Teaser Tuesday: The Zhivago Affair

Like the teacher’s final countdown to summer break, the Wheel of Time has turned ’round to Teaser Tuesday.

Just in case you don’t know, Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish theme, and anyone can play along! All you have to do is grab the book you’re currently reading, open to a random page and share a few sentences from that page. But make sure you don’t share any spoilers!*

*I wish I could take credit for this introduction, but I shamelessly stole it from Heather @ bitsnbooks. To help me make amends, you should go check out her blog.

Somehow, despite not reading very much in May due to end-of-school shenanigans – isn’t that a wonderful word, shenanigans? – I still managed to stay on track with my reading schedule. I though for sure I’d be at least four books behind. Ah well, I’m not complaining.

One thing I will complain about is Goodreads new “reread” feature. Sure I’m glad that I can mark a book as re-read, but what if I don’t want the book(s) to count toward my yearly goal? My only options are to (a) not update the book or (b) increase my yearly goal.

Note to self: in future years, add three books to my yearly goal.

It seems I’ve actually read quite a few books since I last did a Teaser Tuesday, though, and I still haven’t written many reviews. I almost said “any” but realized this wasn’t quite true.

Anywho, this week I’m reading – among other things – The Zhivago Affair: The Kremlin, the CIA, and the Battle over a Forbidden Book by Peter Finn & Petra Couvée.

The Goodreads’ Blurb

In May of 1956, an Italian publishing scout took a train to the Russian countryside to visit the country’s most beloved poet, Boris Pasternak. He left concealing the original manuscript of Pasternak’s much anticipated first novel, entrusted to him with these words from the author: “This is Doctor Zhivago. May it make its way around the world.”

Pasternak knew his novel would never be published in the Soviet Union, where the authorities regarded it as an assault on the 1917 Revolution, so he allowed it to be published in translation all over the world. But in 1958, the CIA, which recognized that the Cold War was above all an ideological battle, published Doctor Zhivago in Russian and smuggled it into the Soviet Union where it was snapped up on the black market and passed surreptitiously from friend to friend. Pasternak, whose funeral in 1960 was attended by thousands of readers who stayed for hours in defiance of the watching KGB, launched the great Soviet tradition of the writer-dissident. With sole access to otherwise classified CIA files, the authors give us an irresistible portrait of the charming and passionate Pasternak and a twisting Cold War thriller that takes us back to a time when literature had power to shape the world.

The Truly Random Number Generator sends us to page 131:

The CIA selected the 1958 Brussels World Fair as its target for distributing Doctor Zhivago. The 1958 Brussels Universal and International Exposition, the first postwar World's Fair, was already shaping up as a Cold War political battleground. 

Zhivago Cover

What are you reading today?

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