Pillars of the Earth

May 20th, 2009

Several months ago, my book club was assigned the monumental task of reading Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett.  This massive book is ninety nine million pages long and weighs as much as a fully grown, adult water buffalo.  I was terrified of this book.  It made me feel weak and shaky, which is a condition I have bravely struggled with my entire life.

My book club only meets every other month and we pick our books a year in advance, but I still did not start reading the book until about a week before our meeting.  A few days before Thanksgiving I picked Pillars of the Earth up and under protest and in utter defiance, filled with righteous indignation at the sheer mental toughness it was going to take to heave the book off my nightstand again and again, I started reading it.

I did not put the book back on the nightstand until I finished it.

I read it while I shopped for Thanksgiving.  I read it while I made pies and rolls.  I read it while I searched for turkey roasting directions on the internet.  I read it while I showered, while I brushed my teeth, while I ‘used the facilities’ and while I slept. I read it while I rang people up at the cash register at work.  I read it while I counted back change. I read it while I mopped floors, dusted, vaccumed, and changed sheets for company.  If for some reason, I was forced to put the book down, I felt like I was going through de-tox.  I started shaking.  I couldn’t breathe.  My skin grew clammy.  My knees went weak.  I needed to sit down.  Someone get me some coffee… please…and a buttery croissant… no, not the plain croissant… the almond croissant… the BIG almond croissant… BIGGER!  It’s the only thing that helps.  Oh!  And bring me that ‘Cathedral Book’ I was reading!  I have to know what is going to happen to all those people.  Will Tom Builder get a chance to build another cathedral?  Will Ellen be killed for heresy?  Will Aliena be able to re-build her life?  Will Jack ever come back?

Pillars of the Earth is centered around the construction of a cathedral in medieval England.   The times are dark and dreary.  The church and the noblemen are corrupt and greedy.  The average person is just trying to feed his family and hang onto what he or she has, but their tenuous existence quivers like gelatin on the table of the feudal lords and the powerful church.  In the midst of all this wrack and ruin there arrives a gifted builder who tackles an impossible project and life in one tiny corner of the world begins to change.

Pillars of the Earth is truly a sweeping, adventurous, historic, romantic, epic tale.  It has been on the best seller list twice.  Once, when the book was first published in 1989, and then again in November 2007 when Oprah Winfrey placed it on her ‘read this book because I did’ list.  The author, Ken Follett, best known for writing spy thrillers like The Eye of the Needle, had long been a ‘cathedral junkie’ and decided to channel his interest into a novel.   Pillars of the Earth was and continues to be a world wide hit still selling over 100,000 copies a year.

A few months after I finished Pillars,  I read the sequel, World Without End, which is set 200 years after the first book ends, involves the descendants of the characters from the first book and life around the same cathedral.  In this book, the characters have much goofier names – Merthin, Godwyn, Caris, Petranilla, Elfric, Buonaventura, Gwenda, Wulfric – and they also have a lot more plague.  In fact, I think that the plague is the main character in this story, but the other side stories are also engrossing.  Will Caris and Merthin ever get together?  Will Gwenda have her revenge?  Will Wulfric ever get back the family farm?  Will the corrupt forces in the church continue to grow? Will the plague kill off the evil characters or only the good ones?  Will the plague ever end?  Is the plague over yet?  Is the plague still going on?  Here  comes the plague again!

World Without End is almost as gripping as Pillars of the Earth, and if you liked the first book you will enjoy the second.


P.S.  Paradoxically, I recently took this photo of ‘St Bernards’ the catholic church in my town.  The church’s name is not pronounced like the friendly dog with the keg around it’s neck.  Instead it is pronounced  like ‘BURnerds’.  I have no idea who St. BURnerd was, but I am very familiar with Saint Bernard dogs.

Comments

  • The books sound interesting. You might like FOREVER AMBER by Kathleen Winsor. Have you ever read it? I loved it so much I have read it 3 times so far starting from junior high to present.
    Betcha the Catholic Church winces every time one of these books and/or movies comes out……

  • becky up the hill:

    Thanks for the chance to win a book. I am currently reading a library copy of one of Bill Bryson’s books. Thanks to your recommendation. Its the one about Australia.

