I'm participating in the 2021 Big Book Summer Challenge!

I am excited to announce that I am participating in my very first reading challenge! I don't normally do reading challenges, and I'm not planning particularly to do more in the future. But I was happy to participate in the 2021 Big Book Summer Challenge hosted by the excellent #IMWAYR blogger Sue Jackson at Book by Book!

The rules for this challenge are simple: read at least one book before Labor Day weekend that is at least 400 pages long. Other than that, you're free to set your own guidelines, which I will now do! I have four big books waiting on my bookcase, and though I am not 100% confident I can get through all four this summer, I do plan to read:

– At least ONE of the Really Big Books listed below, and...

– At least ONE of the Slightly-Less-Big Books listed below!

So let's see what these books are!

The Really Big Books:

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

A YA prose novel (544 pages)

My mother recommended this book to me, and if there's anything I've learned about my mother's book recommendations, it's that I need to stop ignoring them! So I'm looking forward to trying out this incredibly-lengthy (with small font, I might add) historical-fiction novel, which has apparently received a Stonewall Honor!

Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo

A YA prose novel (416 pages)

I first heard about this book from Ari at Books. Libraries. Also, Cats, and it sounded like a great read! It is also historical fiction—I'm not sure why I have so many gigantic historical fiction books, but I do, so... This one definitely sounded like a great read, and it has apparently been very popular (I recall Bookshop.org having it on backorder), so I'm looking forward to it as well!

The Slightly-Less-Big Books:

Amber & Clay by Laura Amy Schlitz

An MG verse novel (544 pages)

This is a novel in verse, so the pages are a bit shorter (although I flipped through it, and they're not much shorter!). But either way, 544 pages is plenty over the minimum for this challenge, so I'm including it. This book is also historical fiction—I'm not sure why I have all these incredibly long historical fiction books, since I almost never read historical fiction in the first place! But this one did sound excellent—I saw a recommendation for it by the wonderful Linda Baie at TeacherDance, so I'm excited to try it out!

On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden

A YA graphic novel (544 pages)

Is Amazon's page counter broken? Because 3 of these 4 books are exactly 544 pages long. That's weird. But I did check my hard copies, and these numbers are roughly correct. I realize that this book is a graphic novel, and those obviously take less time to read—but (a) the challenge rules specifically permit graphic novels (so there!), and (b) this one is literally 544 pages long, clocking in as the longest graphic novel I own. So I think it counts! And this is not historical fiction—it is actually science fiction, and also possibly realistic fiction. If it's anything like Walden's book Are You Listening?, I'm sure to love it!

So that's what I've got for this challenge! I feel like adding a disclaimer in case my life falls apart that I could utterly fail at this challenge—but I'm definitely going to try not to, and I think this challenge is the push I need to get some of these enormous books read! As I review some of these books over the summer, you can click here to see a list of the reviews as I post them. And don't forget to check out the challenge rules over at Book by Book in case you want to join! See y'all throughout the summer with some big book reviews!


  1. Thanks for stopping by my blog and it's nice to meet you via the Big Book Summer Challenge. Historical fiction does tend to be long but that's okay by me as it is one of my favorite genres and I like books that span generations!

    Best wishes for a successful challenge, and read on!

    1. I appreciate you stopping by my blog as well—I'm discovering some interesting new blogs through this challenge! Perhaps after this summer, I'll be a historical fiction convert—I've read so little of it over the years that I barely have an opinion on it! Good luck with the challenge as well!

  2. Welcome to the Big Book Summer Challenge! So glad you decided to join the fun this year :)

    You've got some great choices here! I haven't read Gentleman's Guide yet myself, but I have heard a lot of rave reviews. And a good friend just finished Last Night at the Telegraph Club and loved it. I haven't read Amber & Clay, though it sounds intriguing. And On a Sunbeam was good - I like everything Tillie Walden writes! Yes, graphic novels definitely count!

    Looks like a great plan for your summer - hope you enjoy these!

    Remember you can also stop back by the Challenge page during the summer to leave your reviews or other updates on the 2nd links list.



    2021 Big Book Summer Challenge

    1. I'm glad I decided to participate as well! I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed On a Sunbeam and that your friend enjoyed Last Night at the Telegraph Club. And I will make sure to post my reviews on the 2nd widget once I get them posted! Thanks so much for stopping by, and good luck with your books for the challenge as well!

  3. I'm glad you're doing this challenge; it's a fun and easy one. I really enjoyed The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue.

    1. That's great to hear—I look forward to reading it even more, then! I'm excited you're participating in the challenge as well, and I look forward to hearing about what you end up reading. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!


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