Reading Boys in Zinc
, a collection of war testimonies gathered by Svetlana Alexievich (winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature a few years ago), is not recreational. Think oral histories from Soviet soldiers who were in Afghanistan, as well as from the mothers of the dead -- I can only read one or two excerpts a day. It's a powerful example of what literature as witness could amount to, and these stories play deeply into the final Soviet period and the early years after.
The excerpts can speak for themselves.