  • Paula:

    Only 7 more school days left, then I’ll have all summer to read big fat books!
    Becky up the hill, you have to read A Walk in the Woods by Bryson. I read it years ago, mostly standing in the supermarket before I bought it and took it home to finish. FUNNY!

  • I LOVED Pillars of the Earth- I totally know what you felt like while in the midst of this book. I acutally Listened to the audio version- I would invent reasons to get in my car so I could listen to what was going to happen next!

  • Tracy B:

    I would love to read ‘Pillars of the Earth’. Have you tried ‘City of Dreams’ by Beverly Swerling? I just loved it. There is a sequel ‘City of Glory’ too.

  • I have not read either book but now I will have to. Because you see dear CDW YOU are my Oprah. If you mention a book I immediately HAVE to go out and buy it then read it. It does not matter if I agree with what you think of the book or not I will just nod my head yes to everything you say.

    So when does your talk show begin?

  • I like to read, but summer activities does make it harder to find the time. So when I win, it may be fall be fore I crack it open.

  • I bad need a big fat book to read.

  • Vicki M.:

    Hi, I have just begun to read you blog; and April’s also. I really enjoy your blog and humor. I would love to read these books. Thanks for the opportunity.

  • The lifetime weak and shaky thing could be adrenal fatigue. Ask a doctor ’bout that.

    Do these books need to be read in order to be truly appreciated? I’m game.

  • Lydia:

    Count me in because it is summer and I need a good book

  • Denise:

    I’ve been scared of this book, too, which is why I haven’t read it yet. But now you’ve reassured me. I’d love to win!

  • Lori:

    Having visited numerous cathedrals in the British Isles, I can see why Ken Follett was addicted to them. My favs, Glastonbury Cathedral were King Arthur and Guinivere are supposedly buried and Coventry Cathedral that was bombed during WW II, left as it was and the new one built right next to it. Beautiful…… So, I would love to win this book and lose myself in it’s pages. If I don’t, thanks for the recommendation – I always look for a big book to carry me through summer!!

  • Wow, these books sound great! I’d love to read them.

    -FringeGirl

  • Heidi in CA:

    I would love these books! I homeschool my kids and we are going to be covering this time period next year. I always try to read a historical novel in the time period to kind of get me in the mood. These books sound perfect!

  • Orghlaith:

    You have a gift for making things desirable. I am not sure if I want to thank you for that. Temptation…..hmmm. I love big fat books that take me into another world. Drat, here I sit fighting off the temptation to go to Barnes and Noble or Amazon.
    (sigh)

  • I must have that book – the one that weighs as much as a buffalo and that I can read while munching on croissants and even sleeping.

    Yes – it sounds like my kind of book!

  • Casey Barnhard:

    They definately sound interesting_ I would love to read them!

    Pick me, pick me!

  • Stephanie:

    I am currently between books…would LOVE a really big book to read…have heard its great…it’s never on our library shelf… always checked out….

  • Anna:

    If I can find the time I reading books. There are 900 books piled up on my night stand and I keep moving new ones to the front of the list. These look great!

  • Stephanie _Oh:

    I’d love to read these books and if I don’t win , off to the library go I!

  • Marilyn:

    I would love to have a couple of great books for the summer. Thanks for the recommendation and the giveaway.

  • Wondering Woman:

    If I win I’ll have my husband make me a stand so I can don’t kill myself when it falls on my face while reading in bed.

  • M.R.:

    I could use these books to hold up my table.

  • Charlene:

    Nothing like a good book to put off stuff I don’t wanna’ do. But you read doing your vacuuming and dusting and everything! You are my hero! Love your wacky humor. I’m sure I’d love these books!

