I was given a Kindle Fire for Christmas along with several books, so I'm going to spend the next few weeks reviewing some of them. These include R. A. Donkin's Between East and West, about the Moluccan spice trade, and the trade in sandalwood (which actually comes from Timor, not Maluku) before European domination (see Gerrit Knaap's review here); Ted Nield's Supercontinent, a pop-sci book about the formation of the continents of the planet earth; Flannery and Marcus's The Origins of Inequality, a brilliant popular account of the development of inequality in human societies (I'm only about 20% through it, but it's great stuff thus far); Champa and the Archaeology of Mỹ Sơn (Vietnam) by a collection of authors, about, well, Champa and the archaeology of Mỹ Sơn, Vietnam's premier archaeological site; Brotherhood of Kings, by the historian Amanda Podany, about diplomacy in Egypt and the ancient Near East; and Ian Tattersall's The World from Beginnings to 4000 BCE, part of OUP's line of works on the history of the world (a good place to start for world history, although quite uneven in terms of quality). I've also started After the Ice, Steven Mithen's classic on human history between 20,000 and 5,000 BCE, but since that's so well-known and well-reviewed elsewhere, I won't be saying much about it, except that it's a really great read.
Stay tuned for reviews of these books and a few other bits and bobs. Happy New Year!