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Group Read: War and Peace

75 Books Challenge for 2009

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1alcottacre
Jan 7, 2009, 3:07am Top

Watch this space . . . several of us are joining together to read War and Peace throughout 2009. We are not in any hurry, but are taking it in about 100 page chunks every month. Anyone who wants to join in may - the more, the merrier.

Our liftoff date is January 15, 2009. Due to differences in translations, we are going to set places in the book to stop rather than page numbers. Our target for between January 15 and February 15 is Part Two, 1.

I am using the new translation put out by Pevear and Volokhnosky, but any translation is welcome.

Please feel free to join in the fun!

2Severn
Jan 7, 2009, 3:51am Top

Oh I'll join! Absolutely. I have this waiting, what a perfect time to start. I'll read it in small pieces. :)

3alcottacre
Jan 7, 2009, 4:27am Top

Glad to see you joining in Severn! I think it is going to be interesting finding out everyone's opinions and thoughts as we go along.

4shootingstarr7
Jan 7, 2009, 4:48am Top

Oh, I've just started this one, so the timing is rather good.

5alcottacre
Jan 7, 2009, 4:54am Top

Great! Glad to have you with us.

6jalinda
Jan 7, 2009, 4:58am Top

I'm not a member of this group but a member of the 50 book challenge. I have War and Peace on my list for this year and was going to read it slowly over the year but wasn't quite sure how to break it up. If you don't mind I'd love to join in with this readalong.

7alcottacre
Jan 7, 2009, 5:06am Top

Join right in, jalinda! We would love to have you with us as we read along throughout the year.

8cal8769
Jan 7, 2009, 7:46am Top

I will have to get a copy so I will try and join you.

9rebeccanyc
Jan 7, 2009, 7:56am Top

You lucky readers! War and Peace is one of my all-time favorite books, and I read it for the third time a year or two ago when the wonderful Pevear and Volkhonsky translation came out. You are in for a treat!

PS From Netflix, you can get the multi-disc Russian version of the movie; it's great too (of course, I'd recommend reading the book first).

10PiyushC
Jan 7, 2009, 8:01am Top

Welcome aboard friends, we will have a grand time with this book!

11MrsBond
Jan 7, 2009, 9:03am Top

Oh... I have had this on my tbr pile for sooooo long. I guess this is as good a time as any to make some progress! What a great idea!

12alcottacre
Jan 7, 2009, 10:01pm Top

I think we are going to have a great time and I look forward to reading the book together with all of you!

13seekingflight
Jan 7, 2009, 10:25pm Top

Thank so much for the wonderful idea. I have also meant to read this for some time, and a structured read will be a wonderful motivator. I would love to join in.

14billiejean
Jan 7, 2009, 10:29pm Top

I would like to join in, too. I think that my daughter has a copy that I can borrow. I don't know which translation it is. I read this years ago for school, but don't remember it that well. I can't wait to read it again!
--BJ

15alcottacre
Jan 8, 2009, 2:53am Top

War and Peace seems to be one of those books that everyone feels as if they should read but never do, which I attribute to its sheer size. I think breaking it into approximately 100 page chunks over the course of 2009 is going to induce a lot of us to actually start and finish it.

If anyone wants to read it at a faster pace, please do not feel that you cannot do so, but just watch the posts on the list. We do not want a ton of spoilers out on places in the book the group has not gotten to yet. Also, I would ask that if you put spoilers in your posts that you flag them so that people can skip them altogether if they so choose.

This is shaping up to be a great group!

16jbeast
Jan 8, 2009, 6:15am Top

I'm really keen to join too.

I don't have a copy, though, and think I will go for the very cheap Wordsworth Classics version (only £3.39!),

17Talbin
Jan 8, 2009, 9:16am Top

I think I'll join you, too! I tried to read War and Peace last year but got sidetracked by real life. The timing is much better, now.

I'll warn you, though, that once you get going, it's a pretty fast read. It seems daunting, but Tolstoy tells a good tale, and the Pevear and Volokhnosky that I have is written in a quite "modern" and easy-to-read style.

Also, There are threads already set up over at the Group Reads - Literature group that are meant to be used for discussion - not only when they read the book the first time, but anytime in the future someone wanted to use them. They're divided by Volume and Part, which is how most/all of the translations are set up. They are meant to have spoilers, so that if you have read the the Volume/Part you can comment freely, but if you haven't read it you just don't have to open the thread.

Anyway, just an idea - a place to see what other LTers have said about the book, and a place to continue/expand the discussion with this new group read.

18yosarian
Jan 10, 2009, 11:51am Top


As alcottacre says it is one of those books you feel you should read ... I have owned it and felt I should have read for a long time but since then a couple of friends have told me how much they enjoyed it and I know want to read it instead of just feeling I should do.
I'm not a member of this group but I think it would be great to talk about it / encouraged through it (if necessary), so if I can I'd like to join in too, should I just star this post to keep up with what's happenign and what everyone thinks?

19CatyM
Edited: Jan 10, 2009, 12:05pm Top

I might join in with this - I'm considering it, and I reckon that if I mention here that I'm interested I'll be more likely to actually do it. It's at least a dozen years since I last tried (and failed) to get anywhere with War and Peace, and if I'm only trying to read 150 pages a month I might get somewhere this time.

My copy is a translation by Rosemary Edmonds that runs to a frighteningly vast 1444 pages.

20jalinda
Jan 10, 2009, 5:50pm Top

Hi Caty, you sound a bit like me. I have tried on a couple of occasions to read W&P. It's not so much that it's a difficult read, it's just so big. I think you just really need to go to a quiet place and sit and read without distraction until you get into it.

I shall be reading the same translation as you, I find the Penguin Classics good so hear's hoping. Good luck, I hope you enjoy the book.

21shootingstarr7
Jan 10, 2009, 6:18pm Top

>19 CatyM: and 20,
I have the same translation. I know a lot of people are excited about the other translation, but so far this one doesn't seem so bad to me.

22alcottacre
Jan 10, 2009, 6:37pm Top

#18 yosarian: Please do join in! The more the merrier. We plan to start January 15.

23jayde1599
Jan 11, 2009, 11:14am Top

I am ready to start (again) - This time with my own copy and not one overly-renewed from the library. I have the Peaver & Volokhonsky translation.


24jbeast
Jan 12, 2009, 2:20pm Top

So I received my copy today - the Wordsworth Classics version translated by Louise and Aylmer Maude (which I know is going to be an old-fashioned one).

Could i just clarify where the target is for 15th feb? My version is split into books. So I assume the target is to read book 1? The last section is 'Prince Andrew leaves to join the army. Prince Mary gives him an icon'. Is the end of this section the end point?

A bit confusing (for me at least!)

25alcottacre
Jan 12, 2009, 2:26pm Top

#24: We are going to Part 2, Section 1 of Book 1, not all the way to Book 2.

26jbeast
Jan 12, 2009, 2:38pm Top

I think mine is divided differently to yours. Mine is split into volumes, and then books. So I think my book 1 is the same as your part 1??
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/reader/1840225556/ref=sib_dp_pt/278-6638446-6982327#r...

27alcottacre
Jan 12, 2009, 2:44pm Top

Sorry about that - mine is divided into volumes, then parts, which are probably analogous to your books. We are going to Volume 1, Part 2. The translation of the first sentence of Part 2 in my book begins "In October 1805 Russian troups were occupying villages and towns in the archduchy of Austria, and more new regiments kept arriving from Russia . . ." Does this look similar to your volume 1, part 2?

28allthesedarnbooks
Jan 12, 2009, 3:19pm Top

I think I will join in! I just gave in and joined the 999 Challenge and two of my categories are Classics Published Before 1960 and Novels in Translation. War and Peace would work for either, and it would certainly be interesting to discuss it with you guys as I go!

29alcottacre
Jan 12, 2009, 3:26pm Top

#28: We are glad to have you along! We are reading the book in approximately 100 pages chunks, 1 month at a time. We are officially beginning the 15th, but hey, who am I to stop anyone if they want to start early?

