Some of which may even exist, and if they do, please let me know in comments.
A really good biography of Deng Xiaoping: Partially this is motivated by having forced myself to slog through Ezra Vogel's recent effort, which is fucking terrible. (Vogel strikes me as being a not-uncommon type among older US China visitors; the ones who actually believe that the Party is a conservative meritocratic technocracy, filled with sensible types just like them. Friedman wanders in that direction occasionally too.)
Among the many things missing from the Vogel biography is any sense of how Deng's use of power actually affected people, from the friends and colleagues he betrayed, backstabbed, or bought up with him to the ordinary Chinese whose lives he helped transform in the 1980s. The model for this is, of course, Robert Caro's epic LBJ biography. While it has its faults, and every sentence is freighted with a sense of its own importance, the depiction of LBJ's victims and beneficaries is outstanding. You see what it meant for a man be Red-baited and forced out of his post with the complicity of someone who he considered a friend. But you also see how the lives of Texas hill farmers were transformed by LBJ's campaign to bring them electricity, or what it meant to Martin Luther King to hear him say "We shall overcome." Caro also conveys LBJ's personal charisma and bundle of political and social tricks ("You're just like a daddy to me," he would repeat to older, more powerful men, with huge success), whereas in Vogel politics - Chinese politics of the 1970s and 80s!* - comes across as a bloodless exercise.
Deng's successes have also been so obvious that his failings, like Vietnam, have been glossed over. Jonathan Fenby suggested to me a couple of months ago that one of the reasons for the 1979 war was Deng's own sense of insecurity about not having been a general, and his conviction that he could be a military genius, since he was so much smarter than the PLA guys he knew. (Deng was smarter than everyone, and very conscious of this .)
A history of the Years of Lead in Italy - Peter Robb's Midnight in Sicily covers the Mafia stuff, but I want to read a vast, tangled history of the whole mess of Red Brigades and neo-fascists and conspiracies and get some sense of how a relatively modern, Westernized quasi-democracy got so fucked up. (I'm thinking A Savage War of Peace as a model, really.)
A soberly written book about ninjas - Because they're really interesting, but distinguishing the historical reality of "professional spies and occasional assasins" from all the cruff made up about them for, firstly, Japanese history-plays, and secondly, Western fantasists, is bloody difficult.
A hour by hour study of the fall of Ceaucescu - I might settle for a really good novel here, but it'd have to be at least Feast of the Goat quality. My family's from Transylvania, and I can vividly remember hearing about Ceaucescu being toppled - on the radio driving home from the annual Christmas visit to Beeston Castle.
A history of pre-colonial Africa - Because, again, the bits I have seen are really interesting, like the Ghana and Malian empires. But I couldn't even put together a loose timeline right now.
Any really good book on pre-20th century South America - So these must exist, obviously, but I have a huge gap in my knowledge here, and the bits I do know are completely fascinating. Suggestions?
*I read Winter King recently, which I recognized as being very good yet, for some reason, couldn't quite enjoy; perhaps it's just that I've never been able to care about the Tudors. But it did make me think that "factions" in Chinese politics are a lot closer to baronial intrigues than any kind of ideological groupings, with all the switching and betrayal and fundamentally being about the money and power, not the ideas, that that implies.