A Wall Street Journal writer recently decided to seek out the financial lessons embedded in works by classic 19th-century authors like Tolstoy and Flaubert. It turns out that the great writers knew a thing or two about money.
The novel people most commonly claim to have read is '1984' by George Orwell, followed by 'War and Peace' by Leo Tolstoy.
Guilt may push us to finish a book – while e-readers make it only too easy to quit.
Echoes of one of Tolstoy's great works, inspired by the conflict between Russia and Chechnya, can be found in the final novel by David Foster Wallace.
Vidal's close friend, author and academic Jay Parini, will write the biography.