1. Robert Kanigel, Eyes on the Street: The Life of Jane Jacobs. Lots of information about Jane Jacobs, so it has to be a good book and indeed it is. I found Becoming Jane Jacobs more engaging to read, but this one covered the latter part of her life in great detail, unlike the previous bio.
2. Claire-Louise Bennett, Pond. This is not a plot-based novel, rather it is Irish and poetic and much of it I read a second time. Most of you would find it frustrating.
3. Alain Bresson, The Making of the Ancient Greek Economy. I would not describe this as stirring narrative, but that is more the nature of the material than any fault of the author. It is by far the most comprehensive treatment of what we know about the ancient Greek economy. Here is Mark Koyama on theorizing about ancient economies. NB: I have only browsed this book.
4. John Stubbs, Jonathan Swift: The Reluctant Rebel. A good detailed biography, focusing more on Swift’s times, Ireland, and religious and political disputes, rather than Swift as writer per se. A very useful supplement to the other major Swift biographies.
5. Williamson Murray and Wayne Wei-Siang Hsieh, A Savage War: A Military History of the Civil War. The best, clearest, and most instructive military history of the Civil War I have ever read; the pre-history summary of war origins is good too. Someday I should write a full post on all the reasons why I find so many Civil War military history books unreadable, in the meantime this one hit a home run. By the way, the two authors live in Fairfax, VA.
Also noteworthy is Leigh Eric Schmidt, Village Atheists: How America’s Unbelievers Made Their Way in a Godly Nation.
Richard English, Does Terrorism Work? is a good, balanced historical look at what terrorists have and have not achieved. The best chapter was on Ireland, and the book is mainly non-Muslim examples.
Arrived in my pile, and looking very interesting, are:
Roger E.A. Farmer, Prosperity For All: How to Prevent Financial Crises.
Adrian Goldsworthy, Pax Romana: War, Peace and Conquest in the Roman World.