Monday, April 13, 2009

Introducing: Savidge Reads Big Weekenders

That title makes it sound like I am hosting some sort of blogging/book festival every weekend which sadly I am not. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful event though, lots of book bloggers under one roof discussing books for a whole weekend, you could even get publishers and authors in on the act too… maybe I should trademark that? That’s actually really got me thinking! Anyway sorry I digressed.

Did you all have lovely Easters? Isn’t it nice that we still have a day of relaxation, reading and letting all that chocolate digest? I have spent most of Friday and Saturday working, no rest for the wicked if they work from home. There have been big breaks away from the computer to curl up on the sofa and read though. Yesterday I had a day off with the Non Reader which was meant to be wandering the streets and getting ‘Lost in London’ which we like to do. You can find the most delightful secret areas of London that way. However the not great weather ruined it all and so we ended up having a spring clean. I held off from a great book sort as then the Non Reader wouldn’t have seen me for a day. Today is back to the grindstone for a half day this afternoon after a lovely lunch with my ex-boss. What did you get up to both relaxation and reading wise I would love to know? I have digressed again! So The Savidge Reads Big Weekenders…

I have a TBR pile all of its own for books over 500 pages. Now I do not call these books tomes (is that spelt right?) by any stretch of the imagination they are not War & Peace, Gone With The Wind or Anna Karenina (which is still at 200 pages read – and has been since late January whoops) those are proper huge monster books, not necessarily monsters in a bad way, just slightly daunting. No the books on this special TBR piles are ones that I really want to read but then think ‘imagine the number of books I could get through instead of that one book’. So on Saturday when I was sorting my TBR piles I thought ‘Simon this is silly, you’re probably missing out on some true gems here so why not read one big book every weekend?’

Well I started one this weekend which I have been meaning to read for ages and promised Novel Insights I would read as part of our Rogue Book Group’s Rogue 5 Challenge while she jets around the globe. The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood is a book I started about four years ago, told my Gran I was doing so and she told me the ending. Being only 20 pages in I decided that I would leave it for another year or two until I forgot and fortunately I have – no one spoil it please, don’t you hate it when people do that? This is also a Man Booker winner; and after enjoying doing The Richard & Judy Challenge and then finding that randomly Farmlanebooks was doing the same thing, we have been discussing doing the Man Booker winner list together. More of that later in the week when it’s all finalised though. So I then planned the next four Savidge Reads Big Weekenders which are including this weekends…


The Blind Assassin – Margaret Atwood (Weekend of 11th April)
Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie (Weekend of 18th April)
Memoirs of a Midget – Walter De La Mare (Weekend of 25th April)
The Name of the Rose – Umberto Eco (Weekend of 2nd May)

I am debating between The Comapny fo Liars by Karen Maitland and Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh after that? If anyone would like to join in that would be wonderful hence why thought would give you the list of what’s coming and we all like a challenge don’t we? I will do the review on the Monday after the weekend of the chosen book and then if you have read it you can leave your thoughts and comments too? Might make interesting discussion, this week the review will be up tomorrow (I should have finished it by then). I would also love to hear your suggestions for ones that I should consider in the future. The only criteria are they need to be more than 500 pages, maybe even 550 and yet less than 850 pages. Can’t wait to see what you suggest.
So far am 200+ pages into The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood and loving it I can already tell there is going to be a big punch in the end. Though isn’t it annoying when you start a book and tell people, or they ask you and then say things like ‘oh god no, I thought that book was awful, I liked her early stuff but that book was dire’ or ‘have you tried The Robber Bride… oh you didn’t like it and couldnt read past 100 pages, shame as its much better than that one you’ve started.’ Fills me with hope that doesn’t it? So far they are both wrong… we will see.

12 comments:

Sandy Nawrot said...

The Blind Assassin has been on my TBR forever, but I'm no closer to it than I was five years ago! It is inspirational that I would read on a weekend, but alas! Weekends are insanity for me! I would be lucky to read 10 pages!

