One of the best things about Shelby Foote's massive trilogy is how it slows the war down. The Civil War was massive, epic conflict unfolding over a period of five years. It's almost preposterous to boil it down into one book. 

And yet, when I read, I'm very much obsessed with "finishing." It's a bad habit, I know. But listening to Foote's books on tape has relieved me of that. I'm just listening, not worrying too much about finishing. It feels very much like the Civil War in real time.