And Man Created God: A History of the World at the Time of Jesus (St. Martin's Press) by Selina O'Grady examines how religions jostle for position within empires.
The Genius of Dogs: How Dogs Are Smarter Than You Think (Dutton) by Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods examines the intelligence that makes dogs our friends.
The Mummy's Curse: The True History of a Dark Fantasy (Oxford University Press) by Roger Luckhurst gives the background to the spooky mummy tradition.
Al Capp: A Life to the Contrary (Bloomsbury) by Michael Schumacher and Denis Kitchen tells a paradoxical life story.
Circle of Treason: A CIA Account of Traitor Aldrich Ames and the Men He Betrayed (Naval Institute Press) by Sandra Grimes and Jeanne Vertefeuille is an insders' account of a famous case.
The Golden Ticket: P, NP, and the Search for the Impossible (Princeton University Press) by Lance Fortnow is an introduction to one of the most important mathematical puzzles.
The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend (Bloomsbury) by Glenn Frankel gives us facts and legends.
Visions of Infinity: The Great Mathematical Problems (Basic Books) by Ian Stewart takes on the tough problems.
Words from the White House: Words and Phrases Coined or Popularized by America's Presidents (Walker) by Paul Dickson shows how the presidents shaped our language.
In Declaring His Genius: Oscar Wilde in North America (Belknap Press / Harvard), Roy Morris, Jr., accounts with amusement Wilde's year among us.