A Year of War and Peace, the Halfway Point (and Favorites of 2018 so far!)

Back in January, I decided to conquer War and Peace over the year and I'm proud to report that I'm still on track and over the halfway point at page 797!

This has been an interesting exercise, and I've learned a few things about my reading habits along the way...
For one thing, I AM capable of enjoying more than one book at a time. I have always been monogamous with my print books: I never start a new one until I am done with my current read. The only exception to this rule is audiobooks. I can listen to one while reading one, but even then, I only do nonfiction on audio to keep them totally separate. Reading War and Peace has opened up the possibility for me to perhaps tackle a yearly doorstop. It's akin to turning on a soap opera every day, like I did back in college!
It's a great way to transition between current reads. When I have finished a physical book, I almost always wait until the following day to start a new book - or, at least delineate the time in some way (complete some tasks, wait until after dinner, or some TV) before starting another book. Checking in with the characters of War and Peace is like a palate cleanser between stories. 
There is something meditative about reading War and Peace daily. Maybe it's the prose, or having to really concentrate on what is going on: the complex history and the huge cast of characters that go by many different nicknames require my full attention. It has become a time to switch off worrying, thinking about the to do list, or zone out.
I am also reminded of my own advice for reading more, or any big endeavor: breaking it down into small daily tasks is a great way to accomplish your goal. The idea of reading a 1400 page book seems sort of ludicrous. But, I honestly am pretty amazed at how much I've accomplished already and I have already been thinking about what big book I want to tackle next year!
That being said, there were certainly days when I didn't feel like picking it up, and I didn't bring it along on vacation. Rather than giving up altogether, which I contemplated from time to time, I just chose to do what I could, when I could to catch up. In general, it's not a reason to give up on something when you have a setback. To be clear, I am enjoying the story, and I'm glad to be reading it! This hasn't felt like a chore, because I've given myself permission to read it when I feel like it, and it has worked out so far.

Since we're halfway through the year, I thought I'd also round up a few books that I think will most likely be on my best of 2018 list (here's the link to previous years and other book lists). There are a few that might squeak on to the list, and maybe one or two might fall off of a top ten, but here are five books that I've loved so far this year:

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (review here)
You Think It, I'll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld (review here)
Glitter and Glue by Kelly Corrigan (review here)
How to Be Famous by Caitlin Moran (review here)
The Book of Essie by Meghan MacLean Weir (review here)


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