because I can never quite commit to the amount of time it will take me to read them. But, once I finally do, I almost always fall head over heels in love with the book and regret that I didn't get to it sooner. So, in honor of that, I present this list:

Top Ten Chunksters on My To Be Read (Or Re-Read) List

 

1. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo - I recently bought the Julie Rose translation of this book after hearing wonderful things about its readability. I'm dying to read - I just haven't yet worked up the courage to actually start it. I've seen the musical and the movie, so I know the general storyline, but I know neither will compare to the book itself. Plus, it's a favorite of Lorren at The Story Girl so I have a feeling I'll love it because she's got great taste in books! 

2. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy - I read Anna Karenina and loved it. Anna is a difficult character, Tolstoy likes to take some looong tangents and it's intimidating, but I still want to read this book. Not even to brag about it. Okay, well maybe a little. But it really does sound good!

 

3. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett - I accidentally bought this on my Kindle with the whole 1-click buying button, but I would have probably ended up getting so I wasn't too concerned. I have read awesome things about this one, and April at Good Books and Good Wine wrote an awesome review of it. I'll basically read anything she says she enjoyed because we have similar book soul mates.

4. East of Eden by John Steinbeck - I haven't read anything by Steinbeck, but I bought this on a whim at a used bookstore because it was so cheap. Now it just stares at me and reminds me that I still haven't picked it up. But, again, Lorren recently included a quote from it on one of her Top Tuesday posts so that convinced me it needs to get moved up on my list.

  

5. Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell - I really love this mini-series. It's just so dang good! But, my goodness, this book is big. And I always pick it up and stop after like two chapters because I can't quite convince myself to commit to it. But I will! I promise. Because I need further proof that the book is always better than the movie.

6. Middlemarch by George Eliot - I've heard this can be a challenging read but that it's also really worth the effort. After seeing several quotes from it, I'm convinced I'll love it. I just have to get in the quaint and slow country life kind of mood first.

 

7. The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons - This cover is gorgeous. I don't even need to read the description to know I want to read it. And then I kept hearing good things about it, so that further convinced me it needed to be read. It's set in Russian. And it's a love story. Sounds good to me.

8. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon - I believe this is a favorite of Jess at Gone with the Words, which originally made me think I might want to read it. And then I saw that there are a bunch of bloggers doing a read-along of it this summer. I don't know what to do! I know I'd like to read it, but that's one big fat book.

 

9. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray - This is going to sound so lame, but I basically want to read this because of the Reese Witherspoon movie. Yes, I just said that. Can you blame me?

10. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins - There was recently a group doing a read-along of this book, which is what made me add it to be to be read list. Is it a mystery? A ghost story? I have no idea. I just know it's long, and I want to read it.

Bonus: To Re-Read

 

11. The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly - I devoured this book like two years ago, but now I can't remember anything that happened. It's the first in a trilogy, and my best friend bought me all three for Christmas so I think I want to read all three in a row. Then, I think of all the time that will take, and I second-guess my decision. But I know I love Jennifer Donnelly's writing so these books will definitely be happening soon.

12. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell - This is one of those big books that takes no time at all to read because you can't just put it down. I know because I read it in middle school, and it immediately jumped on to my favorites list. I realized recently I haven't read it since then, and I'm thinking I might need a little Scarlett in my life soon. You can't go wrong with a Southern girl, even if she's a total pain sometimes.

So, here's where you come in: which one should I read first? Any books on here you'd highly recommend? Help convince me that it's finally time to take the plunge and commit to one of these chunksters! I'm begging you... and so is my TBR pile!

36 comments:

  1. Great topic! I had to read the abridged version of Les Miserables ages ago for school and have never been brave enough to tackle the unabridged doorstop. Wives and Daughters has been sitting unread on my shelf for about 3 years now; I really have to get around to reading it.

    Our TTT

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    1. I haven't read Les Miserables, even the abridged version, so I'm really looking forward to it. I've seen the musical and enjoyed it - but I don't think I followed the story as well as I would have if I'd read the book.

