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Chapter 33 - The Fall

While we still aren't getting fallish weather here in North Myrtle Beach, we have had some bad weather lately which has made me want to curl up in a chair with a BIG book. Why are big books so engaging? I think it is because they suck you into a story and stay in your head long after the read is over. I know this will sound strange but when I owned a bookstore I often did not always have the time to read big books. Big books were definitely an indulgence as I could read three 300 page books in the same amount of time I read a 900 page book. That way I could be more knowledgeable about books people might enjoy and give intelligent recommendations.

In retired life I no longer have that restriction. I can read all the big books I can get my hands on and I find that I have really enjoyed them and that they go pretty quickly. Here are some I have read that I think you will enjoy.

Roots: The Saga of an American Family by Alex Haley - If you have never read this book, you are in for a treat. The story spans decades and follows a young African Kunta Kinte and his family through years of enslavement through eventual freedom. It is not for those who enjoy a quick read as it logs in at 912 pages but it is a terrific historical fiction.

Pachinko by Min Lee - I have mentioned this book in a previous post and a miniseries of it won multiple Emmys. The book is about a Korean woman who falls in love with a rich married man. After becoming pregnant she marries a minister and so the tale begins. Another sweeping family saga that spans 100 years and with only slight more than 500 pages, it will be a quicker read.

The Evening and the Morning by Ken Follett - I bought the hardback of this when it first came out but couldn't quite fit it in among all the other books I was reading. I read it recently and while I love all the previous books in this series (Pillars of the Earth, World Without End and A Column of Fire), I think this might be my favorite. Follett has a way of just transporting you into his worlds and sometimes it is hard to come back to reality. The Evening and the Morning weighs in at about 900 pages depending on the version you get.

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurty - I never saw the TV miniseries of this and picked up a copy at a used bookstore in Anderson, South Carolina. I also had never read a McMurty book before this one. This is the first book in a series of four about the town of Lonesome Dove, Texas and the characters who populate it. The story revolves around retired Texas Rangers who are driving a herd of cattle from Texas to Montana. Lots of themes to explore in this book like age, friendships, and love, so it would be a good book club book if your club is into large (800+ pages) books.

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell - This is the first big book I ever read and a perennial favorite for me. I reread it about every five years. This is the saga of Scarlett O'Hara and her drive to save the people and land she loves during and in the aftermath of the Civil War. The book is considered a classic, a banned book in many locales, and a hard story of what someone will do to survive. If you've never read it, it is worth the 1082 pages. I do not advise reading the Mitchell estate sanctioned Scarlett, however.

Do you have a favorite big book you recommend? Please let me know.


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