20 extra-long and totally readable books

Once upon a time, there was a girl who thought a good book could never be too long. If the story was amazing, why would you want it to end?

That girl was me, age 17, and my, how times have changed.

I do love a good long read, truly. But these days, I get hung up on the opportunity cost—a fancy way of saying I could read five full-length novels in the time it would take me to read Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy, for example. And wouldn’t I rather read five books than just one?

I know it’s not just me.

The third category for the 2017 Reading Challenge—for those who want to stretch themselves this year—is “a book that’s more than 600 pages.” Why? To nudge you to intentionally tackle a looooong book you really want to read, but never seem to want to read next. Those big fat books you keep putting off because they look so darn intimidating.

This is your chance.

The books on this list tally 18,593 pages. The average page count is 929, which makes Outlander and Alexander Hamilton look downright short by comparison! The common theme is they’ve been well-loved and well-vetted by your fellow readers, because if you’re going to devote 600+ pages to a book, then by golly, it had better be good.

20 extra-long and totally readable books:

600+ page books
Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina

"Happy families are all alike;" begins this classic Russian novel, "every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." Fun fact: William Faulkner called this novel "the best ever written." 964 pages. More info →
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Michener is best known for his sweeping historical sagas: he wrote this epic novel to commemorate America's bicentennial in 1976. This is the story of the American West, and especially Colorado. It spans 136 million years, covering the prehistoric era, Native Americans, trappers, traders, homesteaders, gold diggers, and cowboys, right on up to 1970s America. Meticulously researched, and so accurate it's required reading for some history classes. Gripping enough to keep you turning all 1056 pages, more than once. More info →
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Talk about big fat books. If you read the words "time-travel romance" and rolled your eyes, you're not alone: I did the same, until I read the backstory. As she tells it, Gabaldon intended to write a realistic historical novel, but a modern woman kept inserting herself into the story! She decided to leave her for the time being—it's hard enough to write a novel, she'd edit her out later—but would YOU edit out Claire? I didn't think so. You could happily lose yourself in this series. (Heads up for violent and racy content.) 896 pages. More info →
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Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

Goodwin brings history to life in the 916 pages (or 42 audiobook hours) of this historical narrative. Those who hang with it will be rewarded. I had no idea how much I didn't know about Lincoln and the Civil War, and I'm grateful for my new deeper, richer appreciation of the near-miraculous Lincoln administration and the unspeakable tragedy of his assassination. I cried like a baby at the end: for the man, for his family, for the South, for our country. "Now he belongs to the ages." More info →
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Wives and Daughters

Wives and Daughters

Gaskell's final (and unfinished) novel centers on young Molly Gibson, raised by her widowed father. When he remarries, he brings a stepsister into her life. The reader watches the girls grow into womanhood under the watchful eyes of a small British village. With its wide and well-developed cast of characters, this novel could be categorized under any number of genres—comedy, tragedy, coming of age, romance, even suspense. Recommended reading for Jane Austen fans. 679 pages. More info →
The Stand

The Stand

If you're not a horror reader but want to give Stephen King a try, this massive novel is on your short list of options. As in Station Eleven, the apocalypse comes in the form of a super-flu that wipes out 99% of the population, and leaves the others quickly choosing sides in a battle of good vs. evil. This is decidedly creepy not not scary like It or The Shining. It's been hanging out on my TBR list since I read and loved 11/22/63. 1153 pages. More info →
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I Know This Much Is True

I Know This Much Is True

I'm dying to read Wally Lamb because you all keep telling me amazing things! It's still on my TBR, but I've been warned this story isn't an easy read, full of anger, violence, and heartbreak. The title is drawn from this passage: "I am not a smart man, particularly, but one day, at long last, I stumbled from the dark woods of my own, and my family's, and my country's past, holding in my hands these truths: that love grows from the rich loam of forgiveness; that mongrels make good dogs; that the evidence of God exists in the roundness of things. This much, at least, I've figured out. I know this much is true." 897 pages. More info →
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The Winds of War

The Winds of War

This masterpiece of historical fiction has been recommended to me, especially on audio, as a book that captures the feelings and events of World War II like no other, through the eyes of one family caught at the center of global events. 896 pages. (For the full experience, read War and Remembrance next, for an additional 1396 pages.) More info →
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Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton

This is THE definitive biography of founding father Alexander Hamilton, from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Chernow, author of Washington: A Life. Many readers know it as the inspiration for the hit Broadway musical Hamilton. This well-written biography reads like a novel, and makes the fascinating life story of a fascinating man spring off the page. 731 pages. More info →
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In This House of Brede

In This House of Brede

On my TBR because I've heard this is wonderful, and many readers count it among their lifetime favorites. I've also been warned that while a novel based on life in a Benedictine monastery may sound dull, it's anything but. The story centers around Philippa Talbot, a successful professional woman in London who gives it all up to become a nun. 672 pages. More info →
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The Pillars of the Earth

The Pillars of the Earth

I adored this sweeping historical novel when I first read it (in high school!) This epic tale revolves around the joint quest to build the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has ever known. I had no idea how fascinating religious architecture and masonry could be. An Oprah Book Club selection. 973 pages. More info →
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The Count of Monte Cristo

The Count of Monte Cristo

Meredith surprised me by raving about this on episode 11 of What Should I Read Next, because I'd always thought of it as a dry, dusty classic. Since then I've discovered lots of her fellow readers who adore it. They describe it as a darn good story, about a man thrown into prison for a crime he didn't commit and his quest for retribution. 1276 pages. More info →
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A Suitable Boy

A Suitable Boy

This epic novel revolves around four large extended families in the post-colonial India of the 1950s. By following these families, Seth takes his reader into their homes, the courts, their religion, workplaces, academia, violent riots, and domestic disputes. Lush descriptions and well-developed characters make this an enjoyable long read. (Or so I'm told—it's still on my TBR!) 1474 pages. More info →
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The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle Book 1)

The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle Book 1)

This is the story of an orphan with magical powers who grows up to be the greatest wizard the world has ever known. It's on my TBR; readerly friends keep telling me anyone who has ever read a single fantasy book needs to read this NOW, even if they don't think they like fantasy. Need convincing? Lin-Manuel Miranda says: "I just love the world of Patrick Rothfuss." 676 pages. More info →
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Kristin Lavransdatter

Kristin Lavransdatter

Nobel laureate Sigrid Undset tells the story of her heroine in 14th century Norway with great love and attention to detail. My friend (who's been urging me to read this for ages) tells me she'd give it ten stars if she could. Book-of-the-Month Club said, "We consider it the best book our judges have ever selected and it has been better received by our subscribers than any other book." 1168 pages. More info →
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Setting: Tokyo, 1984. A young woman begins to notice troubling discrepancies in the world around her, which makes her think she's living in a parallel reality, which she names 1Q84, the "Q" standing for "question." On my TBR: a friend who loves it calls it "the longest book you'll never, not once, lose interest in." 925 pages. More info →
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Here Be Dragons (Welsh Princes Trilogy Book 1)

Here Be Dragons (Welsh Princes Trilogy Book 1)