30allthesedarnbooks
Jan 12, 2009, 3:38pm Top

I will probably wait til the 15th to start anyway, as I have a big exam on the 14th and will need to be studying for that unfortunately.

31jbeast
Jan 12, 2009, 3:38pm Top

#27 That's ok, no prob, I just got a bit confused
Yep, my sentence is almost exactly the same as that at the beginning of book 2. So we stop before getting to that sentence, I assume?
In mine that's 84 pages of extremely small script. So I may be able to manage that in a month.
I'm really glad you decided to do this cos there is no way I would have the self discipline to read it on my own, and I'm looking forward to the discussion.

32theaelizabet
Edited: Jan 12, 2009, 4:20pm Top

I have the Pevear/Volokhonsky translation of War and Peace and Anna Karenina sitting on my shelves in the hope that I would get to one, or both, this year. So if no one minds that I sneak over from the 50 book challenge; I'd like to participate.

33yosarian
Jan 12, 2009, 4:38pm Top

24 - hi jbeast, i have the louise and aylmer maude translation too, so you're not the only one but mine is an everyman's library edition rather than the wordsworth, it breaks on page 137 if anyone else has that edition ... lots of maps in it to follow the action with

34jlelliott
Jan 12, 2009, 10:00pm Top

Oh, I just happen to be reading this now! I started it almost with a bit of trepidation, but it is a really enjoyable read so far. I'll have to check out your discussions once they get started.

35alcottacre
Jan 12, 2009, 10:49pm Top

#31: Yes, stop before you get to that sentence on (or before) February 15.

36dcozy
Jan 13, 2009, 2:33am Top

Is this the thread in which we are meant to discuss the first section of War and Peace?

http://www.librarything.com/topic/28972

I just wonder because it's dormant.

Thanks.

37alcottacre
Jan 13, 2009, 2:49am Top

#36 dcozy: We are starting our own group read of W&P here on January 15, taking it in 100 bite chunks so as not to overwhelm ourselves. I do not know anything about the thread you mentioned.

38yosarian
Jan 13, 2009, 3:46am Top

talbin in post #17 mentions some old threads from previous groups who have read and discussed war and peace, I guess that's one of them. i'm looking forward now though to getting started and starting our own thread ... bring on napolean I say (i have finished jonathan strange and mr norrell recently and this also deals with napoleanic wars in europe and might make a good follow up read for people to keep the theme going)

39jbeast
Jan 13, 2009, 5:12am Top

#33 Hi yosarian. Glad I'm not the only one, quite a few people seem to have Pevear/Volokhonsky so feared I may be on my own with the Maude.

I must admit to knowing almost nothing about the Napoleonic wars so will be quite an education for me. Am not generally great on history so I hope I can keep up the momentum to read the whole thing.

40TheTortoise
Jan 13, 2009, 11:53am Top

I know I may regret this but I think I am going to join in the group read of W&P. I have a five- volume edition in LARGE PRINT! It is the Maude Aylmer version. Mrs T, is using all five volumes to prop something up at the momemt but I may be able to appropriate one volume at a time!

I am sure I can fit in 100 pages per month as I can usually read that in 1 day. I read volume one and started into volume two and then it just sort of petered out - perhaps I got bored with the length.

>38 yosarian: yosarian Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrellis on my 2009 reading list as well.

- TT

41alcottacre
Jan 13, 2009, 12:08pm Top

#40: Welcome, TT! Maybe if you explain to Mrs. Tortoise you only want 1 book at a time, she will let you 'borrow' them?

42yosarian
Jan 13, 2009, 1:25pm Top


>40 TheTortoise: hello TT, i hope you enjoy jonathan strange, i'll keep an eye on your library / reviews, it has to be one of my favourite books and i'm not normaly a fan of fantasy / magic books. i love the footnotes throughout as well, they really give it the impression that what you're reading really happened.

>39 jbeast: do you have the maps too jbeast? i'm not sure if they come with the translation or the everyman edition but i have a feeling they're really going to help me to visualise the action.

43TheTortoise
Jan 13, 2009, 3:17pm Top

>41 alcottacre: Scottie, I have already purloined book one without telling her! She won't even notice! Well she might when she sees me reading it!

> 42 yos, I read chapter one in the library and was hooked, so I went and bought my own copy. Can you believe it, it was a perfect hardback edition and it only cost 1p! OK I had to pay £2,75 postage. But what is the point of only charging 1p?!!

- TT

44yosarian
Jan 13, 2009, 5:07pm Top


:) that is crazy! we sell a lot of 1p books but they're paperbacks about 200 pages big, if that, ... a 780 page hardback?? well you got yourself a bargain there!!

45jbeast
Jan 14, 2009, 7:16am Top

#42 I have 4 maps. They are quite small but also they look easy to understand.
Am looking forward to getting started now.

46alcottacre
Jan 15, 2009, 3:57am Top

OK, everyone, it is officially January 15th, so off you go (if you have not started already).

Please remember:

1) The first goal is to have fun! If you feel like it is drudgery to read the book, please stop. We do not want anyone reading it for the sake of reading.

2) The second goal is to have read by February 15th up to Volume 1, Part 2, Section 1. If you wish to read beyond that point, it is up to you. If that is going to quickly for you, please adjust to your own pace.

3) If you are making comments, please indicate any potential *spoilers*.

Thanks and have a great time!

47PiyushC
Jan 15, 2009, 5:56am Top

AND SO, IT BEGINS!

48FlossieT
Jan 15, 2009, 9:20am Top

I'll probably regret this but... I just picked up a copy of the Pevear/Volokhonsky translation. It has to be done sometime, doesn't it?

49kidzdoc
Jan 15, 2009, 10:11am Top

Count me in. I'll pick up a copy tomorrow or Saturday.

50alcottacre
Jan 15, 2009, 12:46pm Top

#48: No, it doesn't, but I am glad to know that you chose to do it with us!

#49: Cool beans!

51porch_reader
Jan 15, 2009, 1:37pm Top

Amazingly enough, my husband was placing an Amazon order last night, so I tossed War and Peace onto it. (He's quite concerned that he'll now get a lot of classic Russian literature in his "Amazon Recommends" list, but I say it'll do him good.) I'm looking forward to joining everyone in reading this one!

52alcottacre
Jan 15, 2009, 1:38pm Top

Glad to have you along for the read, porch_reader!

53allthesedarnbooks
Jan 17, 2009, 7:08pm Top

Had to run to the bookstore to pick up a new copy, as I could not find mine! Does anyone else have the Anthony Briggs translation?

54BookAngel_a
Edited: Jan 18, 2009, 10:21am Top

I have a Penguin version of W&P published in England, and I can't find out who did the translating!
I'm only about 20 pages into it, and it's not as difficult as I thought it would be. My only concern is how I'm going to keep track of all these people while I read. I'm having trouble remembering who is who...

55allthesedarnbooks
Jan 18, 2009, 2:36pm Top

I have a Penguin Classic Deluxe from the US and it has an appendix of the characters in the back. Check and see if yours does, too! If not try googling "War and Peace character list" you should come up with quite a few links you could print out.

56BookAngel_a
Edited: Jan 18, 2009, 5:27pm Top

That's a good idea. I'm going to do that right now...
I'm about 50 pages into it and I'm getting more involved with the plot. I keep putting it down and reading something else because I want to pace myself. I have to read 114 (total) pages by Feb. 15th so 50 pages right now feels great!

57cushlareads
Jan 19, 2009, 2:07am Top

I've just grabbed W&P from the bookshelf and am going to join in. I'm reading Dad's book (I stole it *blush*), and it's the same one I tried reading when I was 11 or 12. I gave up because of the names and haven't tried since!

It's a Pan edition of the 1904 translation by Constance Garnett. I might give in and buy the new translation, but not till I get further into it.

