What to read next?

On the face of it, "Stalin's Daughter" appears to be a heavy lift.  For me, the pages flew by; I could not wait to get to this book each day.  It is a smooth read; the author provides handy lists of characters and an important family tree.  Svetlana Alliluyeva defected to the United States basically abandoning her two young children who were left behind in the Soviet Union. This is a story of a woman who was tormented her entire life by the legacy of her father, Josef Stalin, and the suicide of her mother which was never disclosed to her until she read about it , many years later, in a popular Western magazine.  Her existence was complicated further by paranoia and fear of the KGB.  As much as I thought I knew about Stalin and the legions of poor souls sent to rot in the remote regions of the Siberian gulags, it is shocking to document the numerous members of his own family and "friends" whom he had spied upon, stripped of their worldly possession, executed, imprisoned -- some in solitary for years -- or shipped to the gulags and forgotten. Most of those who "survived" Stalin's aftermath remained haunted throughout their lives.  

In the end of the book, Svetlana is chagrined at the rise of Vladimir Putin.  Some quotes:

Svetlana:  "Russia is quickly (in my opinion) sliding back into the past -- with that awful former KGB-SPY now as an acting president.  I do hope and believe the people will *not* vote him into the Presidency -- but, then of course elections always could be rigged . . .   The times of would-be-democracy are finished in Russia."

"Svetlana perceived, again faster than many, what was happening to human rights in Russia under the surface.  She saw the growing strength of the FSB (the former KGB), the restrictions on the media, the arrest of business oligarchs as a warning to stay out of politics, and later the passage of legislation that forced burdensome reporting requirements on Russian and foreign NCOs (non-commercial organizations), essentially charities and human rights organizations."

"She (Svetlana) thought Putin idolized her father (Josef Stalin) and was fashioning himself after him." 

"Stalin's Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva" by Rosemary Sullivan


Shall we revive this thread in honor of the new year 2017?? I am updating my lists...

I just finished Small Great Things by Jodi Piccoult and We love you Charlie Freeman by Kaithlyn Greenridge.. both good reads...

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