December 26, 2019
Celebrating a Bookish Hanukkah With Our Jewish Friends: Fifth Candle–Five-Day Work Week
*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.
I’m linking up today and for the next few days with Davida at The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog (information on the meme link up here) to celebrate a bookish Hanukkah with our Jewish friends. #eightcandlebooktag Join us! (find my first candle here, find my second candle here, third candle here, fourth here)
Happy Hanukkah to my friends, followers, and book buddies who are celebrating!
Fifth Candle: Five-Day Work Week
A book that you felt reading it was hard work, but you were glad you kept at it and finished reading it.
I read a great deal of historical fiction, and some books feel hard to read for me because of their length and/or the amount of dense historical details. Some examples are Prairie Fires, Ribbons of Scarlet, Resistance Women, and Island of Sea Women. (titles are links to my reviews)
For today’s post, I’m choosing to highlight A Gentleman in Moscow.
A Gentleman in Moscow felt like work to read, but when I finished, I was glad I read it. I know some readers who bailed on it. For me the quality of the masterful writing, the thoughtful themes, and the character of the Count encouraged me to hang in for the duration. I’m especially glad I stuck with it because the end was quite satisfying! Whenever I read books like this, I break the reading up into chunks and set it aside for a while to read other more engaging titles.
I haven’t written a full review of Gentleman in Moscow, but I’ll include a few bullet points here:
What I loved:
- beautifully written literary fiction
- well-researched, Russian history
- thoughtful themes, including how to live a good life despite our circumstances
- a heartwarming story of found family
- well-developed characters
- a charming, likable, sophisticated, kind, gracious, and honorable main character
- a unique premise
What You Need to Know
- character-driven narrative (for some readers this is most desirable)
- lack of plot (with the exception of the ending which involves some excitement!)
- not for speed readers (this is one to savor line by line)
A Gentleman in Moscow is definitely worth the read and a book I would recommend to the right reader:
- someone who is a fan of beautifully written character-driven literary fiction
- someone who enjoys Russian history
- someone who appreciates thoughtful themes, reflective writing, and a wonderful main character
My Rating: 4 stars
A Gentleman in Moscow Information
Meet the Author, Amor Towles
Born and raised in the Boston area, Amor Towles graduated from Yale College and received an MA in English from Stanford University. Having worked as an investment professional in Manhattan for over twenty years, he now devotes himself full time to writing. His first novel, Rules of Civility, published in 2011, was a New York Times bestseller in both hardcover and paperback and was ranked by the Wall Street Journal as one of the best books of 2011. The book was optioned by Lionsgate to be made into a feature film and its French translation received the 2012 Prix Fitzgerald. His second novel, A Gentleman in Moscow, published in 2016, was also a New York Times bestseller and was ranked as one of the best books of 2016 by the Chicago Tribune, the Miami Herald, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the St. Louis Dispatch, and NPR. Both novels have been translated into over fifteen languages.
Mr. Towles, who lives in Manhattan with his wife and two children, is an ardent fan of early 20th century painting, 1950’s jazz, 1970’s cop shows, rock & roll on vinyl, obsolete accessories, manifestoes, breakfast pastries, pasta, liquor, snow-days, Tuscany, Provence, Disneyland, Hollywood, the cast of Casablanca, 007, Captain Kirk, Bob Dylan (early, mid, and late phases), the wee hours, card games, cafés, and the cookies made by both of his grandmothers.
Have you read A Gentleman in Moscow or is it on your TBR?
Have you read his first book, Rules of Civility?
I have finished my Fall TBR!
(just in time to begin my Winter TBR!)
Winter 2019 TBR
My Nonfiction November Posts:
2019 Nonfiction Reads
Nonfiction and Racial Injustice
Favorite Nonfiction Books
2020 Nonfiction TBR
Finding Chika by Mitch Albom
Happy Reading Book Buddies!
“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke
“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes
“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text
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Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.
Book Cover and author photo are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.