  • Suzan:

    Oh wow how incredible. I read Pillars when it was first published and started reading World Without End a few weeks ago. I had to give up on the hard back library copy though. I had a long incision due to a laparotomy for ovarian surgery 14 days ago and could no longer balance the heavy book. I must borrow it again and find out who becomes the new head of the monastery. My copy of Pillars fell to bits. My uncles all read it. My grandfather was an English stone mason and the story just captured the imagination of everyone!

    I must agree that anyone falling asleep while reading these tomes does face the possibilty of a broken nose.

  • Angiep:

    ME, ME, ME! I want one! Purty please?

  • Lori:

    This book sound like a perfect summer read. I’m flying to hawaii this summer and do not yet have a book. Thanks for the recommendation.

  • Gayla:

    Not sure where I’ve been, but I’ve not heard of these books. And now that I have, I want to read them!

  • Scherrie:

    I loved “Pillars of the Earth”. I did not realize there was a sequel. I would love to win one of these books.

  • I love books in different time periods. I get so wrapped up in an epic time period book that I feel like I am there. If I don’t win I will still read these books anyways. Thanks!

  • Sandy in MI:

    Ack, do you have any idea how long my book list is? And now I need to move these to the top!

  • Barbara:

    Hmmm, I have not heard of these books. Would absolutely love to read them. Thanks!

  • Ooooo, sounds like great beginning of summer break reading. Count me in, please!

  • That’s how I pronounce Bernard, as opposed to the dogs which I pronounce BerNahrd. I’d love those books. I know how you feel about a big book. I put off reading Shantaram which is massive but it was well worth it too!!!

  • I’m all up for winning a book. What I want to know is how much the postage will be to mail that thing!

  • Therese:

    I am ready for good summer reading. I would love to win one of the books. Thanks

  • Kathy M:

    I’ve already read Pillars of the Earth when it first came out. It is a truly wonderful book. I happened to be in England when I was reading it and felt such a deeper connection to all the cathedrals that we saw. I just picked the book up at the airport not knowing what it was about – it couldn’t have been a nicer surprise!

  • Luanne:

    Oh I do love a fat, heavy book!

  • Erin from Iowa:

    Sold! Throw my name in the hat please and thank you. :)

  • jll in bvlle:

    Oh, please let it be me! I am going on my first trip to Europe next month and it would be a perfect tie-in to all the cathedrals I plan to visit….Thanks and I love your blog!

  • I have not read anything by Ken Follett, but now’s a good time to start! It looks like the first one could occupy my entire summer, so ….. count me in!

  • jamoody:

    My teenage son and I love to read and are slowly amassing our own ‘library’. These books sound like something we would both possibly enjoy…he has really been into weird stuff like Hemingway and Faulkner and Vonnegut…I just like a good story.

  • Marylu:

    I probably never would have picked this book on my own, but now I am so intrigued! How exciting to have a fun summer read!

  • Renee Green:

    I’ve never read a big fat book….but I wanna. Help me learn to love to read!

  • Cate:

    If you enjoyed Ken Follett’s books, you might like Sarum the Novel of England by Edward Rutherfurd — Just google his name & you’ll have a host of big fat books to read!

  • I love both those books. They are favorites of mine! I have read several of his books and those two are by far the ones I enjoyed the most! While they are long, they are very good. I think I liked Pillars of the Earth a little better though…

    PS: I already own Pillars of the Earth…

  • Erin:

    I’ve wanted to read both of those! Have you read The Poisonwood Bible? Very good as well.

  • Laura:

    Sounds great! Thanks for the chance to enter.

  • Rae:

    Since I’m cheap and only read books I can find in my “little” local library I would love to win one of your books. I’m willing to bet that my “little” library won’t even have Pillars and would have to order it for me. Such a hassle for everyone…so please pick me : )

  • Sues:

    I’m expecting my 10th grandchild any day now. I’m exhausted! I need a really good read to restore me to normalcy.

  • Melissa Hadley:

    Oh Rechelle…pick me! pick me!

  • TamiC:

    Both books sound very interesting! I’d love the chance to read them.

  • Vickie:

    I have always loved to read, but lately, life has gotten too busy. It’s summer so maybe I can slow down with a good book!

