In a soon-to-be-published book titled Simply Tolstoy, which is part of Simply Charly’s Great Lives book series, author Donna Orwin talks about Leo Tolstoy’s (1828-1910) extensive network of relatives and explores his ideas about the importance of family. The renowned author and social reformer could not have known that seven years after his death, in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, his once close-knit…

A month ago, Russian TV viewers watched an unusual broadcast: a 60-hour “reading marathon” during which 1,300 people—actors, politicians, sports figures, and ordinary folk—read aloud the entire four volumes of War and Peace, an epic work by one of their country’s foremost writers, Leo Tolstoy (1828–1910). That was no small task, since the novel is one of the longest books…

Nobody can say that Russian author Leo Tolstoy (1828–1910) was a man of few words—his 1869 novel, War and Peace, has well over half a million of them. And, with 350,000 words, Anna Karenina, which was published eight years later, is only slightly more succinct. By all accounts, words really did matter to Tolstoy—especially their nuances and other subtleties. According…