Thursday, April 5, 2018

March Book Report

March was unusually busy around here, however, I still found time to read one non-fiction and four fiction books. The two I most enjoyed were both written by Amor Towles.


I first read A Gentleman in Moscow at the end of 2016, and (based on my recommendation) our library book club chose it for discussion this month. (Read my thoughts on this book after my first reading HERE.) I thoroughly enjoyed re-reading this story that centers on Count Alexander Rostov, a Russian aristocrat who is sentenced to live out his life inside the Metropol Hotel in Moscow. The story follows the Count from 1922 through his 32 years living in a small room on the upper floor of this elegant hotel. The day he is sentenced and subsequently moved from his large third floor suite, he remembers this axiom that his grandfather shared with him when he was a young boy: if a man does not master his circumstances then he is bound to be mastered by them. This story of how Count Rostov creates a life for himself inside the hotel shows that he definitely mastered his circumstances.

Rules of Civility was Amor Towles debut novel and has several elements that contrast with A Gentleman in Moscow. This story is set in New York City (rather than Moscow) and covers a period of one year (rather than 32 years) and focuses on a young working-class woman (rather than a male aristocrat). The story follows Katey Kontent as she meets new friends, changes jobs, and enters upper class society with all its nuances and deceptions. The story is told from her perspective as an older married woman looking back on how the events of 1938 shaped her life. Another really good read!

Have you read either of these books? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

3 comments:

Karen said...

A Gentleman in Moscow has been on my "to read" list for a long time. I've read nothing but great reviews of it, but haven't gotten to it yet.

Patio Postcards said...

Always appreciate book recommendations. I have not read either of these books. I better see if our library can get either or both.

Barbara Eads said...

I read A Gentleman... and found it too long. I struggled here and there to reach an interesting point. Had it not been a book club pick, I might have put it down. At least the end was interesting and tied it all up. I haven't read his other, but plan to add it to my list.