The rumours are true: Reading in Bed’s fourth summer read-along starts July 1, and we’re going to read War and Peace!
Also, “isn’t there already a War and Peace readalong that started on June 1st?” Well, yes. I’ve been planning this read-along for months. Yamini and Ange’s readalong caught me off guard. I considered packing it in, because they have huge followings, and they’ve both read the book before. What do I have to offer, other than GIFS GALORE (thank you, recent Lifetime adaptation)?
On the other hand, I thought it would be nice to have a little corner of the internet for War and Peace newbs. We can learn about Russian to English translation, the Napoleonic Wars, and Freemasonry together! And so, I give you the War and Peace Newbies Read-Along!
War and Peace is broken into Volumes, Parts, and Chapters. There are 17 parts in total, and I’ve distributed those so that we’re reading about 125 pages per week. Here’s my proposed posting schedule, with posts going up on Mondays:
- Soon: The War and Peace Newbie Tag
- July 3: Start reading!
- July 10: Volume I, Part I
- July 17: Volume I, Part II
- July 24: Volume I, Part III
- July 31: Volume II, Parts I and II
- August 7: Volume II, Parts III and IV
- August 14: Volume II, Part V and Volume III, Part I
- August 21: Volume III, Part II
- August 28: Volume III, Part III
- September 4: Volume IV, Parts I and II
- September 11: Volume IV, Parts III and IV
- September 18: Epilogues I and II
- Late September: Draw winners, wrap up, etc.
How to choose an edition:
The nice thing about a concurrent read-along hosted by people who’ve actually read the book is that they have a wealth of resources for us newbs to refer to! See below for a list of all the editions and translations, sample translations, and two video discussions of translations.
I’m reading Pevear & Volokhonsky on paper, and Maude on ebook. Because the paper copy weighs a TON, I’ll probably read more from the Maude translation.
Here’s a much shorter video by Amanda Centre, which also gives you a taste for various translations:
I missed the bribery aspect last year, so I’m bringing it back. I’ll choose a random read-alonger to receive a Litographs W&P tshirt, which contains 40,000 words of the text. To win, you have to comment on this post, you have to participate a little bit, (comment, tweet, etc) and you really should finish the book.
Why War and Peace?
- Once you go over 1K pages for your summer read-along, you can’t go back
- Excuse to rewetch the mini-series
- Russia is so hot right now
- Find out how Tolstoy wrote both the best first line in literature (see: happy families, all the same, etc.) and the worst first line in literature (you’ll see)
- The hats
Leave a comment below if you’re in! Obviously, if you HAVE read War and Peace before, you can still read with us. Just be gentle. We might not all be up on our Napoleonic Wars trivia.