Monday, May 29, 2023

Big Book Summer Challenge 2023

It's time once again for Sue's (Book by Book) annual Big Book Summer Challenge and I am all in. Just read 1 or more books of more than 400 pages between May 25 (beginning of Memorial Day weekend) and September 4 (Labor Day).

I just started John Irving's The Last Chairlift, which clocks in at over 800 pages, so that will probably take me all summer. I'm also super interested in reading Dickens's Great Expecations as Adam, the 1st person narrator in The Last Chairlift, mentions it quite a bit in the first part of the book and I've only listened to an abridged version (shameful, I know!).

I also want to read War and Remembrance, Herman Wouk's sequel to The Winds of War, which I read last year.

And then there's SPQR, Mary Beard's history of ancient Rome, that I received for Xmas in 2021 and still haven't read. Another non-fiction that I have been wanting to read for years is Black Diamonds, by Catherine Bailey, that my sister Frances and brother Mark, who share my taste in non-fiction, have raved about for years.

That's a lot on my plate, so I need to stop writing and start reading!

Hope you all have a wonderful reading summer (or winter if you are down under) in store, and thank goodness for big books and Sue's annual challenge!


  1. I'll be curious to see what you think of The Last Chairlift. I usually enjoy Irving, but haven't decided whether to give this a go or not...

  2. Good luck reading all of these! They'll certainly keep you busy this summer. :D

  3. I've been wanting to read John Irving's, but as usual... too many books, too little time! :P
    I haven't heard about The Last Chairlift, though. And 800 pages long? I won't start with that for sure!
    Hope you'll enjoy Great Expectations, it's one of my favorites from Dickens. Happy summer reading! ;)

  4. Good luck with all of these!

  5. Welcome back to the Big Book Summer Challenge, Jane! You've been participating in the challenge every year for a LONG time, and I;m happy to see you back. I've enjoyed what I've read of John Irving, but I'd like to read more. And I love Dickens, and Great Expectations is my favorite of his novels! It's very witty - I think you'll enjoy it. My husband just read it for the first time and was often laughing out loud. I'm not familiar with the others, but it sounds like they'll keep you busy this summer! Enjoy your Big Books!

    2023 Big Book Summer Challenge

  6. I'll be curious what you think of the Last Chairlift as I'm a bit curious of the Aspen aspects & the skiing parts. I lived there after college for a few years being a ski bum ... so perhaps I can relate. I have a copy of the book but haven't started and don't know when or if I will. 800 pages?!

    1. Aspen is a great place to be a ski bum! When I was in college, I spent a summer living in Carbondale and working in Aspen and had a great time. I am almost halfway through, and the main character has yet to visit Aspen himself. His mom was there in 1941 to watch ski racing, and he talks about the history of the Hotel Jerome. I think the second half of the book is more Aspen-centric as the first half is more of the setup.