  • Leah:

    How many pages did you say it was? I have to read 800 pages for my summer library program, and I’d love, love, LOVE it if I can do it in one fell swoop. Thanks for the recommendations.

  • Laurie:

    I would love to win these books. I haven’t done much reading lately, too much other stuff gets in the way. This sounds like a wonderful way to spend hot summer days here in Texas. In the air-conditioning reading!!

  • Mary C H:

    I need a new good book to read. Since gas is going up again I won’t wander far from home.

  • Shaun:

    I’m glad you talked about these. I have not read any of his books.

  • I’m finished with law school for the semester and am not taking any summer courses. I have time to read FICTION! (Yes, I did yell that last word.) I am compiling a list and would love to have these two books. Also I grew up in western Kansas – Great Bend, Pratt, Liberal and then Hays so pick me for the Kansas connection.

  • Melissa:

    Wow, that’s a huge Book! Would love a copy to gift to my mother-in-law.

  • Robin M.:

    Sounds intriguing… thanks for sharing :)

  • Jennie:

    I am always looking for something great to read over the summer, these sound like the perfect books. Thanks for the recommendations!

  • Margaret:

    going to the beach for a week. I need these books.

  • Thank you for the recommendation!! I am ALWAYS in search of a good book and these sound simply Wonderful!

    If I am not the winner of your give-away tomorrow, then you’ll find me at Barnes and Nobel on Friday morning!

    Thank YOU again,

    Janet

  • Tammie:

    the books sound great!

  • Debbie:

    Well aren’t you sweet to have this give a way…This is the PERFECT time of year for good thick books….

  • Rechelle, do not put my name in ’cause I’ve already won the purse for which I thank you VERY MUCH!!

    These books sounds great, though! I’ve been reading Catherine Cookson (new to me, but not new) and I am mesmerized. If you haven’t read her, I think you would like her writing. All set in London in 1800′s. Okay, bye bye~~:)

  • Lynne:

    These have been on my TO READ list for quite a while. But their size is a bit daunting, so I skipping them for smaller, easier reads. I should consider this a kick in the tuckus and just read them already.

  • Judi:

    I have had so many people recommend this book to me! I can’t wait to read it.

  • Sounds like a good book. Hope I win!

  • Heather:

    I’m with Homa…..done for the semester, except I’m in nursing school, not law. and actually have time to read something that I want to read! woohoo!!!! lol

  • Vickie:

    Thanks for the recommendation. I’ll put these books both on my list of books to read- in case I don’t win.

  • Ilene:

    You’ve sold me- I’d like to read it!

  • Jenny:

    I also had a hard time putting Pillars down. I’d love to win World Without End, so throw my name in the hat.

  • Lucy:

    I love reading and would love to try these books. Thank you for the contest.

  • Gina B.:

    I’m intrigued and would LOVE to read these books. I’ve never even heard of them until now and now I must have them!

  • Susan:

    Oh, I would so love to read both books. It is such a treat when a book – or tome – is that good and also long. Such a disappointment though when you finish.

    I recall the name Bernard in the film 4 weddings and a funeral when the actress (sister of Emma Thompson) kisses BURNerd and is surprised and becomes rhapsodic.

  • Stacy:

    Thanks for the chance it sounds like a great book

  • I know I’ve read the first one about a million years ago or so. I would love a refresher and then, who doesn’t love a sequel? Yay!

  • Kris:

    Wow! I’ve been apprehensive to read this book. Pick me so I can read it!! (If you don’t I guess I’ll just go to the library and check it out!)

  • Sheila:

    I have read Pillars of the Earth and thought it was okay, seemed to me there was LOTS of walking, starving and work. I would still read World Without End because it makes my life seem Wonderful.

  • Monica Ross:

    OOOhhhh an new series to read. I have been looking for a good read.

    I so enjoy your blog–from a fellow Kansan!!

  • My book club read this about 14 months ago, and I still have not read it. You are giving me the incentive to go ahead and read it so I can make them revisit a book I missed the first time around. They love when I do this.

