1. Deng Xiaoping: A Revolutionary Life, by Alexander V. Pantsov and Steven I. Levine. Why not read a biography of one of the most important men of the twentieth century? I found this book valuable even though I am already familiar with the Ezra Vogel tome on Deng. Recommended.
2. Restless Empire: A Historical Atlas of Russia, by Ian Barnes, Belknap Press. This is not only one of the best introductions to Russian history, there are clear and excellent maps every two or three pages. More history books should follow this standard.