Bryan's Big Books 2020

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Bryan's Big Books 2020

1bryanoz
Redigerat: jan 7, 2020, 5:30am

I am off to a slow start this year but the group isn't, 7 big books read already !

Managed 21 books of 600 or more pages, I plan to read 30 or so at 500 pages, including the rest of Jordan's Wheel of Time series.

Have begun The Mahabharata at nearly 800 pages, and The Path of Daggers at 586.

Hope we all have a great year of big book reading.

2MissWatson
jan 8, 2020, 2:45am

Good to see you here!

3connie53
jan 8, 2020, 3:22pm

Glad to see you back, Bryan!

4johnsimpson
jan 9, 2020, 4:36pm

Hi Bryan mate, nice to see you back here and with a pretty good target of BFB's.

5bryanoz
jan 10, 2020, 1:36am

Thanks MissWatson, Connie, and John, good to be back, look forward to your reading this year.

6bryanoz
jan 13, 2020, 7:44pm

1. The Path of Daggers by Robert Jordan, 586 pages.

Eighth in The Wheel of Time epic fantasy series and the pace has really slowed. I'm invested enough in some of the characters to continue and see where the story goes. Seven books to go !

7connie53
jan 14, 2020, 2:00pm

It will get better and faster, they say, when Brandon Sanderson is participating in the writing.

8bryanoz
jan 30, 2020, 5:13pm

Hi Connie, I don't mind things slowing down as we get to feel we really inhabit the world and its characters, only drawback is the long stretches between visiting my favourite characters.

9bryanoz
jan 30, 2020, 5:17pm

2. The Mahabharata by Vyasa, 791 pages.

The Penguin abridged version but still a hefty saga.

10bryanoz
feb 15, 2020, 2:56am

11bryanoz
feb 17, 2020, 2:00am

Have begun Michel de Montaigne's Complete Essays which comes in at 1269 pages, reading 20 or so pages a day, from the 16th century and covering a wide range of topics, very readable.

12connie53
feb 18, 2020, 3:32am

>11 bryanoz: O wow! That's a very big book.

13bryanoz
feb 18, 2020, 10:56pm

Hi Connie, it is interesting so far, important that these big books are engaging reads, good to see your Big Book reading is of to a good start this year, I must get to the Tad Williams Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn series soon.

14edwinbcn
feb 20, 2020, 6:55am

Michel de Montaigne's Complete Essays is also on my planned reading list, together with Boswell's The Life of Samuel Johnson, likewise more than 1200 pages.

15bryanoz
feb 22, 2020, 9:53pm

Hi Edwin, I am finding the de Montaigne is quite readable and interesting, the Life of Samuel Johnson isn't on any of my TBR lists so will leave that one for you to enjoy !

17bryanoz
apr 13, 2020, 11:31pm

18bryanoz
apr 15, 2020, 4:25am

Just started History by Elsa Morante, 740 pages.

19LisaMorr
apr 15, 2020, 9:24am

You are making great progress with the Wheel of Time! Looks like you blazed through the last two you read, I'm hoping that means you liked them. Crossroads of Twilight is next up for me this month.

20bryanoz
apr 18, 2020, 8:41pm

Hi Lisa, the series is slow moving but I am enjoying the time spent with each character rather than be too concerned with plot development. Am about to start The Gathering Storm and am slightly excited to see how Brandon Sanderson will take over !

Hope you are enjoying the saga, my favourite characters are Matrim, Faile, (and I had a bit of a crush on Lanfear while she lasted), your favourites ?

21connie53
apr 20, 2020, 3:36am

>20 bryanoz: I've heard very good things about this take over by Brandon Sanderson. So enjoy!

22bryanoz
apr 20, 2020, 8:18am

300 pages in, a seamless transition and things are moving, very enjoyable, thanks Connie.

23bryanoz
apr 20, 2020, 8:19am

11. History: a Novel by Elsa Morante, 740 p.

24bryanoz
apr 23, 2020, 7:40am

12. The Gathering Storm by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, 830 p.

Twelfth book in the series, two to go and we are nearing the Last Battle !

