The Border: A Journey Around Russia Through North Korea, China, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Norway, and the Northeast Passage (Paperback)

The Border: A Journey Around Russia Through North Korea, China, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Norway, and the Northeast Passage By Erika Fatland, Kari Dickson (Translated by) Cover Image
By Erika Fatland, Kari Dickson (Translated by)
$18.95
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Description


The acclaimed author of Sovietistan travels along the seemingly endless Russian border and reveals the deep and pervasive influence it has had across half the globe.

Imperial, communist or autocratic, Russia has been—and remains—a towering and intimidating neighbor.  Whether it is North Korea in the Far East through the former Soviet republics in Asia and the Caucasus, or countries on the Caspian Ocean and the Black Sea.  What would it be like to traverse the entirety of the Russian periphery to examine its effects on those closest to her?

An astute and brilliant combination of lyric travel writing and modern history, The Border is a book about Russia without its author ever entering Russia itself.  Fatland gets to the heart of what it has meant to be the neighbor of that mighty, expanding empire throughout history. As we follow Fatland on her journey, we experience the colorful, exciting, tragic and often unbelievable histories of these bordering nations along with their cultures, their people, their landscapes.

Sharply observed and wholly absorbing, The Border is a surprising new way to understand a broad part our world.

About the Author


Erika Fatland studied Social Anthropology at the University of Oslo. Her 2011 book, The Village of Angels, was an in situ report on the Beslan terror attacks of 2004 and she is also the author of The Year Without Summer, describing the harrowing year that followed the massacre on Utøya in 2011. For Sovietistan (2019) she was shortlisted for the Edward Stanford/Lonely Planet Debut Travel Writer of the Year, and The Border (2020) was shortlisted for the Stanfords Dolman Travel Book of the Year 2020. Both are available from Pegasus Books. She speaks eight languages and lives in Oslo with her husband.

Kari Dickson is a translator from Norwegian of crime fiction, literary fiction, children's books, theatre, and non-fiction, including Erika Fatland's Sovietistan and The Border. She is also an occasional tutor in Norwegian language, literature, and translation at the University of Edinburgh.

Praise For…


“A hauntingly lyrical meditation to the contingencies of history. Ms. Fatland’s greatest gift, is listening…allowing the people she meets to reveal themselves in meticulously rendered dramatic monologues, capturing their tics, eccentricities, and detailed personal histories. Russianness gives way to humanity—but not a simplistic one.”
— The Wall Street Journal

Praise for Erika Fatland's Sovietistan

“An introduction to a deeply misunderstood part of the world…the complexity and beauty of this region are best represented when she goes back in time. Fatland has a level of access most outsiders would never have.”
— Gina Rae La Cerva

“In this absorbing travelogue, Erika Fatland picks her way through five former Soviet satellite states, witnessing the social, economic, and environmental damage they’ve sustained.”

 
— Christian Science Monitor

“Fatland’s anecdotes are rich and revelatory… Sovietistan blends complex history with Fatland’s own clear-eyed reporting, the devastation of the Soviet era always in the background (and sometimes the foreground). With the Russian Bear once again on the move, she plumbs the high cost of dictatorships and the human yearning for self-determination. Sovietistan is a perspicacious, vital book about little-known places and real lives; it deserves a wide readership.” 
— The Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Vivid. In addition to taking the reader on a fascinating journey, Sovietistan highlights what an ethnic mosaic the region is.  What is so refreshing about Fatland is her predilection for deliberate moments of bathos and deconstruction. An opportunity for sustained reflection on the region.”
— PopMatters

“A lively, if rarely cheerful, travelogue that fills a yawning knowledge gap for readers concerned with international affairs.”
— Kirkus Reviews

“Fatland details her eight-month trip through ‘five of the newest countries in the world’ in this fascinating memoir. Her remarkable look at the region serves as a solid introduction to an area that remains little traveled by those from the West.” 
— Publishers Weekly

“A hauntingly lyrical meditation to the contingencies of history. Ms. Fatland’s greatest gift, is listening…allowing the people she meets to reveal themselves in meticulously rendered dramatic monologues, capturing their tics, eccentricities, and detailed personal histories. Russianness gives way to humanity—but not a simplistic one.”
— The Wall Street Journal

Praise for Erika Fatland's Sovietistan

“An introduction to a deeply misunderstood part of the world…the complexity and beauty of this region are best represented when she goes back in time. Fatland has a level of access most outsiders would never have.”
— Gina Rae La Cerva

“In this absorbing travelogue, Erika Fatland picks her way through five former Soviet satellite states, witnessing the social, economic, and environmental damage they’ve sustained.”

