Big Book Summer Challenge

Image(s): FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A few years ago, I came up with the idea to use the relaxed freedom of summer to tackle some of the biggest books on my TBR shelf that I'd been wanting to read but never seemed to have the time for.  Both of my book groups take time off during the summer, so with no interfering commitments, I declared it The Summer of the Big Book and really enjoyed delving into some hefty tomes, like The Passage and Pillars of the Earth.

It was so much fun that three years ago, I created this challenge so that YOU can join me! And here it is Memorial Day weekend again and the official start of summer 2015. So join in the fun!

The Details:
Hey, it's summer, so we'll keep this low-key and easy!
  • Anything over 400 pages qualifies as a big book.
  • The challenge will run from Memorial Day weekend (starting May 22 this year) through Labor Day weekend (Labor Day is September 7 this year).
  • Choose one or two or however many big books you want as your goal.  Wait, did you get that?  You only need to read 1 book with over 400 pages this summer to participate! (though you are welcome to read more, if you want).
  • Choose from what's on your shelves already or a big book you've been meaning to read for ages or anything that catches your eye in the library - whatever peaks your interest!
  • Sign up on the links list below or on the 2015 Big Book Summer Challenge page.
  • Write a post to kick things off - you can list the exact big books you plan to read or just publish your intent to participate, but be sure to include the Big Book Summer Challenge pic above, with a link back to this blog.
  • Write a post to wrap up at the end, listing the big books you read during the summer.
  • You can write progress posts if you want to and/or reviews of the big books you've read...but you don't have to!  There is a separate links list below for big book review posts.
That's it!  Go check out your shelves and your TBR list and sign up below!

(Don't have a blog?  No problem!  You can still participate in the challenge - just leave a comment in the Comment section, stating your goals for the Big Book Summer Challenge.)

Check out my own list of books to read for the challenge.

One new addition this year: at the end of the summer, there will be a Big Book Giveaway! After Labor Day, I'll select one name from among the participants (bloggers who leave a link below as well as those without a blog who leave a comment to announce their participation) and will offer the winner a choice from a selection of Big Books from my own shelves - probably most of the titles above and perhaps a few others to choose from.

And help spread the word on Twitter with #BigBookSummer (you can follow me at @suebookbybook).

Be sure to include a link to your kick off blog post (not your homepage):







Come back to this page during the summer to add a link whenever you review a Big Book or post a progress report:








38 comments:

  1. Yay for the big book challenge! I am reading Silkworm for my book club and it's 455 pages. Just gotta finish it! Thanks for hosting this fun challenge. I'll write my sign up post soon.

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  2. Love this challenge, Sue! Way to help push our reading! I may be able to participate :) I'll have to check my obligatory reading for the summer and see if any big books are included :)

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    1. Great! Hope you will come back to sign up and join the fun, Kellee!

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    2. We did--loved taking part :)

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  3. This looks like a fun challenge. It reminds me of the summer reading programs when I was in grade school. Thanks for sharing on Small Victories Sunday link up.

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  4. What a great idea! I am an avid reader. Thank you!

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    1. Great! Hope you will come back and sign up!

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  5. Awesome! I definitely have several books on my TBR list that would qualify for this challenge. :)

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    1. Great! Hope you will come back to sign up and join the fun, Monica!

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  6. Ok, i finally signed up. Combined it with the Forgotten Garden readalong sign up post since that's the main book I'll be reading for your challenge too. I also have 6 other books listed because I don't know which one to pick after Forgotten Garden. Hope you'll help me decide! Thanks for hosting.

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    1. Yay! So glad you decided to join the fun, Tanya! Enjoy the Forgotten Garden - it's a good one!

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  7. I hadn't even thought to have Revolution be my Big Book for the summer, but I am definitely going to read it so I'M IN :)

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    1. Great, Kellee! Just write a quick post on your blog, then come back here to add the link! Revolution is one of my Big Books for the summer, too, so we'll be reading it together :)

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  8. Looks like I'm in, Sue, reading along with Tanya's June-July THE FORGOTTEN GARDEN.
    Just completed AN APPETITE FOR VIOLETS
    [and 16 pgs short on IRISH MEADOWS ! Canadian debut]
    Also, The NIGHTINGALE for the #Collaboreads June Challenge
    LISETTE'S LIST

    I'll add any others as read and link reviews as completed - actually had no idea how many BIG books I read ;)
    Thanks for hosting

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    1. Welcome! Glad you joined the challenge! Yes, it looks like you have plenty of Big Books to read this summer!

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    2. ok - all combined in an ongoing reading list posted Here Hoping that helps :) I'm so enjoying this motivation, Sue - Thanks for hosting!

