Seeing The “Real” Russia! The “Weekly Bookmobile” Arrives At “Midnight In Siberia”!

Time To Head To Siberia – The Bookmobile Boards The Legendary Trans-Siberian Railroad!

As we all know, there’s been ALL THIS TALK ABOUT RUSSIA. Yet, even with all that chatter, we discuss it as a thing, not as a country filled with hundreds of millions of people.

I love travel books, especially when they delve into the real lives of the people who live in the country being visited. In this case, a terrific book hears from the people of Russia about life there – and what they think of the US as well!

This week’s “Wednesday Bookmobile” boards the Trans-Siberian Railroad to see Russian life up close!

Midnight In Siberia! by David Greene

I loved the portrait of everyday Russian life that Greene captures in his writing.

Here is how Amazon describes the book:

“Travels with NPR host David Greene along the Trans-Siberian Railroad capture an overlooked, idiosyncratic Russia in the age of Putin.

Far away from the trendy cafés, designer boutiques, and political protests and crackdowns in Moscow, the real Russia exists.”

Cover crop

Far away indeed – and the further he travels, the more Greene sees the “real” Russia.

“Midnight in Siberia” chronicles David Greene’s journey on the Trans-Siberian Railway, a 6,000-mile cross-country trip from Moscow to the Pacific port of Vladivostok. In quadruple-bunked cabins and stopover towns sprinkled across the country’s snowy landscape, Greene speaks with ordinary Russians about how their lives have changed in the post-Soviet years.

What makes the book so compelling is that each chapter is named for a person he meets – it’s not a travelogue, it’s the story of a major superpower coming to terms with the past, present and future – Russians have endured far more challenges than we realize, and the people you meet are fascinating – concerned about their future but proud of who they are.

I think that’s one of the reasons the book clicked with me – by seeing how these “everyday” people live in Russia, it helps me realize that the US / Russia political shenanigans are just that – posturing between two leaders, while the rest of us live our lives and just want to raise children, grow careers and be happy.

Life in Russia is certainly not easy for many, and you get those stories in the book as well, as their industries change and the people struggle to adapt to new economic realities.

I’ve taken you to Siberia before – remember the coldest city on earth? It’s -88 degrees here! You can see where I am by clicking here:

I also shared an amazing documentary about a year in the life of Siberians:

This incredible film is from Werner Herzog, who took an 8-hour Russian TV series and turned it into a compelling look at life in Siberia – see it here:

Finally, I have also taken you on many other trains as well, to places like this:

Yes, the legendary Travel Writer Paul Theroux took a train through Russia and ended up at the top of the world! click here to see where he ended up:

Check out “Midnight In Siberia” – it’s terrific, and let me know what you think of the “Wednesday Bookmobile” series!

Categories: Books / Media, Exotic Travel, Memoirs, Politics, Pop Culture, Travel, Travel Adventures, Travel Memoir, Uncategorized

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

5 replies

  1. That sounds great! A good read (and I like Greene on NPR) to balance out what I know about Moscow (largely from A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW, I’m ashamed to say)–of course, that’s (fictionalized) history. Sounds like a great read. And I’ve seen that Siberia film by Herzog–my fave director. Hope to get another Bookmobile Wednesday adventure from you today!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post John. I need to read these! As you know, mom was one of the first US citizens to visit Siberia after it was opened to visitors back in the early nineties. Pretty incredible.😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As you know, I have been to Russia a few times. It is such a huge country, that I flew across it for hours on end, and hardly touched the eastern regions. The population is diverse, with ancient cultures, and many languages. It is just not possible to think of it as a ‘thing’, as you rightly say.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

The Coffee Bean Brain

Overdosed. Overthinker

Little Mermaid's Writes

Movie Reviews, Travel stories, Lifestyle

Carpe Diem Eire

Travel Through Ireland and Europe


Life in a flash - a weekly writing blog

Diary of A Movie Maniac

A Personal Journey Through Cinema & Television

Geeking Out about It

BlerdWatching Waaay Too Much TV

Shock, Schlock & Leftover Film Stock

A bloody valentine to exploitation films, cult film classics, direct to video dreck and other dirty, disreputable corners of cinema history


Tea, Tours and Escapades

Times and Tides of a Beachwriter

Drift among the scribbles of writer Janet Gogerty


This page is dedicated to all things of the past, movies, television, books, etc collected under one page if possible.

Robbie Cheadle

Books | Poems | Reviews

Robbie's inspiration

Ideas on writing and baking

Darlene Foster's Blog

dreamer of dreams, teller of tales

Urban Suburban Girl

(adj.) cul – de – sac couture

You can always start now

exploring possibilities

Realweegiemidget Reviews Films TV Books and more

You can take the girl out of Glasgow. Entertainment Reviews from a Wee Scottish Wife and Stepmum living in Finland.

I didn't have my glasses on....

A trip through life with fingers crossed and eternal optimism.

Through the Shattered Lens

Where mainstream meets grindhouse, exploitation, otaku and gamers

The Planking Traveler

planks or it didn't happen

Laura's Books and Blogs

Writing tips, giveaways, reviews, essays, and more!

Binging on a Budget

"Help Me, I'm Poor."

Sunshine with Savannah

Writer aiming to cultivate kindness. | Exploring, learning, scribbling, finding sunshine wherever I go.

Notes from the U.K.

Exploring the spidery corners of a culture and the weird stuff that tourist brochures ignore.

Drew's Movie Reviews

Movie reviews from your average dude

But I Smile Anyway...

Musings and memories, words and wisdom... of a working family woman

Colline's Blog

a potpourri of thoughts and experiences

Travel with Intent

A photographer's view of the world - words and images to inspire your travels and your dreams

Movie Reviews 101

Daily Movie Reviews & ABC Film Challenge

Cindy Bruchman

Films. Travel. Photography. Books. Let's talk.

Invisibly Me

Live A Visible Life Whatever Your Health


The world's wildest movies from an era of "everything goes!"

Eclectic Alli

A bit of this, a bit of that, the meandering thoughts of a dreamer.

Rust Belt Girl

reading and writing the Rust Belt

Cult Of The Cinema

Exploring Cinematic Diversity

Retired? No one told me!

Tonight I Dream. Tomorrow I Do!


The musings of a Londoner, now living in Norfolk

Suzie Speaks

The Adventures Of a Thirty-Something Life

Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

Musings on cats, travel, gardens and life

The BookWorm Drinketh

Give Tea to the Tillerman, But Booze to the Bookworm!

Tranquil Dreams

Watching, Reading, Cooking & Travelling

An Historian About Town

History in the Making

Susie Lindau's Wild Ride

Adventures and Misadventures in Boulder, Colorado

It Rains... You Get Wet

Still more lazy thoughts from this one...

By Hook Or By Book

Book Reviews, News, and Other Stuff

Admit One Film Addict

Psychotronic Cinema

emmakwall (explains it all)

Film & soundtrack reviews, good humour and lists

%d bloggers like this: