March 11, 2020

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Which one starts like this? Click on a book below to answer

The fate of Dmitri Shostakovich was bound up with the fate of Leningrad from the time he was a child. In 1906, when he was born, the city was called St. Petersburg. It was known as, "the Venice of the North," for the canals and rivers that ran beside its grand avenues and beneath its many bridges.
City of Thieves: A Novel
David Benioff

City of Thieves: A Novel

By: David Benioff
Recommended for grade(s): 11, 12, College Plus

During the Nazis' brutal siege of Leningrad, Lev Beniov is arrested for looting and thrown into the same cell as a handsome deserter named Kolya. Instead of being executed, Lev and Kolya are given a shot at saving their own lives by complying with an outrageous directive: secure a dozen eggs for a powerful Soviet colonel to use in his daughter's wedding cake. In a city cut off from all supplies and suffering unbelievable deprivation, Lev and Kolya embark on a hunt through the dire lawlessness of Leningrad and behind enemy lines to find the impossible. --from Plume

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Anna Karenina
Leo Tolstoy

Anna Karenina

By: Leo Tolstoy
Recommended for grade(s): 12, College Plus

Considered by some to be the greatest novel ever written, Anna Kareninais Tolstoy's classic tale of love and adultery set against the backdrop of high society in Moscow and Saint Petersburg. A rich and complex masterpiece, the novel charts the disastrous course of a love affair between Anna, a beautiful married woman, and Count Vronsky, a wealthy army officer. Tolstoy seamlessly weaves together the lives of dozens of characters, and in doing so captures a breathtaking tapestry of late-nineteenth-century Russian society. —from the website at Penguin Random House

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Crime and Punishment
Fyodor Dostoevsky

Crime and Punishment

By: Fyodor Dostoevsky
Recommended for grade(s): College Plus

A desperate young man plans the perfect crime — the murder of a despicable pawnbroker, an old women no one loves and no one will mourn. Is it not just, he reasons, for a man of genius to commit such a crime, to transgress moral law — if it will ultimately benefit humanity? So begins one of the greatest novels ever written: a powerful psychological study, a terrifying murder mystery, a fascinating detective thriller infused with philosophical, religious and social commentary. Raskolnikov, an impoverished student living in a garret in the gloomy slums of St. Petersburg, carries out his grotesque scheme and plunges into a hell of persecution, madness and terror. Crime And Punishment takes the reader on a journey into the darkest recesses of the criminal and depraved mind, and exposes the soul of a man possessed by both good and evil ... a man who cannot escape his own conscience. —from the website at Penguin Random House

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Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad
M.T. Anderson

Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad

By: M.T. Anderson
Recommended for grade(s): 9, 10

In September 1941, Adolf Hitler's Wehrmacht surrounded Leningrad in what was to become one of the longest and most destructive sieges in Western history—almost three years of bombardment and starvation that culminated in the harsh winter of 1943-1944. More than a million citizens perished. Survivors recall corpses littering the frozen streets, their relatives having neither the means nor the strength to bury them. Residents burned books, furniture, and floorboards to keep warm and they ate family pets and—eventually—one another to stay alive. Trapped between the Nazi invading force and the Soviet government itself was composer Dmitri Shostakovich, who would write a symphony that roused, rallied, eulogized, and commemorated his fellow citizens—the Leningrad Symphony, which came to occupy a surprising place of prominence in the eventual Allied victory. Finalist for the YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award 2016. --From Candlewick

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