My mom has been telling me to read this for years. In this book, the first of a trilogy, historical master Penman chronicles the lives of Llewelyn the Great of Wales and King John of England. I've been warned to be patient for the first two hundred pages, and then the pages will start to fly. 704 pages. More info →
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The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration

This is one of the few nonfiction works on this list, from the first African American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for journalism. She chronicles the great migration of nearly six million black citizens who left the American South between 1915 and 1970 to settle in northern and western cities, looking for a better life, and how their resettlement changed the face of America. 622 pages. More info →
Atlas Shrugged

Atlas Shrugged

This is a novel wrapped around a political philosophy, that poses the question: what would happen if the people that make things in this world simply stopped? People's thoughts and feelings about this book are all over the map. 1168 pages, although I personally grant permission to skip the 40-page monologue near the book's end. More info →
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The Historian

The Historian

Kostova's brooding literary thriller is hard to slot into a genre: she combines Gothic, adventure, travelogue, and mystery writing in her epic novel exploring the battle of good vs. evil. She drew inspiration from childhood stories she heard from her father, as well as the classic Dracula tale—brace yourself for some fantastically weird storytelling. But her themes run deep; Kostova calls the Dracula tale "a metaphor for the evil that is so hard to undo in history." 704 pages. More info →
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What would you add to the list? What are YOU reading for this category?

20 extra-long and totally readable books


Leave A Comment
  1. What a coincidence! I’m reading The Historian in March/April for one of the online book clubs I host. It’s actually a reread for me, and one of my favorite books of all time. The Pillars of the Earth is also a favorite. Great list! Many are on my TBR.

  2. Patricia says:

    Ouch! I want to read them all. In fact at least half were on my TBR list I guess if I cancel all plans for the next 10 years…

  3. sherry says:

    I have a few of these in my TBR pile. I am considering “The Stand” – since I have never read it before. Also “The Historian”. Another great, classic over-600-page read would be Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone with the Wind” – but I am re-reading that one for another category!


  4. Leigh says:

    I first read Kane and Abel in 1983. The paperback is just over 600 pages. It’s a sweeping family saga; the first novel by Jeffrey Archer. It remains at the top of my “favorite books of all time” list. I cried at the end, not because of how the story ended but rather because I was so sad to be telling the characters goodbye. It certainly will meet the “if you’re going to devote 600+ pages to a book, then by golly, it had better be good” requirement!

  5. Cindy says:

    Patrick Rothfus “The Name of the Wind” was good. But be warned. He seems to be unable to finish the trilogy that book begins.

  6. Jennifer N. says:

    I’ve chosen “The Historian” for my selection since it’s been sitting unread on my book shelf forever.

    “The Stand” is one of my favorite books of all time – I never once felt like I was reading a 1,000 page book. This is also a very approachable Stephen King read for people that don’t read horror. There are a few pretty intense scenes, but they are outweighed by the rest of the survival tale. However, I don’t recommend this for readers who are sensitive to stories where bad things happen to good people as this happens quite a bit.

    Pro-tip: I try to read what I call “doorstop” books on an eReader if I have the option. Wielding books of this size can be really cumbersome.

  7. Sarah M says:

    I am the exact same way, for the same reason! I would add Cutting for Stone, though, which clocks in just over 700 pages. The first 150 were a bit of a slog for me, but the rest of the story is wonderful, and doesn’t feel long at all.

    • Caroline says:

      Oh! I forgot Cutting for Stone was that long… one of my all time favorites! It definitely reads much quicker. Thank for bringing that one up so I can remember it fondly! ?

  8. Makala says:

    I have always enjoyed longer books better . I hadn’t been able to decide what to read for this yet but now I think I’ll read Pillars of the Earth . I’ve read the century trilogy by him at my mom’s request so I’m fairly certain I will love this as well .

  9. Laura says:

    I just finished Monte Cristo yesterday after putting it off for years. It was one of the best books I’ve ever read and had so much to say about human nature’s need for justice (and mercy). Plus, it was just plain exciting. You can tell that it was serialized because certain sections are longer than they needed to be, but that doesn’t detract from the story. Thankful to Meredith for describing it so brilliantly on your podcast- “glittering” was one of her adjectives. I’m so glad I finally picked it up. (listened to parts on audio- Bill Homewood was awesome)

  10. Caroline says:

    I’ve had A Suitable Boy for probably 20 years and it’s still on my TBR! Steinbeck’s East of Eden was sweeping, epic and a fast paced read. Alaska, Chesapeake and Poland by Michener are also great, long reads.

  11. Pam Pomar says:

    I love long books. I would definitely include the Goldfinch. Cutting for Stone and The Poisonwood Bible weigh in at 540+ pages, and they are wonderful. Of those you have listed I’ve read about a third, am not interested in about a third. Thanks for 6 or 7 new long read ideas! Since joining the book club and following the blog my To Read list has gone skyward . . .

    • Heidi says:

      I’ve been “reading” The Poisonwood Bible for at least a month now. I loved The Bean Trees but I just can’t get into this one. I keep interrupting it to read other books.

  12. Emily DeArdo says:

    Oh, Brede! One of my favorite books EVER, my copy is falling apart. I recommend it to everyone. I have the Hamilton bio in my to-read pile, and coincidentally, I’m re-reading the Outlander series right now (I’m on book 6, and yes, they’re ALL big fat novels). And Kristin Lavransdatter is great. I’ve been curious about Pillars of Earth, so maybe I’ll put that one on my to-read list.

  13. Melanie says:

    Outlander is on my all-time favorites list. It’s what mashed potatoes are to comfort food. When nothing else suits me, I go back to it. Another long one of my very favorites is Lonesome Dove (thanks Anne!). I knew most of the story because of the mini-series when I was a child but I picked up the book based solely on the recommendation here sometime last year. Oh man, it is amazing. I think it’s the 1st (and probably last if we’re being honest) western I’ll ever read but it is just beautiful. Beautiful doesn’t seem like a good enough word to describe it. Can a western be breathtaking?

    • Makala says:

      Is 11/22/63 extremely scary . I’ve been wanting to read it but would first like to know if i should leave the lights on .

      • Ann says:

        I am about 75% through the book, and no, it is not scary. Things happen, but nothing that you don’t already read about or hear about in the news everyday! As a side note, my husband, who is not an avid reader, finished the book before I did! Go for it!

    • Connie says:

      I did not find 11/22/63 to be scary. But I did find it to be one of the most engaging long novels I have read in my many years-long reading life.
      I think it has everything – great writing, of course, it’s Stephen King!
      But it also has great character development, historical/geographical background, nearly believeable time-travel, a love story and suspense that slowly ratchets up to the end. Go for it!

  14. Barb says:

    Lonesome Dove is one of the BEST books ever and it’s a long one. It’s so beautiful and sweeping and the characters become like friends.

  15. Dawn Rice says:

    I adore Outlander. I found it at the library before I knew where to look on the internet for what to read next. I had read a ton of books and they were okay but I read them so fast I got tired of going back for more!! I saw it and it was so thick I got the first three and figured they would take me a while to get through. They did! And now I’ve read the first 5 at least 8 times and the rest at least 4 times.

