I want to read the Qur'an cover to cover while supplementing it with historical, linguistic, and other Islamic cultural material as I read. However, I am not sure what the best combination of books is. I have a limited amount of free time, so I am not trying to become an Islamic scholar or anything of that level of dedication. Just to be better educated.
After browsing through Amazon there seems to be, books that
merely translate (Haleem)
translate and supplement extensively (Asad)
are not translations but the history of the Qur'an.
I have purchased M.A.S. Abdel Haleem's translation. But I feel this alone isn't enough since I felt like I learned more reading the introduction than I did reading the actual text due to my lack of knowledge.
Can someone recommend the right combination and or progression for reading? Should I buy both a translation and a history book? Should I try to read Asad's 1100 page text on the first go (unlikely)?