100 books like Open Mic Night in Moscow

By Audrey Murray,

Here are 100 books that Open Mic Night in Moscow fans have personally recommended if you like Open Mic Night in Moscow. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Eat Pray Love

Jessica Hepburn Author Of Save Me from the Waves: An adventure from sea to summit

From my list on females adventure and change their life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an author and adventure activist who believes passionately in the power of big and small adventures to change your life for the better when you’ve been through dark and difficult times. I have written three books, all of which I describe as ‘alternative adventure stories’ because they don’t look like the usual ‘Boy’s Own’ tales of danger and derring-do (although they do include some of that, too!). I’m drawn to the words of wonderful women warriors who give me strength in times of sadness. These books have inspired me to live big and bravely in what is often a challenging but (mainly) wonderful world.

Jessica's book list on females adventure and change their life

Jessica Hepburn Why did Jessica love this book?

This is a book that changed my life. In fact, I probably want to be Elizabeth Gilbert. Witty, wise, and wonderful, it made me want to go to Italy to eat, to pilgrimage to India to pray, to fall in love in Bali, and to write about that journey.

I read it nearly twenty years ago and it still inspires me today.

By Elizabeth Gilbert,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Eat Pray Love as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

_________________ OVER 15 MILLION COPIES SOLD WORLDWIDE _________________ 'Eat, Pray, Love has been passed from woman to woman like the secret of life' - Sunday Times 'A defining work of memoir' - Sunday Telegraph 'Engaging, intelligent, and highly entertaining' - Time _________________ It's 3 a.m. and Elizabeth Gilbert is sobbing on the bathroom floor. She's in her thirties, she has a husband, a house, they're trying for a baby - and she doesn't want any of it. A bitter divorce and a turbulent love affair later, she emerges battered and bewildered and realises it is time to pursue her own…

Book cover of Me Talk Pretty One Day

Abraham Chang Author Of 888 Love and the Divine Burden of Numbers

From my list on incorporating pop culture in unexpected ways.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a publishing professional for over 20 years, I’ve worked in a variety of jobs and positions with some of the biggest pop culture creators and brands. Just before the pandemic, I finally took time to invest in myself as a writer and set out to combine my lifelong passions for film, TV, music, video games, and books–with my skills as an award-winning poet–to write my debut novel, from my “certain point of view” as a first-generation Asian American. The books on my list here are from some of the authors that I admire–who are also “one of us”: the bookworms, the pop culture geeks, the hopeless romantics. 

Abraham's book list on incorporating pop culture in unexpected ways

Abraham Chang Why did Abraham love this book?

No one else can make me laugh through all the cringe-y, absurd, awkward pain like David Sedaris. His pop culture touch points are a bit more esoteric than (and a generation or two above) mine–but his Billie Holiday impression is impressive and absolutely pristine. Unexpected and revelatory, his essays and memoirs brought me to tears of laughter but also of compassion and empathy.

I started with this book and quickly devoured more. By the time I was a full-fledged David Sedaris reader, I was already a huge fan of Amy Sedaris–his equally talented sister–a skilled actress and comedian. Amy, matching the same level of genius as her brother, has been a mainstay of TV and film. She also appears in her brother’s writing, and the duo often collaborate creatively–notably in the respective audiobooks. I love the Sedaris family (including all the other, less Hollywood types) and always enjoy reading about…

By David Sedaris,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Me Talk Pretty One Day as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A new collection from David Sedaris is cause for jubilation. His recent move to Paris has inspired hilarious pieces, including Me Talk Pretty One Day, about his attempts to learn French. His family is another inspiration. You Cant Kill the Rooster is a portrait of his brother who talks incessant hip-hop slang to his bewildered father. And no one hones a finer fury in response to such modern annoyances as restaurant meals presented in ludicrous towers and cashiers with 6-inch fingernails. Compared by The New Yorker to Twain and Hawthorne, Sedaris has become one of our best-loved authors. Sedaris is…

Book cover of The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town America

Patrick Forsyth Author Of Smile Because It Happened: Antidotes to Melancholy in Thailand, the Land of Smiles

From my list on feeding your lust for travel.

Why am I passionate about this?

