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The Hatha Yoga Pradipika
Pancham Sinh, Swami Swatmarama
Pastel 15
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War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy,  Anthony Briggs A great classic...but way too long!

Of course, when you read the very last bit of the book, where Tolstoy goes into some historical philosophizing, the length of the book and what's in it makes more sense. However, as you're wading through everything the first time, the "random chapters" can cause some frustration. Even though I've read this book more than once, I certainly come to points where I want to skip through all of the Kutuzov dialogue and military descriptions, and go straight back to Pierre, Andrei, and Natasha.

I thought Pierre was the most developed character, whereas everyone else seemed superficial and stagnant throughout the book. Yes, Natasha and Nikolai did go through some changes later in life, but it seemed too late to make them fuller characters. The emotional turmoil the characters go through felt removed to me.

Tolstoy did an excellent job displaying how history is the culmination of many individuals, not a select few. Yet, I think this contributed to the removed feeling I got because none of the characters were driving the story. Everyone was just going along, reacting to everything. There wasn't much to anticipate throughout the book, besides the few instances which resolved themselves rather quickly.

Pat yourself on the back if you can finish this one. If you take the time to think over Tolstoy's musing, you will gain a finer appreciation for the difficulty of describing historical events just as they truly happened.