The rules are so very relaxed as to be almost non-existent, mainly open the book and read along with each other through from Tolstoy's birthday on September 9th 2010, when the first post will be up here and we say Ready, Steady, Tolstoy, to completion on September 9th 2011.
Though I'm planning a schedule that may suit some, it may not suit everyone and that's fine, you can read at your own pace, no pressure just enjoy and I will facilitate that space here each month for us to talk about it in comments with no promises of erudition on my part, just readerly thoughts.
The book does divide up nicely into approximately 100 to 120 pages a month, with each read taking us to the end of a part or a volume, so I guess Leo had us in mind as he wrote, while Sonia did all the shopping, cooking, washing and childbearing. There are in fact 366 chapters so War and Peace lends itself nicely to the chapter-a-day-year-long approach too, perhaps some may want to adopt that tactic.
Having read the Anthony Briggs translation last time around, but when I was horribly ill, just picking up that particular volume and looking at the cover is reminding me of pain, so I'm going to be using the forthcoming new edition of the much-loved Maude's translation from Oxford University Press. This is soon to be published in a special edition (with a gold ribbon bookmark) in recognition of the centenary of Tolstoy's death this November.
We couldn't have chosen a more auspicious year for our read and all suggestions welcome for our Team Tolstoy picture to see us through the year. I don't really want to be displaying a depressing picture of the Battle of Borodino with scatterings of dead bodies every month but can I find a decent picture of a nice snowy troika?
No I can't.
I've also been out begging on your behalf too, so if you plan to join Team Tolstoy scroll down for gifts to wave us off on our journey, and hopefully I'll see some of you here kitted up and ready to board the troika on September 9th, the samovar will be bubbling and I can promise you it'll be the most fantastic shared reading journey.