The Muslim Next Door: The Qur’an, the Media, and That Veil Thing by Sumbul Ali-Karamali
The author is the American daughter of immigrants from India. She has both a JD and a Masters in Islamic Law.
While this book is highly informative and well-written, it seems to present an IDEAL of Islam, and perhaps that’s because the author is a legal expert from America who is accustomed to defending her religion. She is, I think, insufficiently critical of the Islam that is actually practiced around the world, and spends almost no time at all talking about the conflict with Israel.
Still, it is a useful guide to the basic concepts and history of the religion, and it’s very readable. It also makes some excellent points about the bigotry directed toward Muslims in America, especially after 9/11, and it does clear up a number of misconceptions many Americans have about the religion.