58alcottacre
Edited: Jul 3, 2009, 2:50pm Top

Glad you are joining in, cmt.

For those of us struggling with the characters names, you can check out the list here: http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/warandpeace/characters.html.

Hope the list helps!

59cushlareads
Jan 19, 2009, 3:07am Top

Thanks - that'll be very useful. I love the ad for "How do I ask him out?" that pops up when I open the link!! Bit late for that now.

Might have to buy the new translation. I see from the old Group Reads thread on translations available that it keeps the French paragraphs as Tolstoy wrote them, and I like that.

60TheTortoise
Jan 19, 2009, 7:38am Top

>58 alcottacre: Stasia, that's a great list - I like the tongue-in-cheek descriptions of the characters: For example: Napoleon - The small, plump, and extremely arrogant French emperor". :)

Somehow it gives a better idea of the characters than the list I have in the front of my book, which reads like one of those programmes you get in a theatre.

For example: Joe Bloggs as the friend of the sister of the wife of the uncle of... You get my drift.

- TT

61alcottacre
Jan 19, 2009, 8:46am Top

I hope the list helps people out. And, yes, I do understand the somewhat dry tone of the character lists in some of the books.

62jbeast
Jan 23, 2009, 9:21am Top

Well I don't know about anyone else but I'm really enjoying it. Read about 40 pages yesterday of very small print because I couldn't put it down. Weird and unexpected!

63TheTortoise
Jan 23, 2009, 10:53am Top

>62 jbeast: I agree jbeast, I am enjoying it much more this time than when I tried to read it before. I think being married to a Russian and having studied some Russian has helped me to understand the long Russian names better this time!

- TT

64FlossieT
Jan 23, 2009, 1:00pm Top

I'm enjoying it very much too, except I have realised that the way I've been reading it (a few pages a night) is not working for me at all as I keep losing the thread and forgetting who everybody is... planning to take it away with me this weekend and re-read the 50 or so pages I've covered so far to cement it a bit more in my mind!

65BookAngel_a
Jan 25, 2009, 1:00pm Top

I'm really enjoying this so far! Thanks to Stasia and anyone else who came up with this idea.
I'm trying to decide if I want to read ahead or not. It's tempting but I don't think I will - slow and steady is a good approach to a novel of this size!!

66alcottacre
Jan 26, 2009, 1:00am Top

#65: The idea was a rather collaborative effort begun with an offhand comment on jayde1599's thread and then Piyush jumped on board and the whole thing just kind of snowballed from there. I think it's a grand idea and hope we do more group reads as the year progresses. We are tentatively scheduling Bleak House for mid-June and of course, there is also the Don Quixote group read going on concurrently with this one. I am glad you are enjoying it so far!

I agree with you about the slow and steady approach to the book. Why psyche yourself out by looking at 1200+ pages?

67jbeast
Jan 26, 2009, 4:13am Top

With some hesitation I decided to read on for a bit.
I'm thinking that while I have the momentum going and am feeling absorbed, a good strategy is to continue. My concentration span is terrible, and I think that once I give up I will never finish. Plus, like FlossieT, I'm finding it's easy to lose track of who's who if you put it down too much.
I have The Stand by Stephen King to tackle, which is even more daunting (but doesn't have the challenging reputation of W&P). And no group read to sustain me.

68PiyushC
Jan 26, 2009, 4:36am Top

#65 & #66
The group reads are definitely going well and we have a lot more people than we originally started with or even hoped for, I do remember our discussions on whether to start a Group read thread or not and the technicalities. Waiting eagerly for Bleak House to start :)

jbeast

Don't get disheartened, if you can wait for another couple of months, I am sure, we can arrange a group read for The Stand too, I most certainly would be interested anytime post March.

69jbeast
Jan 26, 2009, 4:45am Top

I'm definitely finding that LT challenges/group reads are keeping my focus on reading, it works so well.

What a great idea to have a group read for The Stand. I know it's not a classic but that's not a rule I assume. And it's definitely a big fat monster!

70alcottacre
Jan 26, 2009, 4:48am Top

We don't have any rules for Group Reads in the group - last year we did not have a single Group Read, and this year, they really started as a fluke. If you are wanting to start a Group Read of The Stand, go for it!

71yosarian
Jan 26, 2009, 1:00pm Top


I'd recommend The Stand, I thought it was a great book when I read it and even though it looks big and daunting it's not believe me, it's very easy to read, a bit like war and peace which has surprised me. i guess I shouldn't be put off by a book's size or reputation ...
also of course there is the TV mini series as well for the stand which could be watched alongside reading it, it'd be good to compare everyone's thoughts on that as well (I was a bit disappointed with it, it rushed itsefl at the end and seemed to miss quite a bit out, but hey, that's just my opinion! :)

72allthesedarnbooks
Jan 26, 2009, 8:05pm Top

I'd be interesting in attempting The Stand. I haven't read much King.

I'm going pretty slowly on War and Peace. I'm only a few chapters in and I keep getting distracted (mostly by classes). I just finished my winter session class which was extremely hectic (three weeks for Poe, Hawthorne's short stories, Emily Dickinson, The Turn of the Screw and Look Homeward Angel) and am just starting my spring semester so hopefully I'll be able to catch up before the February deadline!

73PiyushC
Jan 26, 2009, 8:45pm Top

jbeast & Marcia

How about setting a group read for The Stand in April? Even I haven't read much of Stephen King, The Shining, The Green Mile and The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon is all I have read.

74jayde1599
Jan 26, 2009, 9:38pm Top

I am glad that the group read for W&P came about as well. It is a goal of mine to finish the book this year, and it is motivating to know that others are in this as well.
It is an interesting read, and I agree with jbeast - that once you get the momentum going it is difficult to put the book down.
The February goal point is about where I stopped last year, so once I get there I really need to focus. :)

75anzlitlovers
Jan 26, 2009, 9:49pm Top

I'd like to join too, please. I am doing a buddy read with a friend and have already started. I have been reading about 50 pages a day but will have to slow down now that holidays are over.
I'm reading the new translation, and having tried an older one some years ago, I agree with many others that it is much, much better.
Lisa in Oz

76anzlitlovers
Jan 26, 2009, 9:50pm Top

PS to my previous message: is there somewhere I can find the targets so that I can put them into my calendar?

77jbeast
Jan 27, 2009, 10:16am Top

#73 I thk a group read for The Stand in April would be a great idea.

The only book I've read by him (I think) is Duma Key, but I like 'end of the world' type books, and so many people have said it's there favourite Stephen King, I decided to try it.

#76 Not sure if the targets have been set yet??

78yosarian
Jan 27, 2009, 11:19am Top


>76 anzlitlovers: - the only target set so far is from 15 January to 15 February, going in monthly chunks I think. alcottacre said this at the start;
"Due to differences in translations, we are going to set places in the book to stop rather than page numbers. Our target for between January 15 and February 15 is Part Two, 1."
I guess then the next chuck will be decided from 15 February to 15 March

>77 jbeast:, I'd have to say it's one of my favourite King books

79alcottacre
Jan 27, 2009, 6:11pm Top

Yes, yosarian, the next chunk will be from February 15th-March 15th, and again, it will an approximately 100 page bite.

80alcottacre
Feb 3, 2009, 7:12am Top

We are a little past the midway point of Jan 15-Feb 15. How is everyone doing on their reading?

81FlossieT
Feb 3, 2009, 7:04pm Top

Have to admit that I have given up for now... too much else on in Jan and I need to really devote some time to this to get into it. My current sketchy plan is to catch you up at your next 100-page chunk, when I am in less need of reading fluffy YA and crime novels.

82BookAngel_a
Feb 3, 2009, 8:33pm Top

I'm finished and eagerly awaiting the next installment...

It is so nice to break up a potentially intimidating novel like this - I wish I had tried doing this a long time ago!

