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Challenge Wrap-Ups: Chunkster and Novella

November 28, 2009

I find it ironic that both the Chunkster Challenge and November Novella Challenge end this month! Extra long books and extra short ones, here I come. ;)

Chunkster Challenge
The Chunkster Challenge began back in January, and I signed up for the highest, Mor-book-ly Obese level, which had participants read either 6 books over 450 pages or 3 books over 750 pages by the end of this month. But because I love big books, I decided to read 3 books over 1,000 pages (titles linked to my review):

The best book: A tie between Kristin Lavransdater and A Suitable Boy
Any new authors? Yep-Undset and Seth. I’d like to read more of both of them!
Books I did not finish: I kind of scrapped my original challenge list once I decided I wanted to read three 1K-ers.
What did I learn from this challenge? That I’m possibly the only book blogger ever who didn’t enjoy Count of Monte Cristo! lol I liked how each of the chunkster I read brought me to a very different time and place; I feel like I know much more about medieval Norway and 50s India than I did beforehand. Those books made me feel richer. I would say that I learned not to be intimidated of 1K-ers, but honestly, a book’s large size is more likely to attract me than make me nervous! lol Not that I’m a fearless reader (let’s talk about the US literary authors scene if you want to know about books that make me nervous)…it’s just that I love huge books and how I can relax into them, knowing that I’ll be with the characters and in the world for some time. Also, y’all gave me a great list of recommendations for more chunksters, which I really appreciated. :D

November Novella Challenge
I signed up for the third level of the November Novella Challenge, which had me read 8 novellas during this month. I really should have signed up for the fourth level (‘as many you can freakin’ can’), since I surpassed that number already, and I’m eyeing a couple more before November officially ends (if that happens, I’ll come back and edit this list). Ones I’ve read (titles linked to review where possible-several I’m reviewing tomorrow, so I’ll come back and edit then):

The best book: I think my faves were the two novella Yoshimoto collection Hardboiled & Hard Luck, The Girl with the Golden Shoes, and The Woman in Black.
Any new authors? Su Tong, Carlos Fuentes, Colin Channer, Luana Monteiro, and Julia Leigh. I’d be happy to read more of all of those authors except Su Tong.
Books I did not finish: None! It’s difficult for me to abandon a novella knowing there isn’t a huge page commitment. That being said, the only two that I considered abandoning were Su Tong’s “Nineteen Thirty-Four Escapes” and “Opium Family”-the rest were all wonderful.
What did I learn from this challenge? I really should read more novellas! They’re a great way to get a taste of a new author, and I loved how I visited so many countries via them. It’s easier to read in a big variety when the books are slim. And I totally plan on checking out the reviews of other participants to get more novellas to put on my TBR list!

33 Comments leave one →
  1. November 28, 2009 6:49 am

    I might take part in the Chunkster Challenge if it happens again next year, actually having read some of the sensation novels this season that could have counted… drat I didnt think.

    I also was down for the Novella challenge and though I now have lots more of them from the library I only read one which is a bit rubbish.

    You have done awesomely on both counts, I dont know how you do it.

    • December 3, 2009 10:27 am

      It is happneing next year, starting in February. And with your Sensation Season I think you definitely have the stamina! :) Too bad the one you read you didn’t enjoy. :/

  2. November 28, 2009 6:59 am

    You are definitely not the only blogger who disliked Count! I read it back in March and it was awful for at least half the book.

    • December 3, 2009 10:27 am

      I thought the WHOLE book was awful, lol. I have no clue why I didn’t simply abandon it. I kept expecting it to get better.

  3. November 28, 2009 8:13 am

    What a good combination of challenges from opposite ends of the spectrum: chunksters and novellas! I like the idea of novellas too, and one can feel accomplished so much faster!

    • December 3, 2009 10:28 am

      I know right! I think novellas are a good accompaniment to chunksters, since that way you still feel like your finishing books while moving through a huge one. :)

  4. November 28, 2009 9:27 am

    You are amazing with challenges! Congratulations!

