I found this book (River of No Reprieve: Descending Siberia’s Waterway of Exile, Death, and Destiny) last week in library about Jeffrey Tayler‘s travel down the Lena river in Siberia. It caught my eyes because I know so little about that part of the world (not that I know so much more about other parts but you know what I mean :)). Everything I had ever read about Siberia was in negative connotations about getting exiled and gulags etc. It is a great book about a very interesting travel in the remote part of the world. I am about half way through this book but what is interesting is it gives glimpses of Russian history through the conversations he had with people. They talk about Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great, Catherine the Great, Stalin, Gorbachev and Putin. I think this is one of the most fascinating country of extreme weathers that has seen extreme changes politically, socially and economically. Traveling along Lena, we meet people who have wide variety of views where people think Gorbachev brought drastic changes too fast and people who think that Stalinist era was good in terms of stability and structure it provided. They talk about Putin and Bush, they talk about Cossacks and Czars. It is a great book as it shows unseen Russia through eyes of common people.