When I was getting my history degree, I took several classes in Medieval Europe. My history professor was a fantastic lady who was a load of fun. One of the books she recommended we read was called The Measly Middle Ages by Terry Dreary and Martin Brown.
It’s not your normal cut and dry history book. It takes a humorous look at the middle ages. It was the first time I realized just how PG history classes and most history books really are.
The Measly Middle Ages is actually a series of books that I fell in love with called Horrible Histories. Eventually, I read the entire series. Now, I will say that I had multiple professors complain about the books as being inaccurate and silly, but I think it was the less than serious nature of them that raised their ire. In my research, I found them to be fairly well researched.
I refer to them as history for the non-historian. I might be able to sit down and read a very long book about the middle ages without any problems, but that’s because I love history. For most people, I highly recommend these books.
They are some times gross, some times crude, but hysterical and give an interesting glimpse into different periods of history. For those that don’t read, I have recently discovered that the BBC did an entire TV show on them and it’s available with Hulu Plus (I am loving the series, but it jumps around from era to era throughout the episodes and I prefer to get it all at once). Meaning I would rather read all of the book The Measly Middle Ages than watch a TV episode with 4 minutes dedicated to the subject.
One thing about packing my books this weekend, I have found lots of books I forgot I had like The Measly Middle Ages and The Rise and Fall of Practically Everybody (Another history book for the non-historian). When I get my office set up, I’m looking forward to organizing my books by subject. I know that sounds lame, but I own a lot of non-fiction books and I will finally be able to organize them properly!