Monday, February 13, 2012

War and Peace

It started because I didn't have anything to read over my lunch hour. I apparently can't eat lunch without reading. My lunch plans had cancelled at the last minute so I had grabbed a sandwich and brought it back to the office. Now the issue of a book. I hoped on Project Gutenberg. I can always find a classic to read. As I browsed the authors, the name caught my eye. Tolstoy. There is something about reading Tolstoy in the winter. Something about curling up with a long book that talks about snow and cold while I'm comfortable inside. I'd read Anna Karenina a couple winter's ago. I decided that this year it would be War and Peace.

I knew nothing about the novel other than that it was long and most people consider it a classic. I assume it had something to do with...well...war and peace, shockingly. So I clicked on the link and started to read about the Prince Vasili and his witty banter with the duchess about the upcoming war with Napoleon. And slowly the book started to pull me in. I read three chapters before the lunch hour ended. I wrote down the number of my next chapter and went back to work. The next day I was back. I purposefully left my book at home so I could read more Tolstoy. I picked up where I left off and learned about the scheming Princess Anna who will do anything to find her son a good job.

Each day it was the same, two or three chapters over lunch to tide me over. I felt like I was making progress. I was really moving through the book. That is until I picked up a print copy over the weekend. I was a bit shocked at the size of the book. Weighing in at 1400 pages, it's a hefty tome. I've only finished book 2. I'm a little over 250 pages in and haven't even scratched the surface. I'm reading about war now, the early battles between the Russians and the French. My dad mentioned that I should read the book with a notebook to write down and keep track of characters. This wikipedia list is enough to make me dizzy. But still, I'm determined. And I'm enjoying. So breaking my typical rule of one book at a time I think I'll make War and Peace my lunchtime book and read other things in between. Otherwise I'll go insane or I'll never finish. Tolstoy is wonderful but he can be a bit...we'll say wordy....sometimes.


Deena Nicole said...

War! What is it good for? Absolutely nothin', say it again.... :) I am glad you are enjoying it, Cat. I am impressed! It's on my list of books to read, but it's so intimidating to me. Way to go!

Cat B said...

Thanks Deena! Now I'm going to think of that every time I pick up the book. And giggle.

Don't be impressed. The only reason I wasn't intimidated was because I started reading it online. Otherwise I would NEVER have picked it up. It's huge!