Which Country are We Reading in June?

Photo by J. Menard licensed under CC By 2.0

The country we’re reading in June is famed for a number of reasons with one of the most beautiful examples being the Mazepa baroque architecture as shown in the photo of a cathedral here.

This country is also famed for its rich, black-earth soil as well as its extremely educated population. They've achieved almost universal literacy & are well renowned for their prestigious mathematicians & high quality IT professionals. One of the co-founders of Whatsapp as well as one of the co-founders from Paypal are both from this country.

Any guesses which country we’re referring to?

What if I added that according to U.N. projections, this country is shrinking the fastest in the world with a population set to fall 22% by 2050? Or that as noted by Ozy, some researchers believe that the world's first constitution was from this country empowering the citizenry & introducing the separation of powers in 1710 long before the American or French constitutions were enacted.

If you still aren’t sure which country we’re referring to, then perhaps if I add in that this country is also sadly known for one of the worst industrial accidents in the world?

So what country are we reading?

It’s the Ukraine & the accident I’m referring to is of course Chernobyl.

I’ve never read a book about Chernobyl though I have read a number of articles on this topic which both horrified me & intrigued me. I was hoping to include a book about it this month for my suggestion, however, I was unable to find one which worked. Most of the books are written by people who aren’t from the Ukraine. The few which are either aren’t available in ebook form or have poor reviews.

So while I can’t include a Chernobyl book in the final list of books we’ll be voting on, I can include one here. This NY Times Best Seller is now on my tbr because it has 5 stars on Amazon & 4.5 stars on Goodreads. Plus, it’s also described as:

  • A “masterpiece of reporting & storytelling”

  • “The clearest & fullest look at the catastrophe yet”

  • “Superb, enthralling, and necessarily terrifying”

It also has 4.5 stars on Audible if you’re looking for a great audiobook.


Just let us know your Ukrainian suggestions by Tues., May 21 11PM ET. (That's NYC time. See this converted to your local time below.)

Time converter at worldtimebuddy.com

We'll use 2 suggestions from book club members, 2 suggestions from Mia (the book club co-founder), & 2 of my suggestions to compile a list of 6 books on which book club members will provide their thoughts. The book judged as best from the list will then be read.

Please note - We're specific in our books, they must: 

  • Largely occur in the location specified unless the world described is an alternate reality

  • Be written by an author born there who has spent a good portion of their life there

  • Exist in paperback & ebook available on both Amazon & Kindle at least in the US & hopefully elsewhere