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The Future Is History
The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia | Masha Gessen
Putins bestselling biographer reveals how, in the space of a generation, Russia surrendered to a more virulent and invincible new strain of autocracy. Hailed for her fearless indictment of the most powerful man in Russia (The Wall Street Journal), award-winning journalist Masha Gessen is unparalleled in her understanding of the events and forces that have wracked her native country in recent times. In The Future Is History, she follows the lives of four people born at what promised to be the dawn of democracy. Each came of age with unprecedented expectations, some as the children and grandchildren of the very architects of the new Russia, each with newfound aspirations of their ownas entrepreneurs, activists, thinkers, and writers, sexual and social beings. Gessen charts their paths not only against the machinations of the regime that would crush them all, but also against the war it waged on understanding itself, ensuring the unobstructed reemergence of the old Soviet order in the form of todays terrifying and seemingly unstoppable mafia state. Powerful and urgent, The Future Is History is a cautionary tale for our time and for all time.
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Brooke_H
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I‘m down to my last few hours of housesitting at a home that is FAR more massive (and clean!) than my own, with many lovely outdoor seating areas in which to read. I‘ll miss the many hours of reading I can indulge in when I‘m not at home! But I‘ll be glad to get back to my routine.

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Brooke_H
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Starting this super light & fluffy read at lunchtime. 😂

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Twocougs
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A little light reading😍

32 likes1 stack add
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captainpunchmerica
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Pickpick

This book is amazing. I‘ve learned so much and I feel like I ran an emotional marathon but it was worth it.

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captainpunchmerica
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Hellaciously sick but this account of Russia‘s redescent into totalitarianism is still riveting

Weaponxgirl I really want to read this! 11mo
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Bianca
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I finished Ghosts of the Tsunami: Death and Life in Japan's Disaster Zone by Richard Lloyd Parry last night and wanted to continue on my nonfiction streak.

AlaMich Masha Gessen is so interesting. I‘ve never read any of her writing but I‘ve heard her interviewed numerous times. The book sounds fascinating...depressing, but fascinating. (edited) 12mo
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LauraJ
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Pickpick

Wow, this is a dense book. My book club agreed that this is easier to follow in print than as an audiobook due to our unfamiliarity with Russian last names. A great look at how a modern Russia, led by Putin, came to be.

JenReadsAlot I enjoyed this as well. 1y
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LauraJ
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I‘m not sure why, but I found this exceptionally amusing 🍗🍗🍗🍗

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scowler1
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Pickpick

A fascinating bit of non-fiction. It combines some pretty heavy political and social writing with the stories of some seemingly ordinary Russians who grow into activist roles through the book. You end up with a reasonable idea of why the country is where it is today.

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scowler1
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A bit of light reading about how totalitarianism has reclaimed Russia.

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metalgeek506
Pickpick

I was aware of all of the accolades this book received, and can say they are well deserved. Several stories of young adults growing up in post Soviet Union Russia are woven together. It also takes a long look at the psyche of Russian citizens who were on the cusp of democracy but prefer the stability of a totalitarian state.

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captainpunchmerica
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#riotgrams Day 9 - Spine Poetry: shout out to the most poetic spine I know

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JenReadsAlot
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Pickpick

Fascinating book on the history of Russia. Parts of it were a little over my head but overall I really enjoyed it.

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Twocougs
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A little light reading arrived😉

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AMVP
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Went by the #library on my way home from work today. Remember hearing about this new release on @ReadingGlasses .

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BookishMarginalia
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Pickpick

Depressing but engrossing look at the ways that Russia is a totalitarian state despite its brief flirtation with democracy-adjacent openness when the Soviet Union collapsed. The chapter on scapegoating and repression of LGBT people hit me especially hard. Not a light or easy read, but well worth the effort. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

kspenmoll Great review. 2y
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BookishMarginalia
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#CurrentlyListening to better understand Russia

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mrozzz
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Pickpick

With historical context, the book focuses on 4 young Russians, detailing how past/present ideologies affect them & how they make the best of it/fight back.