25LisaMorr
apr 23, 2020, 6:22pm

>20 bryanoz:, >24 bryanoz: Awesome!

Favorite characters, that's a good question! At this point with the caveat that it could still change over the last few books, I like Lan, Loial, Moiraine, Siuan Sanche, Rand, Min.

26connie53
maj 10, 2020, 8:34am

>24 bryanoz: How did Brandon Sanderson add to the book, Bryan?

27bryanoz
maj 11, 2020, 6:54am

Hi Connie, my understanding was that Robert Jordan was terminally ill, and prepared detailed notes so that the Wheel of Time saga could be continued and finished if he couldn't complete it.
Jordan's wife enjoyed Sanderson's writing and invited him to use Jordan's notes to finish the series, which he did in 3 volumes ; The Gathering Storm, Towers of Midnight, and A Memory of Light.

I am 340 pages into the 2nd book and can say that Brandon has remained faithful to Jordan's story and writing style; surely not an easy task.

28connie53
maj 13, 2020, 3:58am

Good to hear, Bryan. This is a series I have seriously neglected. I'm now picking up on another series by Elizabeth George. When that's finished I should start with Jordan/Anderson again

29bryanoz
maj 18, 2020, 5:41am

Hi Connie and well done with the Big Books so far this year.

13. Towers of Midnight by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson, 955 pages.

This huge series has one more instalment to go, A Memory of Light at 1010 pages. The characters are assembling for the Last Battle and it is going to be a very busy book to fit every thing in and deliver a satisfying conclusion.

30bryanoz
maj 23, 2020, 7:38am

Make that 1040 pages and A Memory of Light is underway !

31bryanoz
maj 31, 2020, 3:42am

14. A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson, 1040 pages.

So ends the Wheel of Time saga, 14 books, with so much to happen, new twists dropped in, long line up of characters to interact, of course it is good to bring the saga to a close with one side triumphing, the major characters (not all surviving) involved, though it would be nice to know what happens to a large number of minor characters whom we have met and grown to care for. Overall I am glad I have read the series and happy to recommend it for readers into detailed character development and a slow pace, and a basic good vs evil type of plot.
Still have the prequel New Spring to read, set 20 years before The Eye of the World.

32LisaMorr
jun 9, 2020, 6:54pm

>31 bryanoz: Congrats! You did it! You had a singular focus, I'm impressed.

33bryanoz
jun 9, 2020, 8:30pm

Thanks Lisa, it has been a journey and a rewarding one, good luck with your reading.

15. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, 583 p.

16. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith, 566 p.

34bryanoz
jun 25, 2020, 7:22am

Finished Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne which just qualifies at 503 pages, next up is Umberto Eco's The Island of the Day Before at 513 pages.

35bryanoz
Redigerat: jul 7, 2020, 8:09am

17. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne, 503 p.

18. Notre-Dame de Paris by Victor Hugo, 512 p.

19. The Island of the Day Before by Umberto Eco, 513 p.

So far : 19 big reads, average of 698 pages, total 12,759 pages.

Next up Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates, 939 pages.

36MissWatson
jul 8, 2020, 6:39am

Those are impressive stats, Bryan!

37bryanoz
jul 8, 2020, 7:13am

Thanks MissWatson, hope your reading is going well.

38MissWatson
jul 9, 2020, 2:56am

Oh, thanks, lots of books, but none of them qualify as BFBs.

39bryanoz
jul 16, 2020, 11:40pm

20. Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates, 939 p.

A fictional account of Marilyn Monroe's life, a very sad but intriguing story. First book I have read by Oates and I enjoyed her style so have ordered her new Night. Sleep. Death. The Stars. at 928 pages.

20 big books, total 14211 pages, average 710.5 pages.

40bryanoz
Redigerat: jul 19, 2020, 4:17am

21. The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R.Tolkein, 529 p.

Reread of this classic and thoroughly enjoyable.

21 big books, 14740 total pages, average 702 pages.