83cushlareads
Feb 3, 2009, 8:42pm Top

Ummmmmm... I'm on page 3. But I'm going to catch up as soon as I've finished The Lost Traveller, which will be in about half an hour if I stop reading LT posts.

84MrsBond
Feb 3, 2009, 11:04pm Top

Started reading the first night and couldn't put it down! Looking forward to picking it up again with the next section.

85alcottacre
Feb 3, 2009, 11:15pm Top

Congrats to everyone who is done and anxiously awaiting the next section!

86yosarian
Feb 4, 2009, 5:04am Top


well I've not finished the section yet, but getting there. I have to admit I am surprised by how much I am enjoying it, I thought that by breaking it into chunks it'd help me get through a large, complicated dry novel but not so ... seems the old adage is right, you cannot judge a book by it's cover ... or its reputation :)

87jbeast
Feb 4, 2009, 6:06am Top

I've finished the first part too , and agree that it's really hard to put down once you get into it. I like his writing style, and I'm finding it far lighter than I'd expected. I've read a couple of chapters of the next part, but now put it down again til the 15th. Don't want to peak too early!

88jayde1599
Feb 4, 2009, 5:41pm Top

I've also finished the first part and have enjoyed it again - thie next part coming up is where I got "stuck" last year and stopped, so I am looking forward to attempt #2.

89allthesedarnbooks
Feb 4, 2009, 11:31pm Top

You guys are all doing better than me! I'm hoping to get a good chunk of reading in this weekend, as I think I will have a little break in the reading for my classes then.

90billiejean
Feb 5, 2009, 12:43am Top

I finished Part 1. I am enjoying it. I think it is more fun this time than before because I don't have to write a paper on it. :)
--BJ

91MrsBond
Feb 7, 2009, 8:55pm Top

>90 billiejean: I know who's who and what's happening but couldn't verbalize it to save my life! Anyway, reading is so much more fun when there is no agenda to fulfill...

92TheTortoise
Feb 8, 2009, 5:35am Top

I have finished the first section, which I really enjoyed and began reading the second section but found it a bit dull and read Maugham instead. Ok, I know Maugham is not as great a writer as Tolstoy but I prefer his style. I read a bit of Forster's essays on the novel and of course, he thinks Tolstoy is the greatest thing since sliced bread. I feel guilty not liking him as much as I think I should! Its as though I should read him because it will do me good, like a medecine that you wish you didn't have to take, when all the time you wish you could be something else that would be be more fun!

-TT

93yosarian
Feb 8, 2009, 11:42am Top


good analogy TT but don't worry, I used to be exactly the same, I didn't want my medicine and I'd feel guilty for not reading the so-called "classics" and settling down with a cheap horror or crime book (in fact I've taken a break this weekend from the challenge to re-read rats, Lair and tequila blue ... it's just the sort of 'reading-mood' I'm in).
I think it stopped me reading for a while as I'd be struggling with books I felt I ought to be reading. But to be honest, I've given up now and just stick to what I enjoy, I think this takes the pressure off and I can even enjoy the books I've struggled with in the past, like war and peace :)

94TheTortoise
Feb 13, 2009, 3:34pm Top

>93 yosarian: yosarian, I made a resolution several years ago, to only read what I really want to read and to ditch books that bore me. We need to get rid of musts and shoulds in our reading and not be afraid to read what appeals to us rather than what appeals to the academics. When it comes to reading the only rule is that there is no rule.

- TT

95PiyushC
Feb 13, 2009, 3:38pm Top

Finally, I am done for the month!

96alcottacre
Feb 13, 2009, 4:30pm Top

Since it is the 13th, I thought I would post a couple of days ahead the reading for next month. Please remember you have from February 15th-March 15th to do the reading, so no panicking! We left off at Volume 1, Part 2, section 1 - so for next month, please read to Volume 1, Part 3, section 3.

I hope everyone has found it easier to keep the characters straight as we go along. I have found the story thus far to be very engaging, and not nearly as intimidating as I thought it was going to be - 100 page chunks work a lot better than 1000+ page chunks!

97BookAngel_a
Feb 13, 2009, 7:27pm Top

Could you give us the first sentence of the next section so I can be sure I'm stopping at the right place? Thanks!
My book isn't divided quite the same...

98BookAngel_a
Feb 14, 2009, 8:45am Top

Do we stop reading at the sentence that says: "Prince Vasili was not a man who deliberately thought out his plans?"

Angela

99billiejean
Feb 14, 2009, 1:43pm Top

Stasia,
I really appreciate the pace we are taking. With this pace I can read other books, too. I think that it is easier to keep up with the characters as we go along. Thanks, again!
--BJ

100cushlareads
Feb 14, 2009, 2:43pm Top

Angela,

The sentence you quoted is at the start of Part 3, section I in mine, so i **think** we go a bit further. (Mine has "Prince Vassily used not to think over his plans"... I like your translation better!).

The first sentence of Part 3, section III in my copy is "In the December of 1805, Prince Nikolay Andreitch Bolkonsky received a letter from Prince Vassily, announcing that he intended to visit him with his son.". It's on p 228 of my copy.

Stasia, is this where you mean us to stop?

I'm enjoying the book a lot. I'm behind though... it's the 15th here already and I still have a chunk left to read.

101PiyushC
Feb 14, 2009, 3:29pm Top

Cushla,

Don't worry about that, anyways no one is dropping spoilers here, with this pace, you can catch up in no time at all!

I believe we are supposed to stop at, "Prince Vasili was not a man who deliberately thought out his plans?" (which also marks the start of Book III) as per my translation, though I have no issues in setting up a goal farther up.

102alcottacre
Feb 14, 2009, 8:50pm Top

I apologize for the delay in getting back to everyone - I was working last night and did not have the book with me.

The last line we should be reading for the next section reads (in my translation): 'A month and a half later he was married and settled down . . .'

The beginning of Part 3, Section 3 (page 215 in the Pevear-Volokhonsky translation) reads: 'Old Prince Nikolai Andreich Bolkonsky received a letter from Prince Vasiliy in December 1805 . . .' If you get to this line before March 15, stop reading! We will start there in March.

103yosarian
Feb 16, 2009, 1:52pm Top


hi alcottacre, is there a seperate thread to discuss the book too without giving away any of the story to people who aren't quite (including me I'm afraid) at that stage yet?

104alcottacre
Feb 16, 2009, 8:48pm Top

No, this is the only thread. I thought we could post here after the 15th of each month and just put *Spoiler* on the posts so people who have not caught up yet can just skip the posts that contain the spoilers.

I do not want to get another thread on the book going, honestly, because there are already so many threads, and I am afraid it would get lost and people would not know which thread to be looking for.

105alcottacre
Mar 5, 2009, 4:52pm Top

Ten days until March 15th - how is everyone doing on their reading? Anybody have any thoughts they would like to share about the book (please mark any potential spoilers, though!)

106BookAngel_a
Mar 5, 2009, 10:21pm Top

I'm enjoying it so far, but I've noticed that the war sections are my least favorite...I always perk up when the book goes back to the folks back home. I know I shouldn't feel that way but I do!

107jbeast
Mar 6, 2009, 6:15am Top

I have to confess that, after a rapid and enthusiastic start, I've hardly opened it since 15th feb. I really don't want to neglect it though, and will try and read the required pages this weekend.

I generally like war sections (though I'm not at all keen on war in practice), so I think I may be opposite to you amwmsw04.

108BookAngel_a
Mar 6, 2009, 6:34pm Top

107: If you put the two of us together, we'll LOVE everything!! :D

109alcottacre
Mar 6, 2009, 6:41pm Top

Well, thus far, I am loving it! I am surprised at how readable it actually is.

One thing I have to laugh at every time his name comes up is the physical description of Pierre as a short, dumpy man. Wasn't he played by Henry Fonda in the movie?

110billiejean
Mar 9, 2009, 11:39am Top

I finished the next section of it.