I worked for many years in business consultancy before branching into other genres, including fiction. Through working regularly in Singapore I was able to travel around the region, finding I loved that part of the world. I came to regard Thailand as the jewel of Southeast Asia. I continue to visit and aim for my light-hearted travel writing to encourage others to enjoy the area and be ambitious in their travel plans. I regard my book as an invitation to share my love of a unique place and was delighted when one reviewer described my writing of it as “Brysonish.”

Patrick's book list on feeding your lust for travel

Patrick Forsyth Why did Patrick love this book?

Any recommendation about travel writing must surely include Bill Bryson. I love his writing, and I reckon this, his first book, is still the best.

I love the idea–brought up in small-town America he revisits the tours by car his family took as holidays. I love his descriptions and especially his ability to spot absurdities in a way that can have the me laughing aloud. It is a book that had me moving on to read everything he wrote thereafter.

By Bill Bryson,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Lost Continent as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'I come from Des Moines. Somebody had to'

And, as soon as Bill Bryson was old enough, he left. Des Moines couldn't hold him, but it did lure him back. After ten years in England, he returned to the land of his youth, and drove almost 14,000 miles in search of a mythical small town called Amalgam, the kind of trim and sunny place where the films of his youth were set. Instead, his search led him to Anywhere, USA; a lookalike strip of gas stations, motels and hamburger outlets populated by lookalike people with a penchant for synthetic fibres.…

Book cover of What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding: A Memoir

Kristen Van Nest Author Of Where to Nest: A Global Search for Love, Cheap Wine and a Place to Belong

From my list on travel books that’ll make you laugh until your side hurts.

Why am I passionate about this?

With my debut comedic travel memoir having come out in April, I read every humorous travel book I could get my hands on both as part of my education for inspiration on how to write my book and before I even knew I was going to write a book because I simply love reading these types of stories. From my own experience, travel has made me grow so much as a person, and all of these authors beautifully capture their own journeys and how travel helped them find their way.

Kristen's book list on travel books that’ll make you laugh until your side hurts

Kristen Van Nest Why did Kristen love this book?

I love how this book weaves in discovering who she is, a humorous element, and winding hilarious stories where you never know what's going to happen next. It also talks honestly about being frustrated as a woman and trying to date, the expectations put on us as women, and how these discourage us from taking our own path.

Now writing on Only Murders in the Building, Newman has a lovely, comedic voice.

Book cover of Death of a Russian Priest

Iona Whishaw Author Of Framed in Fire

From my list on soothingly gentleman-like inspectors.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m the writer of an award-winning, best-selling series called the Lane Winslow Mysteries. They take place in British Columbia right after the Second World War, and feature an intelligent, canny, beautiful, polyglot who has just retired from spying for the British—this character inspired by my own beautiful multilingual mother, who did intelligence work in the war. I love the mystery genre, and while no one loves a burned-out, borderline alcoholic inspector who's divorced and has children who won’t return his calls more than I, I've always really adored what I call the “gentleman inspectors.” Men who are happily married, or will be soon, smart, educated, ethical, emotionally complex people you’d like to meet one day. 

Iona's book list on soothingly gentleman-like inspectors

Iona Whishaw Why did Iona love this book?

Stuart Kaminski brings us the wonderful detective, Porfiry Rostnikov, a barrel of a man who wanted to be a wrestling champion in his youth, and surely the only honest policeman in the Soviet system. He is kind and generous and will fix the plumbing of anyone in his building for the sheer joy of it. He is entranced by the geometry of pipes and their challenge. He is also a man of a certain age who has seen it all and has no illusions. His relationship with soviet authorities is tricky; they suspect his Jewish wife, and his love of Ed McBain books, but he’s the only man who can catch the crook and save the state embarrassment.

By Stuart M. Kaminsky,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Death of a Russian Priest as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Never miss a Kaminsky book, and be especially sure not to miss Death of a Russian Priest.” —Tony Hillerman, New York Times–bestselling author
In the darkest hours of communist rule, Father Merhum fought to protect the sanctity of the Orthodox Church. Now the Soviet Union is gone, but the bureaucracy survives, and within it lurk men who would do anything to undermine the fragile new Russian democracy. Father Merhum is on his way to Moscow to denounce those traitors when he is struck with an ax and killed.
As police inspectors Porfiry Rostnikov and Emil Karpo dig into the past…

Book cover of Moscow, 1937

Steven G. Marks Author Of How Russia Shaped the Modern World: From Art to Anti-Semitism, Ballet to Bolshevism

From my list on modern Russian history.

