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

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!

Suggested One Read: My Sister, the Serial Killer

My Sister the Serial Killer book coverThis is the last installment of the suggested One Read titles. The reading panel will soon be put to work contemplating all the titles that were suggested in November. You can click here to find the other titles that have been highlighted this month. You can also find previous One Read titles here.

My Sister, the Serial Killer” by Oyinkan Braithwaite, satire meets slasher in this short, darkly funny hand grenade of a novel about a Nigerian woman whose younger sister has a very inconvenient habit of killing her boyfriends. The nominator of this book said, “[i]t touches on a lot of contemporary topics (violence against women, #MeToo) in a fun and un-heavy way, and it’s a page turner.”