****SPOILER****
I especially enjoyed the part about the artillary who worked tirelessly without support. And I thought that Rostov had had it when he entered battle and then threw his gun instead of firing it!

I find it interesting that the war narrative is written in the first person, our troops advanced, our army retreated, like that.

Poor Pierre, probably wished he had not inherited any money! :D

Anyway, I am enjoying the book. It has been so long since I last read it that it is all new again. :)
--BJ

111alcottacre
Mar 13, 2009, 1:58am Top

Since it is now the 13th, I thought I would go ahead and set up next months read, for March 15th-April 15th. It is about 130 pages, since I was trying to get to a logical stopping point (something I failed to do last month). Anyhow, the section to read for March goes to Volume II, Part Two, Section 1, which in the Pevear-Volokhonsky translation is on page 347.

If you get to the line that reads "After his talk with his wife, Pierre went to Petersburg", stop reading! We will begin there in April.

Questions? Comments? Please feel free to post. Anyone who wants to discuss the book certainly can!

112PiyushC
Mar 13, 2009, 4:31am Top

Haven't gotten around to reading much of War and Peace this month, nearly half of the assigned reading for this month still left for me, will have to boost it up in the next couple of days.

113allthesedarnbooks
Mar 13, 2009, 11:10pm Top

I am woefully behind... hopefully I can catch up in the next month. Unfortunately, I find that by the time I get home from school and do all my reading for class, War and Peace is just not so tempting...

114alcottacre
Mar 14, 2009, 2:32am Top

#113: Maybe just do 10 pages a day? Breaking it up that way might help and not make you feel so overwhelmed.

115kidzdoc
Mar 14, 2009, 10:10am Top

I haven't started either. I like your suggestion Stasia, I think I'll do just that, starting today!

116allthesedarnbooks
Mar 14, 2009, 1:52pm Top

>114 alcottacre:, Good idea! Thanks, Stasia.

117jayde1599
Mar 17, 2009, 2:02pm Top

After a great start on the second section, I fell behind as well. Looks like I will have some down-time to catch up. I am enjoying it so far.

118BookAngel_a
Mar 17, 2009, 5:46pm Top

My biggest reaction to this third reading section (without giving too much away) is feeling sorry for a lot of the characters! "Poor Mary, Poor Lise, Poor Sonya, Poor Nicholas-at times!, Poor Pierre...) I'm really enjoying it though!

119alcottacre
Mar 18, 2009, 12:09am Top

#118: I have a feeling we are in for more of the same throughout the book . . .

120jbeast
Mar 18, 2009, 7:27am Top

I'm jealous of you guys now, since I haven't picked it up for ages. My fault I know, every book I look at grabs me, plus I'm trying to study for a biology exam in may.

Sounds like it's pretty engrossing.

121FlossieT
Mar 19, 2009, 6:28pm Top

I'm way behind so trying to avoid any discussions but.... post from LibriVox on Twitter today says they have War and Peace available. I haven't listened to it so can't testify to the quality, but thought you might all like to know. I've finally got the hang of putting MP3s on my phone so am considering listening to 20-minute bursts during the walk from the station to work.

Link: http://librivox.org/newcatalog/search.php?title=war+and+peace&author=&st...

122Severn
Mar 21, 2009, 5:45pm Top

*whisper*

I haven't read this yet...I tried and couldn't get into it. Bah, where's my commitment!

123alcottacre
Mar 21, 2009, 8:41pm Top

#122: Severn, this is the first time I have read it, so I was not sure what to expect. I have really enjoyed it, but maybe right now is just not the time for you.

124Severn
Mar 21, 2009, 8:54pm Top

It's possible - lots going on. I've been tending to find books I can just relax into reading... (Ok, so The Handmaid's Tale might seem like an odd choice, but it's my kind of thing! Heh).

125lindapanzo
Mar 21, 2009, 9:38pm Top

I've always wanted to read War and Peace but never seem to "get around to it." Is it too late to start? I would certainly have some catching up to do.

126alcottacre
Mar 21, 2009, 9:42pm Top

Linda, please do join in. The more, the merrier. Do not feel like you have to read all 300 pages to catch up at one bite. Take your time just catch up as you can.

127lindapanzo
Mar 21, 2009, 9:47pm Top

I do believe I will, alcottacre. Is everyone using the same translation?

Ever since I got a Kindle for my birthday a few weeks ago, I've been trying to limit my bookbuying to Kindle editions. They seem to have quite a few there, including the Pevear and Volokhnosky edition you mention in your opening post.

128alcottacre
Mar 21, 2009, 9:50pm Top

No, not everyone is using the same translation, which is why when doing the 'assignments' for the month, I am giving the Book number and section number as well as the page number for the Pevear translation that I am using.

129lindapanzo
Mar 21, 2009, 9:53pm Top

Okay, great. I will look into the various Kindle translations and pick one. There's a Table of Contents feature that'll let me move to a particular spot so I can gauge where I should be (assuming I get caught up).

This'll be fun and more motivational than reading it on my own!!

130alcottacre
Mar 21, 2009, 9:54pm Top

Good! Glad you are joining!

131anzlitlovers
Mar 25, 2009, 6:38am Top

I've just finished! What a brilliant book!
I have some video clips on my blog which might interest those still reading - a couple of YouTube excerpts from various film versions, but there are some spoilers so be careful. There's also a link to a site which has all the places mentioned on GoogleMaps, which I found handy when I got a bit confused.
Here's the link http://anzlitlovers.wordpress.com/2009/03/15/war-and-peace-by-leo-tolstoy/
Lisa (ANZLitLovers)
PS Now I'm going to watch the Anthony Hopkins BBC series!

132alcottacre
Mar 25, 2009, 6:48am Top

#131: Thanks for posting that, Lisa. I am sure several of us, including myself, will be taking a look!

133alcottacre
Edited: Apr 1, 2009, 3:40am Top

OK everyone, fess up: it's April 1st . . . where in War and Peace are you? Dum de dum dum

134jbeast
Apr 1, 2009, 8:11am Top

Kind of nowhere, semi-abandoned. Not that I'm happy to admit to this. How about you?

135alcottacre
Apr 1, 2009, 4:50pm Top

I am on pace to finish it as planned. I hope to complete the book before the end of the year.

Sorry you have fallen off the bandwagon, jbeast. It is not too late to climb back on though!

136cushlareads
Apr 1, 2009, 4:56pm Top

I've fallen off but am going to clamber back on soon. The P&V translation is coming out in paperback soon here, and I've ordered it.

137jayde1599
Apr 1, 2009, 4:59pm Top

I am a bit behind, but still plugging along. I've almost finished the Feb15-Mar15 section. I really need to start reading 10 pages a day and not get distracted by other books! I should definitely finish by the end of the year though

138alcottacre
Apr 1, 2009, 6:04pm Top

#136: Cushla, glad to know that you are still staying with us! I have the P&V translation and love it. It reads very well, IMO. I hope you enjoy it once you get your hands on it.

#137: Jess, glad to hear that you are still plugging along. I understand completely about getting distracted by other books.

139CatyM
Apr 1, 2009, 6:08pm Top

I am weeks behind. I do intend to catch up at some point though. I keep getting seduced away from W&P by the promise of instant gratification from books a mere 300 pages long.

140alcottacre
Apr 1, 2009, 8:19pm Top

#139 Caty, pace yourself to maybe 10 pages a day of W&P. Believe me, you will be caught up in no time! I am glad you have not forsaken us entirely.

141billiejean
Apr 10, 2009, 2:16pm Top

I finally finished this section of W&P and found it quite exciting!
--BJ

142PiyushC
Apr 10, 2009, 3:17pm Top

I finished this month's reading 3-4 days back after I more than read this month's quota of The Stand, am onto Don Quixote now.

143alcottacre
Apr 14, 2009, 12:30pm Top

The assignment (I use the term loosely) for April 15-May 15: Volume 2 Part 2 Section I to Volume 2 Part 3 Section XII. In the P-V translation, that is pages 347-447. The text we are ending at begins "Natasha was sixteen, and it was the year 1809 . . ."