Why am I passionate about this?

Steven G. Marks is a historian who has written extensively on Russian economic and cultural history, the global impact of Russian ideas, and the history of capitalism. He received his PhD from Harvard University and has spent more than 30 years teaching Russian and world history at Clemson University in South Carolina.

Steven's book list on modern Russian history

Steven G. Marks Why did Steven love this book?

Karl Schlögel’s masterpiece, Moscow,1937, is a gripping study of Moscow at the peak of the Stalinist Great Terror. With short chapters and a multitude of illustrations, the book leads the reader on a panoptic tour of every aspect of the city’s life in this year of mass arrests and waves of executions. Step by step, Schlögel builds a convincing case that as the Communist regime struggled to get a grip on the chaos unleashed by the regime’s own collectivization and industrialization drives, its reflexive response was to resort to political violence. The murderous frenzy that resulted changed the society beyond recognition.

By Karl Schlogel,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Moscow, 1937 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Moscow, 1937: the soviet metropolis at the zenith of Stalin s dictatorship. A society utterly wrecked by a hurricane of violence. In this compelling book, the renowned historian Karl Schlogel reconstructs with meticulous care the process through which, month by month, the terrorism of a state-of-emergency regime spiraled into the Great Terror during which 1 1/2 million human beings lost their lives within a single year. He revisits the sites of show trials and executions and, by also consulting numerous sources from the time, he provides a masterful panorama of these key events in Russian history. He shows how, in…

Book cover of Moscow - 2042

David Satter Author Of Never Speak to Strangers and Other Writing from Russia and the Soviet Union

From my list on understanding the Soviet Union and Post-Soviet Russia.

Why am I passionate about this?

David Satter is a leading commentator on Russia and the former Soviet Union. He is the author of five books on Russia and the creator of a documentary film on the fall of the Soviet Union. He has been affiliated with the Hudson Institute and the John Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. He is presently a member of the academic advisory board of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.

David's book list on understanding the Soviet Union and Post-Soviet Russia

David Satter Why did David love this book?

Vladimir Voinovich was probably the greatest Russian satirical writer since Gogol. After the fall of the U.S.S.R., he was asked if it was still possible to write satire in Russia. He insisted that it was. “The Soviet Union was a giant mental hospital but it was organized,” he explained. “Now, the inmates have been told that they can do whatever they want. So Russia is funnier than ever.”

In this novel, published in 1986, Voinovich demonstrated his stunning ability to divine the future. He described a new Russian regime dominated by state security and based not on Marxism-Leninism but on the teachings of the Orthodox Church. Like Russia today, the regime of his novel tells its citizens that they are surrounded by “three rings of hostility.” The first is the former Soviet republics; the second, the former Soviet satellites, the third, the West – the former “capitalist enemy.” This makes…

By Vladimir Voinovich,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Moscow - 2042 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this satire that pokes fun at the future of communism, socialist life, and the Kremlin, an exiled Soviet writer enters a time warp and lands in Moscow in the year 2042.

Book cover of Moscow - The Turning Point: The Failure of Hitler's Strategy in the Winter of 1941-42

Robert Kirchubel Author Of Atlas of the Eastern Front: 1941-45

From my list on WWII theater: the Nazi-Soviet War.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been interested in the Nazi-Soviet War since my high school years, and I am happy to say my views have become more sophisticated in the intervening 50 years! During the Cold War I served as a US Army Armor officer for 28 years and globally across 18 time zones (retired lieutenant colonel). Thereafter, I earned a PhD in modern European history, specializing in the 20th-century German military, from Purdue University. I have researched, taught, and written extensively on all aspects of military history, particularly WWII. My latest book, an operational level [of war] history of Barbarossa for the Campaigns and Commanders series (University of Oklahoma Press, in preparation as of mid-2024).

Robert's book list on WWII theater: the Nazi-Soviet War

Robert Kirchubel Why did Robert love this book?

