Two books that I enjoyed were the Persepolis graphic novels by Marjan Satrapi. Last nite I learned that they have made an animated version of Persepolis. Unfortunately it is in French (unfortunate because I do not understand French.) But since it is an animated film, I hope that they will consider releasing it in English if it comes to the States.
Here is the film trailer, in French:
I recommend the Persepolis books for a good introduction to building an understanding of modern Iran.