41bryanoz
jul 22, 2020, 7:23am

22. Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey, 561 p.

Scifi space opera and the first in the Expanse series. This was a reasonably engaging story, not sure I will read the others in the series though.

22 big books, 15,301 total pages, average 695.5 pages.

42bryanoz
aug 7, 2020, 10:07pm

23. The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch, 531 pages.

Fun fantasy novel as Locke and his gang cause mayhem with their daring and imaginative heists. Reread.

23 big books, 15,832 total pages, average 688 p.

43bryanoz
aug 15, 2020, 9:21pm

Just started my next big read, the new David Mitchell novel Utopia Avenue, 564 pages, am enjoying it 120 pages in.

44bryanoz
aug 29, 2020, 4:11am

24. Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell, 564 p.

25. Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch, 763 p.

25 big books, total 17159 pages, average 686 pages.

45bryanoz
sep 5, 2020, 11:15pm

26. The Return of the King by J.R.R.Tolkein, 530 pages. Very enjoyable reread.

26 big books read, total pages 17,689, average 680 pages.

46bryanoz
Redigerat: sep 18, 2020, 9:39pm

27. The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang, 530 pages.

Published in 2018, this is a fantasy novel based on Chinese 20th century history, and widely praised. I found the characters and story ok, the premise that 'ordinary' seeming characters can suddenly unleash such undreamt and devastating power difficult to believe.

27 big books, 18,219 total pages, 675 average pages.

Next is The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch, 723 pages.

47bryanoz
sep 25, 2020, 9:50pm

28. The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch, 723 p.

Third in The Gentlemen Bastards series and a satisfying continuation of the series as Locke and Jean are forced to become involved in the political process.

28 big books ; 18,942 total pages ; 677 average pages.

48bryanoz
okt 3, 2020, 11:55pm

29. 11.22.63 by Stephen King, 740 p.

30. The Great Science Fiction by H.G. Wells, 683 p.

30 Big books read ; total pages 20,365 ; average 679 pages.

49bryanoz
okt 13, 2020, 5:12am

31. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor, 538 pages.

Engaging and intriguing fantasy story, very keen to read the sequel Muse of Nightmares.

31 big books ; 20,903 total pages ; 674 average pages.

50connie53
Redigerat: okt 13, 2020, 1:31pm

>49 bryanoz: I love those books. Just hoping for more of her books to be translated. I will buy them immediately.

Edit: found two more translated books in my digital Library. Dromendochter and Sterrenlicht and started in the first!

51bryanoz
okt 14, 2020, 6:08pm

Hi Connie, I hadn't read any Laini Taylor before and have ordered Daughter of Smoke and Bone to read after Muse of Nightmares, always good to find a new favourite author, happy reading !

52connie53
Redigerat: okt 16, 2020, 2:51am

I know. I'm reading the book you ordered right now. We seem to have the same taste in books!

53bryanoz
okt 16, 2020, 1:17am

Yes we do ! And similar size TBR piles too ! I look forward to getting more author and book ideas from your reading Connie, proost !

54connie53
okt 16, 2020, 2:52am

I will do my best. Cheers to you too.

55bryanoz
okt 20, 2020, 3:47am

32. Anathem by Neal Stephenson, 937 pages.

Neal Stephenson writes historical fiction and science fiction that is always full of scientific insights and ideas. Anathem has been sitting on my shelf for years so it was good to get to it, but I found the novel too slow and ponderous to enjoy it.
His more recent books have been as large but more accessible, have his newest Fall, or Dodge in Hell on the shelf, maybe around the Xmas holidays.

32 Big Books ; 21,840 total pages ; average 682.5 pages.

56bryanoz
okt 20, 2020, 3:55am

Just started Joe Abercrombie's The Trouble with Peace, 506 pages, and soon to begin Ada, or Ardor, 693 pages, for a classic read.

57johnsimpson
okt 20, 2020, 3:48pm

Hi Bryan mate, you are rocking the BIG reads, 32 books so far, i am impressed.

