Week 3/52: Travels in Siberia by Ian Frazier

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Telfer gave me Travels in Siberia by Ian Frazier for Christmas (after many mentions and hints on my part). Three reasons why this is the perfect book for me:

1. Russia Love: I too have a bit of Russia fascination after going on a Youth in Mission trip to Ukraine in college.

2. Armchair Traveler: Especially at this stage of my life, reading a travel memoir is as good as it's going to get for awhile. I took a memorable Travel Literature class in college where we read, among others, Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck, Blue Highways by William Least Heat-Moon, and Roughing It by Mark Twain. I have been interested in the genre ever since.

3. The New Yorker: Frazier is a writer for The New Yorker and Telfer and I both read the three [long] parts of Travels in Siberia that were first excerpted in the magazine. It's true: we have a bit of a crush on The New Yorker.

Travels in Siberia is a little too long (500 pages) and meandering (really? you need a whole chapter on the Siberian sable?) but the book's structure reflects the vastness and strangeness of Siberia itself. And there is a map in the beginning. I love a book with a map.

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