100 books like To the Harbin Station

By David Wolff,

Here are 100 books that To the Harbin Station fans have personally recommended if you like To the Harbin Station. 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 The Russian Far East: A History

Sören Urbansky Author Of Beyond the Steppe Frontier: A History of the Sino-Russian Border

From my list on Russia in Asia.

Why am I passionate about this?

Sören Urbansky was born and raised in East Germany next to the Iron Curtain. Since embarking on an overland journey from Berlin to Beijing after high school, he became hooked by peoples’ lifeways in Northeast Asia. In college, Sören began studying history in earnest and grew intrigued by Russia and China, the world’s largest and most populous countries. He has published widely on this pivotal yet forgotten region. Sören is a research fellow at the German Historical Institute Washington and is currently embarking on a new project that examines anti-Chinese sentiments from a global perspective.

Sören's book list on Russia in Asia

Sören Urbansky Why did Sören love this book?

When I met John J. Stephan for the first time in 2017 in Honolulu, I immediately recognized the wit, irony, and ascetic prose style that I had encountered in his monographs about the Kurile Islands, Sakhalin Island, and the Russian fascists of Manchuria. Stephan has always succeeded in bridging the ideological schisms separating Russian, Chinese, and Japanese historians as a politically uninvolved bystander and avid traveler. Since the 1960s, Stephan was a frequent visitor of the Soviet Far East. He had many friends and colleagues who shared their hopes, worries, and anecdotes. His most important work is The Russian Far East. Published in 1994, it is the result of almost three decades of research and the ultimate proof that even in a Cold War world without access to archives, historians do not have to resort to wild guessing but can produce accurate, intimate, and entertaining historiography. His comprehensive history of…

By John J. Stephan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Russian Far East as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first truly comprehensive history of the Russian Far East in any language, this magisterial work reconstructs the area's experience from paleolithic times to the present. Wedged between China, Korea, Japan, and the United States, the Russian Far East has long been a meeting ground for Eurasian and Pacific peoples and cultures. Conventionally regarded as a peripheral region, it in fact has a unique identity and dynamic. The author adopts a Eurasian perspective to chronicle the area's rich history.


Book cover of On the Edge: Life along the Russia-China Border

Sören Urbansky Author Of Beyond the Steppe Frontier: A History of the Sino-Russian Border

From my list on Russia in Asia.

Why am I passionate about this?

Sören Urbansky was born and raised in East Germany next to the Iron Curtain. Since embarking on an overland journey from Berlin to Beijing after high school, he became hooked by peoples’ lifeways in Northeast Asia. In college, Sören began studying history in earnest and grew intrigued by Russia and China, the world’s largest and most populous countries. He has published widely on this pivotal yet forgotten region. Sören is a research fellow at the German Historical Institute Washington and is currently embarking on a new project that examines anti-Chinese sentiments from a global perspective.

Sören's book list on Russia in Asia

Sören Urbansky Why did Sören love this book?

Franck Billé and Caroline Humphrey’s On the Edge is an excellent example that two authors can write one compelling story. Based on solid on-the-ground observation of daily life and current affairs along the Russia-China border, the two anthropologists narrate the extraordinary contrasts they encountered in one of the world’s most enigmatic borderlands. In so doing, they give voice to indigenous people, and other subaltern groups often overlooked when writing about two geopolitical superpowers.

By Franck Billé, Caroline Humphrey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A pioneering examination of history, current affairs, and daily life along the Russia-China border, one of the world's least understood and most politically charged frontiers.

The border between Russia and China winds for 2,600 miles through rivers, swamps, and vast taiga forests. It's a thin line of direct engagement, extraordinary contrasts, frequent tension, and occasional war between two of the world's political giants. Franck Bille and Caroline Humphrey have spent years traveling through and studying this important yet forgotten region. Drawing on pioneering fieldwork, they introduce readers to the lifeways, politics, and history of one of the world's most consequential…


Book cover of Spies and Scholars: Chinese Secrets and Imperial Russia’s Quest for World Power

Sören Urbansky Author Of Beyond the Steppe Frontier: A History of the Sino-Russian Border

From my list on Russia in Asia.

Why am I passionate about this?

Sören Urbansky was born and raised in East Germany next to the Iron Curtain. Since embarking on an overland journey from Berlin to Beijing after high school, he became hooked by peoples’ lifeways in Northeast Asia. In college, Sören began studying history in earnest and grew intrigued by Russia and China, the world’s largest and most populous countries. He has published widely on this pivotal yet forgotten region. Sören is a research fellow at the German Historical Institute Washington and is currently embarking on a new project that examines anti-Chinese sentiments from a global perspective.