  • Melissa:

    I can’t thik of a better way to spend a weekend that completely engrossed in a good book!

  • Jill:

    I’ve read both these books, so I don’t need to win them, I just wanted to say that they are among my favorite books ever! I’m glad to know that I’m not the only crazy who found myself incapable of putting them down.

  • I’ve read the first but not the second! Put me in!

  • ChristineK:

    I’ve been thinking of borrowing these from the library, so put me in!

  • I need a good read, contrary to what my hubby thinks! (I tend to not get anything else around the house done when I am into a book!)

  • LaDonna H:

    I love good books with sequels. Please enter me in the drawing!

  • Pillars of the Earth looks like a neo War and Peace.

  • Currently reading O Pioneers and loving it. So, I will be in need of a new book soon!!

  • Kat:

    Oh how I would love a good book to read. I’m now reading a very terrible book (http://www.amazon.com/Your-Scattered-Bodies-Riverworld-Saga/dp/0345419677). I hate the main character, I hate the other characters, and really, the only reason I’m continuing to read it is with the hope that something very very bad happens to them. I wonder how far into the series I’ll have to read before I’m rewarded with their gruesome demise? Would I read another two books to get there? Does that make it a successful story? Hmmmm.

  • Julie Ann:

    Wow I need to broaden my horizons! I have heard of Ken Follett – but not of these books.
    And I have actually heard of St Bernard b/c he was born on my birthday – thankfully my Catholic parents did not name me after him!

  • SoCalLynn:

    I read Pillars years ago and loved it. I would love to read it again, and the read the sequel. I just finished teaching about the Middle Ages and the plague to my 9 year old daughter, so it’s a period I’m interested in right now.

    Thanks!

  • Tish:

    I think I’ve read all of KF’s thrillers, and would love to read either of these. When we lived in Germany in the early 80′s we toured Cathedrals, temples, and ancient little churches all over our little corner of Europe and I can definitely understand the fascination.

  • You certainly have a way with words. You take a book I have never been interested in reading and make me have palpitations for it. I MUST read it. I think I can wait a few days to see if I win first, but just barely!

    I would love for my book club to read it but it’s not my turn to pick. boo hoo.

  • I recently read Pillars, and LOVED it. I’d enjoy reading the sequel!

  • Shannon:

    You really know how to “sell” a book! I’m forming a book club – making the rules, picking the people, being in charge – stuff I love to do! So, pick me pick me pick me!

  • Michelle Unruh:

    Found you and your sisters site through a list of Kansas women blogers. Love them both. Thanks for the chance at a good summer read. If I don’t win I wil lhave to check them out anyways.

  • I envy all these ladies with time to read. I am always impressed with your ability to write. I think you are talented enough to write a book. You have a vivid imagination, as witnessed by your hilarious blog. Think about it. You just might write the great American novel. Enjoy all your posts.
    Sandy

  • Deenie:

    I would love to read this book…….love those “don’t want to put it down” books!! Plus……….I think I could use this as a weight in my exercise routine!! LOL!!

  • Heidi:

    Sounds like the perfect summer reading! I would love to get these!

  • Kate:

    I’ve got these on my to-read list in Goodreads but haven’t started yet…
    But would recommend Diana Gabaldon and her Outlander series to everyone!

  • Nancy in PA:

    I can understand the tomato/toe-mah-toe with the “Bernard” thing. I have a cousin who spells it like that and pronounces it like the church. Since you steered me in the perfect direction with “Lost in Austen”, would love to read the books!

  • Anna:

    I got Pillars of the Earth, but haven’t read it yet. I guess I should.

  • jane:

    I would love a chance to win…sounds interesting. BTW Bill Bryson’s A walk in the woods is a fantastic book on CD read I think by the author

  • OH! I would love to win either one! I’ve been planning to read Pillars of the Earth but just haven’t gotten around to it yet. Owning a copy of either book would force me to read both, LOL!

  • Those books sound great!! If I don’t win I guess I’ll be getting those next!

