Friday, May 22, 2020

2020 Big Book Summer Reading Challenge

About 9 years ago, I came up with the idea to use the relaxed freedom of summer to tackle some of the biggest books on my to-be-read shelves that I'd been wanting to read but never seemed to have the time for.  One of my book groups takes time off during the summer, so with fewer 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 eight years ago, I created this challenge so that YOU can join me. And here it is Memorial Day weekend again and the unofficial start of summer 2020. In this strange global pandemic world we've been living in, we all need something special to look forward to this summer even more. So join in the fun!

And please note that if it is the start of winter where you live, you are still welcome to participate!

The Details:
Hey, it's summer, so we'll keep this low-key and easy!
  • Anything 400 pages or more 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 400+ pages this summer to participate! (though you are welcome to read more, if you want).
  • Sign up on the first links list below if you have a blog so others can visit (or in the comments below or in the Goodreads group if you don't have a blog).
  • If you have a blog, 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. It's fine to kick-off your Big Book Summer as part of another post.
  • 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 reviews, progress update posts, and wrap-up 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 below, stating your goals for the Big Book Summer Challenge, or sign up in the Goodreads group.

Whether you have a blog or not, you are welcome to join the group on Goodreads for the 2020 Big Book Summer Challenge, where we can talk about Big Books and our progress on the challenge. If you don't have a blog, you can also use the Goodreads group to sign up for the challenge, post updates, and show which Big Books you are reading and completing.

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

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 or participate through the Goodreads group) and will send the winner an Amazon gift certificate.

And help spread the word on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media with #BigBookSummer (you can follow me at @suebookbybook on Twitter and/or the Facebook page for this blog). Challenge updates will be posted in both places.

Link-up your 2020 Big Book Summer Sign-Up Posts here--be sure to include a link to your kick off blog post (not your homepage):

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Link-up your Big Book Reviews, Updates, and Wrap-up Posts here:

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter


  1. Just signed up! I always enjoy this challenge and looking forward to some great, big books!

    1. Wonderful, Jane! Glad you are participating again! Can you please leave your blog link up above in the first links list? That will make it official and help others to find your blog, too!

  2. I plan to participate. I would like to think about what big book(s) I'd like to read this summer before I post about it on my blog.

    I did add your event to the Classics Club Event page.

    1. Wonderful, Deb! Glad you're going to join the fun! And thanks for adding the challenge to your list! I see lots of people combining Big Book Summer with their Classics Challenges!

  3. I can't get the linky thing to work... my announcement is here

  4. Replies
    1. Wonderful, Ruth! Loved your Big Book choices - enjoy!