Apples Are From Kazakhstan

Robbins, Christopher. Apples Are From Kazakhstan: the Land that Disappeared. New York: Atlas & Co., 2008.

I think this quote sums up Robbins’s primary reason for writing Apples Are From Kazakhstan, “Unexpectedly, vague curiosity developed into real interest during that time [two years], and continued to grow, until I became determined to visit the birthplace of the apple” (p 10). This comes after sitting next to an American who told him, “apples are from Kazakhstan.” What follows is a delightful travelogue of all things Kazakhstan. The chapters bounce around, punctuated by delightful illustrations. While Robbins uncovers the skeletons in Kazakhstan’s closet he also manages to unveil the beauty of a country few know anything about.

Quotes I really liked, “I began to wonder how many more toasts I could bang back without dying” (p 71) and “Camels now roam where ships once sailed” (p 121 ).

Side note: I think the cover is striking. At first glance it is an apple with an awkward bite of out it. Looking closer it still is an apple but the “bite” is the country of Kazakhstan with the bordering “stan” countries and the Russian Federation around it.

Reason read: Kazakhstan won it’s independence in December.

Author fact: Robbins was so moved by the statement “Apples are from Kazakhstan” that he wrote a book about the country.

Book trivia: I’ve been reading a lot of reviews that call this book In Search of Kazakhstan: the Land that Disappeared.

BookLust Twist: From Book Lust To Go in the chapter called “Where in the World Do These Books Belong” (p 262).

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