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Russia Redux Plus Plus

Perhaps yesterday’s heat index of 103! addles my brain just enough to question the process that takes our group from witchy Moscow skies and soul-searing creative passions to the ash-filled hell of Chernobyl and our overwhelming push against walls and boundaries wherever they are found—in science, in our hearts, in our DNA. I sincerely hope that my much loved, bittersweet Amaro CioCiaro on the rocks with soda will provide enough of a cooling antidote as I join you in reading our August selection:

Season of Ash by Jorge Volpi, 2009, Translated from Spanish (Originally published as No será la Tierra (which DOES NOT translate as "season of ash") in 2006.) 413 pages

One of NPR’s 2009 top works of foreign fiction, “this historical epic by Jorge Volpi spans the years of Communist rule in Eastern Europe and Russia, weaving together the lives of well-known figures and imagined characters around murder and fate.”
“…Season of Ash puts a human face on earth-shaking events of the late twentieth century: the Chernobyl disaster, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of Soviet communism and the rise of the Russian oligarchs, the cascading collapsing of developing economies, and the near-miraculous scientific advances of the Human Genome Project. A scientific investigation, a journalistic exposé, a detective novel, and a dark love story, Season of Ash is a thrilling exploration of greed and disillusionment, and a clear-eyed examination of the passions that rule our lives and make history.” (

The Orleans public library seems to have one copy of the book but it is not in the Jefferson Parish library. There are used copies available at Amazon for $.01 plus $3.99 shipping. I could not locate an ebook version; if anyone finds it, please post a notice.

A word of caution: Be sure you are reading the book by Jorge Volpi! There are various other volumes out there with the same or very similar names.

As always, you wonderful people, I ask you to be respectful of everyone in the group.  RSVP Yes only if you truly plan to read the book and attend.  If, for some reason, your plans change, please change the RSVP so that another happy reader may take your place. I am starting to delete members after 3 times no-show.



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  • Lorraine L.

    Hey people! Be sure to rate the meetup, if you attended. Thanks!

    August 28, 2013

  • Dixie M.

    Small group this time, pretty divided between love it and hate it, but good comments from all.
    This is the way most of us feel about reading:

    August 28, 2013

    • Lorraine L.

      So sorry I missed it but I am really glad you had a good discussion. I think I am of two minds about the book, so I would have fit it pretty well. And LOVE the exuberant link! Thanks.

      August 28, 2013

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