Epic, immersive reads to enjoy on your day off

In light of the ongoing global health crisis and its impact on daily lives, reports are coming in that people are taking less holiday leave this year when compared to others. If this sounds like you and you feel like you’re in of a mental break, here are eight recent releases over 550 pages to spend a day off with.

Find even more suggestions for chunky novels by browsing the collection below.


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Antkind by Charlie Kaufman

B. Rosenberger Rosenberg, neurotic and under-appreciated film critic, stumbles upon a hitherto unseen film by an enigmatic outsider – a three-month-long stop-motion masterpiece that took its reclusive auteur 90 years to complete. Convinced that the film will rock the world of cinema to its core, B. knows that it is his mission to show it to the rest of humanity. The only problem: the film is destroyed. All that’s left is a single frame from which B. must somehow attempt to recall the work of art to which he is the sole witness. Thus begins a mind-boggling journey through the hilarious nightmarescape of a psyche as lushly Kafkaesque as it is atrophied by the relentless spew of Twitter.


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The Evening and the Morning by Ken Follett

30 years ago, Ken Follett invited readers to discover the fictional town of Kingsbridge with the bestselling The Pillars of the Earth. In this masterful prequel, he shares the story of what happened before this book began. Set at the dawn of the Middle Age, this spellbinding epic follows the entwined lives of three characters: a young boatbuilder recovering from a viking attack, a Norman noblewoman attempting to forge a life in a foreign land, and a learned monk with grand ambitions. Each of these people come into dangerous conflict with a ruthless bishop – one who will do anything to increase his wealth and power.


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Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming by Laszlo Krasznahorkai (translated by Ottilie Mulzet)

Nearing the end of his life, Baron Bela Wenckheim decides to return to the provincial Hungarian town of his birth. Having escaped from his many casino debts in Buenos Aires, where he was living in exile, he wishes to be reunited with his high-school sweetheart Marika. Meanwhile, the Professor – a world-famous natural scientist who studies mosses – offers long rants and disquisitions on his own attempts to immunise himself from thought. Hailed internationally as perhaps the most important novel of the young twenty-first century, Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming is the culmination of László Krasznahorkai’s remarkable and singular career.


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The Absolute Book by Elizabeth Knox

Taryn Cornick believes that the past is behind her – her sister’s violent death, and her own ill-conceived revenge. But when she writes a book about libraries, its surprise success attracts unwanted attention and unanswerable questions about an ancient scroll box known as the Firestarter. The Absolute Book is an epic fantasy, intimate in tone. It is a book where hidden treasures are recovered; where wicked things people think they’ve shaken from their trails find their scent again. It is a book about beautiful societies founded on theft and treachery, and one in which dead sisters are a living force.


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The Border by Don Winslow

For over 40 years, Art Keller has been on the front lines of America’s longest conflict: The War On Drugs. His obsession to defeat the world’s most powerful, wealthy, and lethal kingpin – the godfather of the Sinaloa Cartel, Adan Barrera – has cost him people he loves, even taken a piece of his soul. Now Keller is elevated to the highest ranks of the DEA, only to find that in destroying one monster he has created 30 more that are wreaking even more chaos and suffering in his beloved Mexico, as well as America. Determined to stem the deadly flow, Keller finds himself at war with not only the cartels, but with his own government. The Border is an explosive and sensational thriller.


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Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell

Utopia Avenue might be the most improbable British band you’ve never heard of. Emerging from London’s psychedelic scene in 1967, folksinger Elf Holloway, blues bassist Dean Moss, guitar virtuoso Jasper de Zoet and jazz drummer Griff Griffin together created a unique sound, with lyrics that captured their turbulent times. The band produced only two albums in two years, yet their legacy lives on. This is the story of the band’s brief, blazing journey from Soho clubs and draughty ballrooms to the promised land of America, just when the Summer of Love was receding into something much darker. A celebration of the power of music to cross divides and touch hearts, Utopia Avenue is a captivating novel.


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The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel

With The Mirror and the Light, Hilary Mantel brings to a triumphant close the trilogy she began with Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies. She traces the final years of Thomas Cromwell, the boy from nowhere who climbs to the heights of power, offering a defining portrait of predator and prey, of a ferocious contest between present and past, between royal will and a common man’s vision. Mantel’s novels are so good that perhaps you even want to take a whole week off to spend it reading the entire trilogy…


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Vagabonds by Hao Jingfang (translated by Ken Liu)

AD2201. Just over a century ago, the Martian colonies declared their independence. After a brief conflict, Earth and Mars cut ties, carving separate trajectories into the future, viewing each other with suspicion and even hatred. Then, five years ago, a group of Martian students were sent to Earth as goodwill ambassadors from the Red Planet. Now the young men and women are coming home, escorting a delegation of prominent Terrans to see if the two worlds can bridge the void that has opened up between them. Almost immediately, negotiations break down and old enmities erupt…

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The Evening and the Morning

The Evening and the Morning

Ken Follett

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