Speaker for the Dead: Reading* only the second half is rather like reading a short story. It's actually pretty well complete, but you have to make assumptions about what went before. Reading* the first half made me realize most of the 'reveal' wasn't any kind of reveal at all, but didn't really change my understanding of the story in any way.
Next up, the rest of Xenocide. I expect the Godspoken to make more sense, at the very least and the nature and background of the conflicts, I do hope. The last third of Xenocide makes for a very poor short story.
* Actually "listening to" but I am sure you get my point.