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Inside Lonely Planet’s  Russia  Travel Guide:

  • Colour  maps and images throughout
  • Highlights   and itineraries  help you tailor your trip to your personal needs and interests
  • Insider tips  to save time and money and get around like a local, avoiding crowds and trouble spots
  • Essential info   at your fingertips  - hours of operation, phone numbers, websites, transit tips, prices
  • Honest reviews for all budgets  - eating, sleeping, sight-seeing, going out, shopping, hidden gems that most guidebooks miss
  • Cultural insights  give you a richer, more rewarding travel experience - history, art, literature, music, architecture, performing arts, landscape, wildlife, environment, religion, Russia today

Coverage Includes:  Moscow, St Petersburg, the Golden Ring, Kaliningrad, the Urals, Volga, Sochi, Caucasus, Siberia, the Russian Far East, and more

eBook is available in ePub, MOBI and PDF.

ISBN: 9781786573629

Edition: 8th

Publication Date: March 2018

Writers: Simon Richmond, Mark Baker, Marc Bennetts, Stuart Butler, Trent Holden, Ali Lemer, Tatyana Leonov, Tom Masters, Kate Morgan, Leonid Ragozin, Regis St Louis, Mara Vorhees

720 pages, 160pp color, 98 maps | Dimensions: 128mm × 197mm

Next edition due: December 2025

Language: English

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Lonely Planet Russia (Travel Guide) Paperback – 13 Mar. 2015

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Lonely Planet: The world's leading travel guide publisher

Lonely Planet Russia is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Take an awe-inspiring walk through Red Square, hike amongst the geysers and volcanoes of Kamchatka, or sweat it out in a traditional Russian banya (bathhouse); all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of Russia and begin your journey now!

Inside Lonely Planet's Russia Travel Guide:

  • Colour maps and images throughout
  • Highlights and itineraries help you tailor your trip to your personal needs and interests
  • Insider tips to save time and money and get around like a local, avoiding crowds and trouble spots
  • Essential info at your fingertips - hours of operation, phone numbers, websites, transit tips, prices
  • Honest reviews for all budgets - eating, sleeping, sight-seeing, going out, shopping, hidden gems that most guidebooks miss
  • Cultural insights give you a richer, more rewarding travel experience - history, politics, literature, cinema, religion, performing arts, music, visual art, architecture, cuisine, landscapes, wildlife.
  • Over 80 maps
  • Covers Moscow, St Petersburg, the Golden Ring, Kaliningrad, European Russia, the Volga Region, the Russia Caucasus, Sochi, Lake Baikal, the Urals, Yekaterinburg, Siberia, Irkutsk, Vladivostok, Kamchatka and more

The Perfect Choice: Lonely Planet Russia , our comprehensive guide to Russia, is perfect for both exploring top sights and taking roads less travelled.

  • Looking for a guide focused on Moscow or St Petersburg? Check out Lonely Planet's Moscow or St Petersburg guides for a comprehensive look at all these cities have to offer. Looking for more extensive regional coverage? Check out Lonely Planet's Trans-Siberian Railway guide.

Authors: Written and researched by Lonely Planet, Simon Richmond, Marc Bennetts, Greg Bloom, Marc Di Duca, Anthony Haywood, Anna Kaminski, Tom Masters, Leonid Ragozin, Tamara Sheward, Regis St Louis and Mara Vorhees.

About Lonely Planet: Since 1973, Lonely Planet has become the world's leading travel media company with guidebooks to every destination, an award-winning website, mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community. Lonely Planet covers must-see spots but also enables curious travellers to get off beaten paths to understand more of the culture of the places in which they find themselves.

  • Print length 696 pages
  • Language English
  • Publisher Lonely Planet
  • Publication date 13 Mar. 2015
  • Dimensions 13.1 x 2.8 x 19.8 cm
  • ISBN-10 1742207332
  • ISBN-13 978-1742207339
  • See all details

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  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Lonely Planet; 7th edition (13 Mar. 2015)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 696 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1742207332
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1742207339
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 13.1 x 2.8 x 19.8 cm
  • 25,614 in Specialty Travel
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About the authors

Lonely planet.

With over 150 million guidebooks in print, Lonely Planet is a trusted source for any traveler. Since our inception in 1973, we've inspired generations of travelers to discover amazing places and enabled curious travelers to get off the beaten paths to appreciate different cultures and become agents of positive change.

Simon Richmond

Simon Richmond

Simon Richmond is a UK-based author and photographer with over 25 years of experience of developing, researching and writing travel guidebooks and other non-fiction titles for major publishers including Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, DK Eyewitness, Insight Guides and Thames & Hudson. Specialist areas include Japan (his Rough Guide to Japan won the guidebook of the year in the Travelex awards of 2000), Southeast Asia, South Africa, Russia, Eastern Europe, Australia, the UK and USA. Other major topics covered during his career include consumer affairs, personal finance, food and the arts. He has also researched and presented radio and TV programmes and created online content for websites and social media.

Greg Bloom

Greg Bloom (b. 1969) is a Manila-based travel writer and editor. He specializes in writing guidebooks about Southeast Asia and the former Soviet Union. Over the years he has been detained by authorities in Uzbekistan, taken a shlagbaum to the head in Kyiv, jumped out of helicopters atop volcanoes in Kamchatka, hit 100km/h in a Latvian bobsled, flown out the back of a jeepney in Puerto Princesa, and survived a bus crash on the back roads of Bicol on the Philippine island of Luzon - mostly in the service of Lonely Planet.

Greg dabbled in careers as diverse as Christmas tree salesman, ski bum, PR flak and New York City bike messenger before moving to Ukraine in 1997 and settling into a career as a journalist. He was editor-in-chief of the Kyiv Post, an English-language weekly, from 1999 to 2003. Since 2004 he has divided his time between Cambodia (Phnom Penh and Siem Reap) and Manila. His travel articles have appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald, the South China Morning Post, the Toronto Globe & Mail and Action Asia, among other publications.

You can read about his travels at www.mytripjournal.com/bloomblogs. Greg also leads trips in the Philippines and Cambodia through his adventure-tour company, Bearcat Travel (facebook.com/bearcattravel).

Anna Kaminski

A freelance travel writer for nearly fifteen years, Anna Kaminski has contributed to dozens of travel guidebooks, covering destinations that span six continents. These include the Rough Guide to Chile, the Trailblazer Trans-Siberian Handbook, and Lonely Planet guides to Mexico, Jamaica, Borneo, the Baltic States, Central Asia, Kenya, West Coast Australia, Wales, Canada, Nicaragua, Argentina, Brazil, the Philippines, Vietnam, Greek Islands, Costa Rica, Papua New Guinea and Mongolia, as well as her current home, Spain, and her former homes: UK and Russia.

Most recently, she has penned her first solo book, Eyeball Tacos and Kangaroo Stew, a travelogue/memoir that takes a candid look at her life in travel through the prism of memorable meals.

An incorrigible foodie, there are few things that Anna will not eat, and she is prepared to travel great distances in search of memorable meals. Her favourite pastimes, besides eating, include corresponding with death row inmates, trekking in the mountains and attending Bruce Springsteen gigs. A career in criminal law is her ‘road not taken’.