  16. Cheryl says:

    This challenge encouraged me to finally read War and Peace after staring at the book for 3 years not knowing if I could read it. It wasn’t all what I expected–it is more the story of 5 families and the futility of war and it is a much better book than I thought it would be. A great choice for the long-book category.

  17. It took me three years to read the seven volumes (2280 pages) of Proust’s “Remembrance of Things Past.” Though I cheated and read them in English. A sentence could go on for two pages. I loved every word. As sensuous as chocolate mousse.
    Currently, I am reading “Don Quixote” by Cervantes (again in English; only 785 pages).
    Absolutely hated “Atlas Shrugged.”
    “Anna Karenina” was wonderful, though.

  18. Donna says:

    I just started reading Michener’s book Alaska and so far (2% in-LOL) I’m enjoying stories about wooly mammoths 🙂

  19. Aimee says:

    My caveat to people with any Ken Follett novel is that he writes quite a few “intimate” and graphic scenes. Some friends I recommended “Pillars of the Earth” to couldn’t finish it because of these scenes. They felt it detracted from the story. It’s still in my top book s of all time and I think so fondly of my first time reading it, which was on a study abroad in Vienna surrounded by these amazing cathedrals. The century trilogy is also wonderful and a really great LONG audio listen.

  20. Jamie says:

    Winds of War is on my shelf right now and WILL BE one of the next books I read. However, I’m feeling a bit under the weather and know I should value sleep over reading (I know, I KNOW!) so I’ve been leaning towards shorter novels lately so there are less “just one more page” moments as I fight bedtime to keep reading. After polishing off two books in the last two days I really want to pick up Winds, but this dang cold just won’t back off. Hopefully next week.
    Also, 136 MILLION years?!?! Now that’s a story arc!

  21. marge woods says:

    I was happy to see “In this house of Brede” on the list. I read it years ago and it left an impression I remember to this day. (years and years ago)

  22. Michelle says:

    There are a few mentioned here that I actually went into with no idea how long they were because I borrowed the e-book versions from my library and never bothered to check. The length (to me) is much different on an ebook as page turn is relative to how big or small you make the font, and there’s no physical difference as a tell (weight, size, how many pages to the left or right of my bookmark). If I’m slogging through a book, or have a million things going on a 350-400 page book in ebook can feel just as long to me as a 700 page ebook I’m completely engrossed in and flying through. Now, if I’m holding the physical book clearly I’m aware of it and I can slog, be busy, or become engrossed just the same…but I’m totally aware of the length. Somehow in ebook it just hasn’t been an issue. If I am reading, I like it, it’s moving, it’s just the same. Totally psychological.

  23. Sherrie says:

    More than half of the books listed have been on my TBR for ages, and I own quite a few of them. Sigh, I just seem to be unable to crack them open, the length seems so intimidating!

  24. Sara Kilpatrick says:

    I am reading The Count of Monte Cristo right now, and I was amazed at how “easy” it is to read for a translated classic. I went with the Robin Buss translation which flows better than the previous one did , IMO. I am also working through Anna Karenina, though it is paused right now in favor of Dante 🙂

    And my Alexander Hamilton biography is patiently waiting for me to pick it back up. I read Chernow’s Washington biography which was good, but I really needed to take a break from 18th century biographies after the 3 months it took to read the Washington book.

    Several others on this list are on my TBR. I wish I had more time to dive in to my long books.

      • Sara Kilpatrick says:

        I started it at some point last year, but I was juggling a lot of books at the time and I don’t think I ever returned to it. Maybe this year!

        • Deron says:

          I’m reading the Buss translation of Monte Cristo right now as well and really enjoying it. Glad I spent $12 on the Kindle version rather than trying to stumble through the public domain versions. Although, I’m also listening to the Craft Lit podcast of Cristo and they use one of the PD versions and it works well, but she does reference the Buss from time to time in her commentary.
          Years ago I read the Pevear & Volokhonsky translation of Anna Karenina and it remains one of my favorite reading experiences of all time. They have a great translation of Brothers Karamazov too. (Also a great choice for this category.)
          I’m using Cristo as my page-turner for the challenge so for this category my pick right now is Lonesome Dove.

  25. Ann-Marie Hutchinson says:

    I am surprised how many of these books I have read, Alexandre Dumas helped me along with Dennis Wheatley in my written english many moons ago and I read the Outlander series and the welsh princes series quite a few years ago as well. I used to regularly read books well over 1000 pages long but my attention span is not as long now. I you like Sharon J Penman then I would recommend Elizabeth Chadwick

  26. Jeannine says:

    I recommend “A Fine Balance” by Rohinton Mistry. AT first the size intimidated me (600ish page) but the writing and story are so interesting I was reading at every available moment and was sad when it was over. Loosely it’s a story of the caste system in India.

  27. Nancy says:

    Agree about the opportunity cost! I read and loved several of Michener’s books back in the day and your list makes me want to reread Centennial. A friend has been recommending Edward Rutherford and so I’m planning to read London.

  28. GingerG says:

    Intriguing list! I completely agree with you about skipping those 40 pages in Atlas Shrugged. I’m glad I’m not the only one who fast-forwarded that part.

    • Michelle says:

      If it was hardback then it was probably a first edition (1991). If it was paperback it could have been from 2014 or 1998. Goodreads has a feature where you can look this up. I’ve used it when buying used books online to identify specific editions/what’s being offered.

  29. Jennifer Dee says:

    I just loved Herman Wouk’s ‘The Winds of War’ and ‘War and Remembrance’. I also enjoyed the mini series on TV starring Robert Mitchum.

  30. Libby says:

    Wally Lamb is the only author that’s gotten me to read a book that long. I got sucked in with “She’s Come Undone”. It’s 484 pages and I finished it in less than two days–at a time in my life when I was working full time and going to school. I don’t know how I made it happen. After that I’ve read everything he can offer me.

  31. Allison says:

    I love a good long book! I especially love a good series so I can live in that world even longer (Outlander!). I’ve read many mentioned here, but I’ve added a bunch to my list.

    If you enjoy Pillars of the Earth, the sequel called World Without End is pretty good as well.

    I’m reading A Game of Thrones right now, because I’d like to watch the show and I don’t believe in watching shows or movies if I haven’t read the book 🙂 It’s enjoyable, but I haven’t decided yet if I’ll read the rest. My TBR lists have grown so long since I started following this blog, I’m definitely feeling the opportunity costs of long books!

  32. Ruth says:

    I always recommend Middlemarch by George Eliot. The paperback is 904 pages. It is such a great story about different kinds of marriages. It also starts slowly but then the story takes off and you cannot put it down.

    • Catharine Shirley says:

      Loved Middlemarch, particularly since I listened to it. It is read by Juliet Stephenson, a brilliant English actor who makes all the characters come to life vividly.

    • Mary Noel says:

      I just got a copy of Middlemarch from Amazon. No indication of what edition it is, but it is a relatively large print and is only 472 pages long! Can this be possible? Have I maybe gotten some kind of abridged version? Any ideas?

