Nonfiction November Wrap-Up

To end Nonfiction November this year, Julie, Katie and I recorded an episode of Leann's Shelf Aware podcast. We talked Nonfiction November history, reading preferences, and a bunch of other stuff. It was so much fun to get to chat about books with my fellow hosts and I hope it's fun to listen to! I... Continue Reading →

Memoirs of Family and Leaving the Soviet Union

There are few things I love more than a good memoir of Russia. Recently I've read two, both around emigration to the US and the lingering ties to family and country that remain. The park looked well kept, even cheerful, as darkness settled over the tress. Here, history inundated every square centimeter of ground --... Continue Reading →

What Pianos Mean to Siberia, And More

Book review: The Lost Pianos of Siberia, by Sophy Roberts (Amazon) There is no dramatic curtain-raiser to the edge of Siberia, no meaningful brink to a specific place, just thick weather hanging over an abstract idea. It is a modern economic miracle, with natural oil and gas reserves driving powerful shifts in the geopolitics of... Continue Reading →

Masha Gessen On Our Autocracy

Book review: Surviving Autocracy, by Masha Gessen (Amazon / Book Depository) Journalist and author Masha Gessen lived through the changes of the Soviet Union, including Putin's ascendancy and increasing control over the state media. Gessen’s reported and written extensively about totalitarianism and the relationship of Putin's Russia with the west. In Surviving Autocracy, Gessen turns this... Continue Reading →

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