6 Long Books to Keep You Entertained During Quarantine

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Michelle Regalado

Staff Writer

Michelle Regalado is a New York-based digital writer and editor. When she's not hunting down her next must-read book (recommendations are welcome!) or writing about all things pop culture, you can probably find her drinking iced coffee and hanging out with her dog, Lola. Follow her on Twitter: @mar8289

As the world continues to hunker down at home amid the pandemic, many of us have suddenly found ourselves with a lot more free time on our hands. And what better way to while away those hours than by getting absorbed in a long, fascinating story? 

These lengthy books, ranging from just under 500 pages to a whopping 945 pages, are hefty enough to keep you occupied for long stretches of time. And the best part: While they might be significantly bigger than your average-sized paperback, they’re just as entertaining and engrossing as their shorter counterparts. And whether you prefer domestic dramas or fantasy adventures, there’s sure to be something that suits your taste. 

The Luminaries book coverThe Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

Length: 848 pages

After arriving in New Zealand during the gold rush of 1866, Edinburgh resident Walter Moody stumbles on a meeting between 12 local men puzzling over a series of unexplained events. He soon becomes entangled in a complicated mystery, which unfolds in a series of interlocking stories told from various perspectives. If you enjoy books with unusual, complex structures and a vivid cast of characters, The Luminaries could be a good pick for you. 

The Time in Between book coverThe Time In Between by María Dueñas

Length: 624 pages
Fashion meets high-stakes espionage in this captivating debut novel, set in Spain during the 1930s. After working her way from dressmaker’s apprentice to talented couturier, Sira Quiroga counts some powerful political influencers among her clientele. When World War II begins to threaten the country, Sira is approached to use her position to act as a spy, drawing her into a thrilling and dangerous journey.  

What Alice Forgot book coverWhat Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty 

Length: 546 pages

This book may be long, but it’s just as fun and compulsively readable as any of Liane Moriarty’s shorter works. When Alice bumps up her head and wakes up on the floor of her gym, she thinks she is 29 and expecting her first child with her loving husband. The reality: She’s 39 and in the middle of an unpleasant divorce. As she tries to reconstruct the last decade, she’s forced to confront the choices she’s made and how they’ve affected those around her. 

Pachinko book coverPachinko by Min Jin Lee 

Length: 496 pages
When a teenage girl in the 1930s falls pregnant after an affair with a wealthy married man, she hastily accepts an offer of marriage from a traveling Korean missionary. Once settled in Japan, the couple continues to struggle, enduring fierce discrimination as they work to raise their two sons. Their lives are made all the more complicated when their eldest’s biological father resurfaces. 

I know this much is true book coverI Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb

Length: 912 pages

In this nuanced and heartwrenching story, a middle-aged man struggles to keep his life together while taking care of his twin brother, whose battle with schizophrenia has led him to commit a horrific act. Fair warning: This is a challenging read, filled with dark and emotionally taxing moments. But Wally Lamb’s empathetic telling is rewarding and profoundly insightful for those equipped to handle the subject matter.

1q84 book cover1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

Length: 944 pages
Set in Tokyo in 1984, this engaging literary fantasy follows a woman who notices a series of troubling discrepancies in the world around her. She soon begins to suspect she has entered a parallel universe, which she dubs “1Q84.” Over the next year, her path converges with that of an aspiring writer wrapped up in a strange ghostwriting project. Part love, part dystopian fantasy, this sprawling imaginative tale will have you contemplating the world around you long after finish it.