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14 November 2018

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Book Review

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Moscow, St. Petersburg & the Golden Ring

by Masha Nordbye (Odyssey, $27.95)

It has been eight years since Nordbye last updated her guide to traveling in and between the two Russian capitals. This edition sees a slightly slimmed-down version (yet still 788 pages), but one that is no less invaluable for its excellent city maps, compendia of sites to see, suggested sightseeing itineraries, tips for travel, and historical essays, to say nothing of the useful pages of sidebars on everything from banyas to FabergĂ© to foreign travelers’ impressions of Russia.

Nordbye (who has written for Russian Life) has been traveling to and working in Russia for over three decades, so getting this guidebook is a bit like receiving her distilled version of the most important things to do and take away from a trip to Russia. That alone makes the book worth several times its purchase price.

One caveat is that this new edition has rather poor print reproduction of the guide’s excellent photos. But that can be overlooked: it is the text that makes this book essential; the pictures you will create yourself, in your mind’s eye when you are there.

— Paul E. Richardson

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Reviewed in Russian Life: May/June 2015