  33. Corby says:

    I’m reading “Lindbergh” by A. Scott Berg. Anne Morrow Lindbergh granted him exclusive access to all the family documents. It is easy to read and because of the family letters and diaries used as source material, you truly get a taste of life as a Lindbergh. Highly recommend.

  34. I’ve been doggedly listening to Pillars of the Earth on my commute for MONTHS now. (Made slightly longer by that month when I had vacation, then lost my phone, then had snow days.) Audiobooks always go so slow for me, but I figured that this way I wouldn’t have that same feeling of “I could be reading five other books with this time,” because I just started doing the audiobook commute recently, so it feels like stolen reading time still–I could be reading ZERO books in that time.

    I also remember reading The Stand, one of the few King books I am brave enough for, decades ago while teaching overseas. I got so sucked in that I exaggerated the cold I had into a serious enough illness to stay home from work for a day to finish it. I still remember those opening scenes.

    John Irving, Charles Dickens, and mystery author Elizabeth George all write doorstoppers I’ve loved.

  35. Brandyn says:

    I think I’m the only person who found Outlander boring. I read half of it and gave up. That was after I purchased the Kindle version because the library physical copy was just too heavy to get comfortable reading.
    Trying to decide which biography to request from the library: Lincoln or Hamilton.

    • Nancy says:

      Agree, Brandyn, I read the first two books and just wasn’t into it enough to read more. I am curious about the TV series, though. Haven’t seen it yet.

      • Marilyn Stubberfield says:

        Outlander and all the books that follow were special for me. When they dragged, I speeded up my reading right through those sections. Only author Galbaldon can take 30 pages to describe an afternoon. The TV series was a little too violent for me, did not watch despite my initial excitement.

        • Michelle says:

          I found Drums of Autumn (4) to drag terribly. The previous books, although long, had a lot going on and held my attention. For some reason DoA was a slog. Now I’ve been very hesitant to dive into the fifth. My reading list is long and I’m not sure I want to commit to another 1,000 pages in that series right now.

          • Crunchycon says:

            Drums of Autumn is the sloggiest of the series, especially afte Voyager, which was pretty exciting. The series gets better with “The Fiery Cross”.

  36. Marilyn Stubberfield says:

    I am currently reading Shantarum by Gregory David Roberts, he tells a wonderful story. A big book at a whooping 983 pages. Some fine examples pg. 125 ….the high curves of her cheekbones were like the mountains from which her amber eyes studied the world. Pg 75….I could feel the wicker basket of his bones through his coarse tunic.

  37. Byrd says:

    The Name of the Wind and its sequel got me through the first three months of breastfeeding – weird but true. 🙂 He has the third book coming out soon!

    Great list, I love big long books.

    • Heidi says:

      Oh, I really hope book three is coming soon. I’m dying to find out what happens to Kvothe. It’s taken way too long.

  38. Shauna says:

    I Know This Much is True is one of my all-time favorites! I’m currently reading another of Lamb’s novels, The Hour I First Believed. It is shaping up to be just as intense, and I’m flying through it.

    A Prayer For Owen Meany and Les Miserables are also two of my favorites. I liked Anna Karenina, but I read it so long ago I don’t remember anything about it! Although the Lamb novel I’m reading right now would technically fall under this category (700+ pages), I’ve been meaning to read The Brothers Karamazov for years and am going to give it a try this year. I really mean it this time!

  39. Rick O'Brien says:

    Good choices. Pillars… and The Stand are 2 I have read and enjoyed. Have, Hamilton and Team of Rivals in the “”to read” stack. Will look at the other suggestions closely. Thanks

  40. Megan says:

    Hmmm…does rounding up count? I just finished Cutting for Stone and it comes in at 560 pages. I got Thorn Birds for Christmas and its also 560. Maybe if I read BOTH of them, I’ll count it as a win for the 600+ page category! Fun fact – I do a fair amount of interviewing new hires at my firm and I’ve started asking “What’s your favorite book?” as an ice-breaker type question. Its been really fun to hear people’s answers. That was my first introduction to the Name of the Wind, so its been on my list. The gal I interviewed totally sold me on it!

  41. Kate says:

    The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis and Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurty are two of my favorite “big, fat, meaty reads.” Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell was also quite good, especially if you enjoy Dickens.

  42. Krista says:

    Any book by Ken Follett is fantastic, but I really love his Century trilogy. Each book is around 900 pages and chronicles the lives of families in different countries (including the ways they intersect) over the span of a century. It’s fiction and I couldn’t put the books down.

    Also, I loved …And Ladies of the Club. Also historical fiction. Definitely written for women. It’s 1,000+ pages and tiny print with no kindle version, so it’s not for the faint of heart, but it is so rewarding to read. It is a look at the lives of women and their families over the period of maybe 80-90 years.

  43. Don Quixote! I was surprised by how contemporary the reading experience was, despite the book being really really old. It just didn’t seem like it was written that long ago and definitely not too long ago to be funny today. Excellent on audio by the way!

    I haven’t read any of the books on your list! Well I attempted The Name of the Wind but gave up pretty early on in the story. I’m adding a few others to my to-be-read pile. Thanks Anne!

  44. Leslie Dupont says:

    I may be late to the show on this, but Wives and Daughters is currently free on Amazon with $0.99 Audible narration! BTW, Anna Karennina, Pillars of the Earth, and The Count of Monte Cristo are in my top 10 favorite books!

  45. So many of the books stated are favourites of mine,
    Let me mention The source by Michener, An epic about a Source on a knoll in Israel during many centuries, the history of years gone.
    There is also the John Galsworthy:s The Forsythe Saga, an epic as well as one.
    A serie of the Morland Family from the 14th century to today in 25 books. The author is Cynthia Harrod Eagles, love the first 15-16 books then i tired a little.
    R F Delderfields God is an englishman is also readable.
    As is the first one of Jonathan Kellermans books of Alex Delaware chrimes. Especially the one on the school attack and the family with MÛnchhausen syndrome.

  46. Claudine R Meilink says:

    I’m currently reading Alexander Hamilton. I love Ron Chernow’s writing style. I recommend any book by Wally Lamb. If you enjoy history, you may also enjoy Ken Follett’s Century Trilogy. From all of these suggestions, however, I cannot shower enough praise on Isabel Wilkerson’s The Warmth of Other Suns. Truly a magical book.

  47. Anne says:

    I always love your “long book” lists!! Goodreads says last year my average book length was 376 pages… I always suggest Les Miserables which is one of the most wonderful books I have ever read. I haven’t read a lot of Dickens but I think I am going to start Bleak House soon because I have heard it is one of the best & I just found out that the main character shares a name with my newborn daughter (Esther)!

  48. Victoria says:

    I read A Suitable Boy when I was at University after having come back from 6 months in India. It remains one of my all time favorites. Ken Folletts Century trilogy has three 1000 plus page parts to it. My pick for this category was the latest of Lucinda Riley’s “Seven sisters ” series, The Shadow Sister. Now I have to wait another year for book 4 to be released.
    Like others who have commented I was surprised by how many of these I had read!!

