Books list

Reading is amazing. It's always hard to find a good book, so do not hesitate to recommend me one :)
I find it helpful to have a list like this available online, as my memory doesn't serve me well enough already.

PS. A few places I occasionally check for ideas on what to read:
  1. A year of reading the world
  2. reddit: suggest me a book
  3. Lists: top 100
All Quiet on the Western FrontErich Maria Remarque1929Very vivid description of the front line and the war through soldier eyes. It leaves a kind of hopeless aftertaste. And a very strong with that something like that won't happen ever again.
They Would Never Hurt a FlySlavenka Drakulić2003Unusual view on Balkan wars through the eyes of war criminals. An attempt to analyze how they got into situation which led to mass killings. Definitely worth a read. Even though there were a couple of minor moments which seems a bit biased.
BlindnessJosé Saramago1995Amazing story about the world under blindness. After COVID it looks like a very precise description of the possible thing. Surprisingly trustworthy.
A Little LifeHanya Yanagihara2015A book about tough life of a man. I've seen plenty of reviews that it's not an easy story. However I enjoyed it anyway.
The General of the Dead ArmyIsmail Kadare1963It was a very interesting book. I didn't know there were special missions to find and move bodies of dead soldiers after WWII. This story is about such a thing.
Hadji MuratLeo Tolstoy1912Sometimes a bit too historical, nevertheless still very intersting story of Hadji Murat. Leo Tolstoy made a great text as usual.
Story about Hodja Nasreddin Leonid Solovyov1956Very inspirational read. Light. Full of love to life. The book makes much more sense when you learn that second part was written while Leonid Solovyov was doing his sentence in GULAG.
× UtopiaThomas More1516That's more a kind of philosophical work rather than a fiction. I had a hard time to read it.
Flowers for AlgernonDaniel Keyes1959It was a great read. Very vivid description. However closer to the middle of the book following plot was more or less clear. Anyway this book is not about unexpected plot twists, but more about giving a food for thoughts about situation like described one.
PatriaFernando Aramburu2016Author did a great job to create a vibe when you literally live inside the book. As well as to demonstrate how destructive and awful can be ideology and force applied the wrong way.
Strange Weather in Tokyo Hiromi Kawakami2001I enjoyed a good slow rhythm of the book. Author did a great job to put a reader in atmosphere of Tokyo and protagonists mood. It was indeed very interesting (and a bit strange sometimes).
Convenience Store WomanSayaka Murata2016The book demonstrates the world from person view who doesn't meet society standards. It does the demonstration really well.
The Great Automatic GrammatizatorRoald Dahl1953I was really surprised by how people in the mid of last century imagined the future. Felt very steampunk.
Blood musicGreg Bear1985It was an interesting sci-fi thing. Nothing fancy, but it was interesting.
× Petrov's Flu and around it Aleksei Salnikov 2016Very strange book. Just a mind flow without start and finish. With no plot. Sometimes a clear graphomania. After the reading the most important question I had was "Why in the world did I read this?" :)
× The Salt Path Raynor Winn2018A book how a family couple lost their house and started a trail walk around south west England coast. It's a nice book, but sometimes I had a hard time reading it, either cause of heavy wording, either cause of too many details I didn't find necessary. May be it's just me.
The Air You Breathe Frances de Pontes Peebles 2018It was a bit tough to start the book. Most likely I was still under impression from previous book, even though I finished it a few days before. Anyway, once I got into the book I couldn't stop. The story is not something special, but the characters and their motivation and their environment are showed just excellently. It's a good book, querida.
A Fine BalanceRohinton Mistry1995You have no choice but empathize while main characters are pursuing the balance. You have no choice but be puzzled and angry about historical events during The Emergency of Indira Gandhi in India 1970th. You have no choice but to read this book.
A Primate's MemoirRobert Sapolsky2002One of the most interesting non-fiction books I've read recently. Primatologist tells the reader his story about his field work with baboons in Kenya national parks, local people and their traditions. I literally lived through the entire book together with the author.
× Madame BovaryGustave Flaubert1856After reading some reviews my expectations were set way too high. It reallly spoiled the overall impression. The plot is quite simple, but I have to admit author did a great job describing life details in those time and made characters crystal clear.
Half of a Yellow SunChimamanda Ngozi Adichie2006Novel about life before and during Nigerian civil war around which country got independence from UK. Author did a great job to show local life and traditions in peace time and during the war. The text made me live this through and I just couldn't stop to read until the end.
× Nomads Ilijas Jessenberlin 1969Historical trilogy about Kazakh steppe in Middle ages. It's a tough reading: good part of the text is way too slow and not enjoyable. A lot of attention to small details which doesn't help to understand the plot or people's action.
× The Day the World Collapsed Rollan Seisenbayev 2002A short story about USSR nuclear experiments in Semipalatinsk area (Kazakhstan) from ordinary local point of view. Frankly saying I expected more detailed description of nuclear trials, local life and the long term effects.
× The Vox Christina Dalcher 2018Reddit post and idea of anti-utopian world sold me a book. However it's not exactly what I expected. The first half of the book was quite boring, slow and unnatural. The second half was much better. There started some action, interesting plot twists. I can't say it's "must read" book, but some may enjoy it.
Children of GebelawiNaguib Mahfouz1959Immersive description of Arabic town. Hint (which I found on the internet): every chapter represents one of Abrahamic religion but the last one.
