In this "artful, informative, and delightful" (William H. McNeill, New York Review of Books) book, Jared Diamond convincingly argues that geographical and environmental factors shaped the modern world. Societies that had had a head start in food production advanced beyond the hunter-gatherer stage, and then developed religion --as well as nasty germs and potent weapons of war --and adventured on sea and land to conquer and decimate preliterate cultures.
The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke. A strong opening to a creative, engaging YA fantasy series focused around Alanna, a strong, fierce aspiring lady pirate. Click through for full review. Via Diamonds in the Library.