  49. Suzy says:

    And Ladies of the Club – a wonderful book about women of a book club in Ohio from post Civil War to 1932, their lives and the history of the times. About 1100 pages. One of those books you don’t want to end.
    I loved Centennial although it’s been years since I read it. I found a Readers Digest version which I plan to read. I highly recommend his books if anyone plans travel to Hawaii or Alaska.
    Love the list!

  50. Bev says:

    I read (and loved) In This House of Brede in my 20s and still think about it. Outlander is still one of my fav. reads as well. Will be checking the others on your list.

  51. Linda Smith says:

    I’ve read 14 of the 20. Thanks for recommending the other 6. I would add to the list James Clavell’s Shogun and Tai Pan. Also, The Far Pavillions.

    • Victoria says:

      Oh The Far Pavilions! That and The Jewel in the Crown were the books that sent me off to India at the age of 18 on my own with a backpack for 6 months!!! Many years ago now!!!

  52. Tara says:

    Other than the fact that I re-read Anna Karenina a few years ago (it’s one of my all-time favorites!), the only 600+ page novel I’ve read recently is City on Fire a debut novel by Garth Risk Hallberg (944 pages!); I received an advance copy in 2015 and read it fairly quickly, even though it turned out to be somewhat of a letdown after all the hype. It’s tough for me to commit to a book of this length, for sure!

  53. I haven’t read any of the books listed, but so many great options! The Goldfinch is one of my all-time favorite books & it fits into this category. I’m leaning towards reading The Luminaries or Middlemarch.

  54. Brenda Steiner says:

    I have read many of the books listed or mentioned. The Outlander series was one of my favorites although it can get bogged down in spots. The Pillars of the Earth trilogy was even better than the century trilogy. The Stand was my all-time favorite Stephen King novel. To those who haven’t read East of Eden, Gone with the Wind, or Winds of War, I would highly recommend these as well as two “old” books Tess of the d’Urbervilles and Vanity Fair.

  55. Selma says:

    My 14-year old son and I both read the first 2 books of Brandon Sanderson’s “Stormlight Archive” and loved it. Fantasy genre, 1000+ pages each, and they kept us engaged. First book is called “The Way of Kings” and the 2nd is “Words of Radiance” and we’re eagerly waiting for the next one, to be called “Oathbringer.”

  56. Torrie says:

    I liked Alex Haley’s Roots for sure (and am a bit sad it didn’t make the list), and I don’t remember ever getting bored with it. I also liked The Goldfinch, although listening to WSIRN, it seems that I’m in the minority since I actually really loved it!

  57. Lisa says:

    I would add The Hawk and the Dove by Penelope Wilcox. Set also in a medieval monastary but travels forward in time as well, it is a beautiful story with many layers. I don’t want to give anything away as I read it some years ago, but it was truly wonderful.

  58. Cheralaine Cole-Johnson says:

    I Know This Much Is True is one of my all time favorites. I would put The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber. Great list!. I’ve read nine but got inspiration for new material.

  59. Tanya says:

    Considering the Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy (872 pages) – not sure I’m ready to tackle a 600+ page book until the summer though when the schedule is more steady.

  60. Danica says:

    I think I may need to go back and reread Winds of War … I want to say I read that (and the sequel) back in high school. It has definitely been awhile since I read them. Some of the other recommendations sound great as well.

  61. Lisa Keith says:

    I have read a few of the books on this list, but the one that just took my breath away is Sigrid Undset’s Kristin Lavransdatter. I have never read anything quite like it before or since. My copy which is old is in 3 separate books; newer printings combined the 3 books into one. I can’t recommend this one enough.

  62. Michelle says:

    Are there any tips or tricks for sticking with an intimidatingly long book? I am reading Poisonwood Bible and I’m wondering if it’s going to be worth my time. Im 100 pages in and I think I want to keep going? I think it didn’t hook me at the very beginning and I’m wondering if it’s worth all those pages (I’m a slow reader).

    • Veronica says:

      I have a bookclub strategy that I discovered for myself. If its a book that I don’t particularly enjoy and have to read. I take the number of chapters and divided by how many days. So if there’s 24 chapters then depending on how much time I want to spend reading is how I divide by two or three and read that many chapters a day. It’s a really self-discipline way to read material that you don’t particularly enjoy or are not liking very much but want to finish.

  63. Briana says:

    I have already read Atlas Shrugged, Pillars of the Earth, The Stand and I Know This Much is True. Call me a sucker for big books.

    The Winds of War (and the sequel) are on my To Read list ☺

  64. Kristen says:

    For the past few years, I’ve tracked how many book and pages I read a year. Yet, somehow the number of books is much more powerful than pages. I’d been thinking about reading The Count of Monty Cristo for the challenge. I started it once but life got in the way of 1,200+ pages. Though after this post, Wives and Daughters might have usurped its position on my TBR list. I loved North and South. The book has so many layers and I’ve been meaning to read more of Gaskell’s work.

  65. Donna says:

    I don’t usually read long books. For the challenge, I’m reading New York by Edward Rutherfurd (862 pages!) It seems like it will hold my attention.

  66. Carolyn says:

    A Little life! Oh my goodness. Heartbreakingly beautiful love story! Friends, Lovers, Family…. one of my absolute best ever!

  67. Carrie says:

    I read Gone with the Wind this year and LOVED it. Managed to grow up and never watched the movie but just got it from the library.

  68. I read both Winds of War and War and Remembrance when I was 30 or so. So good and so important to reread at this moment in our US history. My husband and I were just talking about the books yesterday. I first heard this quote, “Those who don’t learn history are doomed to repeat it,” in the book War and Remembrance. I fear that there are too many of us in the country who never learned or have forgotten the lessons of World War II and its horrors.

  69. Angela Mills says:

    I adore long books. I read so ridiculously fast that it almost drives me crazy. So I appreciate a 600+ page book that will take me more than a day to read. I can’t wait for A Column of Fire, Follett’s follow up to the Pillars series.

    I loved the first 2 books of his Century trilogy as well. Gone with the Wind is my all time favorite. So I would add those. I’ve yet to read Outlander, so that’s on my list. This is my favorite list you’ve done!

    • Jana Botkin says:

      I’m a little afraid to read Ken Follett’s follow-ups. While listening to Pillars of the Earth in 2001, I had a huge should-have-died car wreck that was mostly my fault. It had to be the distraction of the story that caused me to make a left turn in front of an oncoming car! I don’t listen to books while I drive any more (and don’t make scary left turns either). The book really was good. Really really good!

    • Ann Perrigo says:

      Wow! I envy you for your speed reading! I love long books, but it takes me forever to read them. (I’m one of those readers who reads out loud to myself in my brain. Sometimes I can jump over a word, but basically it makes it very slow going!)

  70. Marilyn says:

    I read “Gone With The Wind” . It was much superior to the movie version. Too many important factors eliminated in the movie. “Ladies of the Club” was another winner. Thanks for the list.

  71. Susanna says:

    Happy to see The Count of Monte Cristo on this list. I read it around 20 years ago when I was in the midst of breastfeeding, diaper changes, and play dates. I remember the excitement I felt each evening when I picked up that book. A very satisfying read!

