Season 3 Episode 49:  Liz Humphreys, Elisabeth Van Der Meer and Mandy Henderson on Farewell to the #KaramazovReadalong and Welcome #WarAndPeace2022

Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.” Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

Welcome to Tea, Toast and Trivia.

Thank you for listening in.

I am your host, Rebecca Budd, and I am looking forward to sharing this moment with you.

Elisabeth & Liz / Mandy & Rebecca

The #KaramazovReadalong has reached the end of the journey which started on August 27, 2021. Today, we are saying a farewell to The Karamazov Brothers by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

Liz Humphreys from Edinburgh, Scotland, and Elisabeth Van Der Meer from Porvoo, Finland have joined me to look back on what we have learned and look forward to what may come. We have a special guest, Mandy Henderson, from Christchurch, New Zealand who has come to join the farewell celebration.

This is the first time we have linked four time zones on Tea Toast & Trivia. A special thank you to Don, the techie behind the scenes.

You may recall that a few months ago, I received an invitation from my blogger friend and book aficionado, Liz Humphreys to join her on a readalong of The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.  This readalong was to coincide with the 200th year anniversary of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s birth. The stars aligned when Elisabeth Van Der Meer, from A Russian Affair, agreed to join the party. 

What have we learned? What are the takeaways that will stay with us? What comes next? These are the questions that will be discussed today. So put the kettle on and add to this exciting conversation on Tea Toast & Trivia.

Thank you for joining Liz, Elisabeth, Mandy and me on Tea Toast & Trivia.

Thank you, Liz, for your willingness to take on this massive project and for your invitation to enter the world of Russian Literature. Thank you, Elisabeth, for adding breadth and depth to our understanding. Thank you, Mandy for joining the #KaramazovReadalong.

Listeners, you can connect with Liz on “Leaping Life,” Elisabeth on “A Russian Affair,” and Mandy on  “Silkannthreades” You are only an internet click away from entering a world of books and brilliant conversations.

Until next time, dear friends, keep safe, keep reading, and be well.

Liz Humphreys, Elisabeth Van Der Meer and Mandy Henderson on Farewell to the #KaramazovReadalong and Welcome #WarAndPeace2022 Tea. Toast. & Trivia.

31 Replies to “Season 3 Episode 49:  Liz Humphreys, Elisabeth Van Der Meer and Mandy Henderson on Farewell to the #KaramazovReadalong and Welcome #WarAndPeace2022”

  1. A magnificent four-way conversation among a quartet of smart and interesting people! Thank you, Rebecca, Elisabeth, Liz, and Mandy! Dostoevsky and Tolstoy — as well as late “Peanuts” cartoonist Charles M. Schulz, an avid reader of literature — would have been thrilled to hear this podcast. And nice of Tolstoy to keep “War and Peace” just under 365 chapters so it can be read a chapter a day in just under a year in 2022. 🙂 Finally, major kudos to Don for connecting four parts of the world so clearly and seamlessly!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Don was so pleased that Liz, Elisabeth and Mandy agreed to go out into the podcast unknown for a 4 person conversation. We have come a long way from the first podcasts! You were the most enthusiastic supporter from the very beginning. I knew that you would like the Peanuts cartoon. How wonderful to know that Charles M. Schulz would have been pleased to listen to this conversation. I hope that you will follow our adventures in 2022. I know that you have already read War and Peace so your thoughts and insights would be welcomed and very much appreciated.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Well, your podcasts were great from the start, Rebecca, but definitely some impressive enhancements over time!

        And that “Peanuts” comic you pictured is indeed sublime. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

    1. I did not know that we are going to read 576287 words this year. What an adventure. Dear Snoopy – I laughed out loud when I read your 1609 years. Thank you for your brilliant guidance this past year, Elisabeth. You guided me through Eugene Onegin and The Brothers Karamazov, and now we are heading into #WarAndPeace2022 – together!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I listened with great interest to this discussion, Rebecca. And yes, Don is an amazing sound tech. TBK is one of many Russian novels I’ve read in the last few years. What stood out then and now is Dostoevsky’s famous chapter, The Grand Inquisitor. Some readers must shudder when they read how accurate and prophetic it was/is. The same with his novel, The Possessed. To read it outside academia inspired, popular interpretation is enlightening. Somehow I think the author would see great irony in having both Russia (only recently non-communist) and UNESCO honor him, since he was in no way a universalist in regards to religion, politics and ethnicity. This collaboration for him only demonstrates that great authors have no control over their legacy. On the other hand, 2021 was a serendipitous year to celebrate him! Thank you for taking on this project and allowing me to offer a dissenting viewpoint. Hugs+++