I recommend it, if just for the shock of the reality of present-day Russia (but skip the audio). Even though mentions of Russia frequent major news sources daily— so many details were totally unknown to me. Like, a gov‘t order (3 yrs ago!) to destroy literal tons of edible food from the EU.

SaraBeagle I read this and then read The Man Without a Face- she goes into more details on the corruption there. It‘s 🍌🍌🍌🍌🍌🍌! 2y
mrozzz Oh yeah! I should get a copy of that one too! Thanks for the reco 😊 @SaraBeagle 2y
Texreader Oh how sad!!! Stacked! 2y
mrozzz Pretty horrific! @Texreader 2y
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dperipatetic
Pickpick

A brilliant and frightening case study about recurrent totalitarianism.

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TheBookStacker
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Waiting for my laundry to get done so I can start packing for New Orleans! Can‘t wait to go back to visit all my friends! I am still so sad that I don‘t live there anymore, maybe one day the winds of fate will take me back.

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BookishFeminist
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Plans tonight: drinking, reading, and not watching the State of the Union address. 🥂

PenguinInFlight I made it through 10 minutes and couldn‘t take it anymore. I am now drinking and reading with my dog. ❤️ (edited) 2y
callielafleur Right on ❤️❤️ 2y
AmyG I refuse to watch SOTU 2y
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TheBookStacker Funnily enough I just ordered this book 2 days ago! 2y
UrsulaMonarch Great choice. Probably as informative, if not much more so, on the state of our 🇺🇸union 2y
ApoptyGina69 Hellz yeah. Looking forward to reading this book too. 2y
WhatDeeReads Same. That also means staying off of twitter and Facebook. Both tonight and tomorrow morning. 2y
vivastory I had that apothic last week. Good stuff! 2y
Anton Masha Gessen is so good, her book on Pussy Riot was excellent. 2y
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mrozzz
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Oh @BookBee89 was giving me “the Look”. 🙂🙃🙂
The “Do-You-Really-Need-More-Books-At-Home Look”. And while it‘s true I didn‘t, I had to pick up some of these! #LibraryHaul

The Future is History won the 2017 National Book Award for nonfiction so I couldn‘t believe it was available!

After the End of the World is actually the second in the Carter & Lovecraft series (which I was not aware of). Let me know if I‘m missing out by skipping the 1st.

[DELETED] 3803335244 Great Haul! 2y
KathyWheeler What is the book right above The Future is History? 2y
mrozzz @ForeverNerdy Thanks 😊 2y
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goschkoder
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In the Soviet Union, there had been no public, precisely because there had been no conversation: "One Man of gigantic dimensions" must speak with a single voice, and only when called upon. (Art piece by A.A. Sundukov)

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Gillyreads
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Pickpick

Forgot to post my first 2018 read. It was super interesting, and I learnt a lot of things I didn‘t know about recent history. I hadn‘t realised a lot of this stuff happened in my lifetime.

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Nitpickyabouttrains
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Pickpick

A super interesting look at Russia and Russian life in the last few decades. A great audiobook.

Nat_Reads I'm reading Deathless--which is Russian history with a lot of folk lore thrown in! Great reading so far-- 2y
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Jen2
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Pickpick

Fascinating!!!

Nitpickyabouttrains I just started this today! Enjoying it so far. 2y
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jdtchicago

The only thing worse than feeling like a loser was feeling like a member of a society of losers.

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jdtchicago

Little Octobrists are future Young Pioneers. Little Octobrists are studious kids. They study hard, love school, and respect their elders. Little Octobrists are honest and truthful kids. Little Octobrists are fun-loving kids. They read and they draw, they play and they sing, and they stick together. Only those who work hard and persist earn the right to be called Little Octobrist.

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jdtchicago

One time, Alexander Nikolaevich discovered, Stalin invited an old friend back in Georgia to Moscow for a reunion. They dined and drank—Stalin took pride in his hospitality and his menus, which he personally curated. Later the same night, the friend was arrested in his hotel room. He was executed before dawn. This could not be explained with any words or ideas available to man.

