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War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy


In 2019, I posted War and Peace, one of my favorite books of all time, with just one sentence promising I would "complete this post soon." Soon came and went and now 2022 is fast approaching with its menace of more resolutions, so I am determined to finish today (I also said that last week...)

I started intending to post books as I read them: read, post; read, post, read, post, etc., but that has not worked. Instead, I always have a big pile of books waiting to be posted (read, read, read, read, read, post), and sometimes other activities get in the way. Last week, for example, I spent longer than planned at my pre-blogging lunch with Jo. We started late because she had to get a Covid test. Then, ignoring my request for no dessert, she forced me to eat her profiterolles crafted with chouquettes from the bakery, cut open to make room for vanilla ice cream, covered with homemade dark chocolate sauce. This naturally took extra time, and resulted in the breaking of both my no dessert and War and Peace resolutions.

Speaking of which, it seems I am avoiding the task at hand and worse, resembling those recipe blogs where you have to read for hours before getting to the recipe. So, without further ado, please find below my Recipe for Reading War and Peace.

Recipe for reading War and Peace


1 War and Peace, around 1500 - 2000 pages (or Kindle version)

1 tsp interest in one or more of the following topics:

- Romance

- Russia

- The Napoleonic Wars (researched in great detail by Tolstoy)

- Philosophy

- Historical novels

- World's Greatest Novels

2 cups passion

1 gallon Time

4 lbs tenacity, divided in half.

optional: 1 paper & pencil or electronic note taking device


Mix interest and passion delicately in your brain bowl.

Add Chapter One and the first half of tenacity. Bring to a boil. Let cool slightly.

Add the Time and the remaining tenacity (increase the amount if needed). Read to the end. Start over as needed. Savor the rich flavors.

Allergy substitutes:

Philosophy allergy

Replace original version of War and Peace with an abridged version (plot only, no philosophy). Warning: this removes the best part. Your recipe will still be good but not as tasty. Tolstoy's points of view on war, history and life are fascinating and known for vision and sincerity.

Longbooks allergy

Replace War and Peace with an article, a video, a series, or for those at risk of a fatal allergic reaction: replace with last minute book report.

Russiannames allergy

Keep track of the names by taking notes, and remember, you're not alone. As stated by Dylan in his letter of complaint to another famous Russian novelist, "If I’m not mistaken, you called three completely different characters "Ivan" so the reader has to remember their last names." More information here.


What is your desert island book?

Do desert islands have Post-its?

Imagine you are banished to a desert island and can only have one book. My friend Jane said she would choose War and Peace. What about you? Answer below in comments.

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Dylan Rigal
Dylan Rigal
Dec 27, 2021

The Great Gatsby


Isabel Jarquin
Isabel Jarquin
Dec 10, 2021

Paul Auster, The Brooklyn Follies :)


Martha Carsten
Martha Carsten
Dec 09, 2021

I think I would choose She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb


Ana Bourque
Ana Bourque
Dec 09, 2021

My desert island book would be The Martian by Andy Weir!

Martha Carsten
Martha Carsten
Dec 09, 2021
Replying to

I just won that book in a raffle at work! It is going to be my Christmas break read.

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