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review 2018-01-04 00:00
The Endless Steppe: Growing Up in Siberia
The Endless Steppe: Growing Up in Siberia - Esther Hautzig The Endless Steppe is an extraordinary and haunting story which reads like fiction but is based on first-hand family accounts and memories from the author. The story is heartbreaking and inspiring and while its shelved as a young adult novel certainly is an education and eye opener for any reader who wants an insight to the suffering and hardships of families transported to Siberia during the War.

Esther Rudomin was ten years old when, in 1941, she and her family were arrested by the Russians and transported to Siberia. This is the true story of the next five years spent in exile, of how the Rudomins kept their courage high, though they went barefoot and hungry.

Having read and loved [b:Between Shades of Gray|7824322|Between Shades of Gray|Ruta Sepetys|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1327873479s/7824322.jpg|10870318][bc:Between Shades of Gray|7824322|Between Shades of Gray|Ruta Sepetys|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1327873479s/7824322.jpg|10870318] I wasn't sure I wanted to read another book covering a similar story and yet this book keeping coming up in my recommendations feed and I am glad I didn't ignore it. Well written, descriptive and moving this book while short in pages it certainly captures the infamous climate and harshness of the Siberian steep in vivid details as well as telling a the authors story of surviving World War 11 in the labor camps of Siberia.
As Ester tells the story of her and her family's journey and life in the camps she does it in a very candid way never shielding the reader from the horrors they endure and yet I would have no hesitation in recommending this for teenagers or young adults as it is one of those books that is important in remembering the suffering endured by so many of those transported to Siberia.

A great Non-fiction read and a book I would recommend for adults and young adults alike.
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text 2017-06-09 17:39
Reading progress update: I've read 50 out of 304 pages.
In Siberia - Colin Thubron

I don't read a lot of travel literature, although I often enjoy it when I do. This is no exception. Siberia is a fascinating place.


So far, the most interesting thing I've learned is about a place called Akademgodorok, which translates roughly as "academic town," and which was established in 1957 as a center of scientific research. 

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text 2017-06-07 15:47
Adventureland 24
In Siberia - Colin Thubron

I've decided to go a different way for this square, which calls for a book set in Africa or Asia! I'm going to read some non-fiction that's been on my shelves since approximately 2012.


As mysterious as its beautiful, as forbidding as it is populated with warm-hearted people, Syberia is a land few Westerners know, and even fewer will ever visit. Traveling alone, by train, boat, car, and on foot, Colin Thubron traversed this vast territory, talking to everyone he encountered about the state of the beauty, whose natural resources have been savagely exploited for decades; a terrain tainted by nuclear waste but filled with citizens who both welcomed him and fed him—despite their own tragic poverty. From Mongoloia to the Arctic Circle, from Rasputin's village in the west through tundra, taiga, mountains, lakes, rivers, and finally to a derelict Jewish community in the country's far eastern reaches, Colin Thubron penetrates a little-understood part of the world in a way that no writer ever has.


Non-fiction typically takes me a while to read, so I'll probably be on this square for a while!

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review 2015-09-26 23:31
Midnight in Siberia, by David Greene
Midnight in Siberia: A Train Journey Into the Heart of Russia - David Greene

After listening to David Greene’s Midnight in Siberia, I feel like Russia is a bit less inexplicable than Churchill’s riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. Greene lived in Moscow for three years, working for NPR. Russia fascinates Greene. According to him Russians are a breed apart. While he worked on stories for NPR, Greene tried to understand Russians. In Midnight in Siberia, a travelogue of Greene’s farewell trip across Russia, the journalist delivers his thesis about what makes Russians so Russian...


Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type.