      And yep, Wives & Daughters has been on my shelf for way too long...

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  2. The only books on your list that I have read are Les Miserables and Gone with the Wind. I do the same thing as you. I put off starting the BIG books and when I do finally read them I am rarely sorry.

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    1. I know! It's so easy to put off big books, but they always end up being some of my favorites. Such rewarding reads!

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  3. What an original list! I've got quite a few fat books on my shelf to be read, too - it's kind of daunting some days, and an accomplishment on others haha. I do hope you get to read East of Eden soon though, I read in it both high school and college and love it more each time. Steinbeck is a fantastic author.

    My Top Ten [Book Things I Want To Do]

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    1. Thanks Ashley! I usually have a hard time getting motivated to start a big book because I know that it will take me longer to read it. And then I think about how many books I could read during the time it took me to read one. But if I ever actually start a big book - I almost always end up LOVING it & being so glad I got to spend time with it. Sometimes I wish it was longer!

      Glad to know you loved East of Eden - I look forward to reading it!

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  4. There are so many good ones on this list! I love Les Miserables and East of Eden and Middlemarch and The Bronze Horseman. The first three are long-time favorites for me, and The Bronze Horseman blew me away a few weeks ago (I still need to write my review). I also really liked your two reread books. As for the rest, they are all on my TBR except for Outlander (I'm not sure why because everyone loves Outlander, but it has just never sparked my interest). Now you have to read all of these so I can gush in the comments of your reviews, haha.

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    1. Haha now I'm dying to read all of these because I want you to come gush in the comments :) I just read your review of The Bronze Horseman, and it got me so excited to read it! Plus, you've totally had me convinced I need to read the other 3 since they're some of your favorites.

      And I understand what you mean about Outlander! I go back and forth between thinking it sounds good and being completely uninterested. I know everyone loves it, but there are parts of the description that make me think I'll only think it's okay. Guess we'll see if I do end up reading it!

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  5. Great list! Almost all of these are on my TBR list, as well. The only one I've actually read is Outlander, which I just read a few weeks ago and loved.

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    1. I just read your Outlander review, and you made it sound really good! I go back and forth between being really interested in reading it and being unsure of whether or not I really want to read it. Haha!

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  6. Are we like the same person? Because seriously we have some eerily similar taste in big books.

    I've read... six of the books on here - including Gone With The Wind and LOVED ALL OF THEM.

    I desperately want to read The Tea Rose and totally want to read War And Peace as well.
    ALSO OMG I am freakin in love with Les Miserables, so much so that I want to do a re-read via audiobook soon. I read that my senior year of high school and was blown away, even by the boring Waterloo bits. Sigh.

    I love your list and big books!

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    1. I seriously get so excited every time I see a comment from you about our similar taste in books. It makes me trust your book recommendations even more because I know you must have fabulous taste in books :)

      And if you loved all six of them, I'm EVEN MORE EXCITED to read them. I also really want to compare thoughts once I finally read them!

      You MUST read The Tea Rose - I think you'll love it. I've only read the first of the trilogy, but my friend just bought me all of them so I need to read all 3 straight through soon. I love family sagas with lots of drama!

      I know so many people who've loved Les Miserables so I definitely want to make it a reading priority.

      ANDDD we should totally do like a read-along of War & Peace. I'm going to need to read it at the same time as someone else for motivation to finish!

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  7. I have a phobia of fat books. It's bad of me but I find them intimidating.

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    1. Haha I totally understand that phobia! I have a love/hate relationship with fat books - I hate to start them but love them once I finally get into them :)

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  8. Wow! Those ARE some chunksters. Very intimidating :)
    Angela @ AJ Arndt Books Blog

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    1. Haha I know! They're definitely big books :)

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  9. JOIN US!!!! It's really not that big. And we're breaking it up into 6 weeks, so it's doable. :)

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    1. I might! I'm debating :) I just finished a read-along for Dickens' Bleak House which is like 900 pages - I think that's why I'm hesitant to dive in to this one! But we'll see :)

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  10. I love your list! I do the same things - pick up a big, fat book somewhere that looks promising, take forever to read it, but then I'm so glad I did. And I'm usually wishing it wasn't a stand-alone, because I want more! I haven't read any of these, but I've picked up Wives and Daughters a couple times. I've seen that mini-series, as well as North and South, and I loved them. Or I would pick up Vanity Fair... for the same reason you listed {love Reese Witherspoon}.

