After I finished reading Alice Hoffman's The Museum of Extraordinary Things on the first of this month, I decided it was high time I tackled War and Peace. I started the monster-novel way back in February for Hanna's readalong, but ended up falling at the first hurdle. I made it through the first two hundred pages and was really enjoying it so I'm still not sure what lead me to hide it by the side of my bed for the next two months.
I think part of it was the size (any excuse). The book didn't fit in my handbag terribly well so I had it set aside as bedtime reading, but I was inevitably too tired to read more than a few pages before I dozed off with all 1000+ pages threatening to suffocate me in my sleep. Essentially it was becoming a health hazard.
This time around I bought the kindle version which, you'll be pleased to know, is posing much less of a threat.
Throughout May I've been carrying my kindle with me absolutely everywhere and reading whenever I have a chance. Unfortunately this has mostly been limited to my commute and the odd few pages before bed, though even with this I'm making significant progress.
I wrote earlier in the month about using books to lift your mood and talked about how tackling that book can really provide a huge sense of achievement. War and Peace is that book for me and the more progress I make with it, the better I feel and the more positive and motivated I feel. It's almost one of those 'if I can do this, I can do anything' tasks.
Even though reading War and Peace is a goal and something I want to achieve, it is also something I am really loving. Sure, some bits are a little dry, but the crux of it is wonderful. I love dipping in and out of the characters's lives and seeing how they grow and change as they face new and exciting challenges. I'm a little bit in love with Pierre, and Natasha, though she drives me crazy, is just the most compelling person.
I've had a couple of near misses on the tube (near sobbing misses, I mean), and more than once I've laughed out loud. The kindle highlight function is being used and abused, and generally I'm just trying to inhale it all.
I'm looking forward to getting to the end, not because I want it to be over, but because I want to see how it ends and how we could possibly leave these characters. Pierre, what will I do without you?
What books have you enjoyed this month? Do you have a book you'd love to tackle one day?