Serfer Girl

During summer break, I usually take on a long novel or two. One of my book groups is reading Persuasion, which I have to finish by mid-June and better get hold of pretty quickly.

A great perk working at CSU is that I can check out library books for months at a time. Before school let out, I brought home a volume of Tolstoy’s novellas. I had given this collection as a gift earlier this year, mostly because I love “Master and Man,” but I wanted to read the others.

Yesterday on our drive to Canton for a holiday picnic, I read “Polikushka” in this collection and was blown away. Polikushka is a ne’er do well serf who’s given a demanding task by his mistress. The story is filled with pathos and irony, and I’m not saying any more about it. (And don’t look it up online because all the blogs give away the whole story.) Just find it and read it — the whole thing, not the online abridged versions.

So now I’m thinking when I finish the Tolstoy novellas, maybe I should reread Anna Karenina. Or talk one of my book groups into scheduling it this year. Its length is formidable, but the story’s accessible. Tolstoy isn’t difficult. He’s just great.

What are you reading this summer?

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