    I'd love it if you came and checked out My Top Ten.

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    1. 1. I almost always wish the fat book was longer haha!
      2. Love both of those mini-series, which is why I'm dying to read it! I've already read North & South (very similar to Pride & Prejudice) so now I've just got to tackle this one!
      3. YES REESE. ADORE.

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  11. Great list! The only one on there that I've actually read is Outlander. It's one of my favourite books, and one I've wanted to re-read for a long time. (Fact: I fell in love with Jamie Fraser in this book when I first read it when I was 16 and wouldn't you know it - my husband's name is James Fraser and also has Scottish Heritage. To those who get it, I joke I finally found my own Jamie Fraser ;))
    Anyway, I saw the read-along on Twitter last night and while I want to join, I always thought once I re-read it, I will continue and read all of the series, but that is such a HUGE time commitment! Ahh, I don't know what to do :/

    Fat books are intimidating! I always think how many smaller books I can get through in the same amount of time!

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    1. I think the exact same thing when I'm reading a fat book! But then I'm usually sad when it's over haha!

      So many people are saying that they love Outlander - it's definitely making me more interested in reading it!

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  12. I like your list of TBR, though I have only read two of the books.

    I remember Les Miserable containing bizarre and extremely long tangents on varying topics from horticulture to military history. It was ultimately a great read however.

    East of Eden was a lot more accessible and a fairly easy read.

    Have fun with the books!

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    1. I've heard the same thing about Les Miserables containing long tangents, which reminds me of Anna Karenina. Tolstoy did the same thing. It was boring in parts, but it was ultimately a great read.

      East of Eden definitely seems more accessible - I still can't believe I haven't read any Steinbeck!

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  13. 1. The title of this blog post rules.
    2. I've TOTALLY wanted to read The Woman in White forevahhh. I think it was mentioned in Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. I mean really, if Jane Austen mentioned it her book that biz is GOLD.

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    1. TRUTH. If Jane Austen mentions anything, I'm sold.

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  14. I have Les Misérables but in two book form and I started it when I was much younger but never finished. And you've made me want to read The Bronze Horseman , thanks!

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    1. I hope you enjoy it if you do end up reading it! I have heard great things about it, so I'm really excited about getting around to it one day hah! I look forward to hearing what you think of it if you read it!

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    1. I'm pretty bad until I actually start them. And then I usually get sucked in. It's just the starting it part I always put off.

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  16. SO OK OMG. First of all, Pillars of the Earth is fantastic. So impressive and wonderful. I hope you read it soon and love it! But seriously--OUTLANDER. So, don't be intimidated by the length. Pillars of the Earth is a huge book that I kind of savored. Took me a while to read it. But Outlander? PSH. Finished that shizz in NO TIME. It does not read like a huge book, I promise. In fact, for a book that size, I bet you'll read it pretty quickly (if you like it, of course. Which, OBVS, Scottish men in kilts, historical fiction, sexytimes...not much to dislike here). I LOVED Outlander. That whole series, to be honest, although the first two books are probably my favorites by a hair. Even if you don't do the readalong, I hope you read it soon. Jamie Fraser will ruin you for all other bookish men.

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    1. SO OK I basically love this comment. I can already tell I'll love Pillars of the Earth just from the little I know about it. But I've been on the fence about Outlander, and you're totally winning me over. I don't know about Jamie Fraser ruining me for all other bookish men - those are pretty strong words! Guess we'll have to see if it's true once I finally get to it :)

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  17. There's an Outlander readalong? Ooooh.... Also, you should read it, it moves at such a pace you will blink and realise you devoured another 200 pages of swoonworthy deliciousness. :)

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    1. That's what people have been saying, and I love fat books that go by quickly because you're sucked in to the story!

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