This month I have mostly been reading War and Peace. Actually, I spent most of February reading it too but what a lovely five weeks they were. When I finished it, I wanted to tell the world I did it I DID IT! It felt like such a huge achievement! Surely I should be given a certificate or something? Or at least be allowed to put it on my CV? I read War and Peace. I actually did it. And I tell you something, I will never be scared to pick up any book ever again.
There is no getting away from the fact that it is a big book. It really is a big book. And there were a couple of points along the way where the sheer size of it did feel overwhelming. But actually it isn’t a hard book to read like you might expect. One of the things that really astonished me was that it could easily have been written last week, not over 140 years ago. It feels as fresh as a daisy not in the least bit old and stuffy. It is without doubt one of my all time favourite books and I enjoyed taking my time with it. The writing is so descriptive that I didn’t want to rush it, I wanted to soak up every single word. It is the kind of writing where one sentence can set a whole scene. A rare treat indeed. And I also saw it as a once in a lifetime kind of book so I certainly wasn’t in any hurry to finish it.
I thought before starting it that I might struggle with the war bits but I actually surprised myself and enjoyed them as much as the ‘peace’ bits. The only thing I would say is that there was sometimes a bit too much war strategy for my taste. I was interested in the story not the how to if that makes sense? I can see how important those chapters were but I could have done with them being a bit shorter – I’m not going to lie! To say that it was a great book doesn’t begin to do it justice of course. I’m not sure that I would ever have the right words to describe War and Peace. It is a book that will stay with me forever that is for sure. All I would say is that if you have ever thought about picking it up, then just do it! Don’t put it off like I did! I promise it is not in the least bit scary. In fact, I’d take a punt and say that it will probably end up being one of your all time favourites too.
After finishing War and Peace I needed a little palette cleanser before moving on to another real book and that came in the form of The Man with the Dancing Eyes by Sophie Dahl. This little novella is basically a picture book for grown ups and I have read it countless times. I do wish that she would write more. There is something so lovely about curling up and gobbling up a whole book in one sitting.
I then searched my to be read pile for a book as far removed from War and Peace as possible and The Psychopath Test seemed to fit the bill perfectly! Ha! This was passed on to me from a pal ages ago but I just haven’t got around to reading it before now. It was absolutely fascinating. Terrifying but fascinating. And I would definitely recommend it. Although be warned, you will probably have ‘diagnosed’ at least one person you know before the book is out. Seriously.
So, what have you been reading this month? I think in April I’m going to seek out some fluffy reads (I think I deserve it after getting through War and Peace!) but I would love to hear recommendations for good fluff if you have any. I’m thinking maybe along the lines of Jill Mansell or Lisa Jewell? Please do leave me a comment here or over on social media!