2017 Big Book Summer Challenge discussion

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Big Books Completed & Reviews

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message 1: by Suzan (new)

Suzan Jackson (suejackson) | 85 comments Mod
Use this discussion thread to post when you finish a Big Book and a link to your review (if you wrote one - it's not required for the challenge).


message 2: by writer... (new)

writer... (goodreadscomwriter) | 5 comments I've added a shelf for my books under 'Bookshelf' and will update completions etc as applicable. So far, 2 done and enjoyed!


message 3: by Suzan (new)

Suzan Jackson (suejackson) | 85 comments Mod
writer... wrote: "I've added a shelf for my books under 'Bookshelf' and will update completions etc as applicable. So far, 2 done and enjoyed!"

You've read 2 Big Books (over 400 pages) in the last 2 days?? Wow. The challenge only just started this weekend, so this thread is only for those you started and finished since the challenge began. Adding them to the Bookshelf is great!


message 4: by writer... (last edited May 30, 2017 08:06AM) (new)

writer... (goodreadscomwriter) | 5 comments Sue wrote: "writer... wrote: "I've added a shelf for my books under 'Bookshelf' and will update completions etc as applicable. So far, 2 done and enjoyed!"

You've read 2 Big Books (over 400 pages) in the last..."
Did I not read a start date of May 26th? Hmmm. Hoping you meant that to be encouragement...?

Rainy weekend indoors ..finish one, pick up the next. 180+ books read this year already, so it's doable.
Adding audios to save eyes and add enjoyment with accents and voice characterizations - maybe a wee option for anyone trying to decide if they will take up the challenge ?...


message 5: by Suzan (new)

Suzan Jackson (suejackson) | 85 comments Mod
writer... wrote: "Sue wrote: "writer... wrote: "I've added a shelf for my books under 'Bookshelf' and will update completions etc as applicable. So far, 2 done and enjoyed!"

You've read 2 Big Books (over 400 pages)..."


Wow, I am so impressed! I could never finish a book - especially a big one - that fast! Good for you!

And, yes, audios absolutely count! Just check Goodreads or Amazon or similar website to see how many pages the paper book has - if it's over 400, it counts! I love audios, too :)


message 6: by Poem Fanatic (new)

Poem Fanatic | 2 comments I finished reading "The Escape Artist" by Diane Chamberlain. I'm hoping to have a review up next week!


message 7: by Suzan (new)

Suzan Jackson (suejackson) | 85 comments Mod
Poem Fanatic wrote: "I finished reading "The Escape Artist" by Diane Chamberlain. I'm hoping to have a review up next week!"

Great! I can't wait to read your review!


message 8: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Stoeckel (andreastoeckel) https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

I actually was able to read /finish two books on vacation. The first was Legacy: Biodome #1 which I actually quit reading a little over 1/2 through as it began to get rather redundant. The second was The Secret Ways of Perfume; long waiting TBR Goodreads win almost a year back. It was absolutely marvelous and a ripping good love story. I hoipe the link works.


message 9: by Suzan (new)

Suzan Jackson (suejackson) | 85 comments Mod
Andrea wrote: "https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

I actually was able to read /finish two books on vacation. The first was Legacy: Biodome #1 which I actua..."


Sorry the first one didn't work out, but I'm glad the second one was so great!


message 10: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Stoeckel (andreastoeckel) https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Had one of those "hey, this is a big book" revelations. Not only a big book, but a satisfying read. One of my usual " take a paper book around in your purse" books


message 11: by Suzan (new)

Suzan Jackson (suejackson) | 85 comments Mod
Andrea wrote: "https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Had one of those "hey, this is a big book" revelations. Not only a big book, but a satisfying read. One o..."


Wonderful! Glad you enjoyed it!


message 12: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Stoeckel (andreastoeckel) So, that makes 2 so far. Not ready for dr.Z yet.....


message 13: by Suzan (new)

Suzan Jackson (suejackson) | 85 comments Mod
Andrea wrote: "So, that makes 2 so far. Not ready for dr.Z yet....."

Good for you! I'm at 2 so far also!


message 14: by Kate (new)

Kate | 13 comments I finished A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles , A Gentleman In Moscow and really enjoyed it. 4 stars! I felt like this was a perfect Summer Big Book as Amor Towles writing and details kept me turning the pages.


message 15: by Suzan (new)

Suzan Jackson (suejackson) | 85 comments Mod
Kate wrote: "I finished A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles, A Gentleman In Moscow and really enjoyed it. 4 stars! I felt like this was a perfect Summer Big Book as Amor Towles writing and details kept m..."

