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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Intelligentsia's Reading List

The high-minded reader need not despair: Pulp literature and sloppily translated American thrillers and romances are not the only books popular with Russian readers. While serious books may be hard to spot at sidewalk book stands, Moscow now has about half a dozen smaller bookstores that specialize in "non-commercial" literature -- not a Scarlett or Maria are to be found in their shelves.

These specialized bookstores have even started publishing lists of their "intellectual best-sellers." The lists encompass the most popular books at such stores as Ad Marginem (5/7 Pervy Novokuznetsky Pereulok), 19th of October (8 Pervy Kazachy) and Eidos (6 Chisty Pereulok).

The following are the best-selling books at these stores for August. Most of the books are reprints of books written 50 to 100 years ago, but not available in Russia during the Soviet regime.

1. Dionis and Dionisism, by Vyacheslav Ivanov, a leading poet and thinker of the Silver Age in Russian culture (Aleteya Publishers of St. Petersburg).

2. Philosophy of Free Spirit, by the greatest Russian existentialist, Nikolai Berdyayev (Respublica in Moscow).

3. Thought and Language, by Alexander Potebnya, a prominent Ukrainian philologist of the late 19th century (Sinto in Kiev).

4. Works, by Prince Sergei Trubetskoi, the famous Russian religious thinker (Mysl Publishers in Moscow).

5. Tribute to Pushkin, pre-World War II Russian emigre poetry (Ellis Lak, Moscow).

6. Visions of Italy by Pavel Muratov, a well-known writer and a man of culture of Russia's Silver Age.