As all you devoted readers of this blog know, I've posted about books religiously since March 2012, based on the dare a fellow RateYourMusic user sent me (and her, but she never completed it) to read a book a week in 2012. It's not as though I went from being a non-reader to being a power reader overnight, though. Here's one of many examples I'll feature on this blog of a fantastic book I read before that fateful January 2012 date:
A Great and Fateful King: Edward I and the Forging of the British Empire by Marc Morris
My post on Quora: https://www.quora.com/Out-of-all-English-monarchs-who-had-the-most-interesting-life-I-m-currently-going-through-reading-about-them-all-on-Wikipedia-in-lockdown-to-learn-about-them-Which-one-would-you-recommend-I-definitely-check-out-I-m/answer/Matthew-Gordon-7
Edward I of England (1239–1307; r. 1272–1307) was destined for greatness. He scored an early victory while crown prince in the grisly Battle of Evesham (1265), which established him as the main force standing between rebellious nobleman and his father, Henry III. Edward became king while on the Ninth Crusade, which he aborted early in order to attend his own coronation ceremony. From there, he went on to conquer substantial portions of what is now Southwestern France, conquer Wales, land a decisive blow against the Scots at the Battle of Falkirk (1298), and set off reforms of the English legal system. Refreshingly for the time, his marriage to Eleanor of Castile appears to have been a genuine love match.
More controversially, he increased the use of drawing and quartering, especially in the wake of the conquest of Wales. He also expelled the Jews from England in 1290, which modern historians have understandably listed as the worst act during his reign; to show how much times change, it was one of his most popular acts at the time.
If you want a lengthy but fast-reading book that follows one of England’s most iconic rulers through swashbuckling battles and diplomatic tensions, this