War and Peace, Volume 1

I’m participating in A Literary Odyssey’s reading of War and Peace and today marks our first check in date.   We’re all supposed to have completed volume one, but I’m about 50 pages shy of completion.

I have a good excuse:

No, this isn’t Atticus!  Its…

Leo!  Coincidently, War and Peace can wear a size 3-6 month onesie.   My problem is that since this book is as large as my baby, I have a difficult time getting to read.  I read a bit at night when Atticus goes to bed, but I can’t take advantage of reading while nursing.  I’m afraid it is just too much!

When I do get a chance to read, I find myself truly immersed in the Napoleonic world of War and Peace.  I have a second confession to make, this will be my second reading of War and Peace.  I read the novel the summer of 2006; I liked it, but didn’t love it.  I thought it a bit wooden.  Then I learned that I picked a bum translation!  Ack!

Gratefully, a wonderful friend bought me a lovely hardback copy of the Pevear and Volokhonsky translation.  This reading is going much better.  The dialogue flows more smoothly and the personality of the characters really shine.

I am finding that I really wish I knew more about Russian history; especially about the Napoleonic wars.  I’m searching for a non-fiction book with a good overview and I’m open to recommendations.

How’s the read going for everyone else?

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10 comments

  1. Ha ha, I like that: the book is as large as my baby!

    Well, you don’t abandon your baby, do you? So don’t give up on the book! 🙂

    I haven’t read it and to be honest, I’m not very interested in reading it.

  2. I’m so impressed that you are reading it for a second time. Even though I’m enjoying it, I don’t think it’s something that I’ll read again. I’m glad you’re enjoying this translation better.

    I have three kids and I used to love reading when I was nursing. I usually only had one hand free so I can see why it wouldn’t work to read this one–especially the hardback. Definitely a two hander of a book.

    I don’t know much about the history behind this war either. It would be interesting to research.

    Good luck with the next volume!

  3. I’m doing the year-long readalong of War and Peace (because I think that’s all I could handle). I downloaded it to Nook because I know darn good and well I would die if I had to hold it or carry it around.

    I will say, after four pages, I’m ready to snooze, but I will endure. So far I’m not on track for my chapter-a-day, though. Ugg!!!

    Made me laugh out loud that it fits in the 3-6 month onesie. Hilarious!

  4. I would like to suggest a few books for background on War and Peace.

    Natasha’s Dance: a cultural history of Russia – Orlando Figes

    Land of the Firebird: The Beauty of Old Russia – Suzanne Massie

    Life on the Russian Country Estate: A Social and Cultural History – Priscilla Roosevelt

    Moscow 1812: Napoleon’s Fatal March – Adam Zamoyski (military and political history)

    Russia against Napoleon: the true story of the campaigns of War and Peace – Dominic Lieven (military and political history)

    I have all in my personal library except the Lieven (it is reviewed positively on Amazon), and have used them for reference and inspiration during my past readings of War and Peace. I have found them to be useful and illuminating.

    Happy Reading!!!!

  5. As I read it I’m definitely wishing I new more about Russia in general. Apparently it’s a bit of a blind spot in my history knowledge. I’m loving the book though!

  6. OMG Amanda, that picture cracked me up. I read about 1/3 of it a couple years ago and, while I was enjoying it at first, I got lost in all the battles and names and names and battles and, well, you get the picture. Good luck! Too bad you can’t read it while nursing, it’s not like you can get away from it then! lol

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