Check out these new books on Russian history:
by Geoffrey Hosking
A short book about a very large country. Interested in learning about Russia, but don't have much free reading time? This overview follows the story of Russia from the Middle Ages, when Kiev and Novgorod were the most powerful towns, to the current Putin era.
by Paul Bushkovitch
Want to delve into Russian history more fully? Here is a longer, more complete account.
by Joseph T. Fuhrmann
The story of the mystic and advisor to Czar Nicholas II, who was assassinated just a few years before the 1917 revolution for unclear motives.