Wonderful, Kate! So glad you enjoyed it. I have heard so many good reviews of it - I need to read it myself!


Tanya (mom's small victories) (momssmallvictories) | 7 comments I have finished The Nightingale and The Book of Summer so far, both surprising WW2 books. i need something not as intense next!!


message 17: by Suzan (new)

Suzan Jackson (suejackson) | 85 comments Mod
Tanya (mom's small victories) wrote: "I have finished The Nightingale and The Book of Summer so far, both surprising WW2 books. i need something not as intense next!!"

Wow, good for you, Tanya! That's a lot of reading! And a lot of war, too - definitely need a palate-cleanser next!


message 18: by Suzan (new)

Suzan Jackson (suejackson) | 85 comments Mod
I finally wrote my review for my first #BigBookSummer book: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater, an exciting teen/YA fantasy. You can read my full review here:

http://bookbybook.blogspot.com/2017/0...


message 19: by Kate (new)

Kate | 13 comments I finished Jane Eyre last Thursday, but working all weekend meant no review until today. I last read it in high school or college and parts of it have remained with me. I picked it up for this challenge as I had a new copy that was a gift from one of my sons. I am so glad I did. It was like visiting an old friend! Charlotte Bronte's writing is so honest and clear and this work remains as relevant today as it was when she wrote it. It is definitely one of the best books I ever read. Thanks, Sue for the push.


message 20: by Suzan (new)

Suzan Jackson (suejackson) | 85 comments Mod
Kate wrote: "I finished Jane Eyre last Thursday, but working all weekend meant no review until today. I last read it in high school or college and parts of it have remained with me. I picked it up for this chal..."

Congrats on finishing it, Kate! I loved re-reading it, too. I didn't read it for school but also read it the first time when I was just in my early 20's, so I enjoyed revisiting the wonderful story...and I love Jane!


message 21: by Kate (new)

Kate | 13 comments I finished my 3rd (and probably final) Big Book of the Summer, The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. This novel won the National Book Award as well as the Pulitzer and is well worthy of them, although it is relentlessly sad. It is the story of the Joad family during the Great Depression and their travels west after they lose their tenant farm. They are always looking for the next break in the form of a place to sleep, live and work. Food and starving is such a huge part of the story, as well as the theme of want versus need. I had never read it before and I completely understand why it is taught in high school and beyond. Thanks for the push to read it this summer!!


message 22: by Robin (new)

Robin (mcrobus) | 3 comments Finisged 'The Grapes of Wrath' by John Steinbeck. It was like reading a page out of today's news. Totally loved the writing.


message 23: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Stoeckel (andreastoeckel) Robin wrote: "Finisged 'The Grapes of Wrath' by John Steinbeck. It was like reading a page out of today's news. Totally loved the writing."

It's really my favorite Steinbeck, and I've read a LOT of him.


message 24: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Stoeckel (andreastoeckel) Am now READING Dr. Zhivago...75 pages in and although it seems like I'll never get through the "fog" of 1905....I'm starting to get the story beyond it's rather lengthy stage settings


message 25: by Cheriee (new)

Cheriee Weichel | 9 comments Hurrah! I finished Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien! All 480 pages, plus I had to reread the first 100 or so since I began it ages ago and lost the thread of the story by the time I started again!
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 26: by Cheriee (new)

Cheriee Weichel | 9 comments Robin wrote: "Finisged 'The Grapes of Wrath' by John Steinbeck. It was like reading a page out of today's news. Totally loved the writing."

This is one my son keeps recommending. I love Steinbeck's Pastures of Heaven. It is a whole lot shorter!


message 27: by Suzan (new)

Suzan Jackson (suejackson) | 85 comments Mod
Kate wrote: "I finished my 3rd (and probably final) Big Book of the Summer, The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. This novel won the National Book Award as well as the Pulitzer and is well worthy of them, alth..."

Congratulations on finishing your 3rd Big Book, Kate! I read The Grapes of Wrath in 9th grade, so I remember liking it but not much else (that was a while ago) - I would love to re-read it. I think most Steinbeck novels are relentlessly sad!


message 28: by Suzan (new)

Suzan Jackson (suejackson) | 85 comments Mod
Robin wrote: "Finisged 'The Grapes of Wrath' by John Steinbeck. It was like reading a page out of today's news. Totally loved the writing."

