As I read this book by Lawrence Wright last year I was in the midst of a blog move and it got lost in the shuffle. But it bears repeating that this is an outstanding book and if you want to understand the world we live in this is a great place to start. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction in 2007 it is a multi-biography of all the major players of al Qaeda as well as Islamofascism's intellectual leader Sayyid Qutb. There is no better place to start in understanding our enemy.
I am almost finished with James Emery White's book A Mind For God (one more sitting should do it for this thin volume) and while it so far has not distinguished itself from the Christian mind genre I am finding some good book recommendations, which makes it a worthwhile read. His website contains some fun reading lists and one that I might try is the One Year Reading program.