Here's today's plan:
I'm taking my guide book as I wander off to Lamma Island. My goal is to find a nice cafe and sit there, reading Anna Karenina and watching life go by. It's too hot for much walking about, but I'll have a ferry ride to enjoy and a modicum of sight-seeing on the island.
This idea has been prompted by my friend, Andrea from Inspired by Hope and Surprised by Joy. One of her 2010 goals is to read Anna Karenina, which is a rather large book, and so we have decided to do it together. And I'm here to invite you to read along, too! Neither of us has read any Tolstoy before, so we are excited to embark on this project. Two bloggers on opposite sides of the world, and YOU!
We are setting a modest pace. The book has eight parts, each of which are about a hundred pages. The plan is to read one part each month from August until next March. Even if it takes you a few days to get a copy (hello, local second hand bookstore!), you will still have plenty of time to read the first part during August.
What do you think? Who's up for joining us? In anticipation of your answer in the positive, I am posting a character list here! Unless you want the plot spoiled, don't go reading around on the web for help with Russian names. Just stick to this list!
Note: Every Russian has three names: first name, patronymic, last name. The root of the middle name is that of the father, plus a suffix meaning "son of" or "daughter of." Thus Anna's middle name is "Arkadyevna," while that of her brother is "Arkadyevitch." Russians call each other by the Christian name and patronymic, rarely by surname. For the sake of clarity, however, English translators use the characters' family names wherever possible.
Anna Arkadyevna Karenina: High society heroine
Alexey Alexandrovitch Karenin: Anna's husband; he is a frigid, lonely man with an influential government position in St. Petersburg
Sergei Alexeyitch Karenin (Seriozha): Anna's son
Count Alexey Kirillovitch Vronsky: An honorable, rich, handsome aide-de-camp with a promising army career
Konstantin Dmitrich Levin (Kostya): Autobiographical hero of novel
Princess Katerina Alexandrovna Shtcherbatsky (Kitty): The eighteen year old debutante
Prince Stepan Arkadyevitch Oblonsky (Stiva): Anna's brother who is a pleasure-loving socialite
Princess Darya Alexandrovna Oblonsky (Dolly): Stiva's long-suffering wife and Kitty's older sister
Nicolai Dmitrich Levin: Levin's profligate brother
Sergei Ivanitch Koznyshev: Levin's elder half-brother who is a famous writer and intellectual