February 10, 2022

"Slush Funds," Spotify, and a Subway Surprise


"Slush Funds," Spotify, and a Subway Surprise
In Odder News

In this week's Odder News: an Oscar nomination, slippery sidewalks, and IT-giants.

  • You may be familiar with Cheburashka, but did you know that some good cartoons are still coming out of Russia? In fact, the Russian cartoon "Boxballet" has been nominated for an Oscar in the short animation category. It tells a tale of love between a boxer, Yevgeny, and a ballerina, Olga.
  • Russian streets are covered in snow! Unintentionally. After receiving over one thousand complaints from citizens in St. Petersburg, the city's prosecutor's office has started an investigation into the embezzlement of funds meant for the removal of snow. Inspectors have found hundreds of code violations. It raises the question: where is all the money going? And from something so crucial?
  • An alpaca has been filmed taking the Moscow Metro with its owner. The alpaca walked around the train car and greeted many smiling passengers, but nobody really knows what the South American animal was doing in the Moscow subway in the winter.
  • One of the perks of living alone is having lots of space for yourself. Unless, of course, you're renting this apartment in St. Petersburg. For the small fee of R9,000 ($120) per month, you could live in a tiny, 10 square-meters apartment, decked out with a bed, a kitchen, and a toilet right above said kitchen. And we thought Raskolnikov had it bad.
  • Apple and Spotify have officially opened offices in Russia, something that has been made more difficult by a new law with strict requirements for large international IT companies wanting to operate in Russia. Gotta protect Yandex.

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Some of Our Books

Life Stories: Original Fiction By Russian Authors

Life Stories: Original Fiction By Russian Authors

The Life Stories collection is a nice introduction to contemporary Russian fiction: many of the 19 authors featured here have won major Russian literary prizes and/or become bestsellers. These are life-affirming stories of love, family, hope, rebirth, mystery and imagination, masterfully translated by some of the best Russian-English translators working today. The selections reassert the power of Russian literature to affect readers of all cultures in profound and lasting ways. Best of all, 100% of the profits from the sale of this book are going to benefit Russian hospice—not-for-profit care for fellow human beings who are nearing the end of their own life stories.
Tolstoy Bilingual

Tolstoy Bilingual

This compact, yet surprisingly broad look at the life and work of Tolstoy spans from one of his earliest stories to one of his last, looking at works that made him famous and others that made him notorious. 
At the Circus (bilingual)

At the Circus (bilingual)

This wonderful novella by Alexander Kuprin tells the story of the wrestler Arbuzov and his battle against a renowned American wrestler. Rich in detail and characterization, At the Circus brims with excitement and life. You can smell the sawdust in the big top, see the vivid and colorful characters, sense the tension build as Arbuzov readies to face off against the American.
The Latchkey Murders

The Latchkey Murders

Senior Lieutenant Pavel Matyushkin is back on the case in this prequel to the popular mystery Murder at the Dacha, in which a serial killer is on the loose in Khrushchev’s Moscow...
Survival Russian

Survival Russian

Survival Russian is an intensely practical guide to conversational, colloquial and culture-rich Russian. It uses humor, current events and thematically-driven essays to deepen readers’ understanding of Russian language and culture. This enlarged Second Edition of Survival Russian includes over 90 essays and illuminates over 2000 invaluable Russian phrases and words.
The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas

The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas

This exciting new trilogy by a Russian author – who has been compared to Orhan Pamuk and Umberto Eco – vividly recreates a lost world, yet its passions and characters are entirely relevant to the present day. Full of mystery, memorable characters, and non-stop adventure, The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas is a must read for lovers of historical fiction and international thrillers.  
Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

This astonishingly gripping autobiography by the founder of the Russian Women’s Death Battallion in World War I is an eye-opening documentary of life before, during and after the Bolshevik Revolution.
Murder and the Muse

Murder and the Muse

KGB Chief Andropov has tapped Matyushkin to solve a brazen jewel heist from Picasso’s wife at the posh Metropole Hotel. But when the case bleeds over into murder, machinations, and international intrigue, not everyone is eager to see where the clues might lead.
Driving Down Russia's Spine

Driving Down Russia's Spine

The story of the epic Spine of Russia trip, intertwining fascinating subject profiles with digressions into historical and cultural themes relevant to understanding modern Russia. 
The Samovar Murders

The Samovar Murders

The murder of a poet is always more than a murder. When a famous writer is brutally stabbed on the campus of Moscow’s Lumumba University, the son of a recently deposed African president confesses, and the case assumes political implications that no one wants any part of.
A Taste of Chekhov

A Taste of Chekhov

This compact volume is an introduction to the works of Chekhov the master storyteller, via nine stories spanning the last twenty years of his life.

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