Besides non-stop coverage of politics, one of my biggest interests with TPM over the years has been books — reviewing them, discussing them with readers and so forth. And we’re planning a new section of the site to do that in a more compelling and on-going way. But for today, I have a more specific question.
As I’ve told you many times before, my own free time reading is almost 100% popular history. No politics. No fiction. Just history — what I’d call high-end popular history. And I’m constantly scrounging for the next book I can dig my teeth into. One I just finished was Roger Crowley’s history of City of Fortune: How Venice Ruled the Seas.
I was feeling sort of at sea when I finished that one but then noticed that just yesterday a new book for another favorite of mine Tom Holland came out: In the Shadow of the Sword: The Birth of Islam and the Rise of the Global Arab Empire. The first book I read of Holland’s was Rubicon, which was great. And I’ve loved the rest of the ones I’ve read of his. So I started this one last night with very high hopes.
Now, what’s the most engrossing — I mean, you couldn’t put it down — work of history you’ve read in the last six months? Send me your best and I’ll share your comments with you and other readers.
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.