Extraordinary Evil: A Brief History of Genocide by Barbara Coloroso. Like so many of us, Coloroso has been doing a sort of independent study of genocide and she came up with the rather surprising, at first glance, theory that genocide is bullying writ large. I was pretty skeptical at first but she sold me on her idea; she has done a lot of thinking about bullying and she has her trademark bulleted lists on the topic all figured out, and she manages to map them to genocide quite convincingly. I'll probably check out her book on bullying, and also a few of the books she refers to on genocide. A few of them were on my list before but I chickened out; maybe this time I will have the guts to actually read them.
Outbreak: Plagues that Changed History by Bryn Barnard is actually a picture book which I grabbed from the kids' section because I'm all about plagues and gruesome diseases. However, it's written at what seems to me to be a very advanced level. It is a fantastic book; each chapter discusses one plague and its effect on society, and the illustrations (also by the author) are lush.
I didn't actually read The Assault on Reason by Al Gore because I had it out of the library and I had to take it back before I got more than a couple of chapters in. However, I was pleasantly surprised; in the chapters I read he got into why people are so compelled by television, so it seems like he's really getting into the very roots of why American politics is so screwed up. I have put myself on the hold list again (I am number 249 of 267) and I look forward to having another crack at this book. Sometime in 2008.