I need to learn Russian. The more the better. I don't know what to get though. I took a year of Russian in high school, so I know the Cyrillic alphabet and a few basic words (marketplace Russian), and a bit of grammar, but I want to learn more.
But I'm picky about language books. I refuse to go with anything that simply teaches phrases with no explanation of the grammar. Phrases allow you to communicate something, but you don't have any hope of understanding what someone says to you. You also are not given the tools you need to say something unique.
Basic Russian instruction might not be very helpful either. We need to learn useful Russian. Too often foreign language instruction teaches you inane conversations or words that are not practical. (Our first Uzbek book was excellent at this. We learned the names of a variety of fruits, but nothing particularly useful.)
The best experiences we've had with learning foreign languages has been by talking to native speakers. My husband learned Spanish and we both learned Arabic and a lot of Uzbek that way. I don't know anyone around here who speaks Russian.
So, I guess I need to find a worthwhile Russian book.
I also bought a map of Central Asia today.