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  9. Do Audio books count? And do you know how many pages = 1 hour so that I can work out what length of audio qualifies as a big book!!
    Currently listening to THE ATLANTIS GENE which is a long listen, but I've others on my list...

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    1. Yes! You can include audios as Big Books, too! I love listening to audios. Just go to amazon or any other website that sells books, look up your book and scroll down to the publisher's info to see how many pages it is in book form - if it is over 400 pages, then it's a Big Book!

      here's the link for The Atlantis Gene on amazon:

      http://www.amazon.com/Atlantis-Gene-Thriller-Origin-Mystery/dp/1940026016/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1434374360&sr=1-1&keywords=the+atlantis+gene

      Scroll down to "Product Details" and you can see it is 451 pages long - it's a big book!

      So, join the challenge!

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    2. Whooohoooo looks like I'm in! Better check the rest of my "to listen list" ... There are a couple of short ones there, but I'm sure to have more BIG books... :D

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    3. Oh and thanks for the Amazon tip, I hadn't realised that the page count was given on the listing.

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    4. Great! Glad you decided to join the fun! I look forward to seeing your intro post :)

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  10. I'm going to read Moby Dick. That's kind of a cheat since I'm giving a presentation on it and "In the Heart of the Sea" in December, but I might as well read it now.

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    1. Ah, no such thing as a cheat - it's all in good fun! One of my closest friends read Moby Dick last summer and loved it - hope you enjoy it, too! Welcome to the Big Book Summer Challenge!

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  11. Vedika6:49 AM

    I'm going to read 'Dumb Witness' by Agatha Christie. It's 411 pages long. Could you recommend so more Big Books, because I am an avid reader and I want to read at least 4 Big Books this summer.

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    1. YA or others or both? I know you read some of each :)

      You can click the link above to see what I'm reading this summer for Big Books (3 YA and 3 adult) or this link to see what I read last summer (again, 3 YA and 3 adult):

      http://bookbybook.blogspot.com/2014/05/my-2014-big-book-summer-challenge.html

      Have you read Neal Schusterman's Unwind series? The first book, Unwind, is under 400 pages, but the rest of the series (3 books) are all over 400 pages...and it is so amazingly good, you will want to read them all immediately! I'm reading the last one this summer. here's my review of Unwind, the first book:

      http://greatbooksforkidsandteens.blogspot.com/2010/11/teenya-review-unwind.html

      Sue

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    2. Since you like mysteries, you might also enjoy the Flavia de Luce series by Alan Bradley - they are mostly over 400 pages. They are not YA but the main character is a girl detective, and I think you'd like them. here's my review of the first one:

      http://bookbybook.blogspot.com/2011/10/fiction-review-sweetness-at-bottom-of.html

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  12. I love this idea of the Big Book Challenge! We do need more time to make the commitment to a big book, and summer is the perfect season. Ship of Theseus is my summer read with 456 pages total. It's probably going to take me all summer with it being 2 stories interwoven with marginalia. It's extremely well-done though and I'm enjoying it! Off to read now... :)

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    1. Great, Monica! I'm so glad you've decided to join the fun!

      Now all you need to do it write a quick introduction post in your blog stating your intention to participate in the Big Book Summer Challenge and then come back here to leave your link in the Participants list!

      If you write a review of your Big Book later this summer, you can add that link to the Reviews list - but you don't have to.

      Welcome to the Big Book Summer Challenge!

      Sue

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  13. Hi,

    This looks like a great challenge. Thanks

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  14. This sounds like a fun challenge. I can't think of the last big book that I've read. I have a few books that I want to read this summer, but I'm not sure how many pages they have. The last book I read was just a little over 300.

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  15. Thanks for the reminder, but I probably won't join in this year as I'm trying to get a bunch of ebooks read for another challenge, and they tend to be shorter.

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  17. I have read All the Light We Cannot See and really liked it. I recommend it.

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    1. That's a big book, Harvee, if you want to join the Challenge and link to your review!

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  18. I just discovered this challenge. Sadly, I am already well into my "big" book for the summer but it doesn't qualify at 397 pages--unless you count the author notes. :-)

    Another school year is starting up and so I probably will avoid "big" books now until the holiday. My husband and I do plan though to read "All the Light We Cannot See". If we manage to squeeze it in before Labor Day weekend, I'll pop back here. :-)

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    1. Sorry it's too late for you this summer, Allison - maybe next year!

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  19. All ready for 2016's Big Book Summer reads! Count me in , Sue.

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    1. The 2016 challenge page is up now! Glad you will be joining the fun!

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