Anthony Haywood

Anthony Haywood

Anthony Haywood is a writer, editor and translator whose published works include guidebooks and articles on Austria, Germany, Poland and Russia, as well as short stories and translations. His book "Siberia, A Cultural History", published by Oxford University Press/Signal Books in 2010/11, explores the cultural contours of Siberia from early civilizations to the present day. Find out more at www.anthonyjhaywood.com

Marc Di Duca

Marc Di Duca

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Tom Masters

Tom Masters

Marc Bennetts

Marc Bennetts

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20 Books to Read Before Visiting Russia

This morning I booked a solo July trip to Russia. I’ve long been fascinated by the country (the Hermitage ! the Bolshoi !) and can’t wait to experience it first hand. I’ll be there for six days, splitting my time between Moscow and St. Petersburg, and want to visit all the best sites. In preparation for my Russian adventure I’m going to be doing a lot of reading. Below is a rather ambitious Russia reading list (the only one I’ve tackled thus far is Anna Karenina –so good!). Any additions you’d suggest…? Have you been to Russia? As always, I would love to hear your tips on what to see and do!

Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman

The Romanovs: 1613-1918

A Gentleman in Moscow: A Novel

Natasha’s Dance: A Cultural History of Russia

Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia

travel books russia

War and Peace

The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra

St. Petersburg: Architecture of the Tsars

The Girl from the Metropol Hotel: Growing Up in Communist Russia

Anna Karenina

Peter the Great: His Life and World

Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking: A Memoir of Food and Longing

The Hermitage Museum: Treasures from the Complete Collections   (the malachite!)

The Chosen Maiden

The Empress of Art: Catherine the Great and the Transformation of Russia

The Madonnas of Leningrad: A Novel

Bolshoi Confidential: Secrets of the Russian Ballet from the Rule of the Tsars to Today

travel books russia

The Hermitage Collections

Nicholas and Alexandra: The Classic Account of the Fall of the Romanov Dynasty

Doctor Zhivago

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' src=

04/17/2017 at 3:16 pm

For a memoir of the gulag, read Journey into the Whirlwind by Eugenia Ginzburg

I haven’t read it myself, but everyone raves about The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

Also, have a fantastic trip!

' src=

04/17/2017 at 3:23 pm

Angela – Thanks so much for these suggestions! Will check them out now…

' src=

04/17/2017 at 4:26 pm

Wow! That is a daunting list to finish before your trip but probably all worth while in one way or another. I would add Nadezhda Mandelstam’s memoirs to it.(especially Hope Against Hope) When I am in Russia,bits and pieces of it clearly echo….even after all this time. Sincerely wishing you a wonderful trip full of beauty and insight.

' src=

04/17/2017 at 4:46 pm

I think you’ll absolutely LOVE Bolshoi Confidential—Morrison is one of my favorite Russian music scholars!

' src=

04/17/2017 at 5:02 pm

Hi Katie, I went to Moscow for the first time ever in October. We stayed at the Ritz-Carlton which was super luxurious and very close to Red Square. We booked a private walking tour which even took us inside the Kremlin. The tour guide was great because in many of the museums the plaques are not in English so you wouldn’t be able to read them. Dinner at the White Rabbit was a highlight, so if you’re able to get a reservation, you must go!! It is the best view of Moscow. Hope this helps. Enjoy the trip!

' src=

04/17/2017 at 6:40 pm

I’m actually currently reading The Romanovs, and it is an extremely well-written book. It is extremely interesting and sometimes the details and writing is so good that you forget you’re reading a non-fiction book! I definitely recommend reading it.

' src=

04/18/2017 at 1:14 am

Great list! The only one I’ve read is Gentleman in Moscow which I highly recommend. It takes place in The Metropol Hotel so I was intrigued to see The Girl From The Metropol Hotel on your list.

Enjoy your trip!

' src=

04/18/2017 at 10:32 pm

I spent 10 days in Russia a year ago (5 days in Moscow and 5 days in St Petersburg) and it was absolutely my favorite trip I’ve ever taken. My boyfriend and I had it on our bucket list for the history and art, and the trip exceeded every expectation. We stayed in airbnbs, did a ton of museums, and had some incredible meals (we still dream of the pelmeni!) I have tons and tons of recs and tips if you want them! So excited for you! xx

' src=

05/17/2017 at 3:52 pm

Hello! I am from Russia, just found your post, while doing some research for my University essay. It ‘s very interesting to read this – a lot of books we’ve hardly know here. Yes, I recommend The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov and if you like short novels you can choose Anton Chekhov or Ivan Bunin short stories – you find there native russian spirit. Wish you enjoy this trip, hope you won’t be disappointed!

' src=

04/06/2018 at 9:50 pm

I am excited for my trip to Russia in July. I will follow your lead on what books to read, what are the 5 best? Many thanks!!! Geri

PS Any restaurants for lunch in Moscow and St Petersburg?

' src=

04/22/2018 at 12:56 pm

Planning a trip to include Moscow and St Petersburg in May of 2019. Looking for inspiration!

' src=

06/15/2019 at 6:14 pm

I visited Moscow end of May beginning of June for 7 days. Managed to see Bon Jovi while I was there. I think 6 days and squeezing in Saint Petersburg is very short. I didn’t have enough time to see all I wanted. The metro is incredible… I personally could have spent a couple of days exploring the art and it’s history. Gorky Park is beautiful! There is a quaint tea shop next to the river with a large tea warm outside. That was the best tea I’ve tasted. I’m reading since visiting and planning to return for three weeks in summer. My son teaches in Moscow and I was fortunate enough to have is friend as a tour guide. Have an amazing time!!! I’m envious. I’d go back sooner if I could. Thanks for all your reading suggestions. Enough to keep me busy!!

' src=

02/09/2021 at 10:44 pm

Going on the Trans Siberian July 2021, St Petersburg to Beijing, grateful for your list…

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Russia: A Journey to the Heart of a Land and its People

Jonathan dimbleby.

542 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 2008

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21 Russian Books You Must Read in Your Lifetime

It is hard to disagree with Solzhenitsyn that Russian literature is the country’s second government. Russian books, whether it’s about Tolstoy’s love-stricken aristocrats or Pushkin’s tragic addicts, are a trip through time and into the Russian soul.

This list consists of books that touch on classic Russian titles, contemporary and non-fiction books about Russia, books on Russian and Soviet history as well as some of the most famous Russian short stories.

Love, War, God, Justice, Pain, Family, Good & Evil… pretty much everything philosophical you can think of will be discussed. With a dose of Cold War espionage of course.

Onegin timeless classic Russian book

So, buckle up with your trusty Kindle or colourful bookmarks ’cause it’s going to be a very existential ride!

*This article may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. For full information, please see the disclaimer  here .

Table of Contents

Classic Russian Literature

1. crime and punishment by fyodor dostoyevsky (1866).

Crime and Punishment (Dover Thrift Editions: Classic Novels)

  • Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 430 Pages – 08/22/2001 (Publication Date) – Dover Publications (Publisher)

Find the audiobook on Amazon Audible / Chirp

For our debutant, you might have thought I would bow to the grandeur of War and Peace or the Pushkin sophistication of Eugene Onegin. Nope.

One of my favorite books about Russia, Crime and Punishment made me ache to the point of self-doubt at Raskolnikov’s feverish paranoia. I wanted to hug and console Sonya; a sanctified prostitute who works solely to support her family (and perhaps reflects how Russian religious collectivism is used to absolve one of their sins?).