58bryanoz
okt 20, 2020, 6:59pm

Thanks John, whenever I am not sure what to read next I ask myself "What would John do?" and pick up a big book!
Plus just having had 2 weeks holidays helps, I was 'forced' to spend some of that gardening but got plenty of reading in to.
Hope you and family are keeping safe, in these covid times it is better to stay home and read !

59johnsimpson
okt 21, 2020, 3:45pm

>58 bryanoz:, Hi Bryan mate, glad you got plenty of reading in seeing as you were "forced" to do some gardening, lol.

We are both fine mate apart from the usual aches and pains and getting used to the fact we are to be Grandparents again in April, our daughter Amy and her husband Andy are expecting their first child, we are all over the moon, mate.

Hope you and the family are all well in these trying times, keep on with the reading and avoid being forced to do any gardening, lol.

60bryanoz
okt 22, 2020, 3:28am

Great to hear you are going well, and aren't grandkids the best !
At holiday time the lovely Christine and I are often of different minds, my idea is to sit in the garden reading and chaffing wine, whereas Chris views the holidays as an opportunity to get stuck into various projects/upkeep, etc.
We are 7 weeks until holidays and already she is scheming !???

61bryanoz
Redigerat: okt 22, 2020, 3:51am

Muse of Nightmares the sequel to the wonderful Strange the Dreamer has arrived, I know what I am reading next !

62bryanoz
okt 27, 2020, 5:17am

33. The Trouble with Peace by Joe Abercrombie, 506 pages.

This is Abercrombie's latest book, and second in The Age of Madness trilogy. Really enjoyed the storyline, characters, and snappy dialogue of A Little Hatred and all of this continues here.

I read his first novel The Blade Itself many years ago but wasn't that impressed at the time, seems I have to revisit these earlier stories.

33 big books ; 22,346 total pages ; average 677 pages.

63Isabel_Collier
okt 27, 2020, 6:20am

Detta konto har stängts av för spammande.

64bryanoz
nov 8, 2020, 3:50am

Slow reading at the moment, working through Ada or Ardor at 693 pages, The Amber Spyglass at 560 pages, and The Portable Beat Reader at 645 pages.
Brandon Sanderson's Rhythm of War has just been published, 1232 pages !

65johnsimpson
nov 9, 2020, 3:10pm

>Hi Bryan, mate, looks like the Brandon Sanderson book is one i need to add to my 1,000+ page book storage for another bash at the Really Big Fat Books Challenge.

Hope you and the family are all well mate.

66bryanoz
nov 10, 2020, 5:56am

Hi John, Rhythm of War is the fourth in the Stormlight Archive series (all really big books) so you would want to have read those first, they are good stories IMO.
The idea of a Really Big Books Challenge is tempting, maybe one thousand pager a month next year...
We are good mate and best wishes to you and family.

67connie53
nov 11, 2020, 5:44am

>66 bryanoz: I love Brandon Sanderson's books too.

68GeorgeColes
nov 11, 2020, 5:47am

Detta konto har stängts av för spammande.

69johnsimpson
nov 11, 2020, 2:44pm

>66 bryanoz:, Hi Bryan, i think i would need a year off the really Big Books but i would have a go at it. as it is i will be two short of doing this, this year.

70bryanoz
nov 11, 2020, 8:40pm

Hi Connie, another good thing about Brandon is he is a fairly prolific writer so no long gaps between books in a series, unlike Martin, Rothfuss, and Clive Barker. I really enjoyed Clive's Abarat series, alas the third Abarat: Absolute Midnight was published in 2011 with no further news. Happy reading !

71bryanoz
nov 11, 2020, 8:44pm

Hi John, on second thought the 'one really big book a month' plan might be too ambitious for me as I have some 800-900 page books to get to in the next year, but I'll have a look in the library in the next month and easily find six or so 1,000 pagers to get into next year. Regards

72bryanoz
Redigerat: nov 11, 2020, 9:07pm

34. Ada or Ardor by Vladimir Nabokov, 693 p.

Published in 1969 this is an experimental (code for difficult!) novel that on the surface is about an 'accidental' incestuous relationship within a family, but is actually about much more.
Nabokov plays with time, love, death, writing, and rewards the reader who takes their time and takes pleasure in words.

