Welcome to the Chunkster Reading Challenge - a challenge which satisfies those readers who like their books fat and chunky!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Mid-August Questionnaire

It’s August, the perfect month to curl up with a chunkster. There’s something about hot weather and thick books that just go together. We’re eight months into the Chunkster Challenge and I think now is a great time to see how everyone’s doing so far. There are a few things that I want to know about your chunky experience. Feel free to answer in the comments or write a blog post about it. 

  • How are you doing so far with the challenge? Is your reading on schedule or are you behind?
  • If you haven't started reading any chunksters yet, is there a reason? Maybe time or you've just haven't found the right book yet?
  • What’s the best chunkster that you’ve read this year?
  • Is there a chunkster on your tbr list/pile that you’re looking forward to reading before the end of the challenge?

Here’s my answers:
  • Right now I’m a little behind with the challenge but I plan on starting It by Stephen King for a read-along next week.
  • The best chunkster I’ve read this year is easily Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin.
  • A chunkster that I’m looking forward to reading before the end of the challenge is probably Forever by Pete Hamill. It’s an older book that I’ve read a lot of positive things about.
 Okay, it’s your turn. How’s your chunky experience going?


  1. 1 I am ahead of my pace. I committed to reading six chunksters, and so far I've read seven.

    2. The best chunkster I've read this year is "Backward Ran Sentences," a compilation of profiles, parodies, short stories, reviews and Talk of the Town pieces by New Yorker writer Wolcott Gibbs. One gets a thorough understanding of a fine writer from the 1930s, '40s and '50s.

    3. I'm looking forward to reading four more chunksters -- "Wolf Hall" by Hillary Mantel;
    "Freedom" by Jonathan Franzen; "Telegraph Avenue" by Michael Chabon; and "In Sunlight and Shadow" by Mark Helprin.

    1. Richard, you are amazing! I'm going to look up Backward Ran Sentences. Telegraph Avenue is a book that so many people are just waiting to get their hands on. Happy reading!

  2. Oh, questions. Good.
    So far I'm doing fine, having read 3 (finishing now the 4th) out of six. But I seem to have troubles finding something for the 450-550-pages category. Any good suggestion? *browses the suggestions page*
    Best one? I must admit I haven't completely liked any so far. I should say best one was "A Feast for Crows" by George R.R. Martin, but only because I was expecting it to be much worse. As for worst one, I have no doubt, it's the one I am currently reading, "Outlander" by Diana Gabaldon, a real pain for me. (Oh, wait, maybe I can not count it for the challenge and read something else instead.)
    As for what I am looking forward, there is "Fingersmith" by Sarah Waters (which in my edition just barely fits the 450-550 pages rule, yay!), and there's "Fall of Giants" by Ken Follett for the Book Club, but mostly I am looking forward to "Shogun" by James Clavell, which sounds very different from anything I ever read.
    I'm looking forward to read what other challenge participant will answer!

    1. Your thoughts on A Feast of Crows made me laugh. Was it that bad?! :-) S, do you read a lot of fantasy? What kind of genres or books do you really love? Maybe I can suggest a few books.

      Fingersmith is on my reading list for this year too. I hope you end up enjoying the books on your reading list.

    2. No, no, it's not *that* bad. Really. The thing is, I'm not liking the series, but I keep reading, because... how can I stop? And I had heard that this was the worst of the series so far, but I don't agree at all!
      And I know I've been reading too much fantasy and speculative fiction lately -- that's why I am looking forward to Fall of Giants. The last chunkster I really adored was The Agony and the Ecstasy, last year. Oh well, I'm sure the good books are out there somewhere! ;-)

    3. I had to go and look up The Agony and the Ecstasy. It sounds amazing! Have you thought about just reading nonfiction chunksters? I haven't read A Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson yet but I've read nothing but amazing things about it. There's also The Swerve by Stephen Greenblatt which won the Pulitzer earlier this year.

  3. I read 4 books, North and South by Gaskell, The Middlemarch by George Eliot, The Holcroft Covenant by Robert Ludlum, The Leopard by Jo Nesbo. I am currently reading Thorn Birds by Colleen Mccollugh, Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy and The Women's Room by Marlyin French. I signed up 4 books. It means Challenge complete. I will write Middlemarch review and then post wrap-up. I enjoyed them all.

    1. Srivalli, congrats on finishing the challenge!

  4. I have seven on my list, too, already, and am rather shocked; I really thought it would take me longer to finish with six, but I quite enjoyed them all.

    My favourites were Lawrence Hill's The Book of Negroes (for a novel), Isabel Wilkerson's The Warmth of Other Suns (for non-fiction) and Charles de Lint's Dreams Underfoot (for short stories, and my introduction to the Newford universe).

    For later in the year? I'm thinking of trying for one additional book in each page count category, so am aiming for The Woman in White and Forever Amber, but every time someone else mentions another, I remember that it, too, in on my TBR list: it's hard to choose, because I've been avoiding longer books for so long!

    1. Look at how many chunksters you're getting read! I really really need to read The Book of Negroes. I had no idea that it was a chunkster. I wish my library would invest in more de Lint novels.

      I can't wait to see which chunksters you end up reading for the rest of the year!

  5. I have finished the challenge, though haven't found the time to do a wrap-up post. I committed to reading 4 books, I have read 5: Drood, Black and Blue, Miss Timmins' School for Girls, The Shadow of the Wind, The Kashmir Shawl. Rankin's Black and Blue was the best of the lot.

  6. Neer, congrats on finishing the challenge! I haven't heard of Black and Blue, so I'll definitely look it up. What did you think of The Shadow of the Wind?

  7. Oh dear, here it is Oct and I have finished 3 books, but committed to 6. I got bogged down with Teh Mill on the Floss by: George Eliot, just couldn't seem to slog through. I'm starting Time Spike by: Eric Flint it's 467pgs. just barely over the limit. Hopefully I will be able to fit in 2 more after that.


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