Saturday, March 2, 2013

Anna Karenina Cleans My House

Jessica at Quirky Bookworm is hosting a Classics Catch-Up Challenge. Somehow I missed reading most of the novels on her list, so I thought I’d make myself a more well-rounded, cultured individual by taking part in the challenge. A little positive peer pressure, right?

The first book up is Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. And I failed. I read 34 of the 800+ pages. Here are some of the things I did instead of reading Anna Karenina:
  • crafted with Toddler Train Man
  • read blogs and lots of books
  • played trains. a LOT!
  • cleaned the bathroom
  • scrubbed the floor. on my hands and knees.
I just couldn’t get into the book. The book was originally published as a series in a magazine, so it probably needed to have a lot of repetition in that format. In a book, not so much. I thought the story line—love, hijinks, families—would be right up my alley, but I guess my 21st century expectations were too fast for the 19th century novel. I think if the action could be distilled to its essence—maybe 200 pages or so—I’d enjoy it.

My secret is out. I’d rather clean my house than read this classic. I was reminded of a post I read on Edge of Story about required reading. When you have to read something, is some of the joy automatically taken out? And does calling a book a “classic” make it more scholarly/less fun? And how clean would my house be if I’d persevered through all of Anna Karenina? We'll never know. 

Have you read Anna Karenina? What are your favorite classics?