  5. November 28, 2009 10:14 am

    Hey , congratulations. Chunkster challenge really commendable achievement. I takes weeks to finish one book that chunky :)

  6. November 28, 2009 10:16 am

    :) I did the Novella Challenge but only finished three novellas. Congratulations on finishing up a challenge on short readings and a challenge on really long readings! You’re a well-rounded reader! ;)

    • December 3, 2009 10:29 am

      I hope JT does the Novella challenge again next year-wasn’t it fun?

  7. November 28, 2009 11:19 am

    Congratulations on finishing the challenges!

  8. November 28, 2009 12:23 pm

    Wow, you did great on the challenge! I’ve had Suitable Boy on my TBR for quite some time. I read Count of Monte Cristo about 10 years ago but would like to reread it again.

    • December 3, 2009 10:29 am

      A Suitable Boy is so good-you should read it! :)

  9. November 28, 2009 1:21 pm

    Congratulations on finishing the challenges!


  10. November 29, 2009 4:39 am

    Congratulations on finishing the challenges! I completed the chunkster challenge too and agree that chunksters shouldn’t be scary – they are often my favourites.

    I am struggling with Kristin at the moment. I am supposed to be taking part in the readalong, but it isn’t grabbing my attention. I am 150 pages in, but think I may put it aside for a while. I have too many other books which seem more interesting at the moment. Did you love it from the beginning?

    • December 3, 2009 10:30 am

      I loved it from the beginning, yes. But I’m sensing from all the reviews of KL I’ve seen that I might be in the minority.

  11. November 29, 2009 1:47 pm

    Congrats on finishing your challenges!

  12. November 30, 2009 9:02 am

    You did very well in the challenges. Congrats. I have a hard time with books of the 600-700 page length…nevermind 1K!

    • December 3, 2009 10:31 am

      Sometimes I thnk 1K is easier than 600-700, because I’m geared up for it, you know?

  13. November 30, 2009 10:23 am

    Congrats on completing these. I’m envious of anyone completing the chunkster challenge since I have a hard reading chunky books.

    • December 3, 2009 10:31 am

      It’s funny what comes easily to different readers, isn’t it? I’d take a long book over a short book any day!

  14. December 2, 2009 2:08 pm

    I didn’t love Count either, but I still enjoyed it ;) I’ve been intimidated by huge Chunksters but your praise of them has encouraged me to give them a try in the new year. Besides, if I read a very long book, I won’t have a backlog of reviews, maybe…

    • December 3, 2009 10:32 am

      That is true about the review backlog thing. :)

  15. December 2, 2009 7:14 pm

    what a funny post to have your chunkster and novella wrap up together. I’m behind in my novella reviews so my wrap up will come in a few days.

    Did you find that a lot of novellas are written by non-Americans? It seems like, especially non-English speaking writers, write more novellas. I wonder why.

    And I know it’s not on this post, but I’m so sorry to hear about your grandfather. :( What a bummer at this time of year (or any time, really). My thoughts/prayers are with you!

    • December 3, 2009 10:33 am

      You know, most of the novellas I read were by non-Americans, but for me that was intentional. I’m not sure if, over all, novellas are more popular outside of America…I’ve often come across one in a short story collection by an American author. Maybe they’re just not marketed the same way?

  16. December 9, 2009 9:23 pm

    congratulations on finishing the chunkster challenge. i was much too intimidated by that one. ;)

    the count of monte cristo was the first required reading assignment that i really really loved. i believe i read that in seventh grade. i re-read it a few years ago and i still really loved it. i’m curious to know what you didn’t like about it.

    i’m sorry to learn about your grandfather. my thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time.

    • December 13, 2009 3:57 pm

      Erm. I didn’t like anything about it. lol So I guess I didn’t like the plot, or the characters, or the writing. ;) I did enjoy The Three Muskateers though!

      • December 24, 2009 12:42 am

        that is so funny! i could never really get into The Three Musketeers. :)

        well, i went and did it. signed up for the chunkster challenge. i have a few books waiting to be read and i think this challenge will give me the courage to tackle them. ;)

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