Want a little of that Tolstoy mastery without devoting yourself to a marathon read through “War and Peace” or “Anna Karenina”? Well, this is just the sprint for you. Tolstoy’s clear-eyed honesty is just as sharp in this little novella (1886) as in his great tomes. Ivan Ilyich is dead and, frankly, his friends and family secretly find the whole thing quite inconvenient. The dying wasn’t much better for poor Ivan, who becomes a victim of his own propriety as much as his disease. You’ll find yourself squirming with self-recognition.