For whatever reason, I decided to start reading Tolstoy's War and Peace (via Audible) the week I had to turn in my dissertation. I still have a dozen or so hours to go, but the book has been amazing. I had no idea what it was about going into it, and was delighted to find that the "war" parts of the book deal with the Napolonic wars—both his 1804–1805 campaign in the War of the Third Coalition (like the Battle of Austerlitz), and his 1812 campaign to invade Russia, from whence we get Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture. I knew nothing about these wars and Tolstoy's descriptions are incredible and gripping. It's been especially exciting because I'm preparing a course on data visualization this fall and had been looking forward to using Charles Minard's famous plot about Napoleon's 1812 winter retreat from Moscow, where the Grande Armée dropped from 422,000 to 10,000 troops.