I was reading these before I decided on that book cull (and one was actually a re-read) but here are two more for the discard pile:
Into the Land of Bones, by Frank L Holt, a look at Alexander the Great’s campaigns in Afghanistan, from the perspective of modern scholarship, as a way of looking at our current war in Afghanistan. This is a subject I thought I knew a bit about, though my own knowledge was formed by older scholarship of the “we really don’t know what happened in Bactria” school, and the book was an eye-opener, especially on the subject of how successful Alexander was in subduing the country (answer: not very). A very good read, but one I’ve now read twice and it’s time to move on.
The Lost World of Byzantium, by Jonathan Harris, yet another book about the Byzantine Empire, but shorter, less expansive than most, one that focuses on the empire’s resilience and ability to change with the times, and the changes that eventually brought it down. Another good read, but not as good as that first one — I had to push through to finish, and it’s definitely a one-and-done.