I’m a quarter of they way through The Name of The Wind. Every night I force my eyes to stay open to keep reading, because it’s worth losing sleep over this book. Sadly, sleep wins every night. It’s taking me a while to finish The Name of The Wind, because it’s a long book.
I enjoy the comfort of being in the middle of a long book. They’re reliable; I know what I’ll be reading the next few weeks. A long book is a like your favorite winter sweater always there to comfort you through harsh times. The night of my house fire my mind turned from the trauma to wondering if The Seldon Plan would work in The Foundation Trilogy. Reading calmed me down and help me sleep.
A long book has time to breathe in details and fill out characters. These characters become my friends. I still miss Zula and Richard from Reamde. A Game of Thrones is popular not because fans enjoy death and atrocities, but because the world of Westeros bleeds rich details and plot twists.
Reading The Name of The Wind got me thinking about other long books. Here’s a list of unfinished books, good long reads, and some of my favorites.
Unfinished Long Reads
Les Miserables Unabridged by Victor Hugo – 1463 pages. I got bogged down in the details of Fantine’s young life and simply never finished. I adore the musical.
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas – 1276 pages. I stopped when I got pregnant with my first child. I had this weird idea I only wanted to feed my mind with wholesome stories, because I didn’t want a story of revenge to effect my baby. I wish I had finished the book! The quarter I had read was amazing.
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand – 1168 pages. I bought this late one night on a whim. I’ve only read the first four pages. I’m curious, but I doubt I’ll ever finish reading this book.
Good Long Reads
These are books I’m glad I read, but they weren’t fantastic.
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens – 489 pages. So 489 pages isn’t that long, but it sure felt like a 1000 page book. This is one of the most difficult books I’ve ever read. The story is great once you pieced together all the details.
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy – 964 pages. Two words: Russian farming.
Jonathan Strange And Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke – 1006 pages. The tale of two magicians ends magnificently, but reading the book was like driving a car through traffic – a lot of stop and go.
Great Long Reads
These books I wholeheartedly recommend to anyone, because they are memorable. I wish I could add Middlemarch or Vanity Fair to this list, but I barely remember what happened in them. A great book stays with you long after turned off your Kindle.
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton – 648 pages. My first Kate Morton book introducing me to books with alternate storylines in different years. Morton magicaly weaves storylines with detailed mystery and warm characters.
Reamde by Neal Stephenson – 1044 pages. I think about this book all the time. The story is fiction, but the locations and the real world probability are not fake. I learned about hacking, China, terrorists, online gaming, and spies through vibrant characters.
Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien – 1210 pages in three books. Samwell Tarly is the best. Aragorn forever. I love Middle Earth.
Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov – 679 pages in three books. – Once you get past the slow pace, this intergalactic story of politics, science, and manipulation is intelligent and fascinating. I’ve never read anything else like it.
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling – 4100 pages in seven books. Those last few books are long, but they’re page turners.
A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire series) by George R. R. Martin – 5216 pages in five books. These books are violent and yucky in a lot of places, but Martin a great world builder and story teller. It’s difficult to put these books down. I have a favorite character, but even saying the name would spoil the books. You never know who is going to make it to the next book.
11/22/63 by Stephen King – 844 pages. The only Stephen King I’ve ever read. This book is deeper than a simple time travel story.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith – 496 pages. Francie Nolan will forever have a place in my heart.
What are your favorite long reads? What long reads did you leave unfinished and which ones you couldn’t put down?