Taking on Chunkster Books

I like big books and I cannot lie

I started reading Les Miserables about a week ago, and tackling this nearly-1500-page tome got me thinking about chunkster books: how to classify them and methods of reading them.

What is a chunkster book? According to the rules for the Chunkster Reading Challenge, books over 450 pages are considered “chunksters.” I’m not sure this is the standard I would use, as most of the books I read fall in the 250 to 400-page range; 450 pages is a bit on the long side, but I don’t know if I would call a 450-page book a chunkster. Another measure I’ve heard is 500 pages, which seems a bit more fitting to me, even though it’s merely 50 pages longer than the CRC metric. It’s all perception, though, I think. Continue reading


2012: The Year of Book-to-Film Adaptations

2012 is turning out to be a huge year for movie adaptations of amazing books! The first half of the year saw the release of the movie version of contemporary favorite The Hunger Games, and this fall and winter will see the release of film adaptations to seven really great books — although I must admit I have read only five of them. Read on for trailers, release dates, casting info, and my thoughts! Continue reading

Book Review: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Book Review: Anna Karenina by Leo TolstoyANNA KARENINA
by Leo Tolstoy

Fiction: Classics
Barnes & Noble Classics, 2003
(originally published 1869)
Paperback, 832 pages

It took me two tries and nearly a month to read, but I finally finished “Anna Karenina”! I really wanted to love it, but I have some mixed feelings.

I thought Tolstoy did an excellent job in his aim of making Anna pitiful but not guilty. Although she often rages about having given up everything, her son, her life, for Vronsky, she doesn’t for a second regret it. That she doesn’t feel guilty about leaving is something I dislike about her. She is often miserable because she doesn’t have her son, her beloved Seryozha, but she doesn’t seem to feel guilty about leaving him, for his sake. I don’t really fault her for leaving her husband; she hated him and was unhappy in her life with him, and sometimes you have to put yourself first and do what you feel you need to do. However, leaving her son was selfish, and even the way she thinks about him after leaving is incredibly self-centered. I don’t recall her lamenting the fact that he will grow up without a mother or that she has put him to shame (although it was a very long book, and my memory is pretty terrible, so I could be mistaken? Please correct me if I’m wrong). She is just upset that she can’t have him for herself. I could say a lot more, but I’d like to keep this brief! Needless to say, I didn’t like Anna very much. Continue reading