I've been seeing several posts in various forums about what to read before law school lately and whether you should bother. I'd say that I'm in the middle of the two camps: I think I'll read some law school material... but not kill myself over it. But then I really enjoy reading. Of course, if you ask me what I've read lately, I might not give you a straight answer :)
True confession: I'm a fan fiction addict... and all of the lovely novel length fan fictions that I read certainly aren't meant to count toward my list of "books recently read". I'm a closet fan fic junkie. I can't help it. I try to stop, really, but some of it is just so good. Fan fic that I follow are based off of books. I get tired of one book and cycle through some others. A lot of it is crap. But then, a lot of what I think is not worth my reading time is probably helping some 13 year old author have confidence in her writing... So let them write; I'm just choosy about what I read.
As for recent books. I've been rather fixated on several books about the constitutional convention. Oddly enough, I've never studied it before in my life. It's true. And it's pretty facsinating stuff. I've read about three books on that in the last few months. One book called the Miracle at Philadelphia is a decent read. Longish, but the author is really into characterizations. So it made the participants much more real. It's always nice to know which delegates were just your standard political ass. The author gets a wee-bit long winded at times with some description, but that is what you sign up for when you get a book that is from a fly on the wall's perspective.
I've also started reading the Nutshell book Introduction to the Study and Practice of Law by Hegland. I really like this book. It seems pretty straightforward without any of the usual 1L scare tactics about "if you don't brief this way, you will die" or "if you don't outline this way, you will die" or "if you don't study 25 hours a day, you will die." And I kind of appreciate that. I like how most of the sections on practical applications (such as exams, briefs, etc.) are all just "tips". Use 'em, don't but this is the general info about them that you can adapt to suit your individual needs. The examples are great. Really helping to introduce each area of law. And there are exercises that you can try, just to see what some of the practical application is all about. There is also a fabulous overview of legal writing. For whatever reason, that is really what is intimidating me about the first semester. Maybe it's all of the horror stories you hear about that class only being a credit or two, but you end up spending a zillion hours on it. I want to work smart for that class, KWIM? It's got something for everyone. I would highly recommend it.