Help me feed my obsession with all things Russia.
I have been kind of obsessed with Russia for some time now and I'm hoping that people here can point me towards good things to read that have Russia as a theme. Generally, I am looking for fiction books that take place in the Soviet Union/Russia (or other former Soviet republics) anytime in the 20th century onward. Stalin-era and Cold War era preferred. I've read a few books that take place in Russia that I have loved - Charm School, Child 44 and City of Thieves are a few off the top of my head. I do like mystery/thriller/spy novels but am open to other types of fiction as well. I have Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Gorky Park in my pile of books to read. I know about people like Ken Follet and Tom Clancy and similar authors but I've always been a little reluctant to read them because I don't want to get bogged down in technical/military details and this is the (maybe uninformed) impression I've always had of these authors. I want to read these books to learn more about Russia and its more recent history primarily.
I also like non-fiction, and I do own both the Gulag Archipelago (not started yet) and Execution by Hunger
(which I've read part of), but I prefer to get my non-fiction reading from quality essays or magazine articles. This
article on corruption and this
one on AIDS, both from the New Yorker, are examples of articles I've really enjoyed.
So mefites, if you have any ideas on anything else I can read - or even any interesting documentaries or podcasts - I would love to hear about them. I have seen most, if not all, old AskMe posts on this topic - I'm just looking for new ideas. Thank you!