When I was a senior, Raquel (who was my girlfriend at the time) talked me into taking a Tolstoy class with her. She was a Russian major and I was a Psychology major so this made perfect sense...for her. She thought it would be fun for us to take a class together and imagined that I might then fall in love with Russian literature. I'm going to spare you the drawn out tale and tell you that it was not fun for me and I did not develop a lasting love of Tolstoy. All I got out of the class was the ability to tell people that I have read War and Peace. I may have also enjoyed going to class with my girlfriend though I have no specific memories of that. Mostly, I remember Anna Karenina. During the semester of my Tolstoy class, I tore my ACL playing rugby. I wasn't really playing rugby but merely practicing. Whatever. The point is that I messed up my knee and had to have reconstructive surgery so I took an incomplete in Tolstoy so that I could finish my paper on Anna Karenina over winter break. It turns out that open knee surgery is rather painful and I spent my winter break writhing in pain and trying to figure out how to go to the bathroom without peeing on myself. As you might imagine, I wasn't really in the mood to read Anna Karenina and write a 15 to 20 page paper on it. I had bigger things to worry about...like errant streams of urine. Winter break flew by proving that time also flies when you aren't having any fun at all and, before I knew it, I had only a few days left to read the book and write the paper or fail the class. I don't know if you know this but Tolstoy was rather wordy so I was not going to be able to read it quickly. So, I skimmed the Cliff notes and wrote an 18 page paper in a pain-induced haze. I am not proud of this and, to this day, I feel guilty whenever I'm faced with Anna Karenina.
I recently won a Literati e-reader from my BlogHer friend, Sarah at Technology for Moms. I was excited to see that it came pre-loaded with some books because I wanted to try it out right away. I quickly turned it on and the library loaded and there she was - Anna Karenina. Anna Karenina is my tell tale heart. I'm going to have to take out a restraining order or, you know, actually read the book to rid her of my life forever. I'm leaning toward the restraining order because - look at her - she's got some shifty eyes.