144sirfurboy
Apr 27, 2009, 9:10am Top

Eeps - just found this thread and its already nearly May.... where do I have to read to to catch up?

145alcottacre
Edited: Apr 27, 2009, 4:55pm Top

See message 143, sirfurboy. Glad to have you joining us!

146sirfurboy
Apr 27, 2009, 5:39pm Top

Doesn't say much for my reading skills when I miss the answer to my query in the post directly above mine ;)

But thanks. I Just read the first 3 chapters... will let you know when I reach that section.

147alcottacre
May 15, 2009, 6:32pm Top

Sorry I am so late in posting this, but the assignment (I use the term loosely) for May 15-June 15: Volume 2 Part 3 Section XII to Volume 2 Part 5 Section VI. In the P-V translation, that is pages 448-552. The text we are ending at begins "At the end of January, Count Ilya Andreich came to Moscow with Natasha and Sonya." Once you get there, stop reading and wait for next month's installment :)

148billiejean
May 16, 2009, 2:54am Top

Just another group read note, I will be a little behind right now due to my baby's graduation. But I will catch up soon.
--BJ

149alcottacre
May 16, 2009, 2:59am Top

#148: No worries, BJ. Have a wonderful time enjoying your daughter's graduation!

150billiejean
May 16, 2009, 3:00am Top

Thanks! I am so excited!
--BJ

151ChrDaisies
May 19, 2009, 12:47am Top

Hi! I graduated from college on Saturday, and I should have a lot more time to read now. Can I still join?

152billiejean
May 19, 2009, 2:13am Top

Congratulations! That is so great! I think that you should definitely join in. This is a great book.
--BJ

153alcottacre
May 19, 2009, 2:54am Top

#151: Certainly you may still join! We would be pleased to have you. BJ is right - this is a great book.

Congratulations on your college graduation!

154ChrDaisies
May 19, 2009, 11:56am Top

Thanks!

155PiyushC
May 27, 2009, 2:04am Top

I haven't even finished my reading for April 15 - May 15, may the Gods of reading have mercy on me!

156alcottacre
May 27, 2009, 2:18am Top

#155: I have not finished mine for that time period either with recent happenings here, Piyush, so you are not alone! I am hoping to get back on track soon, though.

157CatyM
May 27, 2009, 7:10am Top

Hah! I haven't even finished February's reading yet! I will get back to it at some point. Probably.

158PiyushC
Jun 1, 2009, 9:24am Top

Finally, I finished last month's installment, time to begin this month's!

159MrsBond
Jun 2, 2009, 9:38am Top

End of semester coursework overwhelmed me and I haven't touch the book since end of March. I'm hoping that by publicly declaring my intention to get back to reading, I really will pick up the book again!

160TheTortoise
Jun 2, 2009, 10:57am Top

>159 MrsBond: Mrs. Bond, I haven't touched it since January, I think I might get back to it soon! Maybe in December! :)

~ TT

161jayde1599
Jun 2, 2009, 6:21pm Top

I have a long flight on Thursday, so I am hoping that gets me back on track. June is my W&P month, otherwise I will keep getting distracted

162jayde1599
Jun 2, 2009, 6:21pm Top

I have a long flight on Thursday, so I am hoping that gets me back on track. June is my W&P month, otherwise I will keep getting distracted

163cushlareads
Jun 5, 2009, 4:25pm Top

#138 Stasia, I splurged on a hardback ($65!! (about US$40)) copy of the P&V translation yesterday and I'm so excited. The paperback version still isn't out here. I started it last night and am now going to try to catch you all up.... we'll see if I get sidetracked by real life and Other Books.

164alcottacre
Jun 6, 2009, 8:04am Top

#163: Wow! I hope you get your money's worth, Cushla (I honestly think you will - the book is deservedly a classic).

165alcottacre
Jun 14, 2009, 5:51pm Top

All right, another month another 'assignment' for June 15-July 15: Volume 2 Part 5 Section VI to Volume 3, Part 1 section 1. In the P-V translation, that is pages 552-682. The text we are ending at begins "Napoleon started the war with Russia because he could not help going to Dresden. . ." Once you get there, stop reading and wait for next month's installment :)

166booksontrial
Jun 26, 2009, 2:08am Top

I'm about one-third of the way through, using Maude's translation. Both reading and listening to audiobook whenever I get a chance. I think I'm behind your 'assignment', but hopefully I can finish it soon. It's a great read!

167alcottacre
Jun 26, 2009, 2:12pm Top

Congratulations on making it thus far! My 'assignments' are just general guidelines - several people have gotten behind and then just caught up as they could (myself included) because sometimes real life just plain interferes! I am glad you decided to join in with us.

168bookgirl271
Jun 30, 2009, 8:38pm Top

I've just started W&P, and was invited to join in the group read over here (thanks cmt!). I'm 50 pages in so far, so I'm a bit behind the "suggested reading". I had to re-read the first 50 pages because I was getting all the characters completely muddled. I typed up a little who's-who and it's much easier now.

169BookAngel_a
Jun 30, 2009, 8:41pm Top

Yeah, I had character trouble in the beginning too. Earlier in this thread there is a link to a W&P character list that you could print out. But what you did probably works fine.
Now that we are over halfway there, I don't really look at my character list that much anymore. They are all sticking in my head now, lol. But I used it a lot in the first half.
Welcome, and have fun!

170bookgirl271
Jun 30, 2009, 10:45pm Top

Thanks. Yeah I figure once I'm into the book I'll know who they all are, but when I first started, I couldn't follow what was happening. In my version the one character is sometimes called Natasha, Natalya, the Princess, the Countess. I thought they were four different people.

171booksontrial
Jul 2, 2009, 4:09am Top

At long last, I was able to finish War and Peace, covering two-thirds of the book over the past week. Joining this thread and being on vacation helped, as otherwise I would not have been so driven. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Has anybody read Anna Karenina? I wonder whether that book is as good as this one.

172cushlareads
Jul 2, 2009, 4:24am Top

Two thirds in a WEEK?!?! That's a great effort.
Haven't read AK yet, but have heard only good things from those who have.

173PiyushC
Jul 2, 2009, 7:53am Top

Wow, 2/3 of W&P in a week sounds daunting!

I have read AK last year and it is quite good, though totally different to W&P, I am sure you will have a great time with that one too.

174yosarian
Jul 2, 2009, 9:08am Top


I'm sensing perhaps our next group read here ... :) ... maybe a tolstoy reading group.
but please not for a while, I'm still struggling to catch everyone up with W&P ... I think I need some of booksontrial reading stamina to catch up ... two thirds in a week is a towering acheivment!
I am still greatly enjoying it though, a lot more than I ever thought I would. I have been looking at the spine for about 3 - 4 years now and I'm glad I finally decided to open the book!

175BookAngel_a
Jul 2, 2009, 9:44am Top

I posted a message on the group read thread of Anna Karenina, asking if anyone wanted to do a group read of it with me in 2010. I can't handle another group read at the moment, with War and Peace, Don Quixote, and Bleak House. I really want to read AK, but I think I need group support to motivate me.
Does that sound good to anyone?

Angela

176booksontrial
Edited: Jul 2, 2009, 2:04pm Top

It took me at least three attempts and more than a year's time to finish War and Peace, and I'm certainly glad that I finally did.

Like a good farmer who sows the seeds, cultivates, waters, and patiently waits for the crops to mature, Tolstoy lets his characters develop slowly, giving vivid descriptions of their external and internal lives as they unfold.

War and Peace is a true work of art (according to Tolstoy's own definition in What is Art). He transmits his own feelings strongly to his readers through the characters, his love of life (Pierre and Natasha) and spiritual strivings (Prince Andrew and Princess Mary). I found myself laughing and weeping together with the characters, and reflecting on their reflections.