This novel of human psychology follows the ex-law student Raskolnikov and his social entourage after he commits two egregious crimes. With Raskolnikov sweeping the streets of St Petersburg, in an effort to either escape his guilt or fall deeper into his delirium, you will meet Razumikhin, Raskolnikov’s friend and happier alter-ego.

You will learn about Dunya, Raskolnikov’s sister, chased by the profiteering Luzhin. The Marmeladovs will show you what real family drama looks like. Porfiry Petrovich will be your 19th-century Russian Poirot.

The underlying question of it all: will Raskolnikov meet his punishment?

Intrigued to discover St Peterburg through the eyes of Russian nihilism? Ready to understand why turmoil has been irreversibly linked to the Russian soul? Then, few Russian books can rival the complexity of Crime and Punishment.

2. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov (1966)

The Master and Margarita

  • Great product!
  • Mikhail Bulgakov (Author)

Pontius Pilatus, the devil, and a chess-master cat enter a bar in Moscow… where did they all meet? Well, at Bulgakov’s Master and Margharita, of course!

Woland (Satan) with his supernatural bandits dance the tango of destruction with the flawed humans that they encounter in Moscow. The result will sometimes make you choke with laughter and other times will make your skin crawl.

Beheadings; sending people off to a nuthouse in Yalta; mystical seances at the Variety theatre leaving people naked in the street; just a few of the events that describe part of the havoc that Woland unleashes. The eternal battle between evil and good, fairness and injustice, greed and heroism are interweaved in the lives of the Master, Margharita, traumatized poets, morally dubious theatre directors, and maids-turned-witches.

As the Russian cousin of Goethe’s Faust, “The Master and Margarita” will show you how fear paralyzed the minds of the Soviet people and how atheistic propaganda was injected through society’s veins. But, you will also take a philosophical deep dive into morality, leaving you entertained and intellectually bedazzled.

3. Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev (1862)

Fathers and Sons (Oxford World's Classics)

  • Turgenev, Ivan (Author)
  • 256 Pages – 06/15/2008 (Publication Date) – Oxford University Press (Publisher)

Let me just say that I came across this diamond by doing an essay on Hemingway’s own version of “Fathers and Sons”. It’s a short story undoubtedly inspired by Turgenev’s works, so do check that out if you are a Hemingway fan!

Now, to our Russian book… “Fathers and Sons” centers around the evolving relationships between the main characters, the young Bazarov and Anatoly, their families and social surroundings. In fact, Bazarov is a staunch nihilist, deeply influencing his friend Anatoly. Not to mention that he heavily troubles the traditionalist noblemen that encircle them.

Take note that the novel was published in 1862, a time where Russian serfs and democrat revolutionaries were defying the status quo in light of the sweeping social and political changes in the West.

Yes, the journey of the maverick Bazarov might be Turgenev’s literary commentary on the political situation of Russia at the time. But, the novel also touches on the timeless generational gap that often exists between parents and children, with miscommunication and shifting values driving a wedge between the old and the young for centuries.

4. Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin (1833)

Eugene Onegin (Penguin Classics)

  • Pushkin, Alexander (Author)
  • 304 Pages – 11/25/2008 (Publication Date) – Penguin Classics (Publisher)

Falling outside the realm of standard Russian books, Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin has sculpted many of the Russian literary archetypes.

Onegin, the St. Petersburg dandy who is raised in social conformity and superficiality. Lensky, the daydreamer whose time in the clouds might be his downfall. Tatyana, the intelligent and passionate heroine falling madly in love only to become humiliated by her object of admiration.

Pushkin’s beloved stanzas orbit around a variety of themes. The exploration of meaningful love, fate, and the relationship between art and life stands out by the end of the poem. The clash of reality and art and the eventual loneliness and fate that Onegin must face, condemn in a very Russian way the effect that arrogance and egoism have on the individual and society as a whole.

5. War & Peace by Leo Tolstoy (1867)

War and Peace (Vintage Classics)

  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Tolstoy, Leo (Author)

The Book of Russian books. I think I can skip lengthy introductions for this one.

As you may know, this work which has been considered unclassified in genre, follows the lives of five aristocratic families. It is the era of the Napoleonic wars and a period of a shift of foreign influence in Russian society. Several of the characters will either experience or feel the impact of the French invasion, some will even meet Napoleon.

However, it is the society that is formed, the values that are reflected, and the philosophical questions that are posed that have hailed this book as the panorama of Russian aristocratic life under Tzarist rule.

There is love, questions on morality in an immoral society, meanderings on the existence of God. There are bloody battles, scenes of humility, and heart-breaking, bedridden goodbyes. It is a masterpiece of unique Tolstoy-esque existentialism and realism that has made it the crown jewel of Russian books.

6. Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol (1842)

Dead Souls

  • Nikolai Gogol (Author)

Gogol’s “Dead Souls” follows the main character, Chichikov, as he travels from estate to estate, seeking to buy from landowners their ‘dead souls’.

Well, as it happens, landowners pay taxes based on the ‘souls’, or the number of serfs they own. However, the serf ledger is not always up-to-date, so the owners often have to pay a tax for people that have turned to dust.

So, what business does the middle-class nomad Chichikov have buying ‘dead souls’? Is it moral to relieve peculiar landowners of their tax burden? Or, are Chichikov’s schemes of profit and the landowners’ avarice the pinnacle of immorality?

As always, it’s up to you, the reader to decide. But, before you do, imagine yourself in Chichikov’s shoes; dangling between the absurdity of fine society, the ridiculousness of the landowners, his list of dead people, each painting a worthy story of their own.

Macabre Russian humor, time-traveling back to the age of serfdom, get-rich-quick plans colliding with ethics. All the ingredients of classic Russian books will help you understand why Gogol’s “Dead Souls” seems so relevant even today.

7. Demons by Fyodor Dostoevsky (1871)

Demons: A Novel in Three Parts (Vintage Classics)

  • Dostoevsky, Fyodor (Author)
  • 768 Pages – 08/01/1995 (Publication Date) – Vintage (Publisher)

If I could add to this list everything Dostoyevsky, I would. If you find yourself being existentially struck by some of the Russian classics, do not skip the novels “The Idiot”, “Notes from Underground”, “The Gambler”, “Brothers Karamazov” and “The Grand Inquisitor”.

For our article though, Dostoyevsky’s “Demons” shall take the spot.

A tide of alluring ideas swept Russian society amidst the 19th century, particularly the youth. Alongside romantic trifles and aristocratic whims, a revolution is boiling. Pyotr Verkhovensky is the nihilist ideologue stroking the fire, Nikolai Stavrogin the tormented sadist thriving in his own shame.

A psychological drama, the book explores the destruction that can be brought by ideologies, the “demons” able to fuel horrific acts.

Non-fiction books about Russia

8. the return of the russian leviathan by sergei medvedev (2019).

One of the best Russian books to offer you a sharp analysis of the current political reality in Russia. Professor Medvedev traces the renewed rise of Russian authoritarianism with the undying picture of “Great Russia” as a background. A picture to which the country’s Tsar-like leaders seem too fondly attached.

Familiar with the biblical sea monster Leviathan? Then you have already got the gist of this book.

The might of a country meddling in the Syrian war, annexing Crimea, and stirring further conflict in Ukraine is contrasted by its internal silent chaos. Apartheid roads between the rich and the poor, lethal highways, the recarving of history, scandals of a kleptocracy; only just a few of the elements that the professor will evoke with his Russian dark humor to express the loss of hope for a free post-Soviet era.