Congrats on finishing your Big Book, Robin! As I just mentioned to Kate, I read Grapes of Wrath in 9th grade and would love to re-read it - one of many classic on my want-to-read list!


message 29: by Suzan (new)

Suzan Jackson (suejackson) | 85 comments Mod
Andrea wrote: "Am now READING Dr. Zhivago...75 pages in and although it seems like I'll never get through the "fog" of 1905....I'm starting to get the story beyond it's rather lengthy stage settings"

Good for you, Andrea! Sorry the audio didn't work out for you but glad you are trying again :) I'd like to read Dr. Zhivago one day, too.


message 30: by Suzan (new)

Suzan Jackson (suejackson) | 85 comments Mod
Cheriee wrote: "Hurrah! I finished Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien! All 480 pages, plus I had to reread the first 100 or so since I began it ages ago and lost the thread of the story by the time I st..."

Congratulations, Cheriee! I have had to do that, too - re-read parts before I could continue. I just had to re-read the endings of book 1 & 2 of the Silo trilogy before I could start book 3! Hope you enjoyed it!


message 31: by Suzan (new)

Suzan Jackson (suejackson) | 85 comments Mod
I forgot to post here when I finished my 2nd Big Book of the summer: Shift, book 2 of the Silo trilogy by Hugh Howey. And now I've finished book 3 (Dust), too! This series is SO incredible!! I read it in record time and hated for it to end.

Here is my review of Shift (Dust review still to come):

http://bookbybook.blogspot.com/2017/0...


Tanya (mom's small victories) (momssmallvictories) | 7 comments i finished 3 big books, that might be my best for this challenge! I read The Nightingale, The Book of Summer and The Good Daughter and reviewed thr short version on Instagram. you can see it here until I get them in Goodreads! https://www.instagram.com/p/BYgalEanEtm/


message 33: by Suzan (new)

Suzan Jackson (suejackson) | 85 comments Mod
Tanya (mom's small victories) wrote: "i finished 3 big books, that might be my best for this challenge! I read The Nightingale, The Book of Summer and The Good Daughter and reviewed thr short version on Instagram. you can see it here u..."

Congratulations, Tanya! 3 Big Books is great! Hope you enjoyed all that summer reading :)


message 34: by Suzan (new)

Suzan Jackson (suejackson) | 85 comments Mod
I just finished a BONUS Big Book! This one was totally unplanned, but I received a graphic novel from my Shelf Awareness editor for review and was surprised when it arrived to see that it was a huge brick of a book! It's The Hunting Accident by David L. Carlson and Landis Blair, and I read it last week in record time because it was SO compelling - a really unique graphic novel that combines true crime with literature and poetry, about a blind poet & writer who was once jailed in 1930's Chicago for a crime involving the mob (his first). It was a riveting mix of history, literature, and suspense, all told through both words and pictures. I really loved it! It comes out in mid-September. I will post a link to my review on Shelf Awareness when it is published.


message 35: by Cheriee (new)

Cheriee Weichel | 9 comments Sue wrote: "I just finished a BONUS Big Book! This one was totally unplanned, but I received a graphic novel from my Shelf Awareness editor for review and was surprised when it arrived to see that it was a hug..."

Wow Sue, I'll be keeping my eyes open for this one. It sounds fascinating!


message 36: by Suzan (new)

Suzan Jackson (suejackson) | 85 comments Mod
Cheriee wrote: "Sue wrote: "I just finished a BONUS Big Book! This one was totally unplanned, but I received a graphic novel from my Shelf Awareness editor for review and was surprised when it arrived to see that ..."

It really was - very different than what I usually read, but completely compelling.


message 37: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Stoeckel (andreastoeckel) That one sounds promising! I've read a few graphic novels this year, including Margaret Atwood's Angel Catbird (part one) that I won on Book Riot. I think the second one is out now....and there's one about a Vietnamese family as well...can't remember the name but for someone who was in High School during Vietnam, it was very sobering to hear the Fall of Saigon from that lens


message 38: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Stoeckel (andreastoeckel) It's called "The Best We Could Do" and it's by Thi Bu


message 39: by Cheriee (new)

Cheriee Weichel | 9 comments Andrea wrote: "That one sounds promising! I've read a few graphic novels this year, including Margaret Atwood's Angel Catbird (part one) that I won on Book Riot. I think the second one is out now....and there's o..."

Are you thinking of The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui? It was just brilliant!
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 40: by Suzan (new)

Suzan Jackson (suejackson) | 85 comments Mod
Andrea wrote: "That one sounds promising! I've read a few graphic novels this year, including Margaret Atwood's Angel Catbird (part one) that I won on Book Riot. I think the second one is out now....and there's o..."