DivineDiana Amazing, if this is true! 2y
AmyG I have heard good things about this book. 2y
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jdtchicago

The Soviet regime robbed people not only of their ability to live freely but also of the ability to understand fully what had been taken from them, and how.

Cathythoughts Very well said here 2y
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jdtchicago

A state born of protest against inequality had created one of the most intricate and rigid systems of privilege that the world had ever seen.

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jdtchicago

Perestroika was an impossible idea...The Party was setting out to employ its structures of command to make the country..less command-driven. A system whose main afflictions were stagnation and inflexibility was setting out to change itself. Worst was the fact that people who had spent their lives securing power and individual leverage were expected to devise change that would dismantle the hierarchy of levers and might dislodge them.

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UrsulaMonarch
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Pickpick

This book is pretty amazing. The thesis on the re-emergence of totalitarianism is persuasive, and the author's tracking of the phenomenon is fascinating.

I found it hard to keep track of individual people and was surprised but interested in some of the directions the book took, such as the growth of psychoanalysis in the USSR, but I still recommend it.

UrsulaMonarch It's really good with the inadvertent pairing I had with 2y
mdhughes72 @Lkelly Were you able to get through that beast of a book? I️ keep trying to work up a head of steam but haven‘t been able to summit Mt. 2y
UrsulaMonarch @mdhughes72 😂😂😂still working on it! I think I'm ~60% done... but I also started back in march or April!! 2y
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UrsulaMonarch
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Notafraidofwords 😯😐 2y
Redwritinghood Yup. You‘re getting to that part. Creepy isn‘t it? 2y
UrsulaMonarch @Redwritinghood YES I was thinking of you!!! 😬😬😬 2y
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UrsulaMonarch
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Citizenry in a totalitarian state.

Also made me look up "antinomy"!

UrsulaMonarch @AmyG of possible interest! 2y
RaimeyGallant Intense. 2y
AmyG Wow. 2y
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UrsulaMonarch
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As the book continues, turns out only the latter seems true.

I was just telling someone that reading this book is really helpful to understanding current American politics- and then Emily Bazelon said the exact same thing on the #slate #political #gabfest #podcast !

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Redwritinghood
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Pickpick

A great look at the last ~35 years in Russia, how it went from a Communist regime to faltering democracy to totalitarian state. Gessen uses the lives of ordinary Russians to help the reader experience what it was like to live there during this time. We follow a few people while also learning about government changes and how those changes affected them. A great book to understand Russia and what might be influencing politics in the US today.

UrsulaMonarch YES!!! 👏👏👏 2y
AmyG I am sort of afraid to read this. It might be like finding what to expect in our future? Oy. 2y
Redwritinghood @AmyG While Russia faced some issues we don‘t have in the US, the similarity between some of the ways the current US administration and the Russian one act right now is kind of scary. (edited) 2y
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UrsulaMonarch @AmyG I totally agree with @Redwritinghood - I'm not finished with the book yet but I feel like there are warning signs for the US. (Although agreed there are big differences- the author talks a lot about the RE-emergence of totalitarianism). For some reason I'm not finding it scary though - just really really informative! 2y
Redwritinghood @Lkelly Where are you in the book? I was startled toward the end when I read about some of Putin‘s ways of holding power - they seemed similar to what we see now in the US. I don‘t think the same thing will happen here, but the similarities were shocking to me. 2y
UrsulaMonarch @Redwritinghood I'm about 70% done so not there yet but that sounds forboding 😬 2y
55 likes5 stack adds6 comments
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UrsulaMonarch
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Looks like I'm enjoying the book more than this little guy, who arrived on Friday! Thanks everyone for the kind wishes! 😊😍👶

