Spoiler Alert. A lot of the books on this list are going to be fantasy. Why? Because Fantasy authors seem to look at a book and go, ‘You know what? Could be bigger’. So, here we are. This seems like a weird list to compile considering I only recently finished a 700+ page book but what can I say, I never claimed to be consistent in my anxieties.
The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive 1#) – Brandon Sanderson
It hurts me to say so, but I’ve been thinking about reading this book since 2016. That’s right, around five years. The poor thing has rave reviews everywhere you look, a 4.6(!) average Goodreads rating and it’s written by an author I’ve already read and liked things from. But you know what I see when I look at it – that 1007 page count. ONE THOUSAND AND SEVEN. Is this thing a book or a weapon? Perhaps it’s both. I couldn’t possibly hope to try and sum up the blurb for this novel here but the good thing is there are talented reviewers like Melanie (@ Mel To The Any) who are able to do it perfectly for me.
The Priory of the Orange Tree – Samantha Shannon
I was so keen read Priory once upon a time. Unlike other books on this list, I actually started reading it back in 2019 but after feeling overwhelmed and getting distracted, I put it down again. However, that doesn’t mean it’s given up a spot on my TBR. Every time I see that gorgeous orange cover I feel a mixture of longing and terror. At 830 pages, it’s smaller than The Way of Kings but still a wrist injury waiting to happen. Generally, the book follows four major characters from two kingdoms – the east who worship and ride dragons, and the west who fought a war against them and whose queen must have a daughter to prevent their return. I’ve heard it’s an epic read so here’s hoping I get there.
Dark Age (Red Rising Saga 5#) – Pierce Brown
Would someone please explain to me why I’m somehow feeling intimidated by a book that is THE FIFTH in a series I have already read all the previous entries from (& one of my favourites, I might add)? Like, what? This makes no sense. Perhaps it’s because I didn’t enjoy book four as much as the first three. Regardless, Dark Age is still sitting on my shelf after goodness knows how long, in all its 750+ page glory. A lot of people have said this is the best book in the saga but I’ve also heard it’s the darkest, bleakest and most violent. Suddenly 750 pages seems a lot longer than it first did.
The Shining – Stephen King
I considered using King’s monstrously sized The Stand but, in reality, I’ve wanted to read The Shining for longer. You’d think it would be because of the Kubric film adaptation but, unpopular opinion alert, I don’t like it very much. Mostly because nothing is bloody explained properly – it just drops in random things from the book with no context whatsoever. However, with over 650+ pages (varying depending on your edition) to work with, King has the time to weave an intricate plot, outline the history of the Overlook Hotel and create characters with rich backstories. It’s far from the biggest book on this list but still intimidating.
The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time 1#) – Robert Jordan
I’ve been hiding from my paperback of this book for around 7 years. It’s 804 pages, with tiny print and terrifying. Plus, it’s part of a series of 14 books that all look like this. Can you hear me screaming? If there was ever a time to use the word ‘intimidating’, here it is. And yet, I still want to get there one day. With all the buzz about the TV series lately, I’ve been feeling more inclined to give it a go but it’s hard to take that step and finally do it. This is another book that it’s difficult to provide a brief synopsis for but the series takes inspiration from Tolkien and involves the farm boy/chosen one destined to save the world from a dark entity trope. It starts out with three friends setting off on an adventure after their home is attacked and expands from there.
Jade City (The Green Bone Saga 1#) – Fonda Lee
The Green Bone saga is another fantasy series I’ve continued to hear amazing things about and Jade City even won the World Fantasy award back in 2018. Jade City is the shortest book on this list at 544 pages but that doesn’t make it “short”. It’s a mafia/godfather-type fantasy set in a world in which magical jade is prized, traded and the control of which is fought for. However, when the introduction of a new drug gives more people the ability to wield it, conflict erupts between rival families Kaul and Ayt. This sounds awesome, even though I don’t usually gravitate towards gang narratives. Then again, I recently got into watching the series Sons of Anarchy so maybe I’ll completely love this.
Recently I’ve been feeling a little more inclined to start one of the larger books on my TBR. It might be because we’re reaching the end of the year and I’ve already hit my 2021 reading goal but it might also be a desire to read something complex and immersive. Whether that voice in the back of my head will win out, we shall see.
What are some of the bigger books on your TBR that you’ve been putting off?
Or, if you’re someone who simply eats doorstopper books for breakfast, what are the favourites you believe to be worth the time and effort?