The Testament of Mary by Colm Toibin. Very moving tale of the last days of Jesus, written from the viewpoint of his mother. Great capturing of the anguish of a mother losing a son in terrible fashion.
Vanished Kingdoms by Norman Davies. Thorough discussion of 17 kingdoms/empires/states that have disappeared from the world. Not Rome or Sparta, but lesser known examples, that probably all thought they would last forever. Humbling but a bit of a slog.
The Prince of Risk by Christopher Reich. After the prior book needed some mental floss. Reich writes a solid suspense tail. A fine distraction.