  72. Nancy says:

    Well, my all-time favorite novel is Atlas Shrugged. Believe it or not, I have read it multiple times (maybe 20 times or more, but not in the past ten years), and I agree with your assessment about skipping the speech near the end unless you are big into reading philosophy. I plan on reading it again this year for the challenge.
    I would add her novel, The Fountainhead, to the list as well as Gone With the Wind.
    If a story is compelling, the number of pages is not a problem. If it isn’t compelling, it is difficult to get through the story no matter how few of pages it is. ~nan

    • Liz Erdmer says:

      One of the most enjoyable and influential books I’ve ever read. Very important for young people to read!

  73. Team of Rivals is really good, but that’s the only book on your list that I’ve read. If a book takes too long for me to read, I usually get impatient, bored, and quit. Every once in a while, I find a book that’s too good to put down and 600+ pages feels like 30.

  74. Steph in Lex says:

    Just finished Joyce Carol Oates’s new one, A Book of American Martyrs 700+). Fantastic but heartbreaking. Last year, I read The Executioner’s Song by Norman Mailer, which is in excess of 1000 pages and flew by. Amazing.

    I enjoy Wally Lamb, but good god was his last one awful. We are Water is especially good.

  75. kristen says:

    If you are a horror lover, the book IT was wonderful! I enjoyed the many perspectives, the tunnels in and put through past and present in such a fast pace it was sometimes hard to keep track!(1116 pages)

    I also loved the Game of Thrones series, each over the 600 page threshold.

    By the way, The Historian was an amazing book!

  76. laura says:

    I personally liked Game of Thrones by George RR Martin 835 pages more than Outlander 896 pages. I have a very bad attention span and don’t really like large books because I get bored very quickly. But those two were the only ones I actually completed in the past 3 years.

  77. Jana Botkin says:

    “And Ladies of the Club” by Helen Hooven Santmeyer – fat, fat book, absorbing story that I loved the first time (published in 1982, I read it around 1988) and seemed too drawn out the second time. Reminds me of Jane Austen with all sorts of conversation that my modern brain wants to edit.

    • Deborah Olander says:

      This is my vote too, Jenna Botkin. This is the very best book I have ever read, and believe me, I’ve read a lot of books. I especially like long books that reward the attentive reader. Like you, I read it in 1982 and to this day have not found a book that has captured my heart as much as “ALotC.” Years later I discovered my #2, “Maia,” by Richard Adams.

  78. Heidi says:

    I’ve read several of these selections and loved them all, which makes me think the others need to get in line! The Name of the Wind and Pillars of the Earth are particular favorites. Connie Willis is a sci-fi writer, and her books Blackout and All Clear were supposed to be one novel but it got too long and she split it in two. They are amazing, about time traveling historians who get stuck in England during the Blitz. Love them!

  79. Being a Norwegian I was thrilled to see a Norwegian selection on your list! However, Kristin Lavransdatter is actually a trilogy. The first book in the trilogy, The Wreath, was first published in 1920 and is 336 pages long. The other two books in the trilogy are The Wife (published 1921, 448 pages) and The Cross (published 1922, 464 pages). I’ve actually got The Wreath down as a possible read for my book in translation selection or book published before I was born for your Growth challenge.

    For a book 600+ pages, I’m considering Cathedral of the Sea by Ildefonso Falcones (also book in translation) or your recommendation Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett.

    I’m a great fan of your podcast, reading challenges, and book recommendations. Thanks for all you do!

    • Exactly. I have all three books in an omnibus edition. One thick book! It’s also the same for The Master of Hestviken. It’s a four book series. I have the omnibus edition of it as well. I plan to get to one of the two this year…I hope.

      I have Cathedral of the Sea in my home library as well.

      • Nanette Stearns says:

        We’re reading Kirstin Lavransdatter for one of my bookclubs and agreed to review/discuss book by book rather than all of them at once. So I’ve finished The Wreath and will move on to the Wife soon. I have a compilation on ebook so it’s hard to see how big it really is!

  80. Julie says:

    I read Anna Karenina for this category, found it in my mom’s bookcase when cleaning up after her passing. I now live in this house and in sitting in her reading room cubby(my favourite spot in house) I felt closer to her and read notes in spots that she felt about this book, more treasured because of this. I loved this book, and will keep it and read it again e end as long as it was. I recommend this to everyone as it is an excellent story.

  81. “Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell” by Susanna Clarke is the last long novel I finished (782 pages in the hardcover). Clarke’s world building is excellent, it’s witty, and you don’t have to love science fiction to enjoy it. It’s kind of like Jane Austen meets Charles Dickens meets J.K. Rowling but that’s not doing it justice. Highly recommended (though I do warn that it’s a slow starter).

    • Jennie says:

      So glad for the positive review on this book! It’s my pick for the challenge but I wasn’t sure if it was going to be as good as I hoped. I mostly decided to buy it because it’s enormous size surprised and intrigued me when I saw it sitting there next to the smaller books at the bookstore.

  82. Aquila says:

    Absolutely love anything by Sharon Kay Penman, I’ve got a couple left on my TBR list. Also anything by Rumer Godden – “In This House of Brede” is a favorite. I started Pillars of the Earth but it somehow disappeared while we were moving (I suspect my spouse packed it and didn’t remember doing so). There are several other here that have been put on the TBR list.

    • SoCalLynn says:

      I agree, I love Sharon Kay Penman’s books. I’ve been making my way through them all and am about 1/2 way. It helps that I am fascinated by Eleanor of Aquitaine and her progeny.

  83. Anne At Home says:

    Great category! I loved The Source by James Michener, made me want to study archaeology. I read it over 20 years ago and from memory I think it’s 1000+ pages. A Fine Balance by Rohinto Mistry just makes it at 603 pages but I couldn’t put it down, absolutely fascinating story set in India. And Donna Tartt’s Goldfinch, also unputdownable and over 700 pages. I’m not sure if this counts: The Regeneration Trilogy by Pat Barker – they all need to be read together. Riveting & very moving story set in WW1 and told from differing points of view. I also vote for several of the ones you’ve listed including The Stand, Atlas Shrugged ( but I loved The Fountainhead more), A Suitable Boy and Pillars Of The Earth. Sorry, my comment seems to be heading for 600+ pages!

  84. Whitney says:

    A Suitable Boy is one of my all time favorites, and whenever I come across someone who has also finished it, it’s usually one of their favorites, too. And then you can always have a great conversation about which of the three suitors you think Lata should have ended up with. Jane Austen combined with multi-family saga & crucial historical period.

  85. Alexis says:

    I Know This Much is True is one of my favorite books! Wally Lamb is amazing! The Count of Monte Christo is on my reading list for this year… I tried to read it last year but couldn’t get into the story. I’m giving it another chance this year.

  86. Maryalene says:

    Can we talk about opportunity cost for a minute?

    It’s funny you should mention it. I am reading The Time in Between right now and really enjoying it. However, at the same time I’m thinking: this is really long, and I can’t wait to get through this to start on another book.

    I don’t like that. I don’t like that I can seem to savor the book I’m reading without looking forward to what’s next. Obviously, as a book blogger, Anne has a professional reason for churning through books quickly, but I can’t figure out why I do. Is it because I have too many books on my to-read list? Is it because now that I’m pushing 40, I’m very much aware that there are more books in the world than I could possibly ever cover?

