Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The 2010 Chunkster Challenge

I read about the Chunkster Challenge recently and was completely bummed I missed out on it. Fortunately, it's a yearly thing, so I can participate this time around. I enjoy reading the occasional uber-long novel. Something about dedicating 700 pages of time to one story just gives me a thrill [given that it's a good story and I'm engrossed in it; if I wasn't, I sure wouldn't stick around for all 700 pages].

A chunkster is defined as a piece of adult literature more than 450 pages. I would personally define a minimum as more like 700 pages. It needs to be something I pick up and say, "Ok, I'm really going to do this, and I will feel accomplished when I finish." I've technically read three chunksters this year: The Help, The Poisonwood Bible, and Dreamland, but none of these were a challenge to me. I didn't start them with the mindset that I was about to embark on a long adventure; they were just the next book on my list. With a real chunkster, I'm going to schedule and prepare for it.

I am opting for Level 3 of this challenge: The Mor-book-ly Obese, which is defined by reading either at least 6 chunksters or 3 chunksters of at least 750 pages. This works out well, because there are two definites that have been on my to-read list for a while, and I already have many more options for the third.
  1. Coming Home by Rosamunde Pilcher
  2. New York: The Novel by Edward Rutherfurd
Other technical chunkster options:
  • My Paper Chase: True Stories of Vanished Times by Harold Evans
  • True Compass by Edward M. Kennedy
  • When Everything Changed by Gail Collins
  • The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff
  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (also on my Back to School list)
  • Swann's Way by Marcel Proust (attempted to read since season 1 of Gilmore Girls)
I'm hoping 2010 will bring me a perfect third option. This challenge runs from February 1, 2010, to January 31, 2011, but I may cheat and start early depending on what's coming up in my reading queue. 


Salvatore said...

Oh man. The long novel. That hurts. I may attempt this, but I'd like to come across it randomly. Granted I read several novels over 700 pages long this year, but that's not normal for me.

Kari said...

Yeah that's what I'm hoping to do with my third one. Surely I'll stumble across one in the next 12 months. I'd be interested in what books you'd read for this, Sal.

Salvatore said...

They'll probably be Thomas Pynchon's Mason & Dixon and Against the Day to round out my reading of him. And then War and Peace to round out my big Russian novels.

AngelitaBonita said...

Ok I've decided to take this challenge head on. I've been putting off reading Anna Karenina for so long but I really wanna do it. So I started yesterday. Goodness this is gonna be a toughie.