Big Books, part two

Fireworks

Happy New Year!

I want to start the new year by looping back to the post I made about big books in November. There is a larger appetite for a long read than I expected and comments made to that post made me realize that big books have deep roots for readers of sci fi/fantasy as well as non-fiction.

Reading The Goldfinch reminded me of the pleasures of a long book and how it transports you into another world, how it is almost like a companion on a trip. I want to share excerpts from a comment posted about the power of the big book. I thought these comments summed it up well and the book referred to, Hilary Thayer Hamann’s Anthropology of an American Girl, is a debut novel that came out a couple years ago, clocking in around 600 pages. Thanks TB for this insightful comment:

“Anthropology of an American Girl was longer than most I’ve read in a while. And reflecting on that I think I’d like to read another, in the midst of so much that is fleeting …a good big book doesn’t get lost in the flurry. In fact it will keep me still long enough and noticeably so (yes the physicality of it is essential), a choice must be made to stop and read rather than reading everywhere in the cracks of life, but to choose to read rather than run out with it in my bag, and that is lovely. It got my attention like a close friend, the same kind of space as writing a paper letter, and the quality of that kind of time is so different from the way I’ve come to read that it felt like returning to an old house…”

I liked how she talked about the physicality of a long read, how it is a way to slow us down in our over-saturated world, and how reading a long book feels familiar, as if we are returning to an older, less hurried self. I felt all of those things while engrossed in The Goldfinch and have a new fondness for the big book. Thanks for all your comments on that topic.

Next up, I’m reviewing The Hanging Judge, by Michael Ponsor, a legal drama about a capital case, after which I will review a couple of memoirs.

To a fruitful year of reading, books long and short!

Photo Credit: By Luis Miguel Bugallo Sánchez via Wikimedia Commons

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Big Books, part two

  1. Kate, I am deep in the beautiful novel, The Goldfinch, loving it so much. Thanks for the recommendation. Love really long books.

  2. louise crawford

    You have convinced me that I must read this book, so it is going on my “list” as I wait out a cold winter on the East Coast.

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