9. Internal Colonization: Russia’s Imperial Experience by Alexander Etkind (2011)

Internal Colonization: Russia's Imperial Experience

  • Etkind, Alexander (Author)
  • 264 Pages – 11/21/2011 (Publication Date) – Polity (Publisher)

Subconsciously, we have maybe associated the word “colonization” with Western European countries, and a particularly English elephant in the room.

In that case, prepare to immerse yourself in a world of Russian serfdom going back to the times of the beginnings of the fur trade, the rise and fall of Tsars, the blending of history, social commentary, and the lessons of landmark Russian literature.

Starting by referring to Gogol’s story of a traveling human nose, Alexander Etkind will explore the unique process of Russia’s colonization of its own people. You will witness the transformation of the relationship between the colonized and the colonizers, Russia’s collision with the unfamiliar Orient.

A dense and deeply informative book, the combination of historical rigorousness and analysis of the cultural fabric of Russia throughout time will definitely make this a worthy read.

10. Pravda Ha Ha: True Travels to the End of Europe by Rory MacLean (2020)

Pravda Ha Ha: True Travels to the End of Europe

  • Hardcover Book
  • MacLean, Rory (Author)

Travel journal meets politics, meets Russia, meets (meta-) history.

Rory MacLean’s “Pravda Ha Ha” is an all-encompassing update to the author’s 1989 travels to the East of Europe. A time when the fall of communism gave rise to a new way of coping with past (Soviet) demons.

The book is a connecting dot between the optimism of a post-Soviet future and the despair of a deeply divisive present. Annexations of neighboring lands in the name of national sovereignty; the closing down of Orthodox monasteries turned labor camps; the establishment of anti-Europe, anti-immigration propaganda hubs; rural poverty vs urban debauched riches.

In the end, this is a book that will not limit its insight on the degression of Russian politics. It will accompany you through rich social commentary on the rebirth of nationalism in Europe. From the author meeting angry Hungarian shopkeepers to cyber hackers, Gorbachev, and British isolationism, this is a historical roller-coaster that you feel compelled to hop on to.

Contemporary Russian books

11. the light and the dark by mikhail shishkin (2014).

The Light and the Dark

  • Shishkin, Mikhail (Author)

Two people pour their souls and their thoughts into passionate love letters.

Sasha while talking to her lover reminisces of her childhood in Soviet Russia, the whirlwind of her affairs, the death striking her family, her loneliness. Her correspondent, Volodya, describes his journey to the army; from the scribbles of an office clerk to the odor of death surrounding him in an anti-monarchist revolution in China.

The twist? Their separation does not extend only through space. You will soon realize that Volodya is fighting off the Boxer Revolution of 1900 in China, while Sasha is much closer to our own time.

We are never sure whether their letters reach their destination. “Time will be back in joint when we meet again and I put my head on your knees”, Volodya dreams.

Can the ritual of writing beat death, time itself? How can flies in amber and Prester John be connected? Find out with this multi-sensory experience of the book, jumping from birth to death and everything in between.

12. Life and Fate by Vassily Grossman (1980)

Life and Fate (New York Review Books Classics)

  • Grossman, Vasily (Author)

Are you both a history buff and a literature geek? Then you have found your Russian book soulmate.

The creator of this masterpiece, Vasily Grossman was a Jewish chemist who became a writer and war correspondent covering the battle of Stalingrad and the horrors of concentration camps, notably Treblinka. Life teachings and literary prose shape the characters at the front lines of the Stalingrad seizure, at German and Soviet detention centers, at the ‘enemy’ lines, and at home.

In Grossman’s dark alleyway that is “Life and Fate”, where the Holocaust, pointless mass death, and numbing propaganda lurk, moments of humanity spark with light. A woman comforting a scared child in a gas chamber; a German and Russian soldier holding hands during a bombing.

This book is not for the light-hearted, but it is a school of learning, empathy, and humanity.

13. The Big Green Tent by Lyudmila Ulitskaya (2010)

Big Green Tent, The

  • Ludmila Ulitskaya (Author)
  • 01/17/2017 (Publication Date) – Audible Studios on Brilliance Audio (Publisher)

Another ‘epic’ novel in our list of Russian books, the “Big Green Tent” follows the lives of three childhood friends, Ilya, Sanya, and Mikha.

You travel back to a society transitioning to a post-Stalinist era, with the samizdat (smuggling of currency and foreign goods) still strongly persecuted. Ilya’s heart speaks to the cinema, his story orbiting around the samizdat, dragging his friends with him. You will also discover the musical world of Sanya and will be inspired by MIkha’s passion for teaching, especially disabled children.

This is a story of friendship between outcasts fighting to survive in a country that is still haunted by a Stalinist world. A coming-of-age tale of brave loyalty, discovery, and selfless sacrifice. In short, this is a read that will entrust to you the stories of three tragic but utterly unique people.

14. The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War by Ben Macintyre (2018)

The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War

  • Macintyre, Ben (Author)

If there is one Russian book in our list that you can engorge in one sitting, this is it.

Oleg Gordievsky, a seemingly perfect product of KGB-ism and Sovietism, lies in the center of the book. Designed to be the perfect Russian spy weapon, he secretly defects and joins the MI6 in 1973, becoming the Russian Aldrich Ames.

The true story of Mr. Gordievsky and his eventual rescue mission is recounted with infectious enthusiasm by Ben Macintyre, a true connoisseur of espionage and spy storytelling.

The Cold War space race, the US-UK intelligence rivalry, and the occasional appearance of Mrs. Thatcher create the perfect backdrop for Mr. Gordievsky’s story to unravel and keep you on your toes.

Russian Short Stories

15. ward no. 6 by anton chekhov (1892).

Wrestling with Angels: New and Collected Stories

  • Clayton, John J. (Author)

As the name suggests, this Russian short story, by the beloved Chekhov, takes place in a mental asylum.

As an intellectually hungry doctor searches for meaning, he engages in philosophical discussions with patients on the concept of suffering and injustice. But, people talk, and the doctor soon seems to blend more and more with the patients rather than the sane.

Will he himself end up in the mental ward? Will social isolation and his quest for the meaning of suffering be his downfall?

A short story of existential crisis, suffering, neglect, and a dysfunctional society, who often lets the insane roam about and the healthy locked behind dilapidated walls.

16. The Queen of Spades  by Alexander Pushkin (1834)

The Queen of Spades

  • Pushkin, Alexander Sergeevich (Author)
  • 52 Pages – 06/14/2012 (Publication Date) – ReadHowYouWant (Publisher)

Hermann searches furiously for the secret to win every time in a game of faro (17th-century French gambling game). When he learns that the Countess possesses the secret, he threatens the woman at gunpoint to reveal the trick.

A series of events ensues, involving ghosts, dead bodies opening their eyes at funerals, and a blinking queen of spades.

This is the classic Russian tale of avarice and gambling addiction, with a pinch of supernatural that is reminiscent of Bulgakov’s Master and Margarita.

Or is it all in Hermann’s mind? Pushkin will definitely not give you the answer.

17. The Overcoat  by Nikolai Gogol (1842)

The Overcoat

  • Gogol, Nikolai (Author)
  • 52 Pages – 12/01/2014 (Publication Date) – Read & Co. Classics (Publisher)

Akaky Akakievich is the everyday man, a government employee who enjoys copying documents. He has a worn-out overcoat, which his tailor insists to have replaced.

