I've been reading about World War I lately. Two books specifically, First, G.J. Meyer's A World Undone: The Story of the Great War, which I very highly recommend. Amazon says:
The First World War is one of history’s greatest tragedies. In this remarkable and intimate account, author G. J. Meyer draws on exhaustive research to bring to life the story of how the Great War reduced Europe’s mightiest empires to rubble, killed twenty million people, and cracked the foundations of the world we live in today.
I say it's very well written, easy to read, pegged at just the right level of detail, offers some really interesting digressions, and had both facts and insights I had not seen in books on the subject I had read previously.
I also read, but am much less enthusiastic about Kristian Coates Ulrichsen's The First World War in the Middle East. Here's what Amazon says:
The First World War in the Middle East is an accessibly written military and social history of the clash of world empires in the Dardanelles, Egypt and Palestine, Mesopotamia, Persia and the Caucasus. Coates Ulrichsen demonstrates how wartime exigencies shaped the parameters of the modern Middle East, and describes and assesses the major campaigns against the Ottoman Empire and Germany involving British and imperial troops from the French and Russian Empires, as well as their Arab and Armenian allies.
Also documented are the enormous logistical demands placed on host societies by the Great Powers' conduct of industrialised warfare in hostile terrain. The resulting deepening of imperial penetration, and the extension of state controls across a heterogeneous sprawl of territories, generated a powerful backlash both during and immediately after the war, which played a pivotal role in shaping national identities as the Ottoman Empire was dismembered.
This is a multidimensional account of the many seemingly discrete yet interlinked campaigns that resulted in one to one and a half million casualties. It details not just their military outcome but relates them to intelligence-gathering, industrial organisation, authoritarianism and the political economy of empires at war.
I had high hopes for this book, because it's an interesting aspect of the Great War that often gets short shrift in one-volume histories, and because I expect that much of today's mess in the Middle East can be traced back to decisions made by the British and French during and immediately after the war. Sadly, I did not find it very accessible. Instead, I found it very academic ... and not in a good way. There's an awful lot of "Historian Joe Bob said XY&Z about this, while Historian Jane Does said AB&S." It's pretty heavy going. On top of which, the Kindle edition has a lot of errors. So I confess to not having finished it. But YMMV.