I can lie, but I do love me a big book. This line popped in my head and I thought I was just so clever, flash forward a few weeks I see this cheesy book bag from some librarians book club – gah, oh well, I’ll sue them later for infiltrating my thoughts.
Back to big books – I love me a big ass book! I get heart palpitations when a book I’m excited about already turns out to have well over 500 pages – the more the merrier right? I might even do a little jig if it’s somewhere around 7 or 800 page and I go all out hand stands and flips if I find out it’s a series and each book is going to be equally big if not bigger.
So people are always asking for book recommendations, and I’ll quickly give a shout out to a fantastic sight GoodReads – wonderful source for finding books. You can follow your friends and even your authors to see what people are reading – no I didn’t get paid for that. But here are some of my favorite Big Ass Books!
The Outlander Series
Oh how I love thee Jamie and Claire, let me count the ways. I love that this series has been going on since the early 90’s. I love that each book is well over 500 pages. I love that there are about 6 of them and probably will be at least two more. I love that it deals with one of my favorite regions, Scotland. I love that it has a little bit of sci fi sprinkled in with a lot of historical fiction – time travel at that! I love that it’s a bit steamy in parts. I love that after one book you KNOW these characters, you know their humor, their quirks, their issues and their fears, they are indeed old friends.
I’m not sure I 100% love that it might become a min series, there are just times when books are better off as books. And where the book communities should guard them away from the tv/movie communities. I mean a movie is a movie, you don’t have to have any imagination what so ever to enjoy a movie, everything is spoon fed to you and it just is what it is. A book is an endless possibility of options, and I’ve read this series at least 3 maybe 4 times, I’m not sure I care to see someone else version of this story or their Claire, their Jamie. And what if they leave certain characters out or down play them like Murtagh or Master Raymond? The horror!
The Greatest Knight: William Marshall Series
Note: There are additional books that accompany this duo, some sites mark them all together as “The Marshall Series”. Really these two stand alone and the others are parsley on the plate.
This is a two part series about William Marshall, who was a knight under 6 Kings I think. King John II and all his sons, so count them up on your own if you’re so inclined. Book one is about his life, his story of a scrappy little teenager grown into a man. The second book is about his life with his wife and children and follows till his death. The interesting thing about this book is there are some actual diary and eye witness accounts that the author wrote from, so you really feel like you are there at times! That may not seem like a big deal, but we are talking middle ages here, the fact that these writings have been preserved is an historians dream come true!
Grab your hankies on book two though, the story in book two is really fantastic and you will absolutely fall in love with William and his wife!
Also if you like historical fiction, I think you’ll like Chadwick. She’s a fantastic storyteller and very meticulous with her research. She leans quite a bit to telling Queen Elanor story as she is such a misunderstood and misrepresented historical figure. But I love Chadwicks writing and have found great consistency with the quality of her books.
Discovery of Witches: All Souls Trilogy
I recently stumbled on this book because the second in the trilogy came out this month. It’s high fantasy meets historical fiction, and while the writing is a bit lighter than what I expected I really did enjoy it. I’m excited for book three to come out though I really don’t look forward to the author wrapping up this story as I have fallen in love with the characters.
Note, this is pure beach reading in my opinion. You’ll learn a bit about Elizabethan life in the second book, but for the most part it’s just a fun series not to be taken too seriously.
Fall of Giants: The Century Trilogy
Man I’ll tell you, when I first saw this book and knew the author had a tendency to go very deep into subject matters I was a little overwhelmed. This is the king of big books! But Follet has a way of telling a story where the page numbers just fly by. This is a fantastic read for those that like epic stories, it begins with reference to the Titanic and goes through World War I, which if you know was a long and painfully brutal war in which no one ever had much of a grasp as to what they were fighting for or why, think Viet Nam for the early 1900’s. Follet’s character lists span the globe and go from England to Russia to Germany.
I’m a little apprehensive about where this trilogy is going, he covered a lot of ground in the first book and I’m sure he will in books three and four. Of course the second book is going to cover the Depression and World War II and maybe the Cold War through Korean War in book three? If that’s the case some of my favorite characters of course will perish if not from a bullet then from old age, and we will be introduced to a new generation.
This is why I tend to like series over epic novels, time goes on but the characters stay the same where as an epic spans generations so people leave, oh well!
Update – the second in this series is now out, I’ve had this post in drafts way too long obviously. It’s Winter’s End, I haven’t read it yet but am anxiously awaiting the day.
Pillars of the Earth
This technically is a two part series but really you can read the first book on it’s own, I haven’t read the second book yet but hear it’s different enough that the first could stand alone. Wonderful story of the time of King Stephen and his madness and terror and an architect and his family that make their mark on the world through the new and innovative designs displayed in a church.
Game of Thrones: Song of Ice and Fire
I am just getting into these. I was really disappointed in the TV series, they took the script verbatim from the book but they completely enhanced the sex scenes. As a result the TV series is a rather uncomfortable porno I would say. Whoever developed those scenes has some serious sex therapy to go though. The book isn’t like that and of course your imagination is your own.
Anyway, this is fantasy meets period piece fiction. A monster list of characters, but the dialogue is similar to Follett, very easy to follow and very easy to get wrapped up in the story.
Holidays are coming, put away the need to be busy and escape with a big book, it’s happiness in the making.