My Friend Amy's War and Peace readalong. Because I promised myself I'd read this before I turned 26 (coming up in November), and because I also intend to participate in more readalongs this year, because I always enjoy them so much. And also because I don't know that I could get through a book like War and Peace without some sort of schedule, structure, and encouragement.
But where does one even begin? I've followed along as other bloggers have read the tome, and even as some other bloggers have started and abandoned it, and everyone seems to have different advice. Treat it like any other book. Make sure to read the historical context. Keep Wikipedia handy as you go to reference names and dates. Keep a character list handy to reference names and dates. Etc, etc, etc.
I read Anna Karenina last year, and actually found that it was not nearly as difficult as I had anticipated it to be, so perhaps I am ramping myself up for nothing in starting War and Peace. Or perhaps they really are different, after all.
Have you read it? If so, what is your advice for a newbie reader with little-to-no knowledge of the context of the novel? Are there any essays or criticisms I should read before starting that do not spoil the story? I'll be reading the Peaver/Volonkhonsky translation (pictured above) - is that a good one?
War and Peace | Leo Tolstoy, trans. Richard Peaver and Larissa Volokhonsky | Paperback | 2008, originally published 1869 | 1296 pages | Buy from an independent near you