2017 Big Book Summer

About 6 years ago, I came up with the idea to use the relaxed freedom of summer to tackle some of the biggest books on my TBR shelf that I'd been wanting to read but never seemed to have the time for.  One of my book groups takes time off during the summer, so with fewer interfering commitments, I declared it The Summer of the Big Book and really enjoyed delving into some hefty tomes, like The Passage and Pillars of the Earth.

It was so much fun that five years ago, I created this challenge so that YOU can join me! And here it is Memorial Day weekend again and the unofficial start of summer 2017. So join in the fun!

The Details:
Hey, it's summer, so we'll keep this low-key and easy!

  • Anything over 400 pages qualifies as a big book.
  • The challenge will run from Memorial Day weekend (starting May 26 this year) through Labor Day weekend (Labor Day is September 4 this year).
  • Choose one or two or however many big books you want as your goal. Wait, did you get that?  You only need to read 1 book with over 400 pages this summer to participate! (though you are welcome to read more, if you want).
  • Choose from what's on your shelves already or a big book you've been meaning to read for ages or anything that catches your eye in the library - whatever peaks your interest.
  • Sign up on the first links list below (or on Goodreads if you don't have a blog).
  • Write a post to kick things off - you can list the exact big books you plan to read or just publish your intent to participate, but be sure to include the Big Book Summer Challenge pic above, with a link back to this blog (no blog? No problem - see below).
  • Write a post to wrap up at the end, listing the big books you read during the summer.
  • You can write progress posts if you want to and/or reviews of the big books you've read...but you don't have to!  There is a separate links list below for big book reviews or progress update posts.
That's it!  Go check out your shelves and your TBR list and sign up below!

(Don't have a blog? No problem! You can still participate in the challenge - just leave a comment in the Comment section below, stating your goals for the Big Book Summer Challenge or sign up in the Goodreads group.)

Check out my own list of books to read for the challenge.

I also started a group on Goodreads for the 2017 Big Book Summer Challenge, where we can talk about Big Books and our progress on the challenge. If you don't have a blog, you can also use the Goodreads group to sign up for the challenge, post updates, and show which Big Books you are reading!

At the end of the summer, there will be a Big Book Giveaway! After Labor Day, I'll select one name from among the participants (bloggers who leave a link below as well as those without a blog who leave a comment to announce their participation or participate through the Goodreads group) and will offer the winner a choice from a selection of Big Books from my own shelves - probably most of the titles I read this summer and perhaps a few others to choose from.

And help spread the word on Twitter with #BigBookSummer (you can follow me at @suebookbybook).

Be sure to include a link to your kick off blog post (not your homepage):   



Come back to this page during the summer to add a link whenever you review a Big Book or post a progress report:




  1. Anonymous5:17 PM

    I will be reading a couple of Big Books this summer, so I guess I am in.
    Ken Jackson

    1. Great!

      (Ken is my husband, so I bugged him to join the challenge this summer - he often reads Big Books anyway!)

    2. Too fun.. happy reading for both of you!

    3. I've joined the goodreads group and will create a post asap... thanks, Sue, for hosting this annual SummerReading FuN! and Welcome to Ken ;)

    4. Yay! Glad to hear you are joining the fun again this summer! I look forward to reading your kickoff post!

    5. Thanks, Sue !
      Finally ... it's posted ;)

  2. I will be back tomorrow with my link up! This sounds like so much fun.

  3. I linked up today! Happy reading all!

    1. Great! I read your kickoff post, but I couldn't find any way to leave a comment - you might want to check into that (if you want comments, that is).

      Glad you decided to join the Big Book fun! Looks like an awesome list of Big Books for you - the only one I've read is IT (many years ago!). Enjoy!


    2. I made them pages which seems I need to make them blog posts since I cannot seem to find a way to make it able to have comments. So, here I go making a ton of blog posts once again!

    3. Ah, yes, that makes sense. I guess you are new to blogging then? Pages are generally permanent anchor points within your blog - my pages are the ones listed in the menu bar across the top of the blog, just below the blog name - Book Reviews, TV reviews, 2017 Challenges, etc.

      Then blog posts are the ones you write on different days, that will be dated and posted at the top of your blog in chronological order.

      That's generally how it works (though here on Blogger, my pages also allow comments, as well as posts). Check your settings to be sure you have commenting turned on.

  4. I've been looking forward to this challenge! Not entirely sure what I'll read, but Voyager by Diana Gabaldon is on the list for August.

    1. Thrilled to hear you'll be joining again, Jane! Anything in the Outlander series definitely counts! lol

  5. Yay, I'm joining in again. Maybe this time I can actually finish two I had started but not yet finished!

    1. Yay! A challenge is always good incentive, isn't it? Enjoy!