  • M B:

    I would love to receive / read either book. Normally, I don’t like Oprah’s picks, but I need a good summer book. There used to a an old school building next to “St. Bernards”. The city school district was crowded so we attended 5th and 6th grades in the old Catholic school building. It had the neatest wooden gym floor/stage on the top floor.

  • Linda B:

    I never thought of reading while changing the sheets (although I think I have done most of the other things you mebtioned while reading).

  • Laura Louann:

    I loved Pillars also. I pretty much temporarily divorced my hubby while I read it. He was sad. I’d love a shot at the sequel.

    Love the new blog format!

  • hmmm… I’m thinking audio book sounds good. But of course if I had a copy I would GLADLY read it *grin*

  • Roseanne:

    I would love to read these two books. Thanks for the chance.

  • Stephanie T.:

    I would love to read Pillars of the Earth based on your review alone. You are so much funnier than any other bloggers that I read.

  • kristi g.:

    Hey – I’m with Stepahie T. up there. Much funnier :)

  • Deborah Jackson:

    I love reading your blog and would love to read these books. Both you and your sister are riots. I can’t stay away.

  • The first book was AWESOME and I haven’t read the sequel- so I would love to win your giveaway!

  • I need to go back and read it again. I read PILLARS a few years ago and haven’t read WORLD WITHOUT END yet. Ken Follett is pretty awesome!

  • Just what I need, more good reads!

  • safetydog:

    I need some summer reads and would love to win these books. Since we aren’t taking a vacation this year, I’ll need to get away through reading. I love those books that never end.

    I found your blog through Pioneer Woman, and enjoy reading your blog as well as your sister’s.

  • Marion:

    Getting ready to go to the beach for a week and I’m looking for a good book to read. Just finished All Creatures Great and Small, trying to get to some classics I missed in school or just read the Cliff Notes.

  • What a great give-away… thank you SO much! I get to ride the subway to work everyday, and I’ve found that I go through books SO quickly with all that reading time- even if I don’t win, this sounds like a good book to pick up (though it might make my purse a WHOLE lot heavier)!! Thanks again!

  • Amy in Atlanta:

    I needed a good recommendation of what to read this summer, thanks.

  • Karen:

    This is the first time I have visited your site and I loved the book review. I am a true bibliophile – I love, love, love to read. I tend to stubbornly not read the books Oprah picks because, well just because I am naturally rebellious.

    I am looking forward to getting to know you through your site.

  • Andrea:

    I tend to read mysteries & detective novels, unless I get a good recommendation from someone, or they give it to me free! You have really got me interested in these, here’s hoping I win them.

  • nicole:

    This is on my reading list at the libaray, but it has a wait and I know I won’t be able to finish it before I have to return it for the next person in line!

  • I would love to win these! I really enjoy reading and am always happy for more books to fill my book shelves!

  • Am I the only one that can’t click on the 3 dots to view the whole entry?
    Hmmprh!

  • Stacy:

    I would love to be “plagued” by either of these books. I am sure from your descriptions they will be worth the withdraw symptoms! :)

  • KC:

    Sounds like good reads!!!

  • If I win, I promise I will read. I’m not sure this is something I would buy so it’s a great way to break out of my norm.

  • I read that already and try it you’ll like it!!

    It really is a very good read and there is another that follows that one!!

  • I read “Pillars” years ago in college, when our art history teacher told us to. I want to read it again! Or the sequel, but I would prefer the original!! I do not fear 90,000,000,000 page books–I was an English major, and now I’m an int’l traveler and a quick reader, so I like long books. I take them on flights with me. It means fewer books to carry.

  • leah:

    Please don’t let me win. That book scares me! :)

  • Martha in Kansas:

    You’ve made these books sound fascinating. I’d love to give them a try.

    Aren’t we Kansans famous for our different pronunciation of place names? There’s Stuttgart, Kansas. It’s not STUTT-gart, but STUG-art. And others that I can’t think of right now.

  • Nikie:

    My husband and I have just read the first but would love to own the copy and the sequel. I had taken some architecture courses in school and was familiar with all the terms of the church’s construction but my husband did not. He checked out David Macauley’s book ” Cathedral” and it really helped – highly recommend it!

