Reading in Finnish: Jade

I recently finished reading Jade by Taru Makinen. My godmother gave it to me for my return flight from Finland in 1997. I started it (again) when I was six months pregnant (apparently I'm still measuring time by the age of my daughter) so that means it took me a whopping eighteen months to finish, despite enjoying every page of teenage friendship, parent relations, dating, in a conflict involving no less than bank robbery and trans-gender disguise. It took me that eighteen months because it was lost for a couple of months, but mostly, I just read really slowly, because it is in Finnish. Funny side note: it took me about 10 pages to figure out which characters were boys and which were girls, because I wasn't familiar with the names and Finnish uses a neutral he/she pronoun. I hope I will read more young adult novels in Finnish because it is a great way to practice language skills, obviously, but books like Jade which are original in Finnish and set in Finland are an awesome cultural immersion.
Jade and my running list of vocabulary words to learn

These points apply to any text, of course--building vocabulary and shaping a cultural viewpoint.
What have you noticed, specifically, that you've learned from reading a book? 
Do you read in languages other than English?

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