I took a speed-reading course and read War and Peace in twenty minutes. It involves Russia.
I learned Spanish by reading Spanish books and watching Telemundo with closed captioning. It took a few years, but as I really could not stand grammar or memorizing vocabulary, it was the only way for me (for I?). I started with young adult books, though I was neither, beginning with Harry Potter in Spanish, with a copy of the English version as well. At first I would have to read each chapter in English, followed by the same chapter in Spanish. Eventually I could read a few chapters in Spanish, only switching back to my English book if I got confused or lost the thread. Though I quit reading Harry Potter when the books became 1000 pages, I've gone on to use this method to read Hunger Games, Twilight, and other books that everyone was talking about, yet I couldn't stand to read in their native language.
The GrokReader concept is a digital version of having two paper novels open at the same time, with links to make it easy to move through the chapters in tandem. If other people have used a similar method to read dual-language texts, I'd love to hear about it.