  • Kathleen H Bloomington IN:

    I read Pillars of the Earth last year and like you did not put it down until completed. Wonderful!!! I then read World Without End, I enjoyed it but not as much as the first. Both are great stories. I think I will read Pillars of the Earth again!

  • Will it make me want to loosen my corset from all the bosom heaving? Is it chock full of sacrilege and other medieval naughty bits? If so, then sign me up.

  • The size of the book really intimidates me, but what the heck, let’s give it a go.

  • kimmeglen:

    It’s now on my list of must reads! Thank you!

  • Sign me up. My “to read” list is only a page and a half long. I want more!

  • Lois:

    POE? Oh my, yes! Read it several years ago and remember the can’t -even-put-it-down-to-pee problem. Didn’t know there was a sequel. I wanna go back!

  • I need a book to read at lunch so I won’t watch dumb movies that I bring and watch with the goofy parts department.

    I have the same trouble as you. If I like a book I can’t put it down regardless of what I need to do. Laundry piles up, dirty dishes pile up, husband has to cook.

  • Karen:

    Please put me in the drawing for a new read. I could use something to dig my teeth into. Thanks for the opportunity.

  • susan in FL:

    Oh I need these books. Pick me!!

  • Joni:

    Put me in the drawing. I need a book to read over the lazy days of summer.

  • Terri:

    I’m currently reading Pillars of the Earth and am as enthralled with it as you are/were. I would love to win a copy of World Without End.

  • I loved Pillars of the Earth! If you’re picking one winner for each book, please put me in the sequel pile. I haven’t had a chance to pick up a copy yet. Thanks, and I love your new site!

  • Melanie:

    I’ve been wanting to read Pillars of the Earth. I’m currently 18th in the queue at the library for it.

  • after a review like that, i’d like the chance to read the book if i win it…

  • For the love of St. Burnerd – what will become of me if I win the 2nd book w/o having read the 1st?!?

  • Anonymous:

    I love a good book recommendation. If I don’t win it, I’ll have to check it out an my library. I love my library. And summer reading program starts next week, so I’ll be up there plenty with my kids!

  • I have not read Pillars of the Earth, but I recently finished The Good Earth. I loved the first half of the book, but somewhere around the second half I became very angry. I think my reaction may have been similar to your reaction to The Duchess. In fact, I could have gone further into the “All men are pigs” stage, but then my husband was very sweet and made me realize that not all men are pigs. But I wanted to grab that Wang Chung by his pigtail and swing him around a bit and give him what for for not appreciating his wife more.

    Wait, what was this post about?

  • Beautiful church…and I can’t resist a book giveaway. Must. Have. More. Books.

  • Monalynn:

    A book, a free book?! Nothing better in the world than a book…. except maybe a free book! I promise I will read it but I can’t afford to have to eat buttery croissants if I put it down ( a person must sleep you know and then there is work…), is there something else that might help?

  • I write books for children, so I seldom read anything but children’s literature these days, but once in a while I read a book for adults just to keep my brain in adult condition. I’d be glad to give this book a try.

  • Christie L:

    Been a lurker for awhile now. After you mentioned the book “A Girl Named Zippy” , I wanted to read it. I finally was able to get it from my small town library and read it. There was something sad, but wonderful about the story. I’m glad that I read it and plan on reading more from her. Thanks for your reviews. Even if I don’t win, I’ll try and get it from the library and have a go at it.

    Also really enjoying your new site here! Keep up the Good work!

  • Anoria:

    Ooer. My (online) book club picked a book this month that my library doesn’t have, so I’m not reading for a deadline right now. A book about a cathedral sounds cool. I think I’ll check it out at the used book shop or the library if I ever have free time again, on the very good chance that I don’t win ;)

  • Pam I.:

    Looks a little frightening, but if it was truly as riveting as you say….i may hafta give her a try!

  • Nikki:

    Ooooh, I would love to win these. I just love that you have book giveaways. And love your blog. :-)

  • gbailey:

    I hope I win–I’ve been wanting to read one of Ken Follett’s books.

