The Berlin-Baghdad Express: The Ottoman Empire and Germany's Bid for World Power - Sean McMeekin Well written and with a wealth of obscure (to me anyway), fascinating and often hilarious details and characters. Could have done with more on the actual railroad, but I can always stand to hear more about railroads.

I'm somewhat derailed by the epilogue on Zionism however, rather the same feeling as with Tony Judts Postwar's Holocaust Epilogue. It kind of arrives from nowhere after a book largely bypassing the Yishuv (more or less fairly, as a very minor factor in a book that stretches from Libya to Afghanistan) and seems almost to attempt to retroactively locate this whole vast movement into being a subclause of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a way that I find somewhat unconvincing. Come on, why do writers insist various Jewish stuff be the single coda of the twentieth century?