August 6, 2020

Boltenko Law Reading Club: Summer 2020

Boltenko Law Reading Club: Summer 2020

During our summer break, there is nothing better than a great book. We hereby send you Boltenko Law’s quarterly book recommendations. The focus of our reading club is Russian and international wealth. We will also share with you our best finds in other categories.

Homo Sovieticus with a Sense of Humour:
Everything is Normal: The Life and Times of a Soviet Kid, by Sergey Grechishkin. Inkshares; 348 pages.

If you would like to understand your Russian friends a little better, this book is for you. Everything is Normal is both a light-hearted view of the USSR through one middle-class Soviet childhood in the 1970s – 1980s and a reflection on the mundane deprivations of day-to-day life. Excellent summer read – funny and informative. Thank you, Hogi Hyun from Abacus Capita, for bringing it to our attention.

Wealth and Leadership:
The Ride of a Lifetime, by Robert Iger. Penguin Random House USA; 272 pages.

Brilliant book – reads like a thriller and gives you more lessons than a Harvard school business manual. Bob Iger is a former CEO of Disney. In his book, Iger takes you inside the workings of a massive media company and shares his thoughts about building on its strengths and shoring up its weaknesses. Great inspirational summer read!

Inheritance tax at 70% – Karl Marx of the 21st century?
Capital and ideology, by Thomas Piketty. Éditions du Seuil; 1150 pages.

OK, so we were a little late reading this one, and you’ve most likely heard of it already. Or even read it! Still, if you want to read one book this year and then quote it for a decade to come at both business meetings and smart dinner parties, here is a book for you. The celebrated French economist argues that the free market economy brings inequality – he also provides potential solutions to the world. Piketty is of the opinion that it is possible to finance a radically egalitarian economy if both income tax and inheritance tax for the rich were set at around 60-70%. The outcome would be to make ownership of capital temporary. Let’s see if the OECD and the world leaders are listening!

People are good!
Human Kind: A Hopeful History, by Rutger Bregman. Little, Brown and Company; 480 pages.

What should you expect from a group of strangers if stranded together on a remote island? An act of kindness and cooperation is more likely than a repeat of Golding’s Lord of the Flies, according to the Dutch author. Rutger Bregman argues that most people are decent and will look out for you. Nice message to receive, during these difficult times!

Stuck with Your Kids at Home? Teach Them!
Prepared: What Kids Need for a Fulfilled Life, by Diane Tavenner. Currency; 304 pages.

We at Boltenko Law spent a lot of time teaching our children at home this spring. Diane Tavenner’s book offers amazing tips on preparing kids for college, a career, and life. The school Diane Tavenner founded engages students in interdisciplinary, real-world projects, rather than passively learning and memorizing in a classroom environment. By internalizing a sense of purpose, self-direction, self-sufficiency, and collaboration, students learn the cognitive and life skills needed to navigate the next phases of their lives. Very helpful read for parents!

We hope you’ll enjoy our recommendations. If you want to share your best reads with us in return, please do – we always look forward to receiving them.

About us

Boltenko Law is a boutique law firm for international families of Russian origin. The firm’s focus is to provide Russian clients with Russian, English, and international tax and wealth planning advice from Zurich.

We take the first introductory call or meeting on no commitment basis; further work will be done on the agreed contractual terms.

Please contact Olga Boltenko ( and +41 79 900 2526) or Evgenia Martin ( and +41 79 126 3195) for further advice.