Over the past couple of years, I have been trying to get over my fear of giant books. And I’ve been doing fairly well. I knocked a few giants off my TBR already. Turns out, the two biggest, most intimidating books I read last year turned out to be some of my all-time favorites. If that isn’t an argument for the value of big books, I don’t know what is.
So today, I thought I’d take a look at the ten longest books on my TBR and see if there might be a few of them I can get to this year. Maybe.
World Without End by Ken Follett – 1,014 pages
One of the aforementioned favorites of last year was The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. I loved that book so much, so, naturally, I had to add the sequel to my TBR. The Pillars of the Earth kind of broke my heard a little bit, so I’m not super eager to jump into a giant book that I know will most likely make me cry. I might not get to it this year, but I do want to read it soon. Because there are two more books in this series, and I’m sure both of them are just as long.
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell – 1,037 pages
So many people – including quite a few of you – have told me to read this. Honestly, it’s not really a huge priority for me. I’m sure it’s great, but I don’t have any particular attachment to it (yet). I’ve never seen the movie, so it doesn’t have the nostalgia factor that I think this does for a lot of people. However, I do still want to read it. It seems like this is a classic for a reason, which is why it’s on my list.
Under the Dome by Stephen King – 1,049 pages
A while ago, there was a (not-so-great) TV adaptation of this one and it definitely piqued my interest. It’s not at the top of my Stephen King reading list, but it has been sitting on my shelves for forever, so I definitely do want to get to it at some point. There are just other things I want to read first.
Grant by Ron Chernow – 1,074 pages
Now, this one, I might actually read this year. I read Alexander Hamilton a few years ago, and really enjoyed it. Ron Chernow isn’t my favorite biographer (I just really love Walter Isaacson’s books), but I’ve heard this is his best so far. And I know absolutely nothing about Grant (except that the S in Ulysses S. Grant stands for nothing), so it might be fun to learn more.
London by Edward Rutherfurd – 1,152 pages
For some reason, I have collected at least seven Rutherfurd books and have not yet read a single one of them. I have a problem. I do want to read them at some point, however, I don’t think London is the one I’m most eager to pick up. Maybe I’ll make it a goal of mine to read one of them next year. But it might not be this one.
The Stand by Stephen King – 1,153 pages
Every year, I read a Stephen King book for Halloween. And the past few years, I’ve kind of let one of the books call to me (sounds creepy, but there’s always one King book that gets stuck in my head at some point in the year). Last year, that book was It. And while I did not want to read a book the size of my head about a creepy clown, I ended up loving it. This year, the King book that won’t get out of my head is The Stand. So it’s probably going to happen in October.
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand – 1,168 pages
I’m going to be totally honest here: adding this to my TBR was almost entirely motivated by those pretentious jerks in my college literature courses who would not stop taking about Ayn Rand (and seemed to take a special sort of satisfaction from pronouncing her name correctly). Anyway, I kind of want to read this just to see what all the fuss is about. But I’m in no hurry to do it.
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas – 1,276 pages
The thing with giant classics like this one is, I know I want to dedicate a lot of time to them. I don’t want to listen to the audiobook on 3x speed (like I’m tempted to do), I really want to take the time to appreciate them. And I just don’t have that time right now. Especially for books like The Count of Monte Cristo that just aren’t calling to me. Someday it will, but that day is not today.
Les Misérables by Victor Hugo – 1,456 pages
Now this one has actually been calling my name. I glance at it on my shelves at least once a week. And I keep talking myself out of it because I just don’t have the patience for it right now, and I want to give it the attention it deserves. Maybe I’ll make this a goal for next year (unless I give into the pressure and pick it up at some point this year).
The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany by William L. Shirer – 1,614 pages
Yes, the longest book currently on my TBR is a history book about Nazi Germany. You might already know that I am a huge history nerd. Like, just as big a history nerd as I am a literature nerd. Which is saying a lot. And Nazi Germany has always been fascinating to me (in a “wow, they were seriously terrible and we need to never let this happen again” way). This is kind of the Nazi Germany history bible, so I feel like I should probably read it. Whenever I’m feeling up for a very long and depressing history lesson.
There it is! The ten longest books currently on my TBR. I’m actually pleasantly surprised that these are mostly books I’m actually excited about reading (most of which I actually own). And that I have (tentative) plans to read two of them at some point this year.
What’s the longest book on your TBR?