 
— Christian Science Monitor

“Fatland’s anecdotes are rich and revelatory… Sovietistan blends complex history with Fatland’s own clear-eyed reporting, the devastation of the Soviet era always in the background (and sometimes the foreground). With the Russian Bear once again on the move, she plumbs the high cost of dictatorships and the human yearning for self-determination. Sovietistan is a perspicacious, vital book about little-known places and real lives; it deserves a wide readership.” 
— The Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Vivid. In addition to taking the reader on a fascinating journey, Sovietistan highlights what an ethnic mosaic the region is.  What is so refreshing about Fatland is her predilection for deliberate moments of bathos and deconstruction. An opportunity for sustained reflection on the region.”
— PopMatters

“A lively, if rarely cheerful, travelogue that fills a yawning knowledge gap for readers concerned with international affairs.”
— Kirkus Reviews

“Fatland details her eight-month trip through ‘five of the newest countries in the world’ in this fascinating memoir. Her remarkable look at the region serves as a solid introduction to an area that remains little traveled by those from the West.” 
— Publishers Weekly
Product Details
ISBN: 9781643139494
ISBN-10: 1643139495
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication Date: March 8th, 2022
Pages: 600
Language: English

How to read more

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How To Read More

If you love reading, but for some reason you read less and less, know that everything is fine. It happens.
Our lives today have so many things that distract us - how can we not put books away when all these movies, TV shows, YouTube videos, social networks and endless surfing in online stores are around ...
Yes, it's really hard to resist, but you certainly can!

In this article, we want to share with you some tips to read more often and more successfully.
These are some notes and some practices that we have collected for our SUNDOG BOOKS readers club.
And maybe it will bring more books into your life!

Why do we want/need to read more?

To start reading more, you have to understand why you need it.
And you will be surprised, but your goals can be quite varied:

- for work
If you read a lot on duty, then you definitely need to speed up the process. The logic here is simple: read faster → work faster → more time for books for yourself.

- for education
you need this for your educational career or sometimes you just want to read to learn. And, with all the new alternative ways to gain knowledge (podcasts, online courses and videos), the book still does an excellent job of this task too.

- for self-development
all exercises for increasing speed, one way or another, improve cognition and memory.

- for fun
because good books always = fun!

Book lovers have an additional special goal for reading more often. If you love literature, you will understand what we mean: you want to catch everything - to follow modern literature, and not forget about the classics, look into non-fiction and children's publications. And there’s so much you want to reread! The goals are ambitious, but attainable if you read a lot.

 

And so - How to read more:
We will tell you about the methods that we use ourselves. Perhaps some will suit you as well.

 

15 minutes a day

You've probably already heard this rule: if you want to start a healthy habit, devote 15 minutes a day to it. Once upon a time, we all read irregularly, in jumps and starts. Sometimes we cannot open a book we have begun weeks ago. Therefore, you should decide to create a rule: devote at least 15 minutes a day to reading. Try reading before bed, or maybe during lunchtime, or even when you are having your morning coffee.

You will see progress immediately. You will notice that almost always your 15 minutes will grow into half an hour or more. But the most remarkable thing is that in three weeks your hands themselves will be looking for a book.

 

50 First Pages
This method advises - If the book hasn't hooked you from the first 50 pages, put it aside! Life is too short to read uninteresting books.

It is necessary to change the approach to books. At first it will be hard for you to stop and put the book down. Even if we put the book away, it will seem to reproach us from the shelf, mocking us as quitters. But in the end we should come to one simple thought: if it doesn’t hook your attention, you should not force yourself to read it.

***Fifty pages is not a bad test. Not the most objective, but definitely effective. It helps to determine whether it interests you or not, and whether to spend time on things that do not excite.

 

Reader's Diary

This should be used to improve the quality of reading - to make it more conscious. For starters, it can be a simple notebook with headings:

  • Author
  • Year of publication
  • Main characters
  • Scene
  • Plot
  • Theme
  • Quotes

And, yes, a reader's diary is not a thing about quantity, but about quality. But, it can also motivate. When you open your diary and start looking at quotes (especially quotes), you immediately really want to read.

 

Maybe a Book Bet?
Several people can participate. Members of the betting group can come from friends, family, and also your colleagues. And of course you can set your own rules for participation, but we'll give you a simple example:

Everyone in the group should read and review a book over the course of a month with weekly updates. Anyone who does not finish a review buys the book for all other participants for the next month.

 

Speed Reading

Another effective way to increase the amount you read is speed reading. The logic here is simple - the faster you read, the more books you can enjoy.

*There are many online courses on speed reading, and you can also study on your own using instructional books. But, it is worth noting that this is a serious learning process that will require some effort on your part.

 

Outcome

Reading every day is quite attainable, the main thing is to try to make it a habit.
Sometimes, instead of heading for Facebook, try opening a book and soon you won’t even remember why you needed to wander around social media.
And also - don't forget about audiobooks. They are a cool way to take the load off your eyes sometimes and just immerse yourself in the story. Some books are really strong in voice acting.

 
 
 

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