Women Who Survived the Gulag, in Their Own Words

Book review: Dressed for a Dance in the Snow, by Monika Zgustova (Amazon / Book Depository) I am not that woman. It must be someone else who is suffering. I could never withstand it. Monika Zgustova, a Czech author based in Spain, gives voices to female former Gulag prisoners (and in one case, a woman... Continue Reading →

13 New Nonfiction Releases Coming in 2020

One post of new nonfiction to look forward to is never enough, so here's a second roundup of some upcoming titles in 2020 that have caught my eye. This time I've got macabre science stories, tales of obsession, badass women of World War II, current social and political commentary, multiple trips to Paris and Siberia,... Continue Reading →

The Wild, Wonderful World of Couchsurfing in Russia

Book review: Behind Putin's Curtain, by Stephan Orth (Amazon / Book Depository) Hamburg-based journalist Stephan Orth has written several books about his global couchsurfing adventures in unconventional locales. Orth brings a certain cheerful openness and humorous curiosity to his adventuring, and of the touristic method of couchsurfing, he mentions that it offers "the mutual gift... Continue Reading →

Mythbusting Rasputin’s Life and Legend

Book review: Rasputin: Faith, Power, and the Twilight of the Romanovs by Douglas Smith (Amazon / Book Depository) The life of Rasputin is one of the most remarkable in modern history. It reads like a dark fairy tale. An obscure, uneducated peasant from the wilds of Siberia receives a calling from God and sets out in search... Continue Reading →

A Voice from the Gulag

Book review: The Day Will Pass Away, by Ivan Chistyakov (Amazon / Book Depository) So even my inner word recedes day by day into eternity until it reaches freezing point. You start believing they can make you lose all emotion. Yet every day brings you nearer to freedom. Only, what kind of path are you walking to get there?... Continue Reading →

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