600 Pages is a LOT
Do you like long books? Even though I’m a fairly quick reader, I tend to avoid long books whenever possible. I like a book I can finish in a single sitting. But occasionally I come across some exceptions, though it’s admittedly pretty rare. (Even my review guidelines make note of this.)
This week, as part of Top Ten Tuesday hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, I’m sharing ten of the longest books I’ve ever read with a bit of a caveat. Obviously more than one of the Harry Potter books is over 600 pages. I only included the longest book in any of the series mentioned, but with the exception of Lady Midnight and Gemina (only because I haven’t gotten around to Obsidian yet), I’ve read the whole series.
The Deed of Paksenarrion by Elizabeth Moon – 1040 pages
Okay, this is a bit of a cheat, since The Deed of Paksenarrion is really a repackaged paperback with three books put together. It’s a whopper, though, and I devoured this mammoth novel in three days. I don’t know how exactly that happened, because at the time, my first daughter was just a few months old. It’s got some intense violence (read: torture) scenes but has a really cool spiritual tone to it, which is what really drew me to the story.
This might be my favorite book in the Harry Potter series, but if you ask me tomorrow, I might say my favorite is Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I don’t know. True story: Harry Potter was not allowed in my house growing up, so I didn’t read them until probably my mid- or late-twenties when someone was like, wait, you review young adult books and you haven’t read these? And I was like, oh. Yeah. I suppose I should do that. And I did, and yay!
Side note: I don’t think the ban on Hogwarts hurt me, honestly. I was so busy with so many other things and always had plenty of books to read that I didn’t really feel the loss. And the truth is, no matter what limits parents set during our growing up years, at some point we get to make decisions for ourselves. I repeat this to my daughter now when she’s irritated at boundaries. These are temporary. Someday you get to set your own boundaries. But for now, it’s my job to do what I think is healthiest for you. And I know that’s what my parents were doing.
Other side note: Harry Potter is allowed in our house. Also, my mom has read the books now, and loves a lot of things about them, like the message about the power of love.
End side notes.
Inheritance (#4) by Christopher Paolini – 849 pages
I kind of had to read this book. It took forever to come out, and I’d followed the story of Eragon all the way to this point, so I wanted to know how it ended. The book felt long to me, though. It’s not a hard read, but it’s definitely one of those where some of the length comes from the sheer volume of minute descriptions of things. That’s not my favorite writing style, but in the fantasy genre, sometimes it works.
Winter by Marissa Meyer – 832 pages
This book wrenched my heart. Oh, man. All the storylines from earlier books collided in this massive epic drama, and just… Wolf and Scarlet, y’all. That’s all I can say. I cried so many tears. I still love this series so much.
Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer – 756 pages
So… here’s another funny story. At the time that the Twilight books came out, I was in a large Christian writing group made up primarily of romance writers, and one of the bigger authors in the group wrote an email to everyone talking about how as writers, we needed to read this series and study what things about it made it so successful. So, okay, I read the series. And it was super addicting. I remember feeling like the descriptions of Bella’s depression when Edward left her in book two were so on point for bad breakup feels. I don’t think I’d read another book at that point which made me feel that way.
Later of course, I feel like I had a “hey, wait a minute” moment about Edward’s creepy watching-Bella-while-she-sleeps thing. And every time I watch this spoof about Twilight and Call of Duty (there’s some profanity and violence, sorry), I find myself nodding along to the character’s ridiculous sounding summary of Breaking Dawn. Because OMG RIGHT?! Also it makes me laugh. Every time.
Nevertheless, I’ve never been sorry I read those books, even though I have some issues with them.
To Darkness Fled by Jill Williamson – 681 pages
This series. Jill Williamson is one of the authors I discovered through the Christian organization I mentioned above, and she’s so awesome, y’all. This is the sequel to her debut novel By Darkness Hid, and it’s a great series. I love the fantasy elements and the vaguely King Arthur feel to it. If you haven’t read this series, please check it out.
Glass (Crank #2) by Ellen Hopkins – 681 pages
Crank was the first novel-in-verse I’d ever read, and I ate it up. I’ve gone on to love other novel-in-verse authors like Sarah Crossan, Kwame Alexander, and Linda Vigen Phillips, but there’s something really special about the first time you encounter a style like this. If you don’t know already, Ellen Hopkins wrote Crank and Glass after going through the heartbreak of her own daughter’s addiction to methamphetamines. Her writing is gritty, and often goes to some dark places, but always has a strong message.
Gemina by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman – 659 pages
THIS SERIES IS SO FUN! This is definitely the kind of sci-fi novel that doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s sort of like the hipster version of Star Trek? Maybe. Actually, I probably shouldn’t say that because some hipster will school me on the truly un-hipster-ish nature of the role cows play in the story or something. Anyway. Gemina made me laugh so much. I loved Illuminae for its quirkiness and the use of instant messages and descriptions of video feed as scenes. And the banter between characters! I’m a total sucker for great banter. So this one was a win for me.
Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor – 613 pages
Before I read this series by Laini Taylor, it had been a long time since I’d read a fantasy series which felt truly epic to me. The love story swept me away, but the minor characters – Raz and Ziri – absolutely stole the show for me in this book. It’s another one where the finale absolutely met every expectation I had and more. I keep stalling on reading Strange the Dreamer because I’m afraid I won’t like it as much as Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I know that’s silly, but there you go. So if you’ve read Strange, tell me how awesome it is.
(I just realized I somehow never reviewed the books in this series, and that’s… crazy. So I’m going to have to go back and reread them so I can post the reviews here.)
Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman – 602 pages
I actually read the first book in this series (Seraphina) because I was able to get an ARC for this book. So I pretty much read them both back to back, and I think that was a huge advantage. There’s such a broad cast and so much storyworld and culture that I feel like I would have lost some of it if I’d had a long gap between the books. It was definitely a fun read and well worth the time it took to get from one cover to the other. I liked the unusual take on dragons in this series, and Serafina’s development as she realizes the dragon part of her, which she’s always tried to hide and has been ashamed of, is exactly what her people need.
What’s the longest book you’ve ever read?
If you use Goodreads, there’s an easy way to figure this out. Simply go to your “Read” list. At the top, click the “settings” option and check the box next to “number of pages.” That will add a column to your list showing the number of pages in each book. You can then sort your list by that column and viola!
So which book is it? Let me know in the comments, and leave a link to your own Top Ten post. I’d love to check it out.