Akaky proceeds to cut his expenses to conjure up 80 rubles, and he triumphantly does. Unfortunately, his coat gets stolen and so he turns to the police and an “important personage” to help him. Things might not turn out so well for poor Akaky Akakievich after all.

As Dostoyevsky once said, “We all come out of Gogol’s overcoat”.

The story is a miniature of Russian, and not only, life, full of strife and sacrifice only to achieve short-lived success. You travel through life-sucking red tape, wax-faced employees, and a man’s sudden emotional awakening through the possession of a material good.

It is tragically funny and it is Russian, it is all you expect from Gogol.

Russian Revolution & Soviet Union Books

18. the gulag archipelago by aleksandr solzhenitsyn (1973).

The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation (Volume One)

  • Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr I. (Author)
  • 672 Pages – 01/30/1997 (Publication Date) – Basic Books (Publisher)

“The Gulag Archipelago” is one of the landmark non-fiction Russian books on the horrors of Soviet labor camps where millions of Russians perished.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn considered this book his greatest work yet. In fact, this is the book that caused him to lose his Soviet citizenship and emigrate to West Germany. But this is also the masterpiece behind his 1970 Nobel prize.

Here’s the thing about humans; we cannot avert our gaze from catastrophe and pain. And this book is perhaps human suffering packed in a leafy box of paper and ink.

The story starts in 1918. In the aftermath of the October Revolution, Lenin orders the opening of the first gulags. And so the gulag system begins, accompanied by show trials, uncalled arrests, personality cults, and disappearances.

The recounting of the horror revolves around the year 1968, but Solzhenitsyn’s message is immortal; never underestimate the lengths a power-hungry leadership will go to when dissidents are involved.

19. Animal Farm by George Orwell (1945)

Animal Farm: 75th Anniversary Edition

  • George Orwell (Author)
  • 140 Pages – 04/06/2004 (Publication Date) – Signet (Publisher)

“Animal Farm” might not be a ‘book about Russia’ in the traditional sense. It is a story of animals, repressed beings who free themselves from the tyranny of Mr. Jones with the leadership of two pigs, Napoleon and Snowball. But, as history goes, one leader must shine.

Even though you have heard this story before, you wonder. You see the back-breaking work of Boxer, the extremely strong but extremely gullible horse. Hens have their precious eggs stolen and the cows’ milk vanishes while the sheep transform their motto from “four legs good, two legs bad” to “four legs good, two legs better” as the pigs start to walk on their hind legs. You wonder, will the tyranny never end?

This book might not mention anything remotely related to Russia even once. However, it is a canvas picturing the birth of a revolution, the creation of a dictatorship, the disillusionment and eventual sedation of society. It is the perfect allegory for the Soviet Union.

As the saying goes “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”.

20. Bloodlands by Timothy D. Snyder (2010)

Bloodlands

  • Snyder, Timothy (Author)
  • 560 Pages – 11/04/2016 (Publication Date) – Basic Books (Publisher)

14 million people died between 1933 and 1945, across central and northeastern Europe, from the Baltic States, Ukraine, and Belarus, to northeastern Romania and western Russia. The book discusses where the atrocities of the Nazi and Soviet regimes aligned, in both purpose and nature.

The Soviet Famines; the Great Purge; Poland’s occupation and the Katyn massacre; the German Hunger Plan; the Holocaust; the Belarus Nazi occupation, and the Warsaw uprising are revisited, showing in each case a different side of the same coin that is totalitarianism.

21. A History of the Russian Revolution by Leon Trotsky (1930)

History of the Russian Revolution

  • Leon Trotsky (Author)

If you truly want to dive into the nitty and gritty of the Russian Revolution, Trotsky’s three-volume life achievement is hard to avoid. Written while he was in exile in Turkey, Trotsky’s work has been one of the most comprehensive and analytical accounts of one of the most crucial events in history.

While one could criticize points of bias towards his adversaries, Trotsky attempts to explain in detail the socio-political events that led to the overthrow of the Tzar, the July demonstrations in Petrograd, and the eventual October Revolution and seize of power. Any Russian Revolution history nerd can regard the books as anything but monumental.

Wouldn’t you love to read these books about Russia… in Russian? Check out the best books , apps , and tutors to learn Russian and you’re well on your way.

Must-read books about Russia – Pin it!

books about Russia

2 thoughts on “21 Russian Books You Must Read in Your Lifetime”

These look like great books!

Another that I like is a novel, made up of 4 volumes, named:

“Quiet Flows The Don” by Mikhail Sholokhov. The Don is the name of a river.

( Please note- in this novel, there are crimes done to women, and also- war crimes. Please don’t read this book, if you’re bothered by either of these two subjects.)

Great notes about a great country. In fifty years I’ve read about one fourth of them. I hope to be wealthy enough to read all of them. Thank

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The five best books to read before travelling to Russia

The five best books to read before travelling to Russia

Five books that make us want to visit Russia , through space and time, from the Russian countryside of the early 19th century to Siberia, via St. Petersburg and Moscow

by Nikolai Gogol

In the Russian Empire of the early 19th century, the word 'soul '  was used to count serfs. Well, the male ones, anyway. Women were perceived to have no soul or value. The number of souls in an estate made it possible to work out its value. The amount of property tax on the property depended on it. But censuses only took place every five years and a number of 'dead souls'  continued to populate state registers. The book tells of land credit schemes employed by Chichikov, a crook who takes advantage of the absurdity of the system. At once brilliant, hilarious and ambitious, this book denounces various aspects of humans at their worst.

Crime and Punishment

by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Raskolnikov is a young student. Sadly, he has to give up his studies. His sister is getting married in order to save the family and he decides to kill an old pawnbroker, partly for her money, partly (and this where it gets deep) to test the limits of freedom through the practice of evil and the transgression of the moral order. 'If one day Napoleon hadn't had the courage to shoot into an unarmed crowd, no -one would have paid any attention to him and he would have remained an unknown', he said  . The crime is perfect but doesn't produce the expected windfall and the moral upheavals lead Raskolnikov to turn himself in and serve his sentence in Siberia.

The Master and Margarita

by Mikail Bulgakov

This is about love, politics and social analysis. And it's also a satirical comedy. And a fairy tale. It's Faust in 1930s Stalinist Moscow. There are  a whole host of whimsical characters; the Master, Behemoth the black cat, a giant, headless beings, Pontius Pilate, Hella the impudent witch,  Satan and, inevitably, Margarita, who, in order to get back the man she loves, agrees to surrender her soul to the devil. Mikail Bulgakov, struggling with the Stalinist dictatorship, devoted the last twelve years of his life to bringing this novel to life, even though he probably knew it could not be published during his lifetime.  But he wrote the famous phrase ' the manuscripts will not burn ' , making this an ode to the freedom of thought. A major book in 20th century Russian literature.

