“The Monastery” (Обитель) by Zakhar Prilepin

The Monastery Zakhar Prilepin “Humanity is dark and terrifying, but the world is human and warm.” So ends Zakhar Prilepin’s massive historical novel “The Monastery” (Обитель), about the Solovki monastery-turned-prison-camp, the seed of the GULAG system. Following the fortunes of Artyom Goryainov, a prisoner in the camp, the novel charts all the aspects of prison […]

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“Wolf Hunt” by Ivailo Petrov

In “Wolf Hunt,” the threads of village passions come together as a group sets off on a wolf hunt that serves as a pretext for something even more murderous. Living side-by-side for decades, right through the upheavals of WWII and forced collectivization, has inflamed resentments rather than drawing people together, leading to a violent denouement. […]

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Stacking the Shelves!

This is something I just found out about, started by Tynga’s Reviews.  You get to list books you’ve acquired with the intention of reading.  Gulp!  I try not to think too hard about my TBR list, but actually at the moment it’s not too bad.  So here are some books I’m planning to read soon, or […]

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“Zinky Boys” by Svetlana Alexievich

In “Zinky Boys,” Alexievich weaves together interviews with those who have been affected by the Soviet war in Afghanistan–soldiers, yes, but also doctors and nurses, civilian contractors, and, most tragically of all, the mothers and widows left behind–to create a document that is heartbreaking, harrowing, and utterly damning. Those who ended up in Afghanistan did […]

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