I read every night before going to sleep, even if only for a few minutes. I have found that reading before bed is the best way to quiet my mind and let it know the time has come to relax and it is not time to lay in the dark and ruminate on all of the woes of the world both real and imagined (I also avoid the evening news for this same issue).
Though I have a strong affinity for literature not every book I read ends up being a delight. I try my best to finish every book I start, so I certainly spend a fair amount of time trudging through subpar literature that is relief to complete. It also makes me appreciate the truly great books out there that I wish could go on forever.
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles is one of the most enjoyable books I have read all year. I wanted to wait until the very end to cast my final judgment (sometimes authors really drop the ball at the end there), and now having completed the novel I feel I can offer an honest and thorough opinion. I was already a fan of Towles previous novel Rules of Civility (another book I highly recommend), so I had certain expectations and this book hit it out of the park.
Towles writes in such a way that not only is the story engaging, the written words are something to be savored and experienced. In his latest work, A Gentleman in Moscow Towles takes a gentleman, who has now been sentenced to house arrest in the attic of a Grand Hotel in Moscow (post revolutionary Russia was fun like that) and creates the most full and exciting life for his character even though he remains confined within the hotel’s walls.
I don’t want to give away any of the surprises because they are just too much fun! However, I encourage everyone to read this story and in parting I will leave you with the lesson I found most striking from this novel. No matter how large or small your world may seem, you can still have a big, beautiful and full life.