The Gulag Archipelago

by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Arrested in 1945 for criticising Stalin's policies in his private correspondence, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was sentenced to eight years in the labour camps - the gulags. He began writing his book as soon as he left the camp. Based not only on his own experience, the book is a mouthpiece for victims of the gulag : it brings together the testimonies of more than 200 of these prisoners. ' This book does not contain any invented characters or events. Men and places are referred to by their real names ', the author explains in the book.  It is so true, so strong, that he hesitated for a long time before publishing the book. It was when a manuscript was confiscated by the KGB that he decided to take the plunge. ' For years I resisted publishing this book when it was already finished : duty to the living weighed more heavily than duty to the dead. But now that this book has been seized by state security anyway, there is nothing left for me to do other than publish it without delay '. The book was released abroad in 1973. To say it put the cat among the pigeons, would be an understatement. In bien pensant Western Europe, the book tore the left apart. In the Soviet Union, it was outlawed until 1989. It is now on the list of books studied in Russian high schools, and we think is one of the best books to read before travelling to Russia.

Consolations of the Forest

by Sylvain Tesson

Finally, a less intense book; one about a 21st century French traveller who tells us about his voluntary retirement - six months in a cabin on the shores of Lake Baikal. For company he took a whole pile of books and a goodly supply of vodka. He hunts, he cuts wood. Apart from rare visits by other humans, his Russian ' neighbours ' - the nearest village is more than 60 miles from his small house - or French friends, he is there alone. And time changes him.

VERONIQUE DURRUTY

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Last updated: May 19, 2024

We have a wide range of interviews recommending books on the history, politics and culture of Russia, and shed light on the reign of its current leader, Vladimir Putin, in power since 1999. For books to understand the Ukraine Russia conflict we turned to Harvard history professor Serhii Plokhy. For a recent book on Russia and where it's at, The Return of the Russian Leviathan by Russian academic Sergei Medvedev—who has already lost his job for writing critical of the current regime—won the 2020 Pushkin House Russian Book Prize and is a good place to start.

Looking back in time we have an excellent interview on Putin and Russian History with Edward Lucas, formerly a senior editor at the Economist, and now a security analyst. His recommendations include one of the best ever titles for a history book: It Was a Long Time Ago and It Never Happened Anyway . Our 2011 interview with British academic Simon Pirani on Putin's Russia is also an excellent insight into the late Yeltsin years and how Putin consolidated his power in his first decade.

Looking back to Russia's history ,  Andrei Maylunas chooses his best books on pre-Revolutionary Russia . Roland Chambers chooses his best books on the Russian Revolution and  Thomas Keneally chooses his best books on Revolutionary Russia . Both recommend A People’s Tragedy:  The Russian Revolution by Orlando Figes. Francis Spufford chooses his best books on Russia in the 20 th -century  and Robert Conquest chooses his best books on Communism . Robert Service chooses his best books on totalitarian Russia . Anna Reid chooses her best books on the Siege of Leningrad . We also have a selection of recommended books on Stalin and  about Mikhail Gorbachev , the final leader of the Soviet Union.

Thomas de Waal looks at conflict in the Caucasus . A number of other interviews also deal with Russia’s relationship with its periphery. Vanora Bennett chooses her best books on Chechnya and the poet, Nigan Hasan-Zadeh, chooses her best books on Azerbaijan .

On more cultural and literary themes, we have a collection of recommended Russian literature (including, among others, the best books on Solzhenitsyn, Vladimir Nabokov and Fyodor Dostoevsky . Rosamund Bartlett chooses the best Russian short stories . Books by Leo Tolstoy are some of the most frequently recommended on Five Books, attesting to the country's role in producing some of the greatest novels ever written.

Five Mysteries Set in Russia , recommended by Boris Akunin

Crime and punishment by fyodor dostoevsky, the brothers karamazov by fyodor dostoevsky, the shooting party by anton chekhov, five plays: ivanov, the seagull, uncle vanya, three sisters, and the cherry orchard by anton chekhov, captain ribnikov by alexander kuprin.

The golden age of mystery largely passed Russia by, but that doesn't mean there weren't some great crime novels produced over the last 150 years. Bestselling crime novelist Boris Akunin , who was born Grigory Chkhartishvili in Soviet Georgia and now lives in exile in London, recommends five Russian mysteries—great works of literature that happen to also have a crime at their heart. If you'd like to see Boris/Grigory in person, he's speaking at the Oxford Literary Festival on 18 March, 2024 at 6pm .

The golden age of mystery largely passed Russia by, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t some great crime novels produced over the last 150 years. Bestselling crime novelist Boris Akunin, who was born Grigory Chkhartishvili in Soviet Georgia and now lives in exile in London, recommends five Russian mysteries—great works of literature that happen to also have a crime at their heart. If you’d like to see Boris/Grigory in person, he’s speaking at the Oxford Literary Festival on 18 March, 2024 at 6pm .

The Best Russia Books: The 2023 Pushkin House Prize , recommended by Ekaterina Schulmann

Overreach: the inside story of putin and russia’s war against ukraine by owen matthews, russia's war by jade mcglynn, muppets in moscow: the unexpected crazy true story of making sesame street in russia by natasha lance rogoff, places of tenderness and heat: the queer milieu of fin-de-siècle st. petersburg by olga petri, cigarettes and soviets: smoking in the ussr by tricia starks, red leviathan: the secret history of soviet whaling by ryan tucker jones.

Since its invasion of Ukraine last year, Russia has been much in the news, with many of us struggling to better understand its politics, history, society and culture. Fortunately, we have the Pushkin House Book Prize, which every year celebrates the best nonfiction written about Russia and available in English. Russian political scientist Ekaterina Schulmann , chair of this year's judging panel, talks us through the books that made the 2023 shortlist.

Since its invasion of Ukraine last year, Russia has been much in the news, with many of us struggling to better understand its politics, history, society and culture. Fortunately, we have the Pushkin House Book Prize, which every year celebrates the best nonfiction written about Russia and available in English. Russian political scientist Ekaterina Schulmann, chair of this year’s judging panel, talks us through the books that made the 2023 shortlist.

The Best Russian Novels , recommended by Orlando Figes

War and peace by leo tolstoy, fathers and sons by ivan turgenev, the white guard by mikhail bulgakov, the first circle by aleksandr solzhenitsyn, day of the oprichnik by vladimir sorokin.

They're among the finest novels ever written , often vast in their scope and ambitious in their subject matter. Some are long, others can be read in an afternoon. They're also one of the best ways of understanding Russian history. Historian Orlando Figes , author of The Story of Russia , recommends his favourite Russian novels, from the 19th century to today.

They’re among the finest novels ever written , often vast in their scope and ambitious in their subject matter. Some are long, others can be read in an afternoon. They’re also one of the best ways of understanding Russian history. Historian Orlando Figes, author of The Story of Russia , recommends his favourite Russian novels, from the 19th century to today.

The best books on Ukraine and Russia , recommended by Serhii Plokhy

Ukraine and russia: from civilied divorce to uncivil war by paul d'anieri, ukraine: what everyone needs to know by serhy yekelchyk, ukraine’s nuclear disarmament: a history by yuri kostenko, ukraine in histories and stories: essays by ukrainian intellectuals, the orphanage: a novel by serhiy zhadan.

Thousands of people have been killed since 2014 in the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, in a war that has been rife with disinformation, misleading narratives and false flag operations. Here Serhii Plokhy , Professor of Ukrainian History at Harvard University, recommends books to better understand the conflict, from an introductory work by an eminent historian to the latest work of some of Ukraine's leading novelists.

Thousands of people have been killed since 2014 in the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, in a war that has been rife with disinformation, misleading narratives and false flag operations. Here Serhii Plokhy, Professor of Ukrainian History at Harvard University, recommends books to better understand the conflict, from an introductory work by an eminent historian to the latest work of some of Ukraine’s leading novelists.

