How Different Religions View Death and Afterlife edited by Christopher Jay Johnson and Harsh G. McGee- This book is very interesting. Most books on world religions discuss various beliefs about death and afterlife, but this book has far more information. It also covers various forms of Christianity. Especially helpful is the question and answer section at the end.
From Samaria to Samarkand: The Ten Lost Tribes of Israel by David A. Law- I check out books on the Lost Tribes every so often, but I've never read one that I've thought was very good. What I'd love to see is a scholarly book on the Lost Tribes. Everything I've read has been written by intelligent people, but with a point to prove. They come up with a conclusion first, then try to find anything they can to prove their conclusion. This is more of the same.
The Renaissance Bazaar: From the Silk Road to Michelangelo by Jerry Brotton- I found this book to be rather simple, which was disappointing. I've read a lot about the Renaissance, and was already fully aware that the East had a huge impact on Europe at that time. It is quick to read and interesting, but basic. If you've not read a lot about Eastern influences on the Renaissance, then this would be a good book to read.
Folk of the Fringe by Orson Scott Card- Interesting book. It looks at a post-war America from a Mormon point of view. (Although many Mormons wouldn't agree with some of Card's ideas).
A History of Russia, Central Asia and Mongolia by David Christian- Pretty dry, but still informative. I suppose it's too much to hope that someone will write an interesting history of Central Asia, like all the ones about Jews, the Irish, etc.
World Religions Today by John L. Esposito, Darrell J. Fashing, and Todd Lewis- This is a good book. It covers the major world religions currently practiced- Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and the East Asian traditions. Like most world religions books, it discusses doctrine, belief, and practice, but also discusses how the religions have changed and were practiced at different points in history. It also has quite a bit about current practice and religious festivals.
World Religions by Warren Matthews- This book covers more religions than the previous one. It also discusses native American and African religions, Jainism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, and other ancient Middle Eastern religions. Both books are good, but I didn't like the lightweight paper in this one.