Fluent in 3 Months by Benny Lewis. This book was okay. The author gives a lot of techniques for language learning with a fairly strong emphasis on quickly being able to speak and hold conversations when first starting to learn a language. He shares good advice, but many of the techniques he talks about, e.g. use of an SRS system and use of mnemonics to memorize words, are well-known techniques that anyone who has read very much about language learning will already be familiar with, and also he didn't have very much to say about higher stages of language learning, e.g. moving from the intermediate level to an advanced level. I will also mention that although he has a website and mentions it frequently, this book is not an attempt to sell more of his products to the reader, so I appreciated it that those mentions were not actually sales-pitches (although they naturally sounded a little bit like it).
The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison. Steampunk fantasy about a half-goblin (dark-skinned character) who suddenly becomes emperor despite not being brought up in court and having absolutely no preparation or knowledge of statecraft, and how he tries to deal with the absolutely overwhelming court politics and administrative duties that are suddenly all falling upon him. I tried hard to like this book because it was recommended to me highly by a friend. It was pretty engaging and kept me turning pages, but I wasn't very impressed by the world- and culture-building aspects. The cultural aspects tended to not ring true to me, and the book as a whole also struck me as being excessively sunny in its outlook on human (or rather, elvish/goblin) personalities, the title character's ability to form positive relationships with people at court, his not being more negatively affected by his harsh upbringing, and so on.
Not quite sure "reading" is the right word, but since it is certainly a book: 日本語能力試験問題集：Ｎ１文法：スピードマスター published by Ｊリサーチ出版
^This is a workbook for JLPT N1 grammar. I haven't had any experience with the other major workbooks for JLPT tests (the So-Matome series and the Kanzen Master series seem to be the most common, with Kanzen Master being the one I have seen recommended over the other), so I can't compare this to them and have no idea how it stacks up to them. Also, I do have to give a caveat and note that there were a few errors here and there, from "grammar" being spelled as "grammer" on the front cover to the furigana for one kanji compound having an incorrect character in it, to a term being used in a drill a few pages prior to when it was introduced in the book (the drills are supposed to cover only the terms on the preceding couple of pages).
However, overall I found this book incredibly helpful. Previously I had been looking at a website that had a complete list of all the grammar terms for each test level (available for free), but that website only had one example sentence and an English translation for each term. This workbook, on the other hand, has a Japanese explanation of the meaning of each grammar term, plus information about how it is used (e.g. what grammatically has to come before it), occasional notes about what situations it can be used in (positive or negative connotations, generally used only in writing, that sort of thing), and always at least three or four example sentences so that you can really get a sense for how it is used. At the end of each two-or-three page spread there is a drill over only the expressions that you just learned, and then after every few of these there are a couple of pages of actual JLPT-style questions. So it provided quite a bit of practice and reinforcement, and I am much better with these grammar expressions after going through the workbook than before. In particular, I went from having no idea what the correct answer was for the infamous sentence scramble questions (because if you don't know the grammar expressions they are testing then it's useless trying to figure them out) to being more confident about those than anything else in the whole 文字･語彙･読解 section.
Still have not finished:
The Experience of God: Orthodox Dogmatic Theology, vol. 2, The World: Creation and Deification by Fr. Dumitru Staniloae
日本人の心がわかる日本語[Japanese Words to Understand the Japanese Mind] by 森田六朗 [Morita Rokurou]
Mainly because of setting them aside in order to focus on JLPT study.
Let others believe in the God who brings men to trial and judges them. I shall cling to the God who resurrects the dead.
-St. Nikolai VelimirovichMAL