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December 8th, 2004, 06:05 AM
We have all come across novels in all genres that are so good we can't put them down. We stay up late at night and even miss meals.

I was wondering if anyone has any History books that had that effect on them.

I like to consider myself an "amateur" historian, very "amateur", but I love to tear into a good fat history book and forget I am reading history.

Any suggestions?

December 8th, 2004, 09:04 AM
Who were the celts
The Knights Templar
The Roman empire
any classical warfare books

December 8th, 2004, 09:19 AM
I'm reading Alison Weir's 'Eleanor of Aquitaine' atm, and that's certainly holding my attention! I was prompted to read it after I read Sharon Penman's novel 'Time and Chance', about Eleanor and Henry II. I find historical novels are often a trigger to read non-fiction about the same times/characters, as my interest in them has then already been piqued, and it makes the text less dry/abstract.

Next on my list is 'The Six Wives of Henry VIII', also by Alison Weir, which I picked up in a second-hand book shop for just £2, yesterday :D

December 8th, 2004, 12:12 PM
A History of Warfare, by John Keegan. His writing style has an excellent dry wit about it that makes him so much more fun to read than your average historian. Plus I learned a ton about military history that I had never known before.

December 8th, 2004, 02:02 PM
Cymric, who are the authors of those books?

December 8th, 2004, 04:12 PM
I'm not sure these count, but two of my favorite books in the whole world are "I, Claudius" and "Claudius the God" by Robert Graves. It is "history as fiction," but literally, with "I, Claudius" I couldn't put it down. Wonderful story! Reading those gave me so much insight into that period of Roman history. Now I know that Graves was very definitly putting forward his guess as to what Claudius' viewpoint would have been, and there are many other interpretations of that period, but none have been written about with so much character!

December 9th, 2004, 01:09 AM
Catching the LIght (the entwined history of light and mind) by Arthur Zajonc, Bantam 1993
Perhaps it is a bit more physics and psychology than history, and in some ways, unique and strange at the same time, really, really hard to put into a catagory. But really interesting.

January 6th, 2005, 08:37 AM
Finished 'Eleanor of Aquitaine' and am about half way through 'The Six Wives of Henry VIII'.....it's just as interesting as 'Eleanor', but written in a more haphazard way - Weir jumps around in time - so much harder to follow...

January 6th, 2005, 11:36 AM
Flags of Our Fathers is a pretty good story by the son of one of the Iwo-Jima troops hoisting the flag.

A very moving book too.

can't think of the author

January 9th, 2005, 09:44 PM
The Roman Empire by Colin Wells ( I think that this book is actually a doctorail(sp?) thesis)
The Knights Templar by Sean Martin (pretty thin but informing and entertaining)