Saturday, May 29, 2021

Big Book Summer Challenge

Summertime and the livin' is easy
Fish are jumpin' and the cotton is high
Oh, your daddy's rich and your ma is good lookin'
So hush, little baby, don't you cry

Time to bring out the big books because summer isn't summer without the Big Book Summer Challenge, hosted by Sue at Book by Book.

I'm looking at some vacation days, lazing around, reading me some good big books.

Target books:
  • Black Diamonds: The Downfall of an Aristocratic Dynasty and the Fifty Years that Changed England, by Catherine Bailey (non-fiction, 451 pages) - strongly recommended by my brother Mark and sister Frances
  • Winter King: Henry VII and the Dawn of Tudor England, by Thomas Penn (non-fiction, 448 pages) - received at Xmas, eager to read
  • Into the Wilderness, by Sara Donati (fiction, 876 pages) - literally been on my shelf for a decade!
  • Lionheart, by Sharon Kay Penman (fiction, 684 pages) - next in the Plantagenet series
It turns out that I have a number of books that I am also planning on reading this summer that are just shy of the 400 page mark. But no matter, reading isn't a competitive sport and this challenge simply inspires me to take a second look at my TBR shelf and pick a couple that do fit that bill that I was planning on reading at some point!

Hope you all have a safe and bookish summer. Now, if it would only get warm. We had a cool Spring in Colorado, and now I am in Maine, wearing a fleece every day and hoping to see the sun.


  1. This looks like a great selection of books for the challenge! I just signed up yesterday, so I'm taking a look at some of the other participants' goals for the challenge. I can relate to having books on my shelf for years and years—one of the books I'm hoping to get read for the challenge has been waiting for around five years! Good luck meeting your goals, and thanks so much for the great post!

  2. Enjoy your time in Maine...and good luck reading one of those chunksters.

  3. Welcome back to the Big Book Summer Challenge, Jane! So glad to hear it's become a part of summer that you look forward to each year - me, too!

    Looks like a great plan - I haven't read any of those yet. And I can SO relate to finally getting to books that have been on my shelves for a decade or more!

    I LOVE Maine - don't worry, it'll warm up (but not get too hot). I'm further South, in Delaware, and it's 40's and raining here today! Pretty unusual. Just curl up with a Big Book :)

    Enjoy Maine and your books!


    2021 Big Book Summer Challenge

  4. I am sure it is even colder in Maine than in Boston, and I have not yet removed my electric blanket, thank goodness.

    Remember when you make it to Boston, we are supposed to get together!

    1. It seems the whole East Coast is in a cold funk this Memorial Weekend. It is absolutely pouring right now--glad I decided to have a cup of tea and read instead of hiking today!

      I won't make it to Boston this trip, but I dearly want to go there again and soon. I especially want to go back to Concord--I really loved visiting that literary haunt. I will be in touch when I am in the neighborhood so we can meet up finally!

  5. Wow Maine, nice. How long are you back East? Sounds like a good trip. I like your list. I'm thinking about the Big Book challenge ... though it might only be one 400+ pager. Good luck with all these reads!

    1. Here for another week - leaving on June 13. Loving Maine!

  6. What a great challenge! I have some big books on my shelf as well. One that has been sitting on my shelf for a decade is Middlemarch by George Eliot. I was finally supposed to read it with my Classics book club, but we've been on hiatus with COVID. Hopefully we are back on track soon.

    1. Hope you enjoy Middlemarch--it is in the top 5 of my favorite books ever, and I've read it at least 5 maybe 6 times, and plan to read it again.

  7. Good luck with your chunksters! I think those sound like some great books to kick your feet up with.

  8. Great list! You have to read Black Diamonds so you can discuss it with your siblings! That is so fun. My sister and mom both read and occasionally we read the same books even, which is neat when it happens.

    Penman is an author I really need to read - just one or two to at least get a feel for her stuff.