1. Bourdieu’s Secret Admirer in the Caucasus: A World-System Biography, by Georgi Derluguian. How did the Soviet Union come to be, come to collapse, and was the ethnic trouble in the Caucasus brought on by globalization? This book has a unique narrative style, while the content draws upon Wallerstein, Tilly, Randall Collins, and others. There is wisdom and analysis on virtually every page.
2. Twice a Stranger: The Mass Expulsions that Forged Modern Greece and Turkey, by Bruce Clark. The sad story of how murder and population exchanges have made the nations of the modern Mediterranean more monocultural; someone needs to write on Egypt as well.
4. On Chesil Beach, by Ian McEwan. This short novel is about young British newlyweds trying to have/trying to not have sex in 1962. Critics are calling it a return to form, but it feels slightly overwrought to me. Can the British really be like that? If so, do I have to read about it? I did find the last ten pages strikingly beautiful. I got my copy early on Amazon.co.uk, the American edition is out in June.