The Shelf Life


Nick’s Pick for November

posted on November 1, 2015 at 10:42 pm by Brad Craft

zinkWhen an author wins the Nobel Prize and I’ve never heard of her, I consider that an invitation to dive into her works. It was like diving into a tank of sharks. I’m still stunned. I feel like I’ve been beat up, slapped and punched, but I learned so much that I can’t stop going back for more.  This year’s Nobel winner Svetlana Alexievich is the real deal. Simple and straightforward, her words do what words are supposed to do. You can’t help flinching and gasping about once a page in ZINKY BOYS: Soviet Voices from the Afghanistan War. It’s intense stuff. But I can’t stop reading it because it is so bluntly honest and perfectly composed. Her carefully orchestrated voices capture something very close to the essence of human experience. She has made me drop other good books half-finished. She’s made me change my entire promotion for this month. I’m in awe of the power of her writing.


ZINKY BOYS: Soviet Voices from the Afghanistan War

by Svetlana Alexievich

Regular price $18.95

20% off at University Book Store

Our price: $15.16




Zinky boys were the dead teenagers sent home in sealed zinc coffins from the Afghanistan War. This year’s Nobel winner, Svetlana Alexievich, has interviewed those who survived, the amputees who lost more than limbs in the war that broke the faith of Russians in their country.


For each of her “collective novels,” told in the real words of real people, Alexievich interviews 500-700 people. She’s spent thirty years exploring conflict and its aftermath, recording thousands of individuals from Chernobyl to Kabul.


This book about the Russian national trauma that consumed a generation is a monument to suffering and courage, with an impact far exceeding any novel or film. Meet the surviving civilians and sergeants, the medics and mothers and private soldiers, and let them tell you “what it was really like over there.”


Come discuss the book with us!

Nick’s Book Club

University Book Store

4326 University Way NE

The Bookstore Café

Monday, November 30, 6 pm


I just got my hands on a copy of her VOICES FROM CHERNOBYL and that will be my next book. This woman’s intensity and honesty are addicting. She’s such a straight shooter. I shudder to think what I don’t know about the Chernobyl disaster. I’m about to find out. — Nick