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Literary fiction, classics, dystopian, history, memoir, prize winners, and of course the 1001 books. You really might catch me reading anything!

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Empire of Cotton: A Global History
Sven Beckert
Progress: 220/656 pages


Pnin - Vladimir Nabokov

Timofey Pnin is a Russian who fled from the wars during the first half of the 20th century. First to Europe, then to the US. He has a community of like-minded men and women around the globe, many of whom he knew (or knew of) in Russia.

His marriage collapsed when his wife found another man—and she used Pnin to migrate to America. His academic career has stalled at Assistant Professor at a small school in upstate New York. HIs grasp of English has improved, but he still speaks in malapropisms and misunderstood synonyms and homonyms. He doesn't seem to be a great professor, though not many students filled Russian language classes in the 1950s. He has no great friends left, but has many good acquaintances.

But yeah—that's it. This is a story about this man's sad life, though he is not a sad man. Sad through no real fault of his own (his ex-wife ends up on her 4th husband by the end, he had no control over Russia's politics, and he has made a life for himself in America). Really, this character is just a regular guy. And most of us are not interesting enough to make for a good novel. And this character really isn't either.