    I’d love to hear what others think. How do we enjoy our books without feeling like it’s a race to finish them?

  87. Karen Grosz says:

    I have read I Know This Much to Be True. I enjoyed the book. This year I am reading The Count of Monte Cristo. About 75 pages in. It is good, but it does divert from the movie. I think I will enjoy this one.

  88. Jennifer Dee says:

    I have just started to re-read ‘ Testament of Youth’ by Vera Brittain at 661 pages. I first read this around 20 years ago. I binged on all of Vera Brittain’s books at the time but haven’t read any since. TestMent of Youth I think should be read by all young women.

  89. Liz Erdmer says:

    A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry. You feel as if you’re living life as a beggar on the streets of Calcutta. A memorable read on so many levels.

    • SoCalLynn says:

      I remember thinking this is one of the best books I’ve ever read. But I can’t bring myself to re-read it for two reasons. 1. I’m afraid it won’t be as good as I remember it and want to keep that memory alive, and 2. The subject matter is so heavy. I still think everyone should read it. The language and style are just so beautiful.

      • Sarah says:

        Yes! When I was living in Bangladesh everyone was passing around this book – nothing else I’ve read really capture the feelings of living on the subcontinent. But we kept joking that you need to give whoever you pass it to a bottle of prozac as well.

  90. JoLene says:

    I used to read a lot of longer books, but then I started doing reading challenges — not the MMD variety, but the need to read time based ones (sometimes on teams). Shorter books became the norm. Also, I do more audio books and will admit that I have a harder time with the long ones.

    I did love Name of the Wind and also like Sharon Kay Penman, but didn’t read the specific one mentioned. I did try to read Gone with the Wind recently, but got stuck around 30% (possibly the long audio syndrome).

    Authors that I liked that tended to write longer books — Wilbur Smith, John Irving, and Anne Rice (earlier stuff).

  91. I loved Team of Rivals and The Historian and liked Count of Monte Cristo and Wives and Daughters.
    I read Gone with the Wind for the first time at the end of last year, and I would definitely add it to this list. How Margaret Mitchell makes you care about a whiny, selfish, stuck up woman for 1,000 pages is incredible.
    I think I am going to read Anna Karenina or Middlemarch for this category this year.

  92. Bill Miller says:

    I just finished Middlemarch, one of my all-time favorites. I love the long, intricate and sometimes not-understandable-on-first-reading sentences. I also read and enjoyed every Dickens novel. My favorite was Bleak House, which I have enjoyed three times.

  93. Jenn Martin says:

    I totally didn’t expect to get so entirely pulled into The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton, Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel or Middlemarch by George Eliot, but they were three BIG books that totally sucked me in!

  94. Cindy M. says:

    I am reading “Middlemarch” now, based on David Brooks’ praise for George Eliot and this novel in his book “A Road to Character.” When does Middlemarch start to suck you in? I expected the language to be dense and old-fashioned, but the problem (to me) is that I am reading a LOT of pages where nothing is happening except Eliot’s observations on the characters, and like Maryalene above, I am thinking about — and looking on blogs for ideas! — all the other books I could be reading right now!

  95. Well between summer book of the month club and now, I’ve finished all the novels for Harry Potter. Some of those were super long. Do they count? Daughter, who is eleven, is two books behind me. My second oldest was 11-12 when they first came out, and we’ve had these books since then. Now I’ve finally got around to reading them (and my second oldest will turn 30 this year), and my youngest is reading them. She mistakenly brought the book to school today, and man, was her backpack HEAVY! LOL

  96. SallyHP says:

    I love this list! I have my Great-Aunt’s original set of the Kristin Lavransdatter books that she kept in her library and I kept just because. Now I shall read them! I also have Outlander sitting in my nightstand stack for far too long.

  97. Denise says:

    I’ve read Anna Karenina – loved! It’s kind of a novel combined with a treatise on modern (for that time) farming methods. 🙂
    The Count of Monte Cristo also fabulous.
    Kristin Lavransdatter has been on my TBR list for decades! This might be the year I finally read it.

  98. Sherry Early says:

    David Copperfield by Charles Dickens. I love Dickens, and David is the best of Dickens all in one book.
    Hawaii by James Michener. I didn’t care for some of his later books, but Hawaii was a great read.
    Exodus by Leon Uris. Only 608 pages.
    Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray. Almost as good as Dickens.

    • N G Marks says:

      Yes! I almost forgot how much I loved David Copperfield because I read it over 30 years ago! Thank you for reminding me of it, I might reread it this summer!


  99. Heather says:

    New to your blog so excuse any duplicates. Here are my favorite, or notable long, but worth it, reads.

    The Goldfinch (5+)
    A Brief History of Seven Killings (TBR)
    A Little Life (4)
    Infinite Jest (3, not my favorite but worth it for a project book)
    S (3, again not my favorite but the unique format forces you to read it twice)
    Helter Skelter (4+, possibly the best long read true crime)
    The Lonely Polygamist (4+)
    House of Leaves (3, but worth the meta-read)

  100. Kayla says:

    I loved (most) of Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. I read it on my Kindle, but I think the page count is around 1450? Very long, but oh so good. I did skip some of the description of the Paris sewer system 🙂

  101. Julie Morris says:

    Great list, there are a couple on here that are languishing on my TBR and I must get stuck in.

    I don’t know if you have read the Sharon Penman yet, but I would recommend ‘The Sunne in Splendour’ as her best work and you should really give that a go. It is another long one though!

  102. That’s a great selection! It’s always good to have more options! I don’t know how people read such long books in such a short space of time! I love reading, but I think I am particularly slow. I do like all the excitement, though, it makes me feel included in something special! I love hearing about what everyone is reading.

  103. Irene Carrick says:

    I loved The sun in splendor by Sharon Kay Penman and The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt is fabulous. A Fine Balance by Rohan Mistry is really really good too….worth the many pages!

  104. I can vouch for Anna Karenina ( I read it over the course of 3 months during 15 min office breaks). and I would add Les Miserables to this list of long reads too.

    I added most of them to my TBR list..thanks for these awesome suggestions!

    • Sarah K says:

      I felt exactly the same way about Lonesome Dove! I wanted to jump immediately into the sequel (and then the prequels) but have been discouraged by reviews that those are not as good as LD…

  105. Sarah K says:

    Kristin Lavransdatter for the win. I read those many years ago and they are still with me–haunting, beautiful, heartbreaking, true. I don’t know that I have ever read another book or series that covered so many years of a person’s life–it was almost a complete life and that made it even more moving.

    I listened to The Winds of War & War and Remembrance this year and they completely absorbed me. Highly recommended, and the audible narration is awesome.

    Another top love that is like Christmas for anyone who likes to have a long series ahead of them: The Francis Crawford of Lymond series by Dorothy Dunnett, followed by the House of Niccolo series which is intricately connected. Dunnett recommended reading Lymond first, then Niccolo, and then Lymond again in order to catch all the connections. That’s a good chunk of reading right there. 🙂

  106. Leira says:

    I’m currently about 2/3 of the way through Johnathan Strange & Mr. Norrell (1006 pages), which is also my book I’ve been meaning to read for a while. I got my copy about 4 years ago from a stall on the street in Ireland!

  107. Judy G says:

    Lonesome Dove was a wonderful book. You do not have to like westerns. McMurtry writes wonderful character so who come alive.

  108. Karen says:

    Gone to Soldiers by Marge Piercy – realizing that there were not enough pages to cover the questions I have about the lives of these people, this 800 page book left me wanting more.

  109. Jenn Husted says:

    Trinity, by Leon Uris. Amazing book which helped me understand the history of Ireland and the struggles between the Catholics and Protestants. And oldie but goodie ?

  110. Gwen says:

    I’ve read ten of the twenty and loved them all! I can’t do scary or heartbreaking and I don’t read epic non-fiction, so I still had a few to add to my TBR list! Thank you!!
    I would add – ALL of Margaret George (except maybe Mary Magdeline) and Byzantium. I’m sure I’ll think of more. As a speed reader, I love the epic novel!

  111. brianna says:

    I added a bunch of these to my Amazon TBR list. I didn’t participate in the 2017 challenge, but I will if there’s a 2018 challenge. I love a good bookish challenge.

  112. Marie says:

    I’ve read three of these books: Anna Karenina, Kristin Lavransdatter (the entire series) and Wives and Daughters. All great books!

  113. Kyla Pearlman says:

    I just finished These Truths (960) last night and it was excellent. I’m nearing the end of Stamped from the Beginning (592). I loved Lonesome Dove (960) and The Thorn Birds (692). On my TBR for 2021 is: The Warmth of Other Suns (622), The Luminaries (853), and maybe Roots (729) or Grant (1097).

  114. Vicki says:

    I would add The Far Pavilions by M. M. Kaye,The Memoirs of Cleopatra by Margaret George, and Space by James Michener. All of them are fantastic reads!

  115. Remarkably, I have read 5 of the books listed here. Centennial I had read every summer for 5 years. I am going to read it again this summer. Looking back, I seem to have a habit of reading long novel during the summmer. I wonder what that says about me. I have added 3 more books for a lovely summer day. I have always wanted to read The Count of Monte Cristo. Thanks for th reminder.

  116. Ann Perrigo says:

    What a great list! Amazingly, I have read 12 of the 20, and all 12 were among my all-time favorites. Perhaps that’s telling me something? (Like, perhaps, unbeknownst to me, I love long books? There are a few mentioned here or in the comments that I will add to this year’s TBR: The Warmth of Other Suns, Lonesome Dove, Middlemarch, Bleak House. Thanks for solidifying these titles for me!uu

  117. Paula says:

    I can’t believe you mentioned James Michener’s Centennial. Loved it!
    Also, read The Drifters by Michener. He’s the one that gave me my wander lutst. I’ve read most of his books – many that were around 1000 pages.
    Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
    Gone With The Wind. Margaret Mitchell
    Five Smooth Stones – Ann Fairbairn (in paperback around 930 some pages)
    When I was young I read loads of books between 500 and just under 1000 pages as I was also a big Stephen King and Dean Koontz fan
    Also a big fan of Allen Drury’s books that were long
    Penmarric by Susan Howatch was a favorite
    Green Darkness by Anya Seton – have always loved books about going back in time.

    It is amazing how we

  118. Gwen W. says:

    The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope. Approx 900 pages, depending on which publishing you have. Cracking good soap opera & hilarious in places. An all-time fave.

  119. Alan says:

    War and Peace — I’ve read it several times, first in a 1940s Book of theMonth edition we had on our shelves when I was a teenager.

    Middlemarch — the Victorian classic

    Musashi — the Japanese classic about great swordsman, basis of the movie Samurai.

    Dream of the Red Chamber and Water Margin — Chinese classics.

    Durant’s Story of Civilization.

  120. Anne DeVries says:

    I read “Moby Dick” by Herman Melville a couple years ago. I feel about it similarly to the way you described feeling cowards “The Count of Monte Cristo”. It was not my favorite read ever but I did enjoy it and am glad I read it if for no other reason, to be able to say I am acquainted with that classic tome. It stretches one’s mind to engage in such challenging pursuits and open up a world of knowledge about a subject with which one was previously wholly unfamiliar (really, what did I know what the whaling industry??). And now, when someone says, “Call me Ishmael”, I can say to myself, “Oh! I know where that’s from!”

  121. Nancy Halsema says:

    As I recall, nothing that James Michener wrote would be called a short novel. Hawaii, Alaska, Centennial, Texas, The Source – all are more than a 1000 pages, as I remember. I enjoyed them all, but admit to skipping a page or two when he would wax on eloquently about some inanimate object. I couldn’t skip many pages though or the generation (and sometimes the centuries would change quickly.)

  122. Sherry says:

    I’ve read most of these! “Don Quixote” is the longest book I’ve read (I think). I’ve read most of the “Outlander” books, and would add “Gone With the Wind” as a 1,000+ page book also.
    I added “I Know This Much Is True” to my Amazon order…

  123. You might all like to take a look at one of my boards on Pinterest…”I love big books….”.

    Have read or own copies of many already mentioned..looking forward to Middlemarch and the Ken Follets.

    One author rarely mentioned but rarely fails to disappoint is Penny Vincenzi..okay,okay,chuckling perhaps but FUN and stories rarely under 500 pages long..

  124. Sandy says:

    I’ve read eight of your long books, and I loved In this House of Brede especially, my copy in falling apart.

    Currently I’m slogging through Neal Stephenson’s new 706-page Termination Shock,

  125. Kathryn Pierce says:

    Perfect timing for your re-post. I was just thinking this morning that this is the year I read Kristin Lavransdatter! So many good ones on this list.

  126. Lavinia Curletta says:

    Middlemarch! Classic and unforgettable.
    And The Walking Drum, by Louis L’Amour – not a western. I read it to my kids years ago and they’ve never forgotten it.

  127. I just finished Alex Haley’s Roots (which runs anywhere from 700-900, depending on your edition), on audiobook and, though it was difficult at times, it was *amazing*. Talk about a complicated family saga!

    [Side-note: I was 7 when the TV mini-series based on the book aired, and I watched it with my family. It had a huge impact on me, but it was only today that I realized that the actor who portrayed the African patriarch, Kunta Kinte, was none other than a 20-year-old LeVar Burton!]

  128. Jillian says:

    I listened to Winds of War and War and Remembrance back to back one semester when I had a one hour commute to and from school. It took the entire semester to get through both, and I still remember that spring fondly. These were two of my favorite audio books to date, and I’ve been thinking about them often over the last two weeks.

  129. Erin says:

    Great list. I’m looking forward to finding a couple new discoveries in it.
    Wives & Daughters is really special. I really enjoyed it a few years back.

    Edward Rutherford books are epically long. My husband & I used to work in a country with no access to English books. We would always bring 1-2 paperback Edward Rutherford’s, as part of our luggage, to keep ourselves going. Big Bang for your carryon buck! The book, London, is about 800 pages.

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