It seems to cover all the various aspects of life so completely that I wonder whether or how Anna Karenina and his other works can add to that.

177Cait86
Jul 2, 2009, 2:01pm Top

#176 - If you are interested in reading Anna Karenina, booksontrial, we do have a group read of it going on too. Check out the thread if you like - I would put in the link, but I have no idea how - and join in!

178booksontrial
Jul 2, 2009, 3:03pm Top

amwmsw04 and Cait86,

Thanks for the tip on Anna Karenina group read thread. I found the URL on the group page http://www.librarything.com/topic/58966

Having just finished War and Peace, I feel like I just had a full meal and need to let it settle a bit before having another. (Actually I'm waiting to get a hold on the audiobook version of Anna Karenina).

179BookMarkMe
Jul 3, 2009, 12:55pm Top

It's a shame I never found this thread 6 months ago as I've just started War and Peace, well a 100 pages in and still trying to get to grips with all the names :-)

180alcottacre
Jul 3, 2009, 2:51pm Top

I put this in an earlier message, because I struggled with keeping all the names straight when I first started the book:

Check out the list here: http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/warandpeace/characters.html.

I hope it helps!

181BookMarkMe
Jul 3, 2009, 4:54pm Top

>>>180 alcottacre:

Thanks for that, I've printed it out, that should help a great deal :-)

182sirfurboy
Jul 13, 2009, 5:20am Top

I just spent the weekend catching up on this. I am now up to date with the reading.

The books started slowly in my opinion. Introducing a huge cast of characters made it difficult to get much out of any of them, but once we had some action with Prince Andrew (or Andrey or whatever your translation says), I was pretty much hooked.

Then again some of the love interest had me yawning ;) Thus I was glad that in this month's section we got on to the war with Napoleon.

I like the character of Pierre although look with some dismay where Tolstoy may be taking him. I especially enjoyed the numerology bit - even if the numbering used is so obviously spurious. That after all, seems to be the point!

Now I have to get up to date with Anna Karenina, before resuming my more usual reading!

183alcottacre
Jul 14, 2009, 12:38am Top

I am leaving tomorrow to go out of town again, so I am posting a little early. I admit that I am behind between my father's stroke situation and traveling intermittently over the past 3 weeks, but I am hoping to catch up before next month.

Anyway, this month's reading assignment (for July 15-August 15) is Volume 3, Part 2 section 1 to Volume 3, Part 2, section 27. In the P-V translation, that is pages 682-783. The text we are ending at begins "Many historians say that the battle of Borodino was not won by the French. . ." Once you get there, stop reading and wait for next month's installment :)

184cushlareads
Jul 14, 2009, 1:17am Top

Every time I start to catch up a month has gone past! I got to page 200 last night and am really hooked, but way behind. Never mind.

Sirfurboy I've just finished Part 2 of Vol 1 - the first war bit - and thought it was great. Haven't got to the numerology bit... that'll be 2015 for me at this rate!

185alcottacre
Jul 14, 2009, 1:20am Top

Cushla, the group really is only to encourage each other to finish the book. Just take it at your own pace and do not pressure yourself :)

186cushlareads
Jul 14, 2009, 1:22am Top

Don't worry, I'm having a race with my husband (he's reading AK, and he's 40 pages in... I think I'll be ok!)

187alcottacre
Jul 14, 2009, 1:25am Top

That's good to hear!

I have not read Anna Karenina yet, and I think that one is going to have to wait until next year since I am already doing W&P, Bleak House and Don Quixote.

188billiejean
Jul 27, 2009, 2:42pm Top

Just checking in on my group reads and I am behind on this one as well. However, I am eternally optimistic that I will catch up before the group finishes the book. I do love Tolstoy.
--BJ

189alcottacre
Edited: Aug 17, 2009, 7:49pm Top

This month's reading assignment (for August 15 {yes, I know I am behind, blast it}-September 15) is Volume 3, Part 2, section 27 to Volume 3, Part 3, section 28 . In the P-V translation, that is pages 783-901. The text we are ending at begins "Pierre, having decided to himself . . ." Once you get there, stop reading and wait for next month's installment, which hopefully will be on time!

190billiejean
Sep 11, 2009, 12:09pm Top

Just checking in to say that I have at last caught up on War and Peace and am ready for the next section.
--BJ

191alcottacre
Sep 15, 2009, 2:30pm Top

In the P-V translation I am using, we have just over 300 pages to go, so we are right on track to get finished by year end.

This month's reading assignment for September 15-October 15 is Volume 3, Part 3, section 28 to Volume 4, Part 2, Section IX. In the P-V translation, that is pages 901-1002. The text we are ending at begins "In the military respect, Napoleon, as soon as he enters Moscow . . ." Once you get there, stop reading and wait for the next installment!

192billiejean
Sep 15, 2009, 3:27pm Top

I've got it marked. I am excited that we are so close to the end of this epic! :)
--BJ

193alcottacre
Sep 15, 2009, 3:36pm Top

So am I!

194rainpebble
Sep 16, 2009, 12:05am Top

So-----------is it too late to join in?
I am thinking that a group read is the only way I will get this one read. Do you mind if I attempt to play catch-up and read along? When is your finish date?
belva

195alcottacre
Sep 16, 2009, 12:11am Top

It is never too late to join in, Belva. We are aiming for being done by the end of the year.

196billiejean
Sep 16, 2009, 9:06am Top

Belva, it is a great book! I am so glad that you are going to read along with us!
--BJ

197rainpebble
Sep 16, 2009, 12:34pm Top

Thank you Stasia (and --BJ);
I began it last night in anticipation of your response. I try to be an optimist. We are still at the party, just a few pages in, but will continue on today as I have a whale of a tale to catch up to the rest of you but if I have until the end of the year, I think I can manage if my life stays as steady as it is right now.
Thank you again. And I will see you both later.
belva

198jayde1599
Sep 16, 2009, 7:16pm Top

Belva, you are not the only one with catching up to do -- I fell behind!

I'm finishing up book #75 now, and then spending some quality time on W&P. It helps that it is an interesting story

199rainpebble
Sep 17, 2009, 12:08am Top

I am only 30 some pages in but am finding it interesting and the writing is amazingly like that of his Anna Karinina. But that one wimpy little guy, Pierre; I am already wanting to just slap him across the room.
belva

200allthesedarnbooks
Sep 17, 2009, 12:40am Top

Belva and jayde1599... I stopped reading it in March. Hopefully I will pick it up again sometime soon. I am awed by everyone else's fortitude for group reads!

201billiejean
Sep 17, 2009, 12:58am Top

#200 I put the book down for quite a while during my daughter's graduation and our summer travels. However, I did find that picking it up and getting back into the story was not as hard as I feared it would be. Tolstoy is such a great storyteller. I have this other book that I put down at the same time and have not yet returned to. I am hoping that I will pick it up soon as well.
--BJ

202alcottacre
Sep 17, 2009, 1:22am Top

I think probably all of us have had to set aside the book at one time or other. I know I had to when Dad had his stroke. It took a while, but I finally caught back up again.

I am seriously thinking of reading Anna Karenina next year.

203allthesedarnbooks
Sep 17, 2009, 1:31am Top

I love Anna Karenina, Stasia! It's a much quicker read than War and Peace, at least for me.

204alcottacre
Sep 17, 2009, 1:56am Top

That's good to know, Marcia.

205billiejean
Sep 17, 2009, 2:07am Top

Anna Karenina is one of my favorite books of all time. And it is both shorter (though still long) and has fewer characters.
--BJ

206BookAngel_a
Sep 17, 2009, 8:17am Top

Count me in for reading AK next year too!!

207alcottacre
Sep 17, 2009, 9:57pm Top

Would you be interested in doing a group read again, Angela? Maybe starting mid-January like we did this year for War and Peace?

208BookAngel_a
Sep 17, 2009, 10:34pm Top

Oh, absolutely! And I'm sure there's a few more who couldn't read it this year and would be willing to join. I even have a copy here on my shelves - got it for this year's group read but found I had joined too many group reads at once!

