I'm reading a few books simultaneously.
1. A History of the World in 100 Objects (Neil MacGregor) - This is a book put out by the British Museum and it details 100 objects from their collection that give a history of the world. So they'll have, for example, old coins from the Byzantine era or maybe a bronze hand sculpture from Yemen from 100 AD, as well as a drum from Sudan from 1850 or a modern credit card. Each object gets maybe 3-4 pages and they just give an overview of the object and talk about how it fits into world history. It's really interesting because they show how the items are connected to other objects in the collection or how they are illustrative of some larger principle (e.g. the importance of developing currency for the coins, etc.).
2. Peter Camenzind (Hermann Hesse) - Hermann Hesse's first novel. A youth, Peter Camenzind, leaves his village with the intention to experience the world and learn what life is all about. He becomes friends with several interesting characters who teach him different things about life. A classic Bildungsroman. I'm reading it in German.
3. Paradise Lost (John Milton) - This one I bought on a whim and I kind of regret it. It's famous, of course, and is frequently quoted and cited in other works so I thought I would give it a try. I can't really get into it though. The old style and (for me) uninteresting subject matter (the biblical Fall of Man) hasn't really drawn me in yet but I haven't given it a fair shake quite yet (I'm only about 30 pages in).
4. The Better Angels of Our Nature (Steven Pinker) - Steven Pinker argues that violence in the world has declined and he gives several reasons why. I'm only about 15 pages in to this one so I won't say much about it.