Erich Schwartzel, Red Carpet: Hollywood, China, and the Global Battle for Cultural Supremacy is clear and to the point.
James G. Clark, The Dissolution of the Monasteries: A New History, is likely to be highly relevant four or five years hence.
I enjoyed Oliver Roeder, Seven Games: A History (covers chess, checkers, backgammon, bridge, Go, etc.).
Don Thompson, The Curious Economics of Luxury Fashion I found a fun and useful book.
Kathleen Harward and Beata Banach, The Lost Recipe, from a broader line of classically liberal themed children’s books.
I very much enjoyed Edward Shawcross, The Last Emperor: The Dramatic Story of the Habsburg Archduke Who Created a Kingdom in the New World. Covers mid-19th century France and Mexico of course.
Simone Dietrich, States, Markets, and Foreign Aid is a good book about how national ideology shapes practices of aid-giving.
For those who are interested, I can recommend Strauss, Spinoza, & Sinai: Orthodox Judaism and Modern Questions of Faith, edited by Jeffrey Bloom, Alec Goldstein, and Gil Student.
Jason K. Stearns, The War That Doesn’t Say Its Name: The Unending Conflict in the Congo. There should be more conceptual books on this topic, and this is one of them. Haven’t you wondered why this war drags on for decades, without resolution? Start your quest for an answer here.