It's been a while already since I finished this challenge, but I never got around to writing round-ups. But here we go:
I read all the titles that were on my original list plus on extra. These are the books I read (links go to the reviews on my own blog):
* Simon Sebag Montefiore - Young Stalin
* Peter Balakian - Black Dog of Fate
* Shirin Ebadi - Iran Awakening
* Azar Nafisi - Reading Lolita in Tehran
* Mary S. Lovell - The Mitford Girls
All these authors were new to me. There was no major dud among these five books, I actually enjoyed them all, but the one I liked least was Reading Lolita in Tehran. My favorite was Black Dog of Fate.