I read this book recently and I agree, it is GREAT! Really made me sit down and think.
I really wondered what Ivan was scared of and what relief he found in the end...I think he was terrified of dying, but realized that dying was just the end of torment.
I took away from that song this: live your life in a way you won't regret, and also, don't get too attached to this life since we all die. I also really want to be like Ivan's nurse attendant guy, who although not "cultured," took the time to actually care. Too often people give token sympathy and move on. I have a lively horror of being like Ivan's wife, who was like "Oh good, he's dead, he was SO inconvenient sick."
At the same time, since Tolstoy didn't have a bright view of the afterlife, I also felt mildly depressed walking away from that book, but not in a bad way.
The book I read most recently is called "Blackout," by Candace Owens. It's a critical view of the current treatment of African Americans in the US by someone who dares to look deeper than the status quo.
For my non-political reading, I'm about to go revist "Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad. Exceedingly interesting book. What I like about it is the stunning (especially for the time Conrad wrote) reversal of black and white as symbols. It was set in the Congo after slavery, but while Portugal still exploited the area's rubber and ivory. Well worth reading (although not PC, but I don't expect books written back then to be up to modern standards of political correctness. It was radically forward-thinking for its time.)