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Chapter 28 - Big Summer


We have a shelf sitter at the store which reads "I like big books and I cannot lie." and summer, to me, just sings for large books. In the past I have taken the opportunity to read books as varied as David McCullough's John Adams to Tolstoy's Anna Karenina to John Steinbeck's East of Eden. All three are over 500 pages long and are definitely books to savor. Big books are books to lounge with, sitting by the pool, on the porch, or at the beach.

Here are some I have read lately which fit into the big summer book genre for me.

City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty - This book was suggested by my youngest daughter and while a Young Adult book, it is a wonderful story of an Egyptian con artist at the time of Napoleon. While trying to exorcise a demon from a small child, the woman calls up a daeva. This is rich with Middle Eastern mythology and is the first of a trilogy.

Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett - This wonderful historical novel has so many stories in it - building a cathedral, political intrigue, and romance to name a few. The book came in at #33 in a survey for England's "best-loved" books. If you tackle this one, you can then read World Without End and Columns of Fire, two followup books.

Russka by Edward Rutherford - Another historical novel, Russka spans 1800 years of Russian history following five families of varying social class and ethnic groups. An interesting part of this novel is that Rutherford's five fictional families are based on real Russian dynasties.

Beach Music by Pat Conroy - When people ask me about Pat Conroy, I always say he was a brilliant writer but...he works out his issues in his books. Beach Music was no exception. The story is about Jack McCall, an American living in Rome trying to deal with his wife's suicide. He receives a call telling him his mother is ill so he returns to South Carolina where the secrets, mysteries, and hurts of the past catch up to him.

Shantaram: A Novel by Gregory David Roberts - This is a semi-autobiographical novel wherein the hero, a bank robber/heroin addict escapes from an Australian prison and goes to India. He gets into all kinds of shadiness in India but can you really run away from your past?

What are your favorite big books? Please share.

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