Sören's book list on Russia in Asia

Sören Urbansky Why did Sören love this book?

In recent years, we have seen a surge in books on contemporary Russia-China relations. Gregory Afinogenov’s Spies and Scholars takes us back to their humble beginnings in the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries. This pioneering study sheds new light on how the emergence of the Russian Empire as a global power was shaped through intelligence gathering in imperial China. A must-read not only for historians. 

By Gregory Afinogenov,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A Financial Times Best Book of the Year

The untold story of how Russian espionage in imperial China shaped the emergence of the Russian Empire as a global power.

From the seventeenth to the nineteenth century, the Russian Empire made concerted efforts to collect information about China. It bribed Chinese porcelain-makers to give up trade secrets, sent Buddhist monks to Mongolia on intelligence-gathering missions, and trained students at its Orthodox mission in Beijing to spy on their hosts. From diplomatic offices to guard posts on the Chinese frontier, Russians were producing knowledge everywhere, not only at elite institutions like the…


Book cover of We Shall Be Masters: Russian Pivots to East Asia from Peter the Great to Putin

Sören Urbansky Author Of Beyond the Steppe Frontier: A History of the Sino-Russian Border

From my list on Russia in Asia.

Why am I passionate about this?

Sören Urbansky was born and raised in East Germany next to the Iron Curtain. Since embarking on an overland journey from Berlin to Beijing after high school, he became hooked by peoples’ lifeways in Northeast Asia. In college, Sören began studying history in earnest and grew intrigued by Russia and China, the world’s largest and most populous countries. He has published widely on this pivotal yet forgotten region. Sören is a research fellow at the German Historical Institute Washington and is currently embarking on a new project that examines anti-Chinese sentiments from a global perspective.

Sören's book list on Russia in Asia

Sören Urbansky Why did Sören love this book?

Chris Miller has written a well-argued account of Russia’s various attempts to gain great power status in the Asia-Pacific over the five centuries – and its repeated setbacks. Russia’s imperial expansion to Alaska, Hawaii, and California reminds us that Russia’s expansionist dreams often amounted to little. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is another example that Putin’s ambitions in the East are restrained by the country’s firm rooting in Europe.

By Chris Miller,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked We Shall Be Masters as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An illuminating account of Russia's attempts-and failures-to achieve great power status in Asia.

Since Peter the Great, Russian leaders have been lured by opportunity to the East. Under the tsars, Russians colonized Alaska, California, and Hawaii. The Trans-Siberian Railway linked Moscow to Vladivostok. And Stalin looked to Asia as a sphere of influence, hospitable to the spread of Soviet Communism. In Asia and the Pacific lay territory, markets, security, and glory.

But all these expansionist dreams amounted to little. In We Shall Be Masters, Chris Miller explores why, arguing that Russia's ambitions have repeatedly outstripped its capacity. With the core…


Book cover of The Fate of the Romanovs

Coryne Hall Author Of Little Mother of Russia: A Biography of Empress Marie Feodorovna

From my list on Imperial Russia and the Romanovs.

Why am I passionate about this?

I developed a fascination for Imperial Russia in childhood when I learned that my great-grandmother was born in St Petersburg, an almost exact contemporary of Nicholas II. I have studied the Romanovs and Imperial Russia for over 40 years and lectured in England (including the Victoria & Albert Museum), America, Denmark, The Netherlands, and Russia. My many books include To Free the Romanovs and Queen Victoria and the Romanovs.

Coryne's book list on Imperial Russia and the Romanovs

Coryne Hall Why did Coryne love this book?

This is a comprehensive account of what happened to Nicholas, Alexandra, and their family from the fall of the monarchy to their last days in Ekaterinburg. It covers fully all the details of their confinement, their brutal murder, the discovery of the Romanov grave outside Ekaterinburg in 1989, and the controversy over the bones, using many previously unpublished Russian archival documents. If you think you know what happened, then read this because there are some surprising revelations.

By Greg King, Penny Wilson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Fate of the Romanovs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Abundant, newly discovered sources shatter long-held beliefs

The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 revealed, among many other things, a hidden wealth of archival documents relating to the imprisonment and eventual murder of Tsar Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra, and their children. Emanating from sources both within and close to the Imperial Family as well as from their captors and executioners, these often-controversial materials have enabled a new and comprehensive examination of one the pivotal events of the twentieth century and the many controversies that surround it.

