The Prince of the Marshes and Other Occupational Hazards of a Year in Iraq by Rory Stewart. An absolutely fascinating look at Iraq through the eyes of a UN provisional government person. I have to keep reminding myself that the US invasion and occupation was not to make the Iraqis people we can like and enjoy, but rather to make Iraq a country that won't threaten us anymore. The deep, deep selfishness of tribal outlook and corruption amazed me. And then, of course, the corruption and ineptness of the people was blamed on the US. Yeah, right.
The Rise of Endymion by Dan Simmons: A sprawling, massive novel following a whole series of sprawling, massive novels. His accomplishment astounds and awes me.