I read Catherine the Great up until she became empress of Russia. It was interesting. I've never thought or studied much about Russia or its history. It's fascinating what people will give up for power - what motivates them to do what they do. After she got the throne, she treated other people, like her son and daughter-in-law, the same way she was treated (badly) by her husband's aunt. The book itself is very accessible - very readable.
I picked up this book because I'm thinking of doing a spring garden. It was definitely interesting. It doesn't make me want to run out and get chickens and goats, but it does make me want to find locals who do those things and see how it is. And of course, grow a garden, which I always have good intentions for, but which never happens. Because I'm lazy about watering. One of these days! Maybe this year. Beans and onions and a tomato plant. We'll see.