ElishaLovesBooks Yay!!Congratulations!!!! He is so adorable! I hope mom and baby 👶🏻 are feeling good! 💙💙💙💕💕 2y
CatLass007 What a little doll! And a full head of hair!! 2y
Clwojick Congrats! ❤️❤️❤️❤️ 2y
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Jess7 Congrats !! 2y
LauraBrook Congratulations!!!! 2y
AmyG He is beautiful! Congratulations. ❤️ 2y
BookNAround What a sweetie. Enjoy your new little love. 2y
Megabooks Congratulations! 😍😍 2y
8leagueboot Warm congratulations!! He is just remarkable. 2y
TheWordJar Congratulations! What a beautiful bundle! Hope you both are doing well! 2y
tournevis 👏👏👏👏👏👏 2y
Angitron Oh he‘s BEAUTIFUL!!! What a sweet face! Congratulations!!! 🎈🎉🎊 2y
jfalkens Congrats 🎉🎊🎉🎊 he's adorable ❤ 2y
Mel ❤️❤️❤️ 2y
erzascarletbookgasm Congratulations! 😃❤️ 2y
DebinHawaii Congratulations! He is adorable! 💙 2y
starlight97 Congrats! Beautiful baby 😍 I wish you all the happiness! 👶❤ 2y
readordierachel Congratulations!!! 2y
Cinfhen Congrats!!! He's beautiful 💙💙💙💙snugglebunnny (edited) 2y
Kalalalatja Congratulations! What a beautiful little baby 💙💙💙 2y
batsy Beautiful little person! Congratulations ❤️❤️❤️ 2y
scripturient Congratulations!!! 😘😘😘 2y
Birdsong28 Congrats 🎊🎉📚📖 2y
PurpleyPumpkin So sweet, congratulations!💕 2y
RachelO Belated congratulations! 2y
47 likes25 comments
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UrsulaMonarch
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This book is really different than I was expecting. I also feel like it could have used, or at least I would have benefited from, a crash course on the past 100 years of Russian and Soviet history 😬

ClairesReads So keen to read this!! 2y
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Redwritinghood
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Ready to settle in for the night with a book and some Southern Comfort with lime. I‘m so ready for this long holiday weekend. #bookandbrew

mrozzz 0o0o0o0 👌🏻 2y
LauraJ Very curious about this book. 2y
65 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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Riveted_Reader_Melissa
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It was great meeting @BarbaraTheBibliophage at the #MidtownScholar bookstore in #CentralPA to see Masha Gessen (in the background) interviewed and get our books signed. It was a great event, I‘ll have to keep my eye open for future author events, and check out their author interviews online.

LeahBergen Aww, I love it. 💕💕 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage It was all kinds of great to meet you too, Melissa! It sounds like their 2018 events are going to be worth attending. 2y
MinDea Awww! So cool to meet a fellow Litten! 2y
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Bookzombie Love seeing meetups! 💕 2y
TrishB Cool 👍 2y
Eyelit Aw! That‘s fantastic!!! 2y
cariashley Awesome! 2y
RebelReader How wonderful to meet up with a fellow Litten. You both look fantastic! 💕 2y
Gezemice Oh that's so cool! So great for you to meet! I wish I weren't living in the corn fields... 🙁 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @Gezemice LOL! When I open my front door that‘s exactly what I see! Corn Fields! The neighbor just went out with his tractor last weekend and harvested them. This was a little over an hour drive for me into Harrisburg, PA 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa This is the bookstore we are headed to @Gezemice and here‘s the first time I met @BarbaratheBibliophage 9mo
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Riveted_Reader_Melissa @Gezemice 👋🏻👋🏻😎😎📚📚 9mo
Gezemice Oh my gosh, what a great picture! Must have been great fun! So nice to see you both and I continue being jealous :) @Riveted_Reader_Melissa @BarbaraTheBibliophage 9mo
Gezemice @Riveted_Reader_Melissa Well I actually do not live in corn fields, but they are close :) However it is 3-4 hours to a major city... our town is not large enough for author visits. Although as a college town, the libraries are excellent, so I can‘t complain, really... 9mo
80 likes14 comments
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BarbaraTheBibliophage
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Mr. B and I did a short road trip tonight to Harrisburg, PA to see Masha Gessen. (Midtown Scholar Bookstore) She‘s articulate, opinionated, and insightful. I‘ve watched a bunch of her interviews on YouTube and now I‘m excited to read her books.

And I got to meet up with @Riveted_Reader_Melissa - yay!!