They both sound good, Andrea - I didn't realize there were any Margaret Atwood graphic novels!!


message 41: by Suzan (new)

Suzan Jackson (suejackson) | 85 comments Mod
Just a reminder that if any of you have a blog, remember to link-up your Big Book reviews, updates, and wrap-ups on the second links list on the challenge page:

http://bookbybook.blogspot.com/p/2017...

You have until the end of September to leave your links so that others can read your reviews & updates. I still need to write a few Big Book reviews myself!


message 42: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Stoeckel (andreastoeckel) Sue, yea Margaret Atwood even helped DRAW Angel Catbird. It was almost the best part of the book


message 43: by Suzan (new)

Suzan Jackson (suejackson) | 85 comments Mod
Finally remembered to link up my own last few Big Book reviews on the Challenge page! Then I'll be posting my wrap-up (will link it here).

I ended the summer with:

Jane Eyre:
http://bookbybook.blogspot.com/2017/0...

Dust (book 3 of the Silo trilogy that started with Wool):
http://bookbybook.blogspot.com/2017/0...

Overpowered (YA):
http://bookbybook.blogspot.com/2017/0...

And The Hunting Accident, a unique graphic novel based on a real-life story - I described it above and wrote a review for Shelf Awareness, but it hasn't been published yet.

Ended my Big Book Summer with a bang!


message 44: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Stoeckel (andreastoeckel) That's great. I've just started Section 9 in Zhivago. It may take until December but I will finish it.


message 45: by Suzan (new)

Suzan Jackson (suejackson) | 85 comments Mod
My 2017 Big Book Summer Wrap-up!

We had 22 participants in all this year, and I had a good Big Book Summer myself, with 6 big books completed. Check it out:

http://bookbybook.blogspot.com/2017/0...

Winner of the Big Book Summer Giveaway will be announced!


message 46: by Suzan (new)

Suzan Jackson (suejackson) | 85 comments Mod
Andrea wrote: "That's great. I've just started Section 9 in Zhivago. It may take until December but I will finish it."

Good for you, Andrea! I need to tackle some of those bigger classics myself...maybe next summer!


message 47: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Stoeckel (andreastoeckel) I will finish Dr. Zhivago, all 653 pages of him TODAY and post a review TODAY


message 48: by Andrea (last edited Sep 24, 2017 01:09PM) (new)

Andrea Stoeckel (andreastoeckel) “And Moscow,now seemed to them not the place of these events, but the main heroine of a long story, which they had reached the end of that evening, with the notebook in their hands”

This is a story about many stories. The Russian Revolution, the expectations of parents for children, the evil people do and have done to each other and for each other. It is a history book, a philosophy book, a book on the need for change. And, in the end it is a romance on so many levels: of Yuri Zhivago and his life virtually parentless, of his love for Lara but his duty to his family, his history and his captivity to and within the Revolution that changed the scope of his thinking.

In a small way, it is the memoir hidden within the historical fiction that makes this so compelling. Zhivago ( which the translators when speaking about their work say is a play on the word for life (zhiv) in Russian.) During a time in the history of Russia where everything of the old proletariat was “dead”, here are characters who fight to live, to remember, to send forth ideas that survive in the core of their being: family loyalty, loyalty to intelligence in a world gone mad, and in the loyalty find hope, a future and love.

The book spans the life and death of a man who simply seems to care for the one instead of the many. That may have been the Party’s argument that stopped Pasternak from being able- NOT being allowed- to accept his Nobel Prize that was finally awarded to his son in 1989.

The translators Pevear and Volokhonsky are some of the best in their field. They take Russian and make it palatable to the non speaker. This is the fourth book they have translated that I have savored. Their work deserves five stars. This work of historical fiction deserves four stars.


message 49: by Suzan (new)

Suzan Jackson (suejackson) | 85 comments Mod
Andrea wrote: "I will finish Dr. Zhivago, all 653 pages of him TODAY and post a review TODAY"

Wonderful! Good for you for sticking with it! Congrats on another Big Book!

Great review! I definitely need to read this one - maybe next summer!


message 50: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Stoeckel (andreastoeckel) Sue wrote: "Andrea wrote: "I will finish Dr. Zhivago, all 653 pages of him TODAY and post a review TODAY"

Wonderful! Good for you for sticking with it! Congrats on another Big Book!

Great review! I definitel..."


That makes 4 paper books knocked off Mt.TBR which means I think I met and am bout to exceed my goal there too!

Total pages: 1472


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