The Nazi-Soviet War was a notable exception to the unofficial “victors write the history” rule common to military history. In this case the losers wrote the first histories because 1) English-speaking nations and armies were not involved, 2) Cold War prejudices demanded an anti-Soviet narrative, and 3) the conflict was so confusing and complex plus alien to Western readers.

This book dispenses with the “we came so close” and “only inexhaustible numbers beat us” arguments of immediate post-war German memoirists and apologists. I always appreciate a historian is willing to take a new look at evidence and challenge long-held…and false or misleading…certitudes – Reinhardt does all of these things.

By Klaus Reinhardt, Karl B. Keenan (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Moscow - The Turning Point as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Based on a wealth of source material, the author sets out to refute the widely held view among historians and military experts that the German defeat at Stalingrad in the winter of 1942/43 marked the turning-point in the war. He shows how Hitler's attempt to crush the Soviet Union in a Blitz campaign was doomed to failure from the beginning and how defeat outside Moscow compromised his plans for a successful conclusion to the war.

Book cover of The Billion Dollar Spy: A True Story of Cold War Espionage and Betrayal

Steve Vogel Author Of Betrayal in Berlin: The True Story of the Cold War's Most Audacious Espionage Operation

From my list on accurate non-fiction about Cold War espionage.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an author and veteran journalist who reported for The Washington Post for more than two decades, and I write frequently about military history and intelligence. My father worked for the CIA, and I was born in Berlin when he was stationed there as a case officer. Later I was based in Germany as a foreign correspondent when the Berlin Wall came down. So it’s not too surprising that I am interested in Cold War espionage and history. As a reporter, author, and reader, I’ve always been attracted to stories off the beaten track, the ones that most people know little or nothing about. 

Steve's book list on accurate non-fiction about Cold War espionage

Steve Vogel Why did Steve love this book?

Hoffman tells the previously little-known story of Soviet military engineer Adolf Tolkachev, whose disgust with the communist regime inspired him to turn over enormously valuable secrets to the CIA station in Moscow beginning in the late 1970s. Hoffman’s careful reporting allows him to describe in meticulous and fascinating detail the remarkable techniques and great risks involved in running an agent in Moscow late in the Cold War.

By David E. Hoffman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Billion Dollar Spy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


'An astonishingly detailed picture of espionage in the 1980s, written with pacey journalistic verve and an eerily contemporary feel.' Ben Macintyre, The Times

'A gripping story of courage, professionalism, and betrayal in the secret world.' Rodric Braithwaite, British Ambassador in Moscow, 1988-1992

'One of the best spy stories to come out of the Cold War and all the more riveting for being true.' Washington Post

January, 1977. While the chief of the CIA's Moscow station fills his gas tank, a stranger drops a note into the car.…

Book cover of Archangel: A Novel

Michael Khodarkovsky Author Of Russia's 20th Century: A Journey in 100 Histories

From my list on Russia and USSR in the 20th Century.

Why am I passionate about this?

History has always been my passion. Since I was 16, I tried to understand the world around me and the forces that shaped it. I thought that history as a discipline provided the best answers. In the 1970s, because of the official anti-Semitism, it was impossible to get into the history department programs at the Soviet universities. Nonetheless, I resolved to study history after my emigration to the US in 1979 and joined a graduate program at the University of Chicago. For four decades I have been writing about Russian history, although I also read, teach, and write on global history.

Michael's book list on Russia and USSR in the 20th Century

Michael Khodarkovsky Why did Michael love this book?

A brilliant novel set in 1990s Russia. The plot involves Stalin and one of his deep secrets. The author seamlessly moves the story from the 1930s to 1990s and back. One rarely sees a historical novel so accurate in capturing the historical events and so utterly captivating. It is on par with some of the best thrillers.

By Robert Harris,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Archangel as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'With Archangel, Robert Harris confirms his position as Britain's pre-eminent literary thriller writer' The Times

'He has a talent for heart-poundingly tense story-telling, and an ability to conjure up atmospheres almost palpable with menace' Sunday Times
Deadly secrets lurk beneath the Russian ice.

Historian Fluke Kelso is in Moscow, attending a conference on recently unclassified Soviet papers, when an old veteran of the Soviet secret police visits his hotel room in the dead of night. He tells Kelso about a secret notebook belonging to Josef Stalin, stolen on the night of his death.

Though Kelso expects little, he…

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