Based on a careful analysis of more than 500 of these previously…


Book cover of Romanoff Gold

Coryne Hall Author Of Little Mother of Russia: A Biography of Empress Marie Feodorovna

From my list on Imperial Russia and the Romanovs.

Why am I passionate about this?

I developed a fascination for Imperial Russia in childhood when I learned that my great-grandmother was born in St Petersburg, an almost exact contemporary of Nicholas II. I have studied the Romanovs and Imperial Russia for over 40 years and lectured in England (including the Victoria & Albert Museum), America, Denmark, The Netherlands, and Russia. My many books include To Free the Romanovs and Queen Victoria and the Romanovs.

Coryne's book list on Imperial Russia and the Romanovs

Coryne Hall Why did Coryne love this book?

This is an updated version of William Clarke’s Lost Fortune of the Tsars with additional information added since first publication. It gives a detailed, comprehensive account of the immense wealth of the Imperial family before the revolution and what happened to the money, jewels, palaces, and other riches in the chaos that followed. Faced with bank confidentiality and reluctance to talk, it reads like a detective story as the author investigates bank accounts, vaults, and jewels spirited away. The result is a fascinating account of what belonged to the Tsar’s family and what belonged to the state.

By William Clarke,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When World War I broke out in 1914 Russia's Romanov dynasty was among the world's richest families. Yet ever since the Bolsheviks executed Tsar Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra and their children at Ekaterinburg, the mystery of what happened to their wealth has remained unsolved. This book is an account of the authors' answers to the Tsar's lost fortune.


Book cover of The Last Grand Duchess: Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna

Julia P. Gelardi Author Of From Splendor to Revolution

From my list on the Romanovs and the Reign of Tsar Nicholas II.

Why am I passionate about this?

Julia P. Gelardi has obtained a Master’s degree in History and spent many years immersed in the world of European royal history. The author of numerous articles and seven books on European royalty, three of which have been published by St. Martin’s Press, Julia has done extensive research in various archives, including the Royal Archives at Windsor Castle. She continues to search the world for elusive books on royalty to add to her library and is always on the lookout for new topics to write about and share with her readers.

Julia's book list on the Romanovs and the Reign of Tsar Nicholas II

Julia P. Gelardi Why did Julia love this book?

A skillfully written account and engaging portrait of Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna (1882-1960), younger sister of Tsar Nicholas II. Olga Alexandrovna’s life was no less dramatic than that of her brother, Nicholas II. Daughter, granddaughter, and sister to Russian emperors, Olga – a woman devoid of vanity and imbued with a strong faith – lived a life that could never be replicated. Immersed in the splendors of the Russian court, Olga also suffered through the Russian Revolution, and ultimately left Russia for a life of exile in Denmark and Canada. The Last Grand Duchess is Olga’s memoirs as told to Ian Vorres whose deft presentation of her story is to be applauded. Published in 1965, The Last Grand Duchess not only delves into Olga’s life but that of her family and other historical figures and brings a unique insight into the last Romanovs and Tsar Nicholas II in particular.

In…

By Ian Vorres,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Last Grand Duchess as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When she died in exile in 1960, Olga Alexandrovna was the last Grand Duchess of Russia, the favorite sister of Czar Nicholas II who was executed with his wife and five children during the Revolution. Born in splendor difficult to imagine today, she endured a lifetime of relentless tragedy with courage and exceptional powers of adjustment.

The Last Grand Duchess is a valuable account of the final decades of the house of Romanov as seen through the eyes of its last surviving member. Through Olga, we meet Queen Victoria, George V of England, Rasputin, Mrs. Anderson - on whose story…


Book cover of The Beginning of Spring

Mark Beauregard Author Of The Whale: A Love Story

From my list on witty historical novels.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved satire. In college, I wrote and performed comedy sketches as part of a two-man team, and most of my work features at least some comic elements. For example, my novel The Whale: A Love Story is a serious historical novel about the relationship between Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne that also offers moments of comedy to honor Melville's comic spirit (Moby-Dick, while ultimately tragic, is a very funny book). The most serious subjects usually contain elements of the absurd, and the books I love find humor in even the gravest situations. 

Mark's book list on witty historical novels

Mark Beauregard Why did Mark love this book?