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much for listening in and for your comments that add breadth and depth to the conversation, Mary Jo. I agree wholeheartedly that great authors have no control over their legacy. But the one theme that came through this book and will remain ever fresh in the years to come is the idea of love. Every generation sees something different. Consider how we interpret Greek mythology in our movies. Or how Thor, Odin and Loki are portrayed in games and literature. Even Sherlock Holmes now has a wife, sisters, etc. I can only imagine Sir Arther Colin Doyle’s reaction. Or consider how we see history in hindsight. Now that is another most interesting discussion. Many many thanks, Mary Jo. I love our conversations.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Great interview, Rebecca, on a great book. This story of the brothers Kamarozov, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, was magic for me when I first read it. And lest we forget, also a great 1958 movie version of it, now 63 years ago, With the likes of Yul Bynner, Maria Schell and a very young Canadian actor William Shanter too many other greats to mention from those many years back. What a fabulous choice to finish this readalong of yours. Bravo Rebecca, another winner!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I hope that you will follow us on the #WarAndPeace2022 readalong, Jean-Jacques. It should be quite an adventure!! Yul Brynner was perfect for Dmitri wasn’t he? And Lee J Cobb was amazing. I found it hard to see William Shatner as Alexey, because I kept on thinking Star Trek. Thank you so much for listening in and for your comments. Very much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have an sad age edge on you for that one, dear Rebecca, because I saw The Brothers Kamarozov film, when it was first released in 1958, Thus so when little Willy Shatner, played the younger brother to Lee J Cobb who played the father. Willy then had yet to be in Star Trek ,which 1st aired on September 8,1966. You must have seen the Kamarazov film in the sixties…!

        Liked by 2 people

  4. I enjoyed listening in to the ending celebration of The Brothers Karamazov Readalong. I am very excited that I will be able to join the War and Peace Readalong in 2022!!

    Liked by 4 people

  5. OMG! This is a fab podcast!
    Rebecca, Liz, Elisabeth and Mandy you have made an epic, out of an epic!
    Love it!
    War and Peace, that sounds incredible!
    I’d like to join in. I’ll have to figure where to get the book…… for a year. The library only lends for a few months at a time. I don’t have a Kindle anymore, and I have been boycotting Amazon for 6 years now.
    Out of curiosity, how long does it take to read 1 chapter? I’m sort of the Snoopy type…
    I’m so busy with drawing and Art Gowns.
    Anyway, I’ve been reading Roberta’s notes on the Brothers Karamazov. I’ve got to get back there!
    Take care all of you! You have a sweet thing going!
    Resa {{{hugs all around}}}

    Liked by 3 people

    1. We would LOVE to have your join the #WarAndPeace2022 readalong. I found a copy of War and Peace on Gutenberg Press that is free to download: As well, Chapters has a copy for Kobo. The audio version can be found on Chirp Audiobooks – a great resource. The audio book takes 61 hours at a reasonable speed. That time would be reduced if you listened at a slightly faster speed. I have just gone through the first couple of chapters. It wouldn’t take that much time if you are doing one chapter a day. I did a quick calculation on 61 hours over 360 days. The average is about 10 minutes a day. Many thanks, Resa, for considering joining the year of reading Tolstoy !!!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Thanks for the info, Rebecca! I do have a KOBO reader, but will probably do the free download.
        I’d like to have a look first. Although, I’ve always wanted to read “War and Peace”
        I’d better get busy reading Diana’s Sorcerer’s Garden!

