Big Fat Books Need Love Too

You may have noticed that I whizzed through an uncharacteristic number of novels the last two months. It was easy and usually a great deal of fun reading detective thrillers, mystery stories, and an occasional example of contemporary fiction. Unlike my doubts expressed after reading Tolstoy and the Purple Chair, I found I actually could read a book a day, as long as I was selective as to size or content.

It’s quite a different thing to zip through a Mike Shayne mystery in a day than it is to read a novel such as Mysteries of Udolpho slowly and carefully.


This month I intend to catch up on a few of those longer, fatter, more complex, and ultimately challenging titles I tend to pass over when I’m making up a reading list. Because of the nature of these books, I suspect a pool of ten titles will be more than sufficient. After all, it’s entirely possible I will get bogged down in some demanding text and not even read the three or four novels I hope to complete before the end of the month.

I might even surprise myself. If successful I intend incorporate a shorter, more challenging reading pool regularly in my schedule. Also, since there are so many great books out there demanding my attention, I hope to include at least two more challenging works each month and actually read them.

This month’s reading pool was selected from a list of 23 titles I should have been reading but for some reason (laziness?) I have avoided for years. Here are ten good ones and if you haven’t read any one of them, I invite you to join me on the quest.

  1. The Death of Virgil — Hermann Broch
  2. Nostromo — Joseph Conrad
  3. Roxana — Daniel Defoe
  4. The Tunnel — William H. Gass
  5. Women In Love — D. H. Lawrence
  6. 1Q84 — Haruki Murakami
  7. Parallel Stories — Péter Nádas
  8. Mysteries of Udolpho — Ann Radcliffe
  9. The Charterhouse of Parma — Renate Stendhal
  10. Cryptonomicon — Neal Stephenson.

What are your thoughts on this?

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