December 13, 2018

Sex, Drugs, and Rockin' Rectors


Sex, Drugs, and Rockin' Rectors
Stories of Russia

1.If you are going to read one thing today, check out The Moscow Times’ new project, “Mothers and Daughters.” The newspaper interviewed three generations of women from different families, and the result is entrancing. The stories are the stories of individuals told in the first person, but they’re also so much more than that. “Mothers and Daughters” is the story of women in Russia, and also the story of Russia itself, across family and class and time and space.

2. Breaking Bad isn’t pure fiction: a couple of Russian science teachers took the show to heart and became entrepreneurs, Walter White-style. Two former science teachers from St. Petersburg were charged with preparing and dealing amphetamine. Apparently, the chemistry and physics teachers used their specialized knowledge to make and sell drugs. No word on whether the act was actually inspired by the show Breaking Bad.

3. Asceticism isn’t for everyone, even when it comes to priests. One Russian Orthodox priest is being investigated for his luxe life as expressed via Instagram photos. Vyacheslav Baskakov has made the news by posting photos of himself with Louis Vuitton bags, Gucci shoes, and all sorts of other branded items. In an apology, the priest fessed up to wanting to add a bit of flair to what is otherwise a pretty square wardrobe.

Luxe priest

Photo: The Moscow Times

In Odder News:

Putin Stasi

Photo: BSTU

  • A blast from the past: an ID card from Vladimir Putin’s life as a spy in Germany appeared, taking everyone down memory lane

  • That’s a rap! A Russian television host decided to prove his regard for free speech and free music by hosting a rap festival on a nude beach next year

  • Drug parties and unprotected sex pose significant health risks to… the elderly? As always, Russia is full of surprises.

Quote of the Week:

“A clergyman cannot be a priest in the church in the morning and then be whoever he wants after lunchtime.”

— A stern rebuke of Vyacheslav Baskakov from Alexander Volkov, a spokesman for Patriarch Kirill

~Thanks to David Edwards for the story contributions!~

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Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

A book that dares to explore the humanity of priests and pilgrims, saints and sinners, Faith & Humor has been both a runaway bestseller in Russia and the focus of heated controversy – as often happens when a thoughtful writer takes on sacred cows. The stories, aphorisms, anecdotes, dialogues and adventures in this volume comprise an encyclopedia of modern Russian Orthodoxy, and thereby of Russian life.
The Moscow Eccentric

The Moscow Eccentric

Advance reviewers are calling this new translation "a coup" and "a remarkable achievement." This rediscovered gem of a novel by one of Russia's finest writers explores some of the thorniest issues of the early twentieth century.
The Frogs Who Begged for a Tsar

The Frogs Who Begged for a Tsar

The fables of Ivan Krylov are rich fonts of Russian cultural wisdom and experience – reading and understanding them is vital to grasping the Russian worldview. This new edition of 62 of Krylov’s tales presents them side-by-side in English and Russian. The wonderfully lyrical translations by Lydia Razran Stone are accompanied by original, whimsical color illustrations by Katya Korobkina.
A Taste of Russia

A Taste of Russia

The definitive modern cookbook on Russian cuisine has been totally updated and redesigned in a 30th Anniversary Edition. Layering superbly researched recipes with informative essays on the dishes' rich historical and cultural context, A Taste of Russia includes over 200 recipes on everything from borshch to blini, from Salmon Coulibiac to Beef Stew with Rum, from Marinated Mushrooms to Walnut-honey Filled Pies. A Taste of Russia shows off the best that Russian cooking has to offer. Full of great quotes from Russian literature about Russian food and designed in a convenient wide format that stays open during use.
Murder and the Muse

Murder and the Muse

KGB Chief Andropov has tapped Matyushkin to solve a brazen jewel heist from Picasso’s wife at the posh Metropole Hotel. But when the case bleeds over into murder, machinations, and international intrigue, not everyone is eager to see where the clues might lead.
Driving Down Russia's Spine

Driving Down Russia's Spine

The story of the epic Spine of Russia trip, intertwining fascinating subject profiles with digressions into historical and cultural themes relevant to understanding modern Russia. 
Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

This astonishingly gripping autobiography by the founder of the Russian Women’s Death Battallion in World War I is an eye-opening documentary of life before, during and after the Bolshevik Revolution.
Murder at the Dacha

Murder at the Dacha

Senior Lieutenant Pavel Matyushkin has a problem. Several, actually. Not the least of them is the fact that a powerful Soviet boss has been murdered, and Matyushkin's surly commander has given him an unreasonably short time frame to close the case.
At the Circus

At the Circus

This wonderful novella by Alexander Kuprin tells the story of the wrestler Arbuzov and his battle against a renowned American wrestler. Rich in detail and characterization, At the Circus brims with excitement and life. You can smell the sawdust in the big top, see the vivid and colorful characters, sense the tension build as Arbuzov readies to face off against the American.
Davai! The Russians and Their Vodka

Davai! The Russians and Their Vodka

In this comprehensive, quixotic and addictive book, Edwin Trommelen explores all facets of the Russian obsession with vodka. Peering chiefly through the lenses of history and literature, Trommelen offers up an appropriately complex, rich and bittersweet portrait, based on great respect for Russian culture.
The Best of Russian Life

The Best of Russian Life

We culled through 15 years of Russian Life to select readers’ and editors’ favorite stories and biographies for inclusion in a special two-volume collection. Totalling over 1100 pages, these two volumes encompass some of the best writing we have published over the last two decades, and include the most timeless stories and biographies – those that can be read again and again.

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