Note: I’d been debuting these posts at the beginning of each month, but things got off schedule with the pandemic, so I am slipping this one in at the end of the month. Obviously, real travel right now is not a good idea, but it’s all the better reason to travel anywhere through a good book. 🙂
Our library theme for 2020 is Your Library Card, Your Ticket to the World–because with the library, you truly can travel around the world without ever leaving the comfort of your own home. Every month in 2020, we’ll be landing at a new place on the globe. We’re in Russia for April.
If you like mysteries:
Julia Phillips’s Disappearing Earth (2019)*
This book generated a lot of buzz when it was released last year. It follows a community in Russia’s remote Kamchatka Peninsula (in Siberia) after the disappearance of two sisters. The girls disappear without a trace, and Disappearing Earth chronicles the impact the crime has on those most closely affected by it–including the girls’ mother, a witness, and a detective–while introducing readers to a fascinating part of the country that is often not explored in literature.
*Ebook and audiobook also available on Libby
Recommended for those who enjoy the work of Louise Penny and Louise Erdrich.
If you enjoy fantasy:
Katherine Arden’s Winternight Trilogy (2017-2018)**
If you love historical fantasy and books that are based on folklore and mythology, this series is a nice twist on the more common classic myths. The author has a degree in Russian and a long-standing fascination with Russian folklore and Slavic mythology. She puts them to good use in the fairy tale she wrote about Vasya, a young woman in medieval Russia who has the power to communicate with mythological creatures. It’s a gift that may just help her save her country.
**First book also available as an ebook on Libby.
Recommended for those who enjoy Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy and the work of Juliet Marillier.
If you prefer historical fiction:
Ariel Lawhon’s I Was Anastasia (2018)***
The family of Nicholas II, the ill-fated last emperor of Russia, has long captivated people across the globe. His youngest daughter Anastasia has always been one of the most intriguing members of the family, and I was Anastasia is about her early life, as well as that of Anna Anderson, a young woman who claimed to be Anastasia in the years after Anastasia and her family were said to have been murdered. Complications ensue.
***Ebook also available on Libby.
Recommended for those who enjoy the work of Kate Quinn, Paula McLain, and Melanie Benjamin.
If you love nonfiction:
Masha Gessen’s The Future is History (2017)
If you’re more interested in reading about Russia today, then try this National Book Award-winning look at Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Gessen is a Russian-born journalist who chronicles the changes in the country as it dabbled in democracy before reverting back to authoritarianism. Gessen especially focuses on several young adults who came of age during this turbulent period in Russian history.
Recommended for those interested in contemporary history and politics.
What’s your favorite book set in Russia? Whose your favorite Russian author? Have you read any of these books? Tell us in the comments! As always, please follow this link to our online library catalog for more information on any of these items or to place them on hold.