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review 2015-05-21 10:49
An Editor could make this a five-star read
The Brothers Cro-Magnon - Roger Thomas Pepper

We’re all clay, created by evolution and molded by life on Earth.” – Dr. Stu Uhlig, The Brothers Cro-Magnon


“The tissue cut clearly shows blood vessels with strong walls. Inside the vessels there is haemolysed blood, where for the first time we have found erythrocytes. Muscle and adipose tissues are well preserved. We have also obtained very well visualised migrating cells of the lymphoid tissue, which is another great discovery. The upper part of the carcass has been eaten by animals, yet the lower part with the legs and, astonishingly, the trunk are very well preserved.” – Viktoria Egorova, chief of the Research and Clinical Diagnostic Laboratory of the Medical Clinic of North-Eastern Federal University


She was thrown away like trash. A simple Neanderthal woman, she was gang raped – probably by the new dominant species to come along, the Cro-Magnon. Modern man’s predecessor – and just as vicious. They finished with her, then they threw her into a crevasse where she died and froze, the sperm of her rapists frozen on her thighs. We can’t, of course, know what her name was, or if she even had one. So they called her Galine – God Has Redeemed. Her rape, her cold and lonely death, were not the last of the indignities heaped upon her. No. Bureaucracy had the dubious pleasure of heaping ignominy upon her poor corpse. They burned her. Ah well, maybe that is for the best. To be placed in a glass case and stared at by the ignorant and unwashed would perhaps have been even worse. But the last, the worst humiliation of all?


Some of the sperm is alive. It is viable.

And it has been used for insemination.

What could possibly go wrong?


Now Catherine “Corky” Mason is in Khatanga, right up near the North Pole. Quite a change from her last ten year posting in the Middle East. Which is worse? Heat exhaustion and sand in your panties, or freezing the skin off your body in 90 below with a stiff wind? Seeing as how her luggage is lost in Moscow, well, you get the picture.


In Khatanga at the urging of her editor at the New York Herald, Corky is theoretically on A threatened Northern spotted owl in a fresh clear-cut.vacation, but she is also there to write a story about the cloning of a perfect mammoth specimen retrieved from the Siberian ice. The actual request came from a “crazy” Russian paleontologist named Zuyev. A man who has an unhealthy interest in Corky – an interest that soon turns deadly. For Zuyev is convinced that Corky is the only sister of four very special brothers; Cro-Magnon brothers, born from the sperm of Galine’s rapists. Brothers who have a lot in common with their sadistic sperm donors. The hubris of man, the reach for glory, for fame, for ones name to carry through the centuries. But to what effect?

Cro-Magnon skeleton

Photo courtesy of Sciencephoto.com Yes, the Cro-Magnon people buried their dead.


The Brothers Cro-Magnon  has its pluses and minuses. I was absolutely captivated by the concepts of the story. The work on the Vindija-80 (Vi-80) sample led to the first viable steps in unraveling Neanderthal genomics. Today, the Neanderthal genome is an abstract string of billions of DNA letters stored in computer databases”. But that doesn’t mean that it will stay that way. As for the mammoth cloning? In May of 2013 scientists from the Siberian Northeastern Federal University unearthed an absolutely amazing find. On Maly Lyakhovsky Island they found the corpse of a mammoth in the permafrost. A An autopsy of the huge creature - nicknamed Buttercup - will be shown in a Channel 4 documentary later this monthcorpse which, “During excavations, the carcass oozed a dark red liquid that may have been fresh mammoth blood. In fact, the mammoth meat was reportedly fresh enough that one of the scientists took a bite of it.” The female mammoth, nicknamed Buttercup, lived about 40,000 years ago. And she was so well preserved, she actually bled.


So, Roger Pepper has his science pat, though a bit ahead of its time. What bothered me, what always bothers me, is the rough, very rough, editorial work. It would have been much better if the prose was tightened up, and especially if the continuity, logic and flow were handled by a good editor. It was frustrating and dragged me out of the story more than I like. Otherwise? A solid entry into the pseudo-scientific. A worthwhile read for anyone who finds the subject matter interesting.

Source: soireadthisbooktoday.com
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