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anothermember's avatar

What are some Russian books?

Asked by anothermember (249points) November 5th, 2010

I have begun learning Russian through different sites and books ( There is no courses in my area that I can find ) and figure the best way to learn to read is like how I did when I was a kid learning English, reading. I cannot find any Russian kid’s or easy books with an English websearch. If you could link to e-books or give me some titles and authors to hunt around for, it would be great.

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8 Answers

mrentropy's avatar

The only thing I could think of was War and Peace by Tolstoy. However, I don’t think that’s really a beginner’s book… There are some Russian books on Project Gutenberg but I have no idea what they are (besides kind of old).

tranquilsea's avatar

I can’t help you with beginner books you should eventually read Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky. The language in the English translation wasn’t insanely hard.

Perhaps you could get a Russian audio tape of popular Russian books and follow along with an English translation. I know the translations are not perfect and may be paraphrased but doing it this way would introduce you to a vast amount of information that would be impossible to get from elementary books.

wundayatta's avatar

The Master and Margarita by Bulgakov is a fabulous romp that makes fun of the USSR at the same time. Very enjoyable. Definitely a much easier read than Crime and Punishment. If you’re going to read Doestoevsky, I recommend starting with The Gambler. If you want poetry, I suggest you try Zinaida Gippius. I used to love her poetry in college. I loved her so much, I wanted to name my daughter Zinaida, but my wife would have none of it.

Reminds me of the private seminar I had with a professor and one other student, who was a friend of mine. We ended the semester with a traditional vodka party. I was feeling a whole lot of entirely inappropriate things about my professor by the end of the evening.

The books on @mrentropy‘s link don’t look all that interesting to me, but if money is an issue, go for it. I haven’t heard of them anyway, and while they do have Pushkin and Dostoevski, they don’t seem to have much else.

mrentropy's avatar

@wundayatta It was all I could think of :(

wundayatta's avatar

@mrentropy I think it’s a good idea—I just didn’t like their selection. I hope you aren’t taking this personally.

mrentropy's avatar

@wundayatta I am. I’m hurt. I also have no idea what those books are but figured they couldn’t be all that interesting. So, no, I’m not taking it personally.

To be honest, I’m surprised they don’t have more Russian books on there. But aside from ancient cook books (which I find fascinating) and really old science fiction, I never found much on GP to interest me.

Blueroses's avatar

Here is a really interesting sci fi story with Russian and English side-by-side. I enjoyed it once I got past the nauseating font color.

fundevogel's avatar

I’ve gotten books Russian children’s books from here before, and will probably do so again. I find the read-a-long books very helpful. There’s also this site, but I haven’t shopped there before. I’ve also checked out and ripped all of the Pimsleur Russian courses from my library. They are terribly useful and it’s an economic way to get them.

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