1.Shahab Ahmed, What is Islam?: The Importance of Being Islamic. Too much hermeneutics for my taste, but intelligent and interesting throughout. The authors downplays the prescriptive side of Islam and plays up the experiential and polyvalent aspects of the religion. If you are reading books in this area, this one should be part of your program.
2. Adam Sisman, John Le Carré: The Biography. Entertaining, and puts him in the proper context, deserves its strong reviews.
3. Simon Critchley, Memory Theater. Very short book, hard to explain, often brilliant, here is one bit: “Hegel’s philosophy is a mnemotechnic system in the ancient and Renaissance tradition. The difference is that what Hegel adds to his memory theater is time, that is, the experience of becoming.” Not for everyone.
Arrived in my pile are:
Edward Lucas, Cyberphobia: Identity, Trust, Security and the Internet.
Elaine C. Kamarck, Primary Politics: Everything You Need to Know About How America Nominates its Presidential Candidates. From a quick glance, appears to be very useful.