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Sovietistan: A Journey Through Turkmenistan, Kasakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan | Erika Fatland
10 posts | 5 read | 15 to read
Erika Fatland takes the reader on a journey that is unknown to even the most seasoned globetrotter. The five former Soviet Republics' Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan all became independent when the Soviet Union fell apart in 1991. How have these countries developed since then? In the Kyrgyzstani villages Erika Fatland meets victims of the widely known tradition of bride snatching; she visits the huge and desolate Polygon in Kazakhstan where the Soviet Union tested explosions of nuclear bombs; she meets Chinese shrimp gatherers on the banks of the dried out Aral Sea and she witnesses the fall of a dictator. She travels incognito through Turkmenistan, a country that is closed to journalists. She meets exhausted human rights activists in Kazakhstan, survivors from the massacre in Osh in 2010, German Menonites that found paradise on the Kyrgyzstani plains 200 years ago. During her travels, she observes how ancient customs clash with gas production and she witnesses the underlying conflicts between ethnic Russians and the majority in a country that is slowly building its future in Nationalist colours. In these countries, that used to be the furthest border of the Soviet Union, life follows another pace of time. Amidst the treasures of Samarkand and the bleakness of Soviet architecture, Erika Fatland moves with her openness towards the people and the landscapes around her. A rare and unforgettable travelogue.
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#ArtfulAugust Day 22: This definitely counts as #ForeignIntrigue - looking forward to reading my copy soonest.

Eggs Well done 👍🏼 7mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Beautiful cover!! 7mo
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I saw her talk about this on IG and am reading it in her memory! She gave it 5 stars.

May her memory be for a blessing.


Cinfhen Beautiful ♥️ 10mo
Centique This looks like a great one too 😍 10mo
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Up next...I‘m curious to learn about these countries I know nothing about. I‘m using it for the North Asia prompt in my Memoir Around The World Challenge.

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“The Stans are at a crossroads. Should they forge closer links with Russia or China, or look to the West? Which interpretation of their own history should they trust?”

#Turkmenistan #Kazakhstan #Tajikistan #Kyrgyzstan #Uzbekistan

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Squid Game keeps distracting me but I did finally finish this book 🦑

Lack of democracy, struggling economies, suppressed ethnic conflicts: there are similarities between the Central Asian ‘Stan‘ countries but many differences too. Fatland shares her experiences while traveling through them along with historical information. I will definitely read it again if I ever go there myself.

I use this book for #Tajikistan in #ReadingAsia2021 🇹🇯

LeahBergen Squid Games distracted me from pretty much everything until I had binge-watched all the episodes. 😆 1y
EvieBee I binged it in one day and a half without sleep. I felt liked a useless, traumatized sock puppet lol! 1y
BarbaraBB @LeahBergen @EvieBee It‘s incredible! I am loving it despite all violence! 1y
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Reggie Have you made it to the marbles episode? 😭😭😭 1y
BarbaraBB @Reggie No not yet. 3 episodes so far. Honeycomb! 1y
batsy @Reggie That episode 😭 1y
batsy @BarbaraBB Omg the honeycomb 😫 1y
Librarybelle I‘m looking forward to reading this one! (edited) 1y
Megabooks I loved this too. Am I missing out not watching Squid Game? My tv is having trouble with Netflix!! 😩😩 1y
BarbaraBB @Megabooks you are😉. It is very good I think, visual as well as plot. 1y
Reggie @batsy gganbu!!! 1y
BarbaraBB @TheAromaofBooks I forgot to mention this is my #bookspin for October 💃 1y
BarbaraBB @TheAromaofBooks And now I notice it ‘s your birthday! Make it a good one 🎈 ❤️ 1y
batsy @Reggie 👀 1y
TheAromaofBooks Great progress & thank you for the birthday wishes!!! 1y
BarbaraBB @batsy @Reggie Just watched it 😥 gganbu ❤️ 1y
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#WeeklyForecast 40/21

I am still having The Leavers in progress (not too engaging since it takes so long to finish it) and have just started Bewilderment. I hope to read Summerwater and Sovietistan too this week!

Cinfhen Sorry you aren‘t enjoying The Leavers. I really liked it when I read it but it was years ago and I no longer remember much. Maybe it‘s not the right time or just not the right book #MoveOn 1y
LeahBergen Summer Water sounds good! 👍 1y
LauraBeth I‘m looking forward to reading Bewilderment! 1y
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squirrelbrain I read Summer Water recently - very good. Bewilderment is next on audio for me - I *might* get time to start it this week…we‘ll see… Have a great week Barbara! 1y
Megabooks Some great books this week! 1y
BarbaraBB @Cinfhen I do enjoy it, kind of, when I am reading it. But somehow I tend to pick up other books in between 🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️ 1y
BarbaraBB @LauraBeth @squirrelbrain I am a few pages in and it is very original and promising! 1y
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Thank you Rachel @rockpools ❤️🌻

Sorry for the late posting but these arrived last Friday. Thank you for your lovely card. It must be very beautiful living in a coastal town 😍. For now, I‘ll have to be content with being an armchair traveller. And more bookmarks to add to my collection, thanks! 😘.


squirrelbrain Ah, the travelling book! I hope you enjoy it! 2y
batsy How lovely 💕 2y
rockpools Yay, it arrived! I‘m finding I‘m looking for more about these countries now - it‘s made me quite curious. Hope you enjoy 😊 2y
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🌸📚🌸Thank you Helen! 🌸📚🌸

The sparkly parcel with squirrels on was definitely from you - thank you so much! I‘m definitely going to get through (some of) the #stanbacklog this month - but I might be glad I didn‘t go down the 600-pages of The Border route!

