More more, I want more!  You know the classics - Crime and Punishment, The Brothers Karamazov, War and Peace, and Lolita.  But what about more recent books set in Mother Russia?  In the frigid, soldier-eating, soul-cracking cold of Mother Russia.  It's quite the perfect story landscape - particularly for those hidden heroes.  Heroes whose true mettle is only shown in the most dire of situations and then they shine brighter than any Greek myth.  Or for those scary spooky fairy tales, where children are lost and the bad guy ends up with a full belly.

I have really enjoyed all four books above but I spent all last night (and part of the early hours of the morning) savoring this one in particular - City of Thieves by David Benioff.  The setting and plot premise are simple - Leningrad during the German blockade.  Two men, boys really, set out to find a dozen eggs for a colonel in exchange for their lives.  And the adventure begins.  You may know David Benioff better for his work as the co-creator of the HBO show Game of Thrones and he certainly demonstrates his flair for the dramatic in this book.  Please, please give it a read, especially if you enjoy dark gallows humor.  Because if you can't laugh in the light of such desperate conditions or in the face of death, what can you do?

There is certainly something special to me about books set in Russia - always dark, always cold and always hungry.  It puts me in a certain frame of mind and suddenly extremely happy and grateful for sunshine, a slice of warm bread and peace.