#litsymeetup #authorevent #russia

Gezemice Oh I am so jealous! Have a good time, ladies! 2y
LectricSheep I want to read this one so much! But Russian history is so intimidating. 😬 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @LectricSheep It‘s recent Russian history, within her lifetime so they aren‘t to hard to follow. I listened to The Man Without A Face on audiobook and that was pretty good too 2y
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LectricSheep @Riveted_Reader_Melissa Oh, I didn‘t consider doing them on audio! Maybe that would be easier. Thanks for the suggestion! 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @LectricSheep You‘re welcome. Some non-fictions, for me at least, just go a bit smoother on audio. I hope it helps you. 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Riveted_Reader_Melissa @LectricSheep Audio was my gateway to reading nonfiction. Now it‘s about half of all my choices. 2y
Gezemice @BarbaraTheBibliophage Me too! I seem to have a harder time reading. I read nonfiction but mainly history - now I read lots of different kinds. Or listen. @Riveted_Reader_Melissa 2y
118 likes7 comments
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Riveted_Reader_Melissa
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Interesting discussion tonight with Masha Gessen.

TheBookbabeblog84 I just ordered one of her books. Can‘t wait to read it 2y
AmyG I have seen her on TV and she‘s so interesting. Must have been a good event. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @AmyG I‘d previously read one of her books earlier this year, and I‘d seen her interviewed a few times on TV, so yes, very interesting and I‘m looking forward to reading this new one. 2y
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BarbaraTheBibliophage
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Waiting for Masha Gessen to speak about her most recent book. Hoping @Riveted_Reader_Melissa and I can connect as well! #authorevent #russia #nonfiction

Riveted_Reader_Melissa I‘m here, getting my drink now! 2y
Julsmarshall What a great room! Where are you? 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Riveted_Reader_Melissa It was great to see you tonight! 2y
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BarbaraTheBibliophage @Julsmarshall It‘s a most amazing multilevel bookstore (new and used) in Harrisburg, PA called Midtown Scholar. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @BarbaraTheBibliophage It was great to finally meet you too. Sorry I had to run out on you right away. 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Riveted_Reader_Melissa It was fitting! A #nonfiction event for our obsession. No worries about leaving. I understand! 💕 2y
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ssravp
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Pickpick

I‘ve read more Russian books (fiction and non-fiction) this year alone than I have in my entire life. I have two Shostakovich biographies coming up to continue the trend. This didn‘t disappoint. I also love when an author gives a great audiobook performance.

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Riveted_Reader_Melissa
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I just posted about Masha Gessen‘s other book this week for my recommendsday, The Man Without A Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin (I‘ll tag it below).

Anyone else going to see her speak Monday and maybe pick up her new book at the Midtown Scholar in Harrisburg?

How about you @BarbaraTheBibliophage and @BooksForYears

BarbaraTheBibliophage I want to go SOOO much. I have a client scheduled at 6:00 and haven‘t decided if I‘ll ask her to reschedule. Y‘know, I was just off for practically 8 weeks ... 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @BarbaraTheBibliophage Oh, that‘s so tough! But when will we get this chance again, seriously....as a journalist from Russia, who wrote about Putin extensively, and has since moved to the US. I just can‘t imagine the insights she probably has! 2y
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Riveted_Reader_Melissa I should probably tag the #CentralPA Littens too! 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @BarbaraTheBibliophage Well, if you can‘t I‘ll report back afterwards and try to snap some pictures. 👍 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage Okay, I‘m checking to see if my client can switch. I‘ll keep you posted! 2y
minkyb I would if I could! Enjoy. 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage I‘m in! I‘ll message you on GR, ok? 2y
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Redwritinghood
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Started my next #nonfictionnovember title tonight. This one won the National Book Award last night. So glad it was up next in my reading plans. This will be book 3 of 5 in my reading of the non-fiction shortlist.

Abailliekaras Love Masha Gessen! She‘s so intelligent & a gifted writer. Also very brave ... 2y
Redwritinghood @Abailliekaras Good to know. This is the first one of her books I‘ve read. 2y
mrozzz Oooohhhh looking forward to quotes and your thoughts! 2y
59 likes6 stack adds3 comments