34 big books ; 23,039 total pages ; average pages 677.

73connie53
Redigerat: nov 13, 2020, 12:19pm

>70 bryanoz: You mentioned some of my favorite authors there. Especially Martin and Sanderson. The Abarat books are a bit too strange for me. I've read the first book, but the second book is still unread waiting for me on the shelves. Maybe I should give it a go soon.

74gsm235
Redigerat: nov 13, 2020, 10:33am

>72 bryanoz:

I was thinking about reading Ada, or Ador earlier in the year. There was a podcast the was doing a read along over twelve weeks, but the whole American political craziness was too distracting for me to focus on such a complicated book.

75bryanoz
nov 14, 2020, 1:59am

Hi Connie, I enjoyed Clive Barker's fantasy novels Weaveworld, Imajica, and the Abarat series, but they are strange, dark, and not to everyone's taste.
I think the author's original art work in the Abarat books adds to the overall story but if you didn't like the first novel I'm not sure the second book will change your opinion, good luck if you decide to read it, regards.

76bryanoz
nov 14, 2020, 2:00am

Hi gsm235, Ada is a complicated novel, best read when one has the time and mental space to appreciate it, good luck !

77connie53
nov 14, 2020, 5:20am

>75 bryanoz: I loved Weefwereld. I'm not sure about Imajica. If I read that it was before I joined LT and that was 11 years ago and before I kept my own lists. But the title sounds familiar.

78bryanoz
nov 14, 2020, 6:56pm

Connie, I read Imajica many years ago and don't remember much except it was a more complex and I think superior story than Weaveworld. If you decide to read/reread it let me know, I am happy to read it again!

79bryanoz
nov 15, 2020, 5:18am

35. Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor, 522 pages.

Following the tumultuous events at the end of Strange the Dreamer I was intrigued to see where the sequel would go. Needless to say the author continues her original and engaging story, with revelations and twists, to a very satisfying conclusion. Recommended !

35 big books ; 23,561 total pages ; average 673 pages.

80bryanoz
nov 16, 2020, 3:35am

New big book arrived ! The Neil Gaiman Reader 733 pages, going to be great !

81bryanoz
nov 16, 2020, 8:33pm

36. The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman, 560 p.

Reread for me and what an absolute joy it has been to revisit the His Dark Materials universe, one of my favourite series. Made a point of taking my time and reading only two or so chapters a day to be fully immersed in this highly original, insightful, and beautifully written story.

36 big books ; 24,121 total pages ; average 670 pages.

82connie53
nov 17, 2020, 5:48am

>81 bryanoz: I'm a fan of Philip Pullman too. I have al his books that were translated into Dutch. And all are read. I loved the The Book of Dust books. But also The Sally Lockhart series.

About Imajica, I don't think I have that book on my shelves. I probably read it from the library a few decades ago. I really don't like to re-read (with the exception of the Outlander books.)

83bryanoz
Redigerat: nov 18, 2020, 12:41am

Hi Connie, it is nice to meet another Philip Pullman fan, the next book in The Book of Dust series is going to be brilliant !
I have only read the first Sally Lockhart book, must read the others soon.
With so many books to read and new ones being published, rereading doesn't come naturally to me, but I am making myself reread some favourites and enjoying the process.
I did read the first Outlander, back when it was called Cross Stitch, not quite my style but I am glad that you enjoy them.
I have just started Daughter of Smoke and Bone and it is really interesting, thank you for the recommendation, happy reading.

84bryanoz
nov 22, 2020, 2:01am

37. The Complete Stories by Flannery O'Connor, 550 p.

Interesting short stories but confronting in places, certainly not a light read.

37 big books ; total 24,671 pages ; average 667 pages.

Am reading slowly through The Portable Beat Reader at 645 pages, about to begin Eragon 503 pages, and The Neil Gaiman Reader 733 pages.

