Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Wrap-Up: Chunkster Challenge 2013

For the Chunkster Challenge, I committed to reading four chunksters (books of 450 pages or longer) this year.  But it turns out I read six!  These were:

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

Middlemarch by George Eliot

The favorite (and the biggest surprise) was Les Miserables.  It is so very long, and I had always heard it described as near-torture, that I had some trepidations going in.  But this book hooked me immediately by starting off with the life of the good Bishop of Digne, with whom I am now in love.  

There is no least favorite;  there were no disappointments;  I enjoyed them all.  Actually, in this blog you will rarely read of disappointments, because I rarely continue reading a book I dislike.  I'm not in school, haha.  

Thanks Wendy and Vasilly, for this enjoyable challenge!


  1. A very successful challenge! I also read Anna Karenina this year and completely adored it. I'm surprised (and very impressed) that Les Miserables made the top spot, I have heard good things about it but, as you mention, I've heard it described as near-torture more often than not.

  2. Yes, I enjoyed Les Mis in spite of what I had heard about it. But it's got plenty of adventure, and long descriptions of settings or of characters' backrounds, or of the history of a building, to me are pluses, not minuses, if they are done well. I love the sense of place and the sense of history that they give to a story.

    Oh, and I adored Anna Karenina too!

  3. I can only comment on 3 of the books.
    Middlemarch ( difficult to begin but once I used an audio book to help me, I got through the book.
    Anna Karenina ( I enjoyed the book. Tolstoy addresses many issues in the book along with a love story. Feudal system in Russia was tiresome to read'.
    Grapes of Wrath ( this is my favorite....loved the book-Steinbeck´s writing'

    1. Yeah, I didn't completely understand all that local government stuff that Levin was being pushed to participate in. But I enjoyed how it showed his personality so much--I think he's an introvert like me. I hate loud, argumentative crowd scenes, hate being stuck in a group of people ALL DAY LONG, need time alone to recover. :)

  4. When I first read Les Mis I hated the beginning, but now I'm re-reading it I can't think what my problem was. I too love Bishop of Digne :)

    1. Maybe you read it when you were younger? I often seem to have the opposite reaction now to books I read in school. :)

    2. It wasn't that long ago, but I think it was nearer my beginning of reading classics and very possibly one of my first chunksters. I suppose I just wasn't used to the style of it!