Karen said...

Margaret Atwood is one of my all time favourite authors - I have not read a book of hers that I have not enjoyed and wanted to read again and again - The Robber Bride and The Blind Assassin both fit into this category for me.

Jo said...

Good idea! Ive been putting off Midnights children for a long time, I'm quite intimidated by it! I'd read it with you but I'm busy that weekend. But i could try and do either Company of Liars or Sea of Poppies with you because both are buried tin the TBR somewhere! I'l just have to find them! Lol.

gautami tripathy said...

I read Midnights's children long time back. I think I ought to re-read it.

The Blind Assassin and The Name of the Rose are another great reads.

I am yet to read Memoirs of a Midget.

You have really chosen well for weekend readings. I just stand in front of my TBR pile and let the books choose me!

:D

gautami tripathy said...

Have you read This Much I Know by Wally Lamb? It is 890 pages and unputdownable.

Here is my review:

This Much I know

farmlanebooks said...

I want to read This Much I Know is True too! I have it here, but its length is very daunting! I'd love to read it with other people - I think I'd need more than a weekend to do it though!

I'm also planning to read Sea of Poppies soon, so I'll happily read that one along with you.

I think your weekend reads plan is excellent, apart for the fact that I generally get less reading done than during the week! I can aim to finish a book at the same time as you though.

saveophelia said...

Tempted to join you for the Rushdie and Eco weekends. I will put them on hold!

claire said...

Love love love The Name of the Rose.. you're in for a treat! Love Midnight's Children and Sea of Poppies, too.. but not as much as The Name of the Rose. :D

candyschultz said...

Midnight's Children was very good but not one of my favorites of his despite being the Booker of all Bookers. I still don't know about Blind Assassin. I think I will wait for your review and see what I think.

Kim said...

Love the Name of the Rose. It's years since I read it so it is due for a re-read, I'd say.
You made me laugh when you said your gran told you the end of Blind Assassin and you had to wait to forget the ending - my gran used to always read the last chapter or few pages at the end of a book before she started reading it - something which I do now, I have to confess! It is great fun trying to fit the ending into the story as it is unfolding during reading it.
Have you read James Clavell's Noble House? It is a real ripping yarn about colonial Hong Kong which is partly fiction, (you know, one of those books which is compressed in time and all the names are changed but everyone knows who the real life characters are anyway). It is over 1200 pages long and for it's sheer size belongs on the monster book pile although it's a great read too.
Please, please think more about having a blogging/book festival weekend, it sounds like it would be a lot of fun.

Ti said...

I like your idea about the book blogger weekened. It actually made me sigh just thinking about it.

I have a TBR pile of chunksters myself. I really enjoy sinking my teeth into epic sagas but my review commitments get in the way.

Savidge Reads said...

Sandy - I would give The Blind Assassin a go, its by no means an easy read and you have to work at it but I am finding it a rewarding read.

Karen - I think that The Robber Bride will be a book that I try again this year, I might just read one of her shorter books next though. Any you'd recommend, I have done (and loved) The Handmaid's Tale thats all so far.

Jo - Good news twice, I am going to do the Sea of Poppies and have changed the Midnights Children weekend.

Gautami - I have read absolutley no Wally Lamb but will check out your review. It's a bit too long for my Big Weekenders but maybe one for when I go to Brazil, long, long flights!

Jackie - So glad you will join in with Sea of Poppies have put the date for that one up now!

Ophelia - Do join in I would love your thoughts!

Claire - Thank you for your enthusiasm makes me more excited and less daunted by them.

Candy - Finally someone says something positive about Midnight's Children, it seems a lot of people loathe it!

Kim - Oh I couldnt read the last few pages of a book before I read the whole thing it would ruin it for me lol. My Gran is infamous for ending telling!

Ti - A book bloggers weekend would be amazing... and I am working on it!