The StrangerAlbert Camus1942The plot is amazing. You can't help yourself but put main character's situation on your life. Unfortunately the story leaves a feeling that it's not finished. Like someone took away a draft in the middle of work and just published it.
ShantaramGregory David Roberts2003The reader might have an impression that it's autobiography. Well, it's not. It's a fiction novel based on author life stories. The book greatly describes main character experience and his integration in new society. Sometimes I had a feeling that author is graphomanic, but in general it was a tremendous pleasure to read the story. I wanted to visit Mumbai again so bad while reading this. Hopefully will go there one day one more time.
Zuleikha Opens Her Eyes (ru)Guzel Yakhina2015A story of woman went through dekulakization and harsh life in exile. In fact author describes life of her grandmother. I still can't believe that it was possible.
Don QuixoteMiguel de Cervantes1605Breathtaking first book. For some reason I expected that plot twists will be primitive, but it's not the case. Second book is less exciting, the author even put an ironic note about it right in the book. I had to force myself to complete the last bit of it. May be if I'd made a longer break between books it'd be better.
This Is Going to HurtAdam Kay2017A great book. Funny and serious. It shows in details a hard job of emergency gynecologic.
City of endless nightMilo Hastings1920I was surprised that it's not a famous book. The world and its society is described in a great way, the ideas of the hierarchy are impressing. I really enjoyed it. I also enjoyed to compare ideals and anti-ideals from the beginning of the previous century and from nowadays.
ShahnamehFerdowsi1000It's an interesting book. However at some point I found myself having a light déjà vu cause plot repeats itself. Especially I enjoyed the legend on how Kurd nation appeared.
× Orphans of the HelixDan Simmons1999It might be not my type of science fiction. There are way too many technical and physical details of the world with close to zero plot development. I didn't enjoy at all.
The Remains of the DayKazuo Ishiguro1989The author managed to create an atmosphere of an old English house with butlers and servants exactly as I would imagine it. I just was taken away and put into this world with all the rules and small details. Amazing.
Just for funLinus Torvalds , David Dimond 2001It's a biography of Finnish student who wrote a Linux kernel. Not sure about you, but I really enjoyed it.
Atlas ShruggedAyn Rand1957It wasn't easy to get through it. The middle part is quite tiresome. But the last part did it all. I constantly was thinking about the book for a couple more weeks after I finished the reading. A rare book leaves such a strong impression.
The Wedding of ZeinTayeb Salih1962Great description of life in small Sudanese town. I really love such things. It is especially good with "Season of migration to North".
Season of Migration to the NorthTayeb Salih1966It's an interesting representation of difference between Arab East and West. It was a very good read.
Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!Richard Feynman1985Normally I'm extra cautious about autobiographies. In this case tones of positive reviews made me to read it. It was a good choice. Sometimes it was a bit boring, but overall very pleasant.
Ghost in the WiresKevin Mitnick2011One of the world most famous computer crackers tells his story from the childhood to how he ended up caught by FBI. Tremendous thing.
The Master and Margarita Mikhail Bulgakov1940That's a great thing. The humor might be a bit Soviet specific. The multiple plots is a thing. Don't try to look for a hidden meaning, just enjoy the book.
The Lord of the RingsJ.R.R. Tolkien1955It's a fantasy classic. Just read it.
A Thousand Splendid SunsKhaled Hosseini2007I've no idea how author does it, but his books I read at a stretch.
The Twelve ChairsIlya Ilf , Yevgeny Petrov1928Ilf and Petrov are just amazing. It has some Soviet related humor, but it absolutely worth to try it.
The Kite RunnerKhaled Hosseini2003Even though the author left Afghanistan as a kid, I guess the childhood memories are very strong. A great writing about the life before and during Afghan war doesn't let you go until you finish the book.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the GalaxyDouglas Adams1979This book has The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything. It worth a reading just to know The Answer.
× Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children’s CrusadeKurt Vonnegut1969Well, I just didn't understand the book. A weird intersection of reality and unreality made me feel strange and I just lost the meaning.
One-storeyed America Ilya Ilf , Yevgeny Petrov1937I was going to visit USA and just couldn't skip this book. After so many years the book is still actual. There's a bit of Soviet propaganda, but looks like it was the only way to publish it. Fortunately it's always very clear where it's the truth and where's the propaganda.
Animal Farm: A Fairy StoryGeorge Orwell1945The book makes it crystal clear why "all are equal but some are more equal".
A Ticket to Tranai Robert Sheckley1955That short story is simply genius. From the first word till the last sentence. Go read it, and I'll go for "Tranai Special".
1984George Orwell1949Only the lazy one didn't refer to 1984. Just read it.
The Little Golden CalfIlya Ilf , Yevgeny Petrov1931
Monday Begins on SaturdayArkady and Boris Strugatsky1964
The Invisible ManH.G. Wells1897
The Gift of the MagiO. Henry1906
The Hobbit, or There and Back AgainJ.R.R. Tolkien1937
Heart of a Dog Mikhail Bulgakov1925
White FangJack London1906
Love of Life Jack London1905
Les trois mousquetairesAlexandre Dumas1844
Le comte de Monte CristoAlexandre Dumas1845
Drei KameradenErich Maria Remarque1936
We Yevgeny Zamyatin1920
The Catcher in the RyeJ.D. Salinger1951
Cien años de soledadGabriel Garcia Marquez1967
Le Petit PrinceAntoine de Saint-Exupery1943
The Old Man and the SeaErnest Hemingway1952