Review/Request Policy

I’m always more than happy to accept books and requests from authors, publishers, and community members. Request books are prioritized over regular stuff.

I review fiction and nonfiction published from 2000-present focusing on Russia. Specifically, I enjoy reading history books, political books, travelogues, IR, HOSF, satire, translations, and historical and literary fiction.

Examples: Fiction (positive) – Freedom is Space for the Spirit; Fiction (negative) – Patriot; Nonfiction (positive) – Russia: What Everyone Needs to Know; Nonfiction (negative) – Fragile Empire; Comics – Moscow; Travelogue – Bears in the Streets

Please note I am less inclined to accept requests for books in the following categories:

  • Russia-linked romance novels
  • espionage thrillers (unless unconventional, exceptionally bad, or falling under the Vladimir’ich Clause)
  • economics books
  • books dealing with alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election
  • history books on the Stalinist era
  • textbooks

I accept ebooks in PDF or Kindle format, and hard copies if you’re willing to send them my way. However, I will first check the library system for your book. If you want a book to be read and reviewed by a certain date, please let me know. That may greatly affect whether I can accept it.

My reviews, though critical, always strive for thoughtfulness. If I DNF your book, I’ll make sure to identify a) the reason for abandonment, and b) potential readers who are a good match for the book. Be forewarned: I can be snarky when a review calls for it and I’m equally likely to state unequivocally a book’s screwups as I am to praise its strong points.

Minimum review length is 250 words. I post reviews on this blog and promote them on Twitter. Any portion of my reviews may be reproduced for the promotion of the books reviewed. A link back to my review or to this site is appreciated.

All my reviews are spoilerific – i.e. I will be divulging plot or argument details in order to critique a work.

The Vladimir’ich Clause: Allows titles that would otherwise not be considered for review to get attention if the book in question features a fictionalized representation of Vladimir Putin (or a Putin stand-in).

If you’d like to contact me regarding book suggestions, write to