After about six months without much progress, I'm somewhat back on track on the Essay a Day Challenge. Primarily due to reading most days while on public transit. I've read: Leo Tolstoy - Happily Ever After, The Death of Ivan Ilyich, The Cossacks. 322 pages in all. The former is a portrait of a relationship and the perils that can threaten it; the middle is a haunting portrait of the mind of a dying man as his body and faculties gradually weaken, and the latter is a story of the lives of the cossacks on the steppes in the mid-1800s, and their interactions with the Russians. Of the three, The Cossacks was my favorite, though they all were good enough to continue reading. Next came 541 pages of Polybius's histories. A very interesting piece for someone interested in history, and all in all quite well written, too. The author was a contemporary to some events, and spoke with contemporaries to most of the rest. I'm quite happy with my choice for the first contemporary Roman history I've read, and only wish more of his work had survived. Currently I'm reading a selection of stories by Alexander Pushkin. The first was an incomplete story whose name may not be appropriate for this forum, but which unfortunately was just starting to hit its stride when it was abandoned. Now, I'm reading Dubrovsky, which hit the gate running early. Even considering what I've read in the past 4 months, I'm still a bit behind the 10 pages/day rate of the challenge - I'm probably in the 900s over about 120 days. If I kept up my weekday rate during weekends, I'd be there. But it's much closer than I would have been in 2014. I considered picking up Ulysses from the bookstore where I picked up the Tolstoy and Polybius volumes, but decided to stick with easier reading to start with based on my reading rate in 2014. Having enjoyed the books I did pick up, I'm happy with that choice. In January I mentioned that I thought I might read the Decameron next; that hasn't happened, as I've opted for lighter (weight-wise) books that are more amenable to carrying in a backpack every day.