We all go through phases in our lives, and let’s be honest, they can strongly dictate changes in our reading lives. Sometimes, you just need a short book to speed through. Other times, you need a long book that you can fully immerse yourself in for a lengthy escape.
Recently I’ve been feeling the urge to pick up some of my longer books. I want to lose myself in a story for days, weeks, maybe even months. I’ve even been planning ways to add time into my reading schedule to allow myself to read such books without the distraction of exciting new arcs. (Which involves a lot of advance planning after my trigger happy requesting finger!)
So today I have twelve books to share with you. These are all a minimum of 500 pages, several of which are closer to 700, and some rounding in around the 1,000 page mark! And more than half of these are also the first book in a series, so if you find something you like, you can continue the reading experience for plenty of time.
Ready to see the books?
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1Q84 begins in Tokyo in 1984. A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver’s enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 —“Q is for ‘question mark.’ A world that bears a question.” Meanwhile, an aspiring writer named Tengo takes on a suspect ghostwriting project. He becomes so wrapped up with the work and its unusual author that, soon, his previously placid life begins to come unraveled. Aomame and Tengo’s stories slowly merge over the course of this tale filled with magical realism. I personally think the last third of this could have been edited down, but readers looking to immerse themselves in a world full of quirk and idiosyncrasy will find that here.
Angels & Demons follows world-renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon as he is summoned to a Swiss research facility to analyze a cryptic symbol seared into the chest of a murdered physicist. When he discovers a deadly vendetta against the Catholic Church by a centuries-old underground organization known as the Illuminati, so begins a race to save the Vatican from a powerful time bomb. As the first book in this popular series so named for its main character, fans of adventure stories steeped in history, religion, and puzzles will have plenty of episodes to enjoy. One caveat: these books are fairly formulaic. If this formula isn’t your thing, go ahead and skip the series.
In The Bourne Identity, we meet Jason Bourne. But who is he? This classic spy thriller is the first in a trilogy that begins with meeting this man who is suffering from amnesia and trying to figure out his identity. Readers who enjoy the original trilogy and really want to dig in may also enjoy the expanded series and movie adaptations. (I personally have a lot of thoughts on these but that’s another post for another day!)
A modern classic, The Fountainhead is the story of young architect Howard Roark, whose integrity is as unyielding as granite, of Dominique Francon, the beautiful woman who loved Roark passionately but married his worst enemy, and of the fanatic denunciation unleashed by an enraged society against a great creator. This is a particularly divisive book. I read this while studying architecture in college and it became a quick favorite due to that specific interest, but many hate it. In general, I like to jump into books wholeheartedly, but with this one, you may want to try a preview first.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is the first in a Nordic Noir mystery thriller trilogy that was later expanded into a larger series. A complex story with multiple plot lines and interesting characters, this murder mystery is dark and gritty and deals with some tough subjects. If that’s what you’re into, go ahead and give this a shot! It’s also been adapted into a few movies you can watch when you’re done reading.
Gone with the Wind is about Scarlett O’Hara, the beautiful, spoiled daughter of a well-to-do Georgia plantation owner, who must use every means at her disposal to claw her way out of the poverty she finds herself in after Sherman’s March to the Sea. It’s been a while since I read this but this captivating book swept me into another time and place that I won’t forget for a while.
Gothic romance Jane Eyre sits on many greatest classic books lists. It follows its title character from being orphaned and outcast as a child to being hired by Edward Rochester as a governess at Thornfield Hall. Jane finds herself drawn to him and falls in love hard. But he has a terrifying secret. Readers looking to sink their teeth into a classic might consider giving this book a chance.
Labyrinth follows the stories of two young women in Carcassone in two different time periods. In the present, Alice, a volunteer at an archaeological dig, stumbles into a cave and makes a startling discovery. Eight hundred years earlier, on the eve of a brutal crusade that will rip apart southern France, a young woman named Alais is given a ring and a mysterious book for safekeeping by her father. This book merges their two stories in a fascinating way. This is just on the cusp of the 500 page mark and I thought it could have been edited down for a slightly tighter read, but readers who like dual timeline stories that attempt to uncover some long-hidden truth about historical artifacts might find this to their liking.
In Qualify, it is 2047 and an extinction-level asteroid is hurtling toward Earth. The descendants of ancient Atlantis have returned from the stars in their silver ships to offer humanity help. But they can only take a tiny percent of the Earth’s population back to the colony planet Atlantis. In order to qualify, you must be a teen that is bright, talented, and athletic. I discovered this young adult book by chance when I found it for free on nook and then devoured it twice in two weeks despite its 600 page length. This is also the first in a four book series, so fans will be able to immerse themselves for quite some time!
The Priory of the Orange Tree is an epic fantasy with a unique focus on dragons. Comprehensive world building, intricate plotting, and a full cast of interesting characters bring this story to life. But it also explores themes that are incredibly relevant to our own society, adding depth to an entertaining story that makes it worth reading more than once. If you’re looking for a long fantasy to sink your teeth into, give this book a shot!
The Passage is an epic post-apocalyptic story of catastrophe and survival. First, a security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment. Then, a night of chaos and carnage gives way to sunrise on a nation, and ultimately a world, forever altered. All that remains for the stunned survivors is the long fight ahead and a future ruled by fear – of darkness, of death, of a fate far worse. As epic as this book is, it’s only the first in a trilogy, so fans of this book will have plenty more story to lose themselves in once complete!
Strange the Dreamer follows Lazlo Strange, who has been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep since he was five years old. Then an incredible opportunity to discover what happened to this city, and he jumps at the chance. So what did happen in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? And what is the mysterious problem it is encountering now? This book is elaborate and eloquent and builds up a wonderfully fantastical world. As the first in a duology, readers can continue the experience in its sequel, Muse of Nightmares.
There you have twelve long books (and then some) to lose yourself in! I’d love to hear from you! Are you a fan of long books? What are some of your favorites?