Set in Moscow on the eve of the Russian Revolution, this novel’s plot does not scream “funny,” but it’s one of the most deeply funny books I’ve ever read.

An English printer living in Russia wakes up one day to find that his wife has left him and taken their children away, and revolutionaries have broken into his shop to print manifestoes.

From this unlikely setup, Fitzgerald spins a hilarious tale of loss, love, and redemption.

By Penelope Fitzgerald,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the Booker Prize-winning author of ‘Offshore’, ‘The Blue Flower’ and ‘Innocence’ comes this Booker Prize-shortlisted tale of a troubled Moscow printworks .


Frank Reid had been born and brought up in Moscow. His father had emigrated there in the 1870s and started a print-works which, by 1913, had shrunk from what it was when Frank inherited it. In that same year, to add to his troubles, Frank’s wife Nellie caught the train back home to England, without explanation.


How is a reasonable man like Frank to cope? How should he keep his house running? Should he consult the Anglican…


Book cover of The Royal Mob

Helen Azar Author Of In the Steps of the Romanovs: Final two years of the last Russian imperial family (1916-1918)

From my list on historical fiction on royalty and Russia.

Why am I passionate about this?

After a relatively short career in research science, Helen Azar switched gears and returned to graduate school to fulfill a dream of becoming a reference librarian. She worked at the Free Library of Philadelphia for ten years, during which time she became a published author. While researching for her first book, The Diary of Olga Romanov, Helen visited Russia several times, and worked in the Rare Book Fund at the Museum at Tsarskoe Selo, which holds the imperial book collection. Today, Helen lives on the beautiful far south coast of New South Wales, Australia; she continues writing about Russia's last imperial family and leads Romanov history tours. She also administers The Romanov Family website and is the content creator for a YouTube channel In the Steps of the Romanovs.

Helen's book list on historical fiction on royalty and Russia

Helen Azar Why did Helen love this book?

Very well researched and well written, the author weaves historical facts into the story with elegant ease, which makes it not only fun to read but also informative. There was even a point when I had to double-check to make sure this was really a work of fiction and not a real memoir by Victoria Battenberg. You really get to know her in this book, and realize that she was not just one of the more obscure of Queen Victoria's granddaughters, but an interesting character in her own right, who was a witness to the crucial historical events of the late 19th and early 20th century.

By Theresa Sherman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Royal Mob is the story of the four beautiful Princesses of the House of Hesse, granddaughters of Queen Victoria, who come of age during the zenith of European Royalty. Each makes a brilliant marriage that will bring her both happiness and heartbreak. The eldest, Princess Victoria, marries the handsome Prince Louis of Battenberg, the former lover of Lillie Langtry. The next, the exquisite Elisabeth, is swept off to the unbelievable splendor of the Romanov court by Grand Duke Serge, while Irène dazzles Prince Henry of Prussia and takes her place at the court in Berlin. Alix, the youngest, marries…


Book cover of The Last Tsar: The Life and Death of Nicholas II

Jennifer Laam Author Of The Romanov Heiress

From my list on the last Romanovs.

Why am I passionate about this?

A proud native of Stockton, CA, Jennifer Laam resides in California with a temperamental tabby cat named Jonesy. Her other works of historical fiction are The Secret Daughter of the Tsar, The Tsarina’s Legacy, and The Lost Season of Love and Snow. When not reading or writing, she enjoys planning cosplay for the next San Diego Comic-Con, experimenting with vegetarian recipes (to mixed results), cooing at Baby Yoda, or obsessing over House Targaryen. 

Jennifer's book list on the last Romanovs

Jennifer Laam Why did Jennifer love this book?

Radvinsky is a celebrated Russian playwright and historian. Raised in the Soviet Union, when information about the last Romanovs was repressed, his unique take on the tsar’s life makes this both a fascinating history and thoughtful meditation on what Nicholas II represents to Russians.

By Edvard Radzinsky,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Edvard Radzinki, the leading Russian playwright, offers a portrait of Nicholas and Alexandra's marriage and an account of the final days of the Russian royal family's arrest, imprisonment and regicide. The opening of long-closed archives has allowed the author to make discoveries and reach new and revealing conclusions. His hitherto uptapped sources include three participants in the shooting, Radzinki reveals Lenin's role in the execution and has seen the actual telegram in which the order for the murder was given and there is the outstanding question: were the Tsarina and the daughters allowed to escape?


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