209rainpebble
Sep 18, 2009, 4:15am Top

Ha! Talk to --BJ, Angela. According to her, it is possible to do 7 of the things at once. She is just the little "Group Read Queen"!~! Lord love her.
belva

210billiejean
Sep 18, 2009, 9:17am Top

I sign up for 7, but I would not say that I succeed in it. I just love group reads, though. :)
--BJ

211BookAngel_a
Sep 18, 2009, 11:15am Top

Lol! SEVEN??? I'm in awe...

212billiejean
Sep 18, 2009, 9:04pm Top

It is just an example of can't say No. There are so many great books out there. Like War and Peace. This was just what I needed!
--BJ

213englishrose60
Sep 20, 2009, 7:44am Top

Hello everyone. Belva kindly told me of this group read. I am in 100 Book Challenge but I hope I may join you for the rest of 2009 in reading W & P. My copy is Book 51 of the Great Books Collection. It is divided into 15 Books and 2 Epilogues, so if I manage to read a Book each week I should complete it by end of year. Hoping to finish Book 1 today (Sunday) and start Book 2 tomorrow.

214alcottacre
Sep 20, 2009, 9:37am Top

#213: Welcome to our group read. Everyone is welcome!

215rainpebble
Sep 20, 2009, 2:29pm Top

>213 englishrose60::
Valerie;
My book is one of the "Modern Library Giants" series. I should check and see which one it is numbered. It is divided into Parts rather than Books, but there are 15 of them plus a 2 Part Epilogue , so I am thinking that it is most likely divided exactly the same as your copy.
I am currently in Part/Book II, section XVIII or page (if we are set up the same) 163.
I think that we will neck and neck it together and finish up with the rest of them. I figured that if I read an average of 11 pages per day I can finish by the end of the year along with the group so I am very excited that it might be able to be done as it is a "Herculean" volume.
Good luck to us, 'eh englishrose60?!?!
hugs,
belva

P.S. Thank you, Stasia for so graciously welcoming us at this late date.
belva

216sirfurboy
Sep 24, 2009, 4:31am Top

Well I finally got on with my reading to September 15th, and then got caught up in the story so kept going so I am sorry to say I have now completed the book.

I liked the detail in this month's reading though. It covers stuff I remember learning in school, but in so much more detail - and I love Tolstoy's view of history, which makes much more sense to me than the view by other authors that single actors, through their brilliance, can change the course of history.

Maybe Tolstoy goes a little too far with it - but its an important corrective to a very common error that blights many a good book.

217billiejean
Sep 28, 2009, 11:29am Top

Congrats on finishing the book! I just picked my copy up last night late when I got home and thought Wow, we are almost finished!
--BJ

218billiejean
Oct 7, 2009, 2:24pm Top

Just checking in to say that I read for the October 15th deadline.
--BJ

219alcottacre
Oct 9, 2009, 4:15am Top

I am going to be out of town the majority of next week, so the reading assignment is going to be a few days behind, I am afraid. Sorry, but I refuse to cart Tolstoy and Dickens with me on the trip!

220billiejean
Oct 9, 2009, 10:21am Top

You would need a whole suitcase just for the two of them!
--BJ

221BookAngel_a
Oct 9, 2009, 10:28pm Top

Lol, Stasia - no one blames you for that! I considered taking W&P with me for a 4 day weekend trip, but I figured it wasn't necessarily 'light vacation reading!'

222billiejean
Oct 12, 2009, 1:19am Top

Just checking in to say that I went ahead and finished the book. :)
--BJ

223alcottacre
Oct 16, 2009, 12:39am Top

Well, we are coming into the home stretch! I hope everyone is still with us.

This month's reading assignment for October 15-November 15 is Volume 4, Part 2, Section IX to Volume IV, Part 4, Section XI. In the P-V translation, that is pages 1002-1100. The text we are ending at begins "The next day the field marshall gave a dinner and a ball . . ." Once you get there, stop reading and wait for the final installment - can you believe it?!

224BookAngel_a
Oct 16, 2009, 7:43pm Top

Thanks, Stasia - I'm still here...can't believe it - this is the longest fiction book I've ever read!!

225alcottacre
Nov 17, 2009, 1:18pm Top

The reading assignment for November 15-December 15 is to complete the book for those of you (like me) who have not done so already. Happy reading!

226BookAngel_a
Nov 17, 2009, 6:47pm Top

Thank you Stasia for organizing this group read. I would not have made it through W&P without it...looking forward to more group reads next year!

227billiejean
Edited: Nov 19, 2009, 8:16pm Top

My thanks, too. A group to read with definitely helps with a book this long.
--BJ

ET fix typo. Still always have typos!!

228alcottacre
Nov 19, 2009, 4:42pm Top

It has certainly been my pleasure. Thank you ladies and I hope you will be joining in more group reads next year!

229rainpebble
Nov 30, 2009, 3:35pm Top

Well, I am still here if no one else is. I am up to Part 9, Chapter 8. (in my book, that is page 585)
Balashov has just departed Napoleon's company and is on his way back to Alexander.
I am enjoying War and Peace much more since finishing Life and Fate. Grossman's work was so fast paced and Tolstoy's is slower so it was difficult bouncing back and forth between the two rhythms.
Have you finished already Valerie?
belva

230alcottacre
Nov 30, 2009, 7:09pm Top

I am still here, too. I do not anticipate finishing before the 15th, so you are not alone, Belva!

231rainpebble
Dec 2, 2009, 8:45pm Top

It's nice not to be alone. Thank you for noting that Stasia!~!
belva

232alcottacre
Dec 6, 2009, 12:20am Top

Well, I finished the book moments ago. I had determined that if I made it to 500 books this year, War and Peace was going to be the 500th, and so it was. All I can say about the book is 'Wow!' I am sorry that I had not read it before now. I am really looking forward to the group read of Anna Karenina next year.

233BookAngel_a
Dec 6, 2009, 5:43pm Top

Yay for Stasia! Talk about hitting 500 with a bang...

I'm excited for AK next year too.

234rainpebble
Dec 9, 2009, 7:53pm Top

I have about 150 pages to go yet. Am still thinking I will be done in plenty of time. But I do want to finish this read before beginning the Les Miserables group read which began Dec 1st. I did go ahead with Clarel which is less than 500 pages and began with the equinox. (7th) I have found that one tome at a time is enough for me and I fill with lighter fare when I need a break. So I am reading some Christmas stories and some shorter books as well.
Yeah, I have found Pierre a little different also. But I actually like most of the characters. And I love Tolstoy's writing. He draws one in and writes his characters so that one cares what happens to them.
Stasia, I think you would enjoy Anna Karinina quite a lot. And it is much easier going than War and Peace. I think it took me about two weeks to read it.
later dayz,
belva

235alcottacre
Dec 9, 2009, 8:57pm Top

I got the P-V translation of Anna Karenina for next year, since I enjoyed their translation of War and Peace so much, Belva. I am hoping I enjoy it as much as I did W&P.

236rainpebble
Dec 10, 2009, 2:28pm Top

I hope so too Stasia.
I am now at Part 15. We are leaving Moscow and all of these last parts have been absolutely wonderful!~! Pierre is becoming quite the inward philosopher. I am liking it. A lot. I think I just love how Tolstoy writes and both in this book and in Life and Fate----I cannot remember if, in Anna Karinina, there is mention of a Tolstoy. I wonder where that comes from. I just found it interesting. And Tolstoy writes as if he were right there. It is very easy to be sucked right into the book. I am going to hate for this one to end but just 100 more pages. :-(
belva

237billiejean
Dec 11, 2009, 3:08pm Top

Just popping by to say that I am glad everyone is still enjoying the read. I think that I liked it better this time than last time. More fun not reading for school, don'tcha know? And there is no long paper to write either!!!
--BJ

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2009

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