Thursday, July 31, 2014

Read Your Way Around the World - Russia

Read your way around the world invites you to Russia, “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma” (Winston Churchill)

And it is true. It is almost impossible for foreigners to understand Russians, the mysterious Russian soul, the legendary Russian melancholy, and how to pronounce long Russian names. Russian culture has a long and rich history, steeped in finest art, music, architecture, and literature.

Russia cannot be captured in one book. The country is vast and the people of Russia do nothing by halves. They vanquished Mongol invasion, Napoleon and Hitler. In one century Russia had been Tsarist, the Soviet Federative Republic, the biggest of the fifteen Soviet republics, and the Russian Federation.

I hope through the pages of these books you'll travel to Russia and understand certain parts of  Russian history.

Russka: the novel of Russia by Edward Rutherfurd

This epic historical saga starts in the year A.D. 180 spans generations, ending in the late 20th-century. You will enjoy this lengthy book. It is written in a style that results in quick and easy reading and will hold the reader's interest.

Peter the Great: his life and world by Robert K. Massie

Robert K. Massie's classic biography of Peter the Great delves into both the good and the bad qualities of Peter the Great. It also provides a riveting snapshot into the Russian way of life in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, not only for the tsar and his court but for the common people, too.  Novelist

Collected Stories by Alexander Pushkin

Aleksander Sergeyevich Pushkin (1799-1837) is considered Russia's greatest poet and the founder of modern Russian literature. On his father's side, he was a descendant of an ancient noble family; his mother was a great granddaughter of Gannibal, the legendary Abyssinian, who served under Peter the Great. In both prose and verse, Pushkin was one of the world’s great storytellers: melodic and dramatic, rich, vivid, and passionate.

The Winter Queen by Boris Akunin

A suicide in the Alexander Gardens might seem to be an open-and-shut case, but detective Erast Fandorin senses something more sinister. Set against the heady intellectual currents and the glitz of the aristocracy, The Winter Queen offers a shrewd look at life in the late 19th century as well as a twisty, fast-paced mystery. Novelist

Travels in Siberia by Ian Frazier

American Ian Frazier, a frequent contributor to The New Yorker, is a serious Russophile: he has made frequent, lengthy trips to Russia over the decades; he has studied the language; he has immersed himself in reading everything he can about the country. The lengthy Travels in Siberia distills this extended romance into a book that is part travel memoir, part eccentric history. Novelist

"When you open the door either to a Russian apartment or to the Russian soul, it is warm and friendly and prideful of their history and culture, and extremely generous," - Chris Hadfield.

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