The Avon, Indiana, public librarian when i was growing up was wonderful.  She spent lots of time recommending books for her patrons.
  The reason i mention Mrs. Thomas now is because ultimately she's responsible for the current Russian kick.  One of those introductions was Robert K. Massie's 1967 masterpiece, Nicholas and Alexandra.  i'm a permanent fan of Nicholas, possibly the ultimate bad fit for his job.
  Just a few of the other books Mrs. Thomas introduced me to were:
and many, many others lost in memory.

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i look forward to your comments! Thank you for sharing them.