Best books to study Russian
I'm wondering what books you consider the best to study russian. Right now my top three are:
Essential Russian Grammar (Dover Language Guides Essential Grammar): I love this little book. It's only 128 pages long but it contains all the grammar you need on a daily basis. It even includes a fair share of good examples despite its length.
The Big Book of Russian Phrases: I found this book on amazon the other day and haven't stopped using it. It contains many examples of phrases in Russian and English in many different categories. What I find particularly compelling is the eclectic categories such as Latin American Literature or Buddhist Proverbs.
Roots of the Russian Language: An Elementary Guide to Wordbuilding: After studying this soviet-era book I have improved my ability to understand Russian vocabulary. This is because Russian relies on roots for its lexicon much more than most Indo European languages.
I typically see people using Nicholas J. Brown's "The New Penguin Russian Course". I don't know a lot of books for teaching Russian so it's difficult for me to compare it to other books in this category, but I have this book and it does seem to be a good book for bringing the reader gradually into the subject, since the author is himself a teacher of Russian and so he's come to recognize the places where students tend to get confused or stuck.