"A Farewell to Alms: A brief economic history of the world", by Gregory Clark (chair of economics at UC Davis).
Dr Clark is seeking to explain the central fact of economic history: the Industrial Revolution. How did it arise out of the apparently static Malthusian world of Medieval England? His answer is startling and very convincing.
One thing the many very positive reviews don't mention - but which is of relevance here - is that the author is clearly familiar with Austrian economic reasoning, and he makes significant use of it in his book.
Some good holiday reading.