June's Ukrainian Read

One of the people voting this month included a very sweet comment which made our week that we had to share with you: “Very different books so there will be something for everyone. Looking forward to reading any book that is chosen. Thanks for having this amazing group in Facebook!!” Aww! :)

Before we get to the voting results, I also wanted to say that I was very surprised by the results as they exactly matcedh my personal voting choices (though all the books looked good). First time that has ever happened since we created this book club. It’s especially surprising since more often than not, the club tends to vote in the exact opposite way that I’ve voted. lol So I’m both surprised & happy. I hope you will be too.

Side note: If you like audiobooks, the audio version of the book also has great reviews for its narration! That’s the version I’ll be ingesting this month.

SO what book are we reading this month?

Vita Nostra — a cross between Lev Grossman’s The Magicians and Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian is the anti-Harry Potter you didn’t know you wanted.” -The Washington Post

Vita Nostra has the potential to become a modern classic of its genre, and I couldn’t be more excited to see it get the global audience in English it so richly deserves.” - Lev Grossman

Winner of Best Book from both Amazon & Paste Magazine

“The definitive English language translation of the internationally acclaimed Russian novel—a brilliant dark fantasy combining psychological suspense, enchantment, and terror that makes us consider human existence in a fresh and provocative way.

Our life is brief . . .

Sasha Samokhina has been accepted to the Institute of Special Technologies.

Or, more precisely, she’s been chosen.

Situated in a tiny village, she finds the students are bizarre, and the curriculum even more so. The books are impossible to read, the lessons obscure to the point of maddening, and the work refuses memorization. Using terror and coercion to keep the students in line, the school does not punish them for their transgressions and failures; instead, it is their families that pay a terrible price. Yet despite her fear, Sasha undergoes changes that defy the dictates of matter and time; experiences which are nothing she has ever dreamed of . . . and suddenly all she could ever want.

A complex blend of adventure, magic, science, and philosophy that probes the mysteries of existence, filtered through a distinct Ukrainian sensibility, this astonishing work of speculative fiction—brilliantly translated by Julia Meitov Hersey—is reminiscent of modern classics such as Lev Grossman’s The Magicians, Max Barry’s Lexicon, and Katherine Arden’s The Bear and the Nightingale, but will transport them to a place far beyond those fantastical worlds.”

View on Amazon (US) | (UK)

The Results of the Vote

Happy reading!