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Vladimir Putin's 5 favorite books

photo: World Economic Forum
Russian president, one of the most influential people in the world recommends his favorite books
Buy on amazon "The Wine of Wisdom: The Life, Poetry and Philosophy of Omar Khayyam"
My wife has recently given me a great present: Omar Khayam's poems. It helps me in many difficult situations. I recommend you to buy this book
- Vladimir Putin
One of the best book recommendations for this fascinating compilation of Persian poems comes from Dee Hock, the intrepid founder of the Visa credit card. Just as Steve Jobs was more than fond of reading the poems of William Blake (per a Lifehacker article), and the founder of Harman Industries quotes Shakespeare, Khayyám's poem is as well-known for its soul-searching beauty as for the fact that a mathematician wrote it. Explorations of life's temporary nature jogs elbows with alcohol, as the author strives to make sense of the call of religion versus the immediacy of death – and the folly of trying to find Paradise on earth.
Buy on amazon “The Three Musketeers” by Alexandre Dumas
I enjoyed reading Dumas' books
- Vladimir Putin
There should be more book recommendations made on Dumas' masterpiece, than just for the worn-out Musketeers' quote on the magic blend of individuality and brotherly unity. There are enough quotable insults to sink a small Shakespearian ship, just between Athos and Aramis and Porthos, besides the wrangles they have with the young hothead D'Artagnan. There is villainy most foul, with Cardinal Richelieu trying to have young King Louis XIII assassinated, and Queen Anne to prove that all women's love is not as fickle as that of Lady de Winter. A host of minor characters, including the Musketeers' manservants, keep the dialogue lively, and the sinister blend of high-level politics and love keep everyone occupied.
Buy on amazon “The Brothers Karamasov” by Dostoevsky
Vladimir Putin in one of the interviews said that his favorite authors are Dostoevsky and Tolstoy and recommended “The Brothers Karamasov” and “Crime and Punishment”
Also recommended by Haruki Murakami
This is of the best allegorical novels to explain the fractured nature of 19th century Russia. Each character is representative of one of the ruling classes. There is the father Fyodor, the landowner who is negligent about his land, but greedy in using its produce for himself. There's Dmitri, who has been passed around from house to house, and has grown up an entitled but debt-ridden soul. There's the skeptic Ivan, who wishes to live more among cold concepts than people. Third is gentle Alyosha, the mystic and religious peacemaker, and the illegitimate Smerdyakov. Throughout are themes of love, law, and duty, which makes this one of the best Dostoyesky books to read besides Crime and Punishment.
Buy on amazon “Crime and Punishment” by Dostoevsky
Vladimir Putin in one of the interviews said that his favorite authors are Dostoevsky and Tolstoy and recommended “The Brothers Karamasov” and “Crime and Punishment”

This is Dostoyevsky's second most famous work (besides Brothers Karamasov), and also centers around a crime and a court case. Roskolnikov, a student deeply in debt and intellectual (and moral) issues, has a mad desire to kill the pawnbroker who owns some of his valuables, in order to pay his landlady. There are plenty of family and social issues to be explored, including the link between prostitution and arranged family marriages, the downward spiral of madness, and the nature of poverty and charity. The character of psychological detective Porfiry would prove especially interesting reading for those who love Les Miserables and Javier, the bulldog of the law.
Buy on amazon “Anna Karenina” by Leo Tolstoy
Vladimir Putin in one of the interviews named Leo Tolstoy among one of his two favorite authors and included "Anna Karenina" in his book recommendation list.

More humanly centered than his other well-known work, War and Peace, Tolstoy makes it clear that life is far too complicated for easy handouts of mercy or judgment. The novel begins with a case of family brokenness and adultery, and sympathy is geared mostly toward the malefactor. As the story unfolds, the dark sides of the likable siblings appear (Anna and Stiva), who are outwardly accepted by society in the face of moral betrayal. The contrast between Anna, who runs away with her lover Vronsky, and Lenin (who marries Vronsky's former romantic interest), is especially worth reading. As one falls, the other rises, seeming to imply that following one's heart is only as worthwhile as true morality is also followed.
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