Read This Next: 4 Juicy Long Books
Photo courtesy of Random House of Canada.
If you’re looking for
War and Peace, you’ve come to the wrong “long book” list. This here is a celebration of all those hefty-but-breezy books, the kind chock full of twists and turns, salacious story lines and dramatic chapter endings (the kind where you ‘just-ten-more-pages’ yourself into staying up to 3 a.m. on a Tuesday). And let’s not forget the fringe-benefits of the over-600-pagers: an unintentional tricep work-out, four books for the price of one, and they make far more structurally stable bedside book-piles than those slippery little literary fictions numbers. So save your Middlemarch and your Proust for another lifetime – here are 4 picks that’ll have you gobbling up the pages faster than a box of Smarties on a Wednesday afternoon.
Read on for rainy-day-ready long read recommendations…
1. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell Ms. Mitchell’s only novel (honestly, what point continuing when you’ve inspired the unequivocally greatest movie of all time?) is like the Director’s cut / DVD extras version of the moving picture (to the point where she has two children that never made it into the film). Mitchell’s characters are much more complex than their Technicolor counterparts, and you actually learn a surprising amount of Civil War history along the way (but mostly Rhett Butler is even more devilishly dreamy in print.)
2. The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough A deeply-tangled family tree, a priest-centred love triangle, and the Australian outback – what more could anyone ask for from this queen of historical blockbusters (see: The Master’s of Rome series)? Resist the temptation to watch the eighties-tastic mini-series, and reward your brain-cells with this book in all its back-stabbing, epic glory.
by Gregory David Roberts This one kept me transfixed for the duration of a trans-Atlantic flight – and I’m usually not one for he-man-heroics type books. Perhaps it’s the suggestion that the story is true (or at least semi-autobiographical), but this first-person account of one man’s journey into the bowels of India’s underbelly was rather gripping – and strikingly poetic, for an escaped convict.
4. The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton This pick is sort-of-cheating, since I’m actually about half-way through, but I have no hesitation recommending it. The Dickensian language makes for a slow burning start but once it’s on (opium dens, a lady-of-the-night with a secret, a murdered hermit sitting on stash of gold, oh my)…it is ON. I know what I’ll be doing on my lunch hour… What are your addictive, unputdownable book picks?
The 20+ Books You Need To Read Before You Die Helen Fielding on Bridget Jones’s next chapter