        Liked by 3 people

  6. Thank you to the four of you for the marvelous review of this “one of a kind” book written by a “one of a kind” Author! ! I had read this book many years ago, but it was not a surprise to me to enjoy it again, and even more so! ! Thank you, once again, for the opportunity tp join with you! ! I am looking forward to our next experience of a “read along” enjoying another great author in the new year 2022!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I am beyond thrilled that you will be joining us on #WarAndPeace2022, Frances. The adventure awaits. It will be a year of reading Tolstoy! Isn’t it fun to be on this journey together?!!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. HI Rebecca, apologies for my tardiness with listening to this podcast, what a dreadful last work week it has been, and now its not even the last week [sigh!] as I must work next week. Anyhow, onwards and upwards. I loved this conversation. I enjoyed hearing about the book and listening to the quotes. War and Peace is a marvelous undertaking. I read it when I was first married and thought it was magnificent. I often see it sitting reproachfully on my shelf saying “re-read me” and I say “sorry, Tolstoy, you are just to long for my now world.” The part of the conversation I found very relatable was the discussion about finding meaningful reads over the past two years. I have also found some genres of books almost impossible to read. For example, cozy mysteries, I just can’t get into them now. I have read a lot of war books this year. The pandemic is like a war, isn’t it. I think my highlight reads of these year are A Farewell to Arms, Regeneration, Brave New World, and A Gentleman in Moscow. Oh, and I nearly forgot Divine Comedy and Collected Stories and Poems by Edgar Allan Poe. I just finished Message Found in a Bottle and The Oblong Box today and will be starting Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain tomorrow. The Yellow Wallpaper was also a terrific short story. I have found my taste has moved to books where I can try to unwind the why of things. I am fascinating by the why.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Robbie – you continue to inspire me with your reading. I have just sent a note to myself for a TTT podcast conversation in 2022: Why do we read the books we read? Now that would be a great conversation. I started 2021 year with H.P Lovecraft. I am not into horror stories so I decided that I must put aside my fears and embrace the dark unknown. The Shadow over Innsmouth is a horror novella H. P. Lovecraft, written in November–December 1931. It forms part of the Cthulhu Mythos, using its motif of a malign undersea civilization. I enjoyed it immensely for it opened new areas of exploration. For example, the background of the story provided the context of why and how. The other area of research was whether Innsmouth endured. Today, it has become a game “The Innsmouth Case, which is based on the work of H.P.Lovecraft released on June 23, 2020. Stories have a way of transitioning to became something new to the next generation of readers.

      I am looking forward to WarAndPeace 2022. I have never read it and I have delayed seeing any movies or mini-series that tell the story. I hope you will follow our progress and we enter the year of Leo Tolstoy!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Hi Rebecca, I think it is very exciting that you are venturing into so many new areas of fiction. I am a bit dull and tend to stick to paranormal, dystopia, and gothic novels with a bit of dabbling into science fiction. I also like books about peoples lives like The Thorn Birds and Gone With the Wind. I rarely read romance. I find romance difficult to relate to because the females are often so impractical and silly. I will most definitely follow your War and Peace journey and may even join you and listen to the audio book. I’m looking to see if I can get a decent unabridged version. I hate abridged books.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. I just downloaded the unabridged Anthony Briggs Translation – in Kindle and in Audio format. I’m sending for the book format as well.The audio is narrated by Chloe Perrier, Sam Woolf, Michael Fax, Olivia Darnley and Terence Wilton. Robbie – your reading is never ever dull!! I am delighted that you will be following and maybe joining the #WarAndPeace2022 Readalong,

        Liked by 3 people

      3. I have found the unabridged audio book and have it in my library. I am going to try and follow with you but won’t commit in case the work wagon becomes to big some of the time. This is very exciting, Rebecca. I am listening to Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain and so far it is incredibly insightful about middle class life in England pre-WW1. She even mentions the Second Anglo Boer War from an English civilian’s perspective which I found very intriguing.

        Liked by 3 people

  8. Another wonderful podcast and a nice wrap up of our wonderful adventure reading the Brothers Karamazov. There are so many great quotes from the book and such an array of characters. For me what stood out was the importance of family, even a dysfunctional family like the Karamazovs. One of my favourite quotes is at the end, “You must know that there is nothing higher and stronger and more wholesome and good for life in the future than some good memory, especially a memory of childhood, of home.” I will try to join you in reading War and Peace. An entire year seems daunting but we’ll see how we do.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for adding a wonderful benediction to this podcast, Darlene. I hope you will join us on the #WarAndPeace2022. We are planning several podcasts along the way, with 4 people. I would love to have you join one of those podcasts! A year with Leo Tolstoy is daunting – I am glad that I am joining others on this journey!!

      Liked by 3 people

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