Sunday, June 18, 2017

BW25: June Equinox



Happy Father's Day to all our dad's.  Are you ready for the June solstice - the longest day in the Northern Hemisphere and the shortest day in the Southern Hemisphere?   The Solstice is upon us Wednesday the 21st and Summer officially begins here on the northern side of the world.   However, it seems to have arrived a few days early.    We are in the midst of a heat wave with over 100 degree temps expected for a week or more, so I'll be hibernating at home, cool and cozy.    

You can jump into summer or winter reads, depending on your location,  choosing books that are synonymous with the season. Or you can dive into one (or two or three) of those chunky and dusty books sitting on your shelves that you haven't had to time to read during the busyness of the year. A number of Well Trained Mind 52 Books readers are taking the plunge with Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace, including myself. 

If you've haven't read War and Peace, now would be a great time to do so.    If you've already read the story, it is the perfect opportunity to  reread it.  I read it a few years back and devoured the story in a couple weeks, so I'm looking forward to reading it a bit more slowly and taking in all the fine details.  

Tolstoy blends history with fiction to create a fascinating, educational, classical story about war, politics, society, family, love, culture, and power. A character study during the early 1800's and impact the French invasion of Russia had upon five aristocratic families. 

Synopsis (Briggs translation):  "At a lavish party in St. Petersburg in 1805, amid the glittering crystal and chandeliers, the room buzzes with talk of the prospect of war. Soon battle and terror will engulf the country, and the destinies of its people will be changed forever. War and Peace has as its backdrop Napoleon's invasion of Russia and at its heart three of literature's most memorable characters: Pierre Bezukhov, a quixotic young man in search of life's meaning; Prince Andrey Bolkonsky, a cynical intellectual transformed by suffering in war; and the bewitching Natasha Rostov, whose impulsiveness threatens to destroy her happiness. As they seek fulfillment, fall in love, make mistakes, and become scarred by conflict in different ways, these characters and their stories interweave with those of a huge cast, from aristocrats to peasants, from soldiers to Napoleon himself. Battles, love affairs, births, deaths, changing family fortunes, unforgettable scenes of wolf hunts, Russian dancing, starlit troika rides, the great comet of 1812--the entire spectrum of human life is here in all its grandeur and imperfection."


Have I talked you into it yet?  *grin*  If you aren’t completely convinced, check out Andrew Kaufman’s Give War and Peace a Chance: Tolstoyan Wisdom for Troubled Times.  Also check out Tolstoy Therapy’s  Why Read War and Peace: Reasons why I love Tolstoy’s Masterpiece  and also his  Tips for Reading War and Peace


We're going to take it slowly with plenty of time built in to talk about the story.  There are four volumes, with three to five parts each and the epilogue.  Each volume will probably take you approximately two to three weeks depending on your reading speed, plus the density of the story.  

Volume One

Part 1  Ch 1 to 25 (110 pages)
Part 2  Ch 1 to 21 (95 pages)
Part 3  Ch 1 to 19 (100 pages)

Volume Two

Part 1 Ch 1 to 16 (56 pages)
Part 2 Ch 1 to 21 (78 pages)
Part 3 Ch 1 to 26 (79 pages)
Part 4 Ch 1 to 13 (54 pages)
Part 5 Ch 1 to 22 (75 pages)

Volume Three 

Part 1 Ch 1 to 23 (87 pages)
Part 2 Ch 1 to 39 (154 pages)
Part 3 Ch 1 to 34 (122 pages)

Volume Four 

Part 1 Ch 1 to 16 (57 pages)
Part 2 Ch 1 to 19 (49 pages)
Part 3 Ch 1 to 19 (49 pages)
Part 4 Ch 1 to 20 (60 pages)

Epilogue 

Part 1  Ch 1 - 16 (157 pages)
Part 2  Ch 1 - 12 (41 pages)

Join us in reading Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace!



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