  • sounds interesting.

  • kerry:

    I have read so few books that I just could not put down. But hopefully i will have another one to add to my list hehe =)

  • Amy:

    Well now…I am going to request these from the library. I am always looking for a good read. Thanks!

  • Curly:

    I love to read!

  • Susan:

    I hope I wind because now you will have me scouring the countryside thrift stores,down on my knees, digging through tones of musty books looking for this one. I already carry a list of must reads with me. I also really enjoyed Forever Amber when I was a much younger. Be warned, it is a really long book.

  • Oh, I love long books, the longer the better. Once I get into a book, I am like you, I don’t want to put it down. I do draw the line at reading while I drive but there are times that I wonder how to get around that too.

    I haven’t read either of these books and would love to win one of them.

  • Leslie:

    I read Pillars of the Earth about a year ago and honestly had no idea there was a sequel. I guess I have another book to add to my “need to read” list.

  • Kathy Wolfe:

    Please put my name in the pot.

  • Patsy:

    I also read this book for my bookclub and like you left it for the bitter end. I really wish I had spent more time reading this extremely interseting book. I even went out and bought the sequel. Loved it, loved it, loved it!!!!

  • Love, love, LOVE Pillars of the Earth. Must have the other one!!

  • Barb:

    They both sound interesting……The titles are catchy – makes you want to dig right in.

  • jen:

    I would love a new doorstop…er, book!

    Thanks,

    Jen in OK

  • Ooo! Pick me pick me! Haven’t read either, but am definitely putting them on my Shelf. I love historic novels – especially medieval times.

    And I’m a Stephen King fan – long books are my life. : )

  • melissa:

    I also couldn’t put down Pillars. Both are awesome reads!

  • Susan:

    Borth books sound wonderful. I would also recommend anything by Edward Rutherford – Sarum, The Forest or London, to start. He also writes loooong boks that focus on muptiple generations of people in a historical setting – Sarum is about the building of Salisbury cathedral and follows five generations of families. Great summer reading!

  • Chef_Rach:

    I need a good summer read! And if i don’t win i think i might go out and buy the books, you made them sound captivating.

  • Colleen R:

    I read the Pillars of the Earth last summer. It was a copy that belonged to a friend. I loved it! It would be wonderful to have my own copy, and I definitely want to read the 2nd. It is on my list for this summer after school is out. I was like you, when my friend gave me the book I thought, “no way” and it sat for several months, but once I picked it up, it was extremely hard to put it down. The characters are so real.

  • Kellye:

    I love your book recommendations. I loved Bryson’s Walk in the Woods. This sounds like some good summer reading.

  • Briana:

    Oooh, how timely! I just finished reading World Without End a couple days ago. It “only” took two months. I’ve read Pillars of the Earth twice: first time was 15 years ago for extra credit in senior history, and then again last fall. I enjoyed both of them so so much, but Pillars of the Earth is still my favorite: it had such a juicy medieval taste, didn’t it? But I love the ending of World Without End the best. And Caris! Characters like her don’t come around often, she was wonderful. I think if I have a girl someday I might name her Caris.

    I know I’m too late for the contest, and I don’t need the books now that I’ve read them. But finding your little contest on the internet kinda ties a nice little bow on the finishing the book. Thanks!

  • Carol Wong:

    I would like to read a book that calls for a committment.
    One summer when I was a preteen, I read War and Peace and then was amazed that someone could actually think they could make a movie of it.

  • [...] loved the book and the subsequent World Without End and wrote a post about both books.  I was really looking forward to watching the movie adaptation.  I remember the book was filled [...]

  • kathy:

    I just finished the series and I wasn’t all that impressed. I wiki’d the novel and it sounds alot better. Most books are. I decided to put both books on my Christmas list. I’m about five books behind right now, and I read about three a week. I was also gifted with a kindle. I didn’t ask for it and I haven’t used it. I don’t know how to use it! I guess when we start living part of the year in Massachusetts, it will be good for traveling.