The best books on Contemporary Russia , recommended by Edward Lucas

Internal colonization by alexander etkind, bloodlands by timothy snyder, gulag: a history by anne applebaum, lenin's tomb by david remnick, putin’s kleptocracy by karen dawisha.

Journalist and author Edward Lucas explains how a revanchist Russia can be traced back to Putin’s sense of betrayal after the collapse of the USSR

The Best Russian Short Stories , recommended by Rosamund Bartlett

The queen of spades and other stories by alexander pushkin, lady macbeth of mtsensk by nikolai leskov, master and man and other stories by leo tolstoy, about love and other stories by anton chekhov, the complete works of isaac babel by isaac babel.

In Russia, it’s often fallen to writers to challenge conventions and speak the truth, says the translator and biographer Rosamund Bartlett . She makes a personal selection of some of the most exhilarating Russian short fiction.

In Russia, it’s often fallen to writers to challenge conventions and speak the truth, says the translator and biographer Rosamund Bartlett. She makes a personal selection of some of the most exhilarating Russian short fiction.

The best books on Putin’s Russia , recommended by Simon Pirani

Godfather of the kremlin by paul klebnikov, russia’s oil and natural gas by michael ellman, labour after communism by david mandel, bourdieu’s secret admirer in the caucasus by georgi m derluguian, one soldier’s war in chechnya by arkady babchenko.

Vladimir Putin has crafted a careful narrative about his rise to power and rescuing of Russia. The trouble, says author and academic Simon Pirani , is it isn’t true. He recommends the best books on Putin's Russia.

Vladimir Putin has crafted a careful narrative about his rise to power and rescuing of Russia. The trouble, says author and academic Simon Pirani, is it isn’t true. He recommends the best books on Putin’s Russia.

The Best Vasily Grossman Books , recommended by Maxim D Shrayer

The life and fate of vasily grossman by john and carol garrard, the complete black book of russian jewry by ilya ehrenburg and vasily grossman, the road by vasily grossman, life and fate by vasily grossman and translated by robert chandler, forever flowing by vasily grossman.

The Soviet writer bore witness to the horrors of Russia's World War Two and the Shoah — and deserves a place in literary history, says scholar Maxim D Shrayer . He recommends the best books by and about Vasily Grossman.

The Soviet writer bore witness to the horrors of Russia’s World War Two and the Shoah — and deserves a place in literary history, says scholar Maxim D Shrayer. He recommends the best books by and about Vasily Grossman.

The best books on The Russian Revolution , recommended by Roland Chambers

Six weeks in russia in 1919 by arthur ransome, a people’s tragedy: the russian revolution by orlando figes, the debate on soviet power by john lh keep (editor and translator), lenin in zurich by aleksandr solzhenitsyn, history of the russian revolution by leon trotsky.

The Russian revolution was the beginning of the modern age, says award-winning author Roland Chambers . He tells us what Solzhenitsyn imagined Lenin was like, and about the children’s author who led a double life as a spy in Bolshevik Russia.

The Russian revolution was the beginning of the modern age, says award-winning author Roland Chambers. He tells us what Solzhenitsyn imagined Lenin was like, and about the children’s author who led a double life as a spy in Bolshevik Russia.

The best books on Why Russia isn’t a Democracy , recommended by Martin Sixsmith

The russian tradition by tibor szamuely, august 1914 by aleksandr solzhenitsyn, ten days that shook the world by john reed, v d nabokov and the russian provisional government, 1917 by v d nabokov.

The former BBC Moscow correspondent and author Martin Sixsmith chooses five great works on Russia's doomed democracies.

The former BBC Moscow correspondent and author Martin Sixsmith chooses five great works on Russia’s doomed democracies.

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Books about Russia – (Travel) Memoirs, Non-Fiction, Fiction, Guidebooks

December 12, 2018 January 20, 2024 | Karin-Marijke

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travel books russia

“So many books, so little time.” ~Frank Zappa

1. Non-Fiction Stories about Russian People

Russia: A Short History

Russia: A Short History , by Abraham Ascher

A very readable, fascinating overview of Russia’s history from its early age to modern time with a focus on the last 300 years. Updated after Putin’s third election as president it includes very recent history.

Russia: What Everyone Needs to KnowR (What Everyone Needs To KnowRG)

Russia, what everyone needs to know , by Timothy J. Colton

Apart from an introduction to Russia’s history, this book gives an introduction to Russia’s political climate. Colton has written  several books about Russia , so other titles may follow on my list.

The Future Is History (National Book Award Winner): How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia

The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia , by Masha Gessen

Hopefully this book will help me understand the workings of Russia’s autocracy.

2. Stories about the Gulag System

Prisoner of the OGPU

Prisoner of the OGPU: Four Years in a Soviet Labor Camp  (non-fiction), by George Kitchin

After hearing from a couple of Russians that they doubt whether it was really that bad in the gulags, or if it did happen it needed to be done for a greater good, I figured I had some reading to do. Unable to buy the above-mentioned Gulag Archipelago, I bought this.

What can I say? It’s a harrowing story and reading it with the critical notes from locals in my mind, I’d argue that even if only ten percent were true and the rest lies or exaggerated, this kind of treatment is still unacceptable for a greater good of a country.

Journey Into The Whirlwind (Helen and Kurt Wolff Books)

Journey into the Whirlwind  (non-fiction), by Eugenia Ginzburg

A critically acclaimed memoir of the harrowing eighteen years she spent in prisons and labor camps under Stalin’s rule.

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich: A Novel  (fiction) , by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

In the madness of World War II, a dutiful Russian soldier is wrongfully convicted of treason and sentenced to ten years in a Siberian labor camp. I’d like to read  The Gulag Archipelago  as well, his most controversial work (non-fiction) but it’s not available on  Kindle .

Zuleikha

Zuleikha , by Guzel Yakhina (fiction).

Winner of the Big Book Award, this fiction details a life in the gulag inspired by Guzel Yakhina’s grandmother’s childhood memories.

3. Travel Memoirs about Russia

Off the Rails: 10,000 km in fourteen months - Russia, Siberia, Mongolia, and China

Off the Rails: 10,000 km in fourteen months – Russia, Siberia, Mongolia, and China , by Tim Cope and Chris Hatherly

This story had me captivated from beginning to end. What a feat to cycle on recumbent bikes in all seasons through such wilderness. Kudos to them.

Under the Flight Path: 15,000 kms Overland Across Russia, Mongolia & China

Under the Flight Path: 15,000 kms Overland Across Russia, Mongolia & China , by Simon Pridmore

A similar trip across similar countryside but travel experiences and ways of telling them are unique and so this is a different account that inspires me.

Travels in Siberia

Travels in Siberia , by Ian Frazier

On the Best-Book Lists of the Washington Post, Boston Globe, and more, Ian Frazier chronicles his various trips to Siberia that includes many insights into its history and culture.

4. Fiction Books set in Russia

Rasputin's Daughter: A Novel (A Romanov Novel)

Rasputin’s Daughter , by Robert Alexander

A historical novel about imperial Russia’s most notorious figure of Rasputin.

The Master of Petersburg: A Novel

The Master of Petersburg , by J.M. Coetzee

5. Classic Russian Books

War and Peace (Vintage Classics)

War and Peace , by Leo Tolstoy

Anna Karenina (Everyman's Library)

Anna Karenina , by Leo Tolstoy

Doctor Zhivago

Doctor Zhivago , by Boris Pasternak

6. Guidebooks for Russia

Travel guides for russia.