85bryanoz
nov 27, 2020, 8:19pm

38. Eragon by Christopher Paolini, 503 p.

One of those YA fantasies that many readers recommend and you say that you will get to it, not too keenly. Anyway I have got to it and for a story written by the author when he was in high school Eragon is an ok read. Not enough originality for me and no need to read the sequels.

38 big books ; 25,174 total pages ; average 662 pages.

86bryanoz
dec 9, 2020, 7:54pm

39. The Portable Beat Reader by Ann Charters (ed.), 622 p.

I have been interested in the Beats ever since randomly picking up and reading The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac many years ago. This volume contains a wide range of fiction, poetry and articles by prominent and not-so-known beat writers.

39 big books ; 25,796 total pages ; average 661 pages.

87bryanoz
dec 12, 2020, 7:54pm

40. The Neil Gaiman Reader by Neil Gaiman, 733 p.

Big collection of Neil's short stories and excerpts from some novels, great reading.

40 big books ; total of 26,529 pages ; average 663 pages.

88bryanoz
Redigerat: dec 12, 2020, 7:58pm

Am reading The Once and Future Witches at 516 pages, and will try to fit The Rhythm of War (1230 pages) in by the end of the year, holidays are handy !

89bryanoz
dec 16, 2020, 8:13pm

41. The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow, 516 p.

An engaging story of sisters, witchhood, and suffragettes set in New Salem in 1893. This is Alix's second novel, first being The Thousand Doors of January, and both are recommended.

41 big books ; 27,045 total pages ; average 659 pages.

90bryanoz
dec 18, 2020, 8:02pm

Am on page 250 of 1230 page Rhythm of War and on track to finish it this year, and more importantly I am enjoying the story!

91johnsimpson
dec 22, 2020, 4:14pm

92bryanoz
dec 23, 2020, 11:13pm

Thanks mate, Merry Christmas to you and family, and may 2021 be a big improvement on 2020 for all of us, happy reading as well !

93connie53
dec 25, 2020, 9:41am



Happy Holidays from the Netherlands!

94bryanoz
dec 26, 2020, 5:04pm

Thanks Connie, hope you and family had a lovely Christmas with some bookish presents !

95connie53
dec 27, 2020, 12:18pm

Hi Bryan. We celebrate Christmas without the presents. We do that when we celebrate Sinterklaas on December 5th. But we were not able to visit the kids because of corona. So my son collected our presents for the grandkids when he and his girlfriend went to spend the day with my daughter and her boyfriend and the three grandkids. Through some video's we could see their reactions. This Christmas my daughters' family visited us yesterday and my son and his family came over today. Just for coffee and cake or something sweet. No diner or anything according to the rules ordered by the government.
The infection number went up again a few weeks ago and stricter measures were put in place until at least January 19.
But people just are fools and organize big parties in secret places, like the woods or a barn.

My Christmas was quiet but cosy. I was glad I got to see them all, if not at the same time.

I hope you had a lovely Christmas with your nearest and dearests.

96bryanoz
dec 27, 2020, 10:55pm

Hi Connie, our Christmas was very nice, all but one of our children and grandchildren live in Adelaide so we could see nearly everyone. My son lives in Sydney where there are Corona problems so we will visit him probably in April.
Lets hope 2021 is a better and happier year !

97bryanoz
dec 27, 2020, 11:29pm

42. Rhythm of War by Brandon Sanderson, 1230 p.

The fourth and latest instalment in the Stormlight Archive, a highly original and epic fantasy series. More comments to follow...

42 big books ; 28,275 total pages ; average 673 pages.

Thats all for my 2020 big book reads and happy with that !

98connie53
dec 28, 2020, 2:31pm

>96 bryanoz: 2021 can't be much worse than 2020. So happy new year to you and the family!

99bryanoz
dec 30, 2020, 2:41am

Thanks connie and Happy New Year to you !

100johnsimpson
dec 30, 2020, 4:20pm

Happy New Year Bryan.