This month I decided upon the book of Ezra, and it's pretty amazing what you can get out of it (in terms of context) without reading a commentary or a study Bible. All it requires is a little thought as we read.
The book of Ezra coincides with the prophecies of Haggai and Zachariah, all about the rebuilding of the temple of Israel. King Nebby had taken all of Israel into captivity. A bit later Ezra's history takes place during the reigns of Cyrus and Darius. God works powerfully in the ruling authorities to give them a heart for the Lord and no longer against. (A great reason why we should continue to submit to the authorities, God is merciful in our obedience!).
As for who wrote the book, it's pretty clear that Ezra was responsible for it (or at least, most of it). The first half of the book is in third person, all the way up till Ch. 7, where the character Ezra is introduced he leads a group of people to rebuild the temple and the text shifts to first person. Where it's clear the "I" is Ezra. The only area where this might be doubtful is the last chapter, because within that chapter, it shifts back to third person again, looking at the people responding to Ezra.
So the goal is to try to post more frequently. I've also been particularly blessed by another two attempts by some friends to post more frequently. Check out Chang's xanga and Evan's blog.