What Russians and those who lived in the former Soviet Union have to read. See also Russian Relaxing.
Pravda - several papers have been referred to this way, we'll be focusing on the best known one, the paper of the CPSU. Pravda is Russian for "truth". ''Da, pravda''.
In Soviet times the other main newspaper was called Izvestiya, literally meaning News (In Russian there is no distinction between definite and indefinite forms of nouns, so the title could also be translated as The News.) This inspired the following joke: "There are no news in Truth, and no truth in News".
Krasnaya Zvezda (Red Star) - newspaper of the Soviet and now Russian military. Gave Margaret Thatcher her "Iron Lady" nickname.
Komsomolskaya Pravda - in Soviet times, this was a youth counterpart to Pravda. In post-soviet times, it became a yellowish, quite pro-government tabloid.
Novaya Gazeta - a supposedly independent newspaper with liberal (as in, old-school liberal, what Americans call conservative, not quasi-socialist) and pro-Western leanings.
Murzilka - Illustrated magazine for children printed from 1924 to this day.
Vesyolie kartinki - Another illustrated magazine for children (1956-2012). Notable for having comic book stories featuring characters pulled from folklore, cartoons and books popular at the time (a crossover if you will).
Ivan Turgenev (1818-1883): Author of Fathers and Sons, First Love and The Sportsman's Sketchbook. He was the first major Russian novelist to have an international readership, counting Henry James and Gustave Flaubert among his friends, and he was highly influential in Russia but over time his pro-Western liberal positions earned him scorn from both the Left and the Right. His short-stories were highly influential on Ernest Hemingway.
20th century: The "Silver Age" and the Soviet period
Isaac Babel: Wrote Tales of Odessa, Red Cavalry, and other works.
Andrey Bely (18801934): Poet, literary critic, and novelist, best known for his book, Petersburg which Nabokov and many others consider the greatest Russian-language novel of the 20th Century, a masterpiece on the same plateau as Ulysses.
Anton Chekhov — yes, THE Chekhov. Wrote tons of short stories, of which perhaps the most famous is "The Lady with the Little Dog", and some legendary plays like The Cherry Orchard and The Seagull. Deemed heavily influential on Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, and most 20th Century dramatists and short story writers.
Vladimir Nabokov: Famous for writing great books in both Russian and English. He wrote Glory, Despair and The Gift in Russian, and the infamous Lolita and Pale Fire in English. At Cornell University he was professor of Russian Literature and wrote many scholarly works on Gogol, Pushkin, Turgenev and other writers, as well as translations of A Hero of Our Time, The Tale of Igor and Eugene Onegin.
Andrei Platonov (1899-1951): A soviet-era author whose work was rediscovered during the 90s. Best known for The Foundation Pit and his other works written in experimental styles despite official policies of Socialist Realism which was the major reason his works were banned.
Vladimir Sorokin: another postmodernist, who focuses on more grotesque and shocking aspects of Russian society. A few of his works have pretty offensive scenes, like scenes of coprophagia and rape, which became All There Is to Know About "The Crying Game" for his books.