And who knew that Percy Pig 🐷had globetrotting friends? (Obviously not me, because I live in weird small-town-with-no-m&s-ville!) I just finished the Percy‘s this weekend (thanks @TrishB )

rockpools so delighted to meet Timmy 🐯and Poppy🐼! (😋) Also, I love that postcard! (edited) 2y
rockpools Also also, have you read Anything for Saudi Arabia yet? I‘ve just discovered i still have this, which I thought I‘d already passed on - any interest? 2y
TrishB There are so many other sweets in m n s ready for you 😁😁 (edited) 2y
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rockpools @TrishB Look what you‘ve started! The 🐷s were very edible…. 2y
squirrelbrain Well, when I saw the Percies that @TrishB sent you and realised you‘d led a deprived life, I thought I‘d better send you his friends! 2y
squirrelbrain I‘d love that book if you don‘t mind! Saudi is the one country I don‘t have yet - I bought a used book on Amazon as GR said it was set there. When it arrived the blurb says it‘s set in a ‘fictionalised‘ Middle Eastern country. 🤷‍♀️ No rush though - just whenever you get chance 😘 2y
rockpools @squirrelbrain Oh good! Give me a couple of days and I‘ll get it off to you - I read it last year and really liked it, but it had sunk to the bottom of a book heap. Was very surprised to find it the orher day! And I‘m looking forward to the pandas 🐼😊 2y
TrishB All the best people eat m n s sweets 😁 @squirrelbrain @rockpools 2y
rockpools @TrishB @squirrelbrain Well I‘m honoured to join the ranks of All the Best People! 😁 And I really need a trip to M&s Food hall next time I‘m anywhere…Actually I have a day trip planned to a new(ish) indie bookshop in Exeter in a couple of weeks. Might have to make a detour on the way home! 2y
TrishB When we‘re on holiday I like the one in Exmouth! It‘s just a massive food hall one. 2y
squirrelbrain Indie bookshop trip sounds exciting! 2y
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Continuing my travels #ReadingAsia21 l I‘ve left #Kyrgyzstan 🇰🇬 and I‘m halfway through #Uzbekistan 🇺🇿 This book continually informs and entertains. Im learning so much. Highly recommend as both a travelogue and history book.

rockpools 🐼! I can actually reserve a print copy from the library - excitement levels are off the scale 😁 - it sounds great! And I see she‘s written another 2y
BarbaraBB Uzbekistan is high on my bucketlist! 2y
BarbaraBB @rockpools Wow, that one sounds great too! 2y
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Cinfhen Really?? @BarbaraBB it sounds VERY DANGEROUS and not a tourist friendly destination at all!!!! 2y
Cinfhen Awesomeness @rockpools !!!!! I think you‘re gonna enjoy this one and I‘d like to read her other back as well!! She‘s an engaging writer. 2y
BarbaraBB @Cinfhen It is? I know people who have been there but it was some time ago indeed. So maybe not in the foreseeable future 😉 (edited) 2y
squirrelbrain Ooh, I might have to check that one out too @rockpools ! 2y
Bookwormjillk This sounds really good! 2y
Librarybelle So glad it continues to be enjoyable and informative! I‘m kinda thinking my #bookspinbingo for June will be travel books, so I can tackle some more #ReadingAsia2021 selections! 2y
Megabooks So excited for this!! 2y
Cinfhen I finished the book @Megabooks will hopefully mail it out this week...it was excellent @Bookwormjillk @Librarybelle I just hope I haven‘t inflated everybody‘s expectations 2y
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Look what‘s just arrived @Cinfhen - you bad book-enabler, you! 🤣


Cathythoughts Such a nice book-enabler though 😂 2y
LeahBergen What a great cover! 2y
Cinfhen Oh wow!!! Gotta LOVE prime 🧡#SorryNotSorry Hope you enjoy it as much as I am 😁 2y
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Cinfhen Thanks @Cathythoughts xx book enabler is not the worst thing to be called 💜 2y
Megabooks Awesome! Can‘t wait to read your thoughts too. 2y
TravelsWithBooks I went to high school with a girl with the same name, spelling and everything! I had to google to see if it was her. It was not. Lol. 2y
BarbaraBB That is extremely fast! Looking forward to your thoughts! I‘ll start it later this year too. 2y
Hooked_on_books I have this one, too! We‘re all book twins. 🤗 2y
squirrelbrain @Hooked_on_books - I think we need to be book twins for some of these more ‘obscure‘ countries...😁 2y
rockpools My real-life library has a real-life print copy that I can reserve. I‘m ridiculously excited about the whole thing! (It‘s been a long year!) 2y
squirrelbrain I love how we all get excited about library books @rockpools ! 2y
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