I just finished reading Lenin: A New Biography, by Dmitri Volkogonov, who previously wrote a book about Stalin. The writer was a general and in the author photo it's wild because he's just completely covered with medals. Basically, this book says Lenin was a jerk, that all the faults of the system can be blamed on him. Another very interesting book is Lost in the Taiga, by Vasily Peskov, about the Old Believers who fled Moscow because of religious reforms. They live way out in the bush in cabins in Siberia. I became interested in Russia on my book tour. I wanted to be miles away. It's great to have this continuity of picking up the same place you left off. It reduces (daily events) in importance.