Reading Tolstoy as a Twentysomething (& Completing His Major Works Before 21)

Twenty-first birthday flowers

In the last few weeks, I’ve been very busy reading Tolstoy. I had already enjoyed his most famous works – including Anna Karenina, War and Peace and several collections of his shorter stories – but I decided, probably a little too close to the deadline, that I wanted to finish his major works before I turned 21.

My birthday was yesterday, and I’m very pleased with my reading progress! I’ve updated my ‘Tolstoy Challenge‘ which I created a year or two ago, but you can also look at my list here:

Tolstoy works completed:

Other short stories by Tolstoy I’ve read:

  • The Raid (1852)
  • The Wood-Felling (1855)
  • Three Deaths (1859)
  • Polikushka (1863
  • A Confession (1879)
  • After the Ball (1903)
  • The Forged Coupon (1911)
  • Two Hussars (1856)
  • God Sees the Truth But Waits (1872)
  • The Three Hermits (1886)

Other Tolstoy texts on the reading list:


  • The Cossacks  (1863) (in progress)
  • What is Art? (1897) (in progress)
  • How Much Land Does a Man Need? (1886)
  • The Sebastopol Sketches (1855)
I’ve gained so many life lessons through this reading experience, and I’m going to dedicate a post to this in the next week or two. I’m also very tempted to rate the books in order of enjoyment, although this could prove quite difficult!
Do you enjoy reading the major works of a single author? If you’re thinking about trying it, look into Twyla Tharp’s reading habits by reading The Creative Habit, or check out my post on her concept of reading archaeologically! It’s a fascinating method to really get to know an author and their work, and it’s particularly interesting when the author changes a great deal during their lifetime (as is the case with Tolstoy).
Keep tuned for more on Tolstoy!
My collection of Tolstoy's novels, essays and short stories
Lucy
It's good to meet you! I started Tolstoy Therapy back in 2012 to share my healing journey through anxiety and PTSD with books. I also climb mountains, go on solo adventures, and write over at livewildly.co.