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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Good Reads

My mom has me hooked on this new website called Good Reads. It lets you set up a virtual bookshelf and categorize books any way you like. You can write reviews, rate books, compare your books with your friends', and even trade books with other members. It's pretty great. I've already had more discussions with my friends about the books we've read or are reading than I have had in a long time.

Today I'd like to recommend that you read a book by Alexandre Solzhenitsyn. I didn't realize that he was still alive until he passed away this week, but he's always been one of my favorites. Plus, he was censored, banned, threatened (you name it) by the Soviet government because of his truthful portrayal of the work camps. Banned books are usually pretty great.

The two novels of his that I own are A day in the life of Ivan Denisovich and The First Circle. A Day in the Life... is a much simpler, straightforward read. It is about a day in the life of a prisoner in a Siberian work camp. The First Circle centers around a man who is in a city work camp where they run scientific experiments, trying to make discoveries for the Soviet government. The circle in the title refers to the level of prisoner and prison. They're both very good, as are most all of his works, I would imagine.

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