Knocked out a few more books:
* Kingmakers: The Inventions of the Modern Middle East by Shareen Blair Brysac and Karl Meyer - a very rich inspection of the history of middle east beginning at the end of the 19th century through the middle of the Iraq War. Very well done, but a bit British-centric (it helps to know English titles and government).
* The Vietnam War: A History of US Involvement by John Dunn - read this basic narrative in preparation for more detailed books on the Vietnam War.
* The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle - a somewhat interesting book on how talent can be cultivated using different methods of practice; it could have been condensed into 5 pages.
* One Square Mile of Hell: The Battle for Tarawa by John Wukovits - a ground level view of the harrowing battle of Tarawa, one of the Marine Corps' finest moments.