(click on the images to look inside)

Insight Guides Russia (Travel Guide with Free eBook)

Insight Guides – Russia

DK Eyewitness Russia (Travel Guide)

DK Eyewitness Travel Guides – Russia

Lonely Planet Russia (Travel Guide)

Lonely Planet Travel Guides – Russia

Products from Amazon

Lonely Planet Moscow (Travel Guide)

Lonely Planet Travel Guides – Moscow

Trans-Siberian Handbook: The Guide to the World's Longest Railway Journey with 90 Maps and Guides to the Route, Cities and Towns in Russia, Mongolia & China (Trailblazer Handbook)

Trans Siberian Handbook

Lonely Planet Russian Phrasebook & Dictionary 7

Lonely Planet – Russian Phrasebook & Dictionary

7. Books about Russia in Dutch

Jelle Brandt Corstius woonde en werkte in Rusland als correspondent voor Trouw en RTL Nieuws. Deze boeken gaan over zijn reizen in Rusland, zijn makkelijk te lezen en vol met leuke anecdotes die bizarre aspecten van het land laat zien op een respectvolle manier.

  • Rusland voor  Gevorderden
  • Kleine Landjes (over de Caucasus)
  • Van Moskou tot Medan

Tips, Suggestions, Feedback?

Interested in more books about Russia? Check out this list .

Do you have suggestions on books about Russia that I should add to my list? I’d love to hear them. Feel free to share them in the comment section below or send me an email . Thanks!

Originally published in February 2018 / Updated December 2018

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Why The Mirage is closing after 34 years

The final day of operations is July 17.

The Las Vegas Strip is losing another iconic hotel property, dimming the lights for the last time at The Mirage later this summer.

Hard Rock International, which acquired The Mirage in 2022, announced it will officially cease operations of the hotel on July 17.

PHOTO: The Mirage hotel and casino is seen, Aug. 17, 2020, in Las Vegas.

The last day of hotel occupancy will be July 14, the company stated on its website.

Why The Mirage is closing in Las Vegas

The property, which opened in 1989, helped usher in a transformative era, making way for future luxury and megaresorts in the desert destination.

PHOTO: Guests pass through the atrium at The Mirage, March 22, 2023, in Las Vegas.

The Mirage was quickly followed by Excalibur, Luxor, and the MGM Grand, all of which opened within the next four years.

This closure will clear the way for HRI to begin construction and transformation into the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and Guitar Hotel Las Vegas.

"The property will be reimagined and developed into a new integrated resort featuring a nearly 700 ft. guitar-shaped hotel prominently in the center of the famous Las Vegas Strip," the company stated about the new musical instrument-inspired tower that's slated to open in 2027.

PHOTO: People watch the Volcano show at the Mirage hotel-casino along the Las Vegas Strip, May 13, 2022, in Las Vegas.

"We’d like to thank the Las Vegas community and team members for warmly welcoming Hard Rock after enjoying 34 years at The Mirage," Jim Allen, chairman of HRI, said in a statement Wednesday.

Las Vegas closes iconic properties for new era

This marks the second hotel and casino closure on the Strip after The Tropicana Las Vegas shuttered in April, just shy of its 67th anniversary.

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KSRTC's superfast premium AC bus set to begin trial run

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The superfast premium air-conditioned bus launched by the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) will begin its trial run soon. After the test run, the performance of the vehicles will be evaluated, and necessary changes will be made before deploying the vehicles in service. The 40-seater bus has pushback seats except at the rear. The side windows can be opened if the AC fails for any reason. The fare for the premium service is higher than that of the superfast service. The existing Volvo low-floor AC buses will be diverted exclusively for city service. In the first phase, 48 buses will be procured from Tata and Leyland companies. The goal is to acquire a total of 220 buses for Rs 36-Rs 38 lakh each. These buses will stop only at major depots. However, passengers who book by paying an additional Rs 10 can board at non-stop locations. The Google Maps location from where the passenger intends to board should be provided at the time of booking the ticket.

Food and beverages for passengers Meanwhile, offering a big relief to passengers, KSRTC is finalizing a project to serve snacks, bottled water, tea and coffee on its long-distance buses. The move is intended to address grievances of travellers about lack of refreshments during long trips. The food items will be stored on a shelf to be fixed near the driver’s cabin in the space where the television is installed in tourist buses. A vending machine also will be arranged to serve tea and coffee. KSRTC authorities are planning to distribute light snacks which could be consumed easily on buses. KSRTC will lease out the space to set up the food shelf and vending machine to private contractors and bids have been invited for the purpose.

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  1. 13 Books on Russia: Why Did Russia Invade Ukraine?

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  1. The best books to read when visiting Russia

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    If you are interested in exploring the diverse and fascinating regions of Russia, from Moscow and St. Petersburg to Siberia and Asia, you will find a wide selection of books to guide you on Amazon.com. Whether you want to learn about the history, culture, politics, or cuisine of Russia, or follow the adventurous journey of a journalist on the Trans-Siberian Railway, you will discover something ...

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    Inside Lonely Planet's Russia Travel Guide:. Colour maps and images throughout; Highlights and itineraries help you tailor your trip to your personal needs and interests; Insider tips to save time and money and get around like a local, avoiding crowds and trouble spots; Essential info at your fingertips - hours of operation, phone numbers, websites, transit tips, prices

  6. Lonely Planet Russia (Travel Guide) by Lonely Planet

    Lonely Planet Russia (Travel Guide) Paperback - 13 Mar. 2015. by Lonely Planet (Author), Simon Richmond (Author), Marc Bennetts (Author), 4.6 74 ratings. See all formats and editions. Lonely Planet: The world's leading travel guide publisher. Lonely Planet Russiais your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip ...

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    DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Russia, a new title in the award-winning DK Eyewitness Travel guidebook series, showcases the best of this diverse country, from the majestic cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg to the sandy beaches of the Baltic Coast and from the lush Volga delta to the snow-capped Caucasus Mountains.. Using unique illustrated maps and 3-D cutaway drawings of key locations ...

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  10. Russia

    Letters from Russia. by Astolphe de Custine, Anka Muhlstein (Introduction) Explore Series. Paperback $29.95. QUICK ADD. DK Eyewitness Russia. by DK Eyewitness. Explore Series. Paperback $25.00.

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    17 books55 followers. Jonathan Dimbleby is a writer and filmmaker based in England. His five-part series on Russia was broadcast by BBC2 and accompanied by his book Russia: A Journal to the Heart of a Land and its People. Destiny in the Desert was recently nominated for the Hessell-Tiltman History Prize.

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    The clash of reality and art and the eventual loneliness and fate that Onegin must face, condemn in a very Russian way the effect that arrogance and egoism have on the individual and society as a whole. 5. War & Peace by Leo Tolstoy (1867) Sale. War and Peace (Vintage Classics) Used Book in Good Condition.

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    Incidents of Travel in Greece, Turkey, Russia and Poland (1838) Incidents of Travel in Central American, Chiapas and Yucatán (1841) ... (2001) - winner of the Lowell Thomas Award 'Travel Book of the Year' and North American Travel Journalist Association 'Grand Prize' Dennison Berwick (born 1956) Savages, The Life and Killing of the Yanomami ...

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