Reading, Russia, and Current Events: Two Books

The timing is curious. With Russia headlining the news in the terrible war with Ukraine, my interest grew in the two books currently on my reading list. I no longer watch the news and now find more time to read to gain insights into world events.

I just finished reading Red Notice, by Bill Browder, an autobiography recommended by a friend last year. I’ve had it on a shelf since summer. She recently reminded me to read it to inform my understanding of Russia, the government, the oligarchs, and the sanctions being used by the United States currently. It was helpful. I finished it last week.

Here’s a brief video about the story.

Red Notice was an interesting read for me, set in the 1990s – 2016 in the business and crime world. I found it dramatic, engaging, and insightful. It did expand my understanding of sanctions, oligarchs, Putin, and other nuances that make dealing with Russia so complicated.

Oligarchs is a term I could not have confidently defined on the spot before reading the book. Part of the strategy to impact Russia includes these oligarchs. How did they get so wealthy?

A Google internet search turned up this definition for your reference.

I am now finishing another book about Russia, also recommended by several of my friends, titled Gentleman in Moscow. This story is fiction and set in Moscow during the 1920s and 1930s. Actually, I saw in the video below that it continues to the 1950s, but I’ve not gotten to the end yet. It is also informative and engaging to read and find out more about the history of Russia, the challenges, and some of the cultural perspectives. This is a well-told story that provides insight into the era of Bolshevik Russia.

Here is a brief video about Gentleman in Moscow.

Exploring both of these books during this time has broadened my worldview and informed my perspective on humankind. Isn’t that one of the benefits of turning off the news and taking the time to read a good book?

Have you read either book? What did you think? Perhaps you are of Russian descent and can provide personal insights into the country and how it works.

Please, no spoilers as I am merely halfway through Gentleman in Moscow. I plan to finish it by mid-April, but on behalf of those of us who haven’t read it completely, please refrain from any comments containing spoilers at this time. Thank you!

Keep learning, my friends.

P.S. Please continue to pray for the people and nation of Ukraine, and all who are separated from loved ones. Do what you can if you can contribute to trustworthy organizations working to help, especially refugees. I support the International Rescue Organization, and there are many other worthy organizations to support.

International Rescue Organization