2020 One Read Winner: About “A Gentleman in Moscow” by Amor Towles

About the Book

Gentleman in Moscow book coverA Gentleman in Moscow” is a grand adventure that takes place within the walls of a single luxury hotel.

In 1922, a Bolshevik tribunal sentences Count Alexander Rostov to house arrest in the luxurious Hotel Metropol. For the next 30 years, the Count experiences his country’s upheaval and transformation from the confines of his attic room, the building’s grand public spaces and the behind-the-scenes domains of hotel employees-turned-friends. While Rostov cannot go out into the world, the world comes to him in the form of Nina, a bureaucrat’s precocious daughter; the film actress Anna Urbanova; American intelligence officer Richard Vanderwhile; and even political leaders like Nikita Khrushchev. This novel is a lightly drawn, episodic portrait of Russia’s 20th century political history, as well as a charming tale of one man’s dedication to family, memory and home. Read More

2020 List of Suggested Titles

Each winter, the public submits suggestions for next year’s One Read book. In January, a panel of community members reviews the suggestions, narrowing that list down to 10 titles, and then chooses two or three books to present for a public vote.

Final 10 Selections

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek
Kim Michele Richardson

The Disappearing Spoon
Sam Kean

A Gentleman in Moscow (Winner)
Amor Towles

Inheritance
Dani Shapiro

A Key to Treehouse Living
Elliot Reed

The Last Days of Night (Runner-up)
Graham Moore

The Library Book
Susan Orlean

My Sister, the Serial Killer
Oyinkan Braithwaite

There There
Tommy Orange

Washington Black
Esi Edugyan

Other Suggested Titles Read More

Suggested One Read: The Last Girl

Last Girl book coverThis is one of the last suggested titles we are highlighting for One Read 2019. In January the reading panel will start narrowing down the list.

Our nominator did such a great job telling us about this selection:

“Because — she is WINNER OF THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE. [“The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity and My Struggle Against the Islamic State“] is a memoir of survival by a 21-year-old Yazidi woman of when she was captured by the Islamic State to be a sex slave. However, there is not a lot of graphic material in the book in a sexual context, so it would not be inappropriate, I don’t think. She was living in a small village of farmers and shepherds in northern Iraq. Yazidis are a unique religious tradition, not accepted by the Islamic State. Nadia had dreams of becoming a history teacher or opening her own beauty salon. In 2014, Islamic State militants massacred the people of her village, executing men who refused to convert to Islam and women too old to become sex slaves. Her mother and six of her brothers were killed and buried in a mass grave. Nadia was taken with thousands of other Yazidi girls and traded from one owner to another. She eventually escaped with the aid of her brothers in an underground movement. She is now a spokesperson for human rights of women.”

Thank you, nominator, for that wonderful overview!