Completing War and Peace and Looking Towards 2019

Done. FINALLY done. Can you tell I got a little resentful of War and Peace by the end of the year? Ha! There's something about year-end reading and the pull of the 'best of lists' (I'll add mine to the pile soon) or just wanting to get to all the holiday books on my shelf. For sure, throughout the year, sitting down with this doorstop did not feel burdensome and I was hopeful about the story's conclusion. However, in the final chapters and weeks of reading, I wasn't getting any emotional investment in the characters or their predicaments. You would think after 1400 or so pages I would have felt like I knew these people inside and out and been invested in their fates. Alas...  
I will say that it was totally accessible reading and not terribly complex - just long. There were certainly parts I enjoyed, mostly anything having to do with the women in the story, and Pierre. Sadly those parts were given short shrift to all of the incessant minutiae of the battle scenes. Which is ironic, because Tolstoy goes on at length about how the planning doesn't matter in war, just luck and circumstance. I'm glad to know the story. I'm glad that I learned a lot about my reading habits. I'm glad I did something new. I'm glad I saw it through. I'm glad I have this lovely Penguin Clothbound Classics edition to commemorate this task.
The thought did cross my mind to tackle another humongous classic, perhaps Les Miserables because I adore that story and definitely would be invested in the characters! But since I know the plot already, I don't think it would be an impactful reading experience. My other reading goals, reading from my unread shelf and books I've been meaning to read, really went by the wayside this year. I'd rather put my effort into that again, as well as reading more work by POC and own voices (fingers crossed for at least one a month and perhaps a dedicated review) rather than classics by old white dudes. 
So that's pretty much it for the yearly goals! Perhaps I'll do even more simplifying here - most of my interaction with publishers happens on Instagram and microblogging over there is way more fun. Although minimizing has already been a natural progression on this space, gradually going from 185 posts in 2012 (!) to 44 this year. I shall be back soon, though, with December books read, yearly favorites, and a review of the new Karen Thompson Walker book - The Dreamers. So, I hope you stay tuned and please do come join me on Instagram if you are so inclined!


  1. Ugh, you are my hero for getting through this one; I, too, find that I don't gather much meaning from most of the classics, especially the ones I've already read or already know the story. I do think it's nice to have something like this to fall back on, though, in between other reads, etc. I've been using poetry for my fix this year. I'm excited to hear your thoughts on The Dreamers; it's on my list!

    1. Yes! What meaning is it bringing to my life, other than having read it?? Oh man, as I told ya on IG, The Dreamers is EXCELLENT.