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We’re setting a Chunky Reading Goal for a 2nd year! Because of course we purchased more chunky books throughout the year and setting this reading goal was a very successful way of focusing our reading. Yes, it did go off the rails a number of times – library books came in, my Giller reading had to take over in the Fall and mood reading also came into play.

Last year I posted 18 books I planned to read and of those I managed to finish 4. That doesn’t seem like much of an accomplishment, but I did swap out a number of other chunky books over this original list, and I did start some of them, but didn’t finish (I’ll mention those below). For instance, the next book in the Comoran Strike series came out, The Running Grave, and I read that one soon after reading Ink Black Heart. Also, the next instalment in the Lane Winslow series came out and I read that one over others on the original list. I read Framed in Fire from the original list but I also read To Track a Traitor (#10 in the series by Iona Whishaw).

There were 4 books from my original list that I started, but ended up not finishing. The first one I put aside was (the beloved) John Irving’s The Last Chairlift. Sigh. I got about 140 pages into its 889 and gave up. Sadness, I know, but I just couldn’t work my way through it. I found it very repetitive and a rehashing of often used Irving themes. I lamented often to Hoarder Elizabeth about it – this was one we raced out to buy but sadly I just couldn’t do it. I also picked up Fayne and probably read about 10 pages but I found my head was not in the right place for it at the time, so I still have that one sitting there prominently waiting for me when a better mood strikes. I also got through a fair amount of Deep River and it was going okay, but I think my Giller reading obligations took over and I put it aside. I find it very hard to pick up something I’ve put aside like that, so I’m not sure if I’m going to return to it. I’m currently reading Fellowship Point but it’s slow going for me but that may have to do with the holiday gatherings not allowing me to sit and read. I also find I’m just not wanting to pick this book up when I have the chance.

But! Let’s get on to the 2024 Chunky Books!

I have 8 physical books here, but my Kobo holds many more that I should bring my attention to this year. 8 is probably 100% doable to keep the focus, but there are the books listed from last year that I still really want to read so I can include those as well.

Oops! I’m editing this to add The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese! How could I have forgotten to add this to my picture above? Probably because it’s sitting on my bedside and I got to about 45 pages into its 724 before having my attention pulled away from it. What I was reading was gorgeous so absolutely this one is going to have to be a high priority in 2024. (I’m also super super happy to NOT have the Oprah sticker stuck on my edition! (note to publishers – make these stickers removable please!) Oprah had nothing to do with the creation of this work and it’s considered an eye-sore to the Hoarders. I also bought Tom Lake by Ann Patchett this year and it has printed onto the cover that it’s a “Reese Witherspoon book club pick”. Sigh.)

I’m super excited to get to The Bee Sting (656 pages). This was an awesome and special birthday gift from Hoarder Elizabeth. We’re both super excited to read a new Paul Murray. Skippy Dies will always have a place in our Best Books Ever list.

You’ll notice the paperback of The Whalebone Theatre (576 pages) on my list. Originally I had downloaded this on Audible and mentioned it last year as something to return to listening to audiobooks, but when I flipped through the paperback I noted press clippings, lists and letters inside. That always excites me as a reader so I quickly bought it, but I also ran home and returned the audiobook. I can’t imagine it translating well in audio so I’m thrilled to have the paperback.

The three standing at the side fall just below 500 pages so may not necessarily “count” as chunky books, but they are pretty darn close and their content I’m sure will create that sense of chunky reading. Classics like Grapes of Wrath and One Hundred Years of Solitude are absolutely chunky reading territory in my books! There are also over 1,000 editions of each one, so I’m sure somewhere their page counts stretch over the 500 page mark!

The chunkiest one is Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry. You can thank BookTok for making both of us purchase this book. We now have the same beautiful edition on our shelves and have 858 pages to immerse ourselves in.

On my Kobo? Holy smokes I have a lot of massive chunkers on there! I will, or I really should, bring those up to the front of my reading plans this year. Elizabeth and I also talked about reading exclusively from our own shelves this year as a serious reading challenge for us to take on, but we quickly fell apart laughing hysterically because who are we fooling? There’s no way we’re going to be able to not buy new books in all of 2024 or use our library! That’s ridiculous! I already have 5 books on hold at the library for me. One is In Ascension by Martin MacInnes which is a chunky book with over 500 pages.

Here’s a gallery of some of the books (it’s not all of them!) on my Kobo that fit the Chunky Reading criteria. Some of these are super chunky so I thought having them on my Kobo would make reading much easier:

Of course the challenge as well is which one to pick first?!

I’m completely excited for my 2024 reading year and I hope it brings on plenty of 5-star books! 2023 was just okay, as I mentioned in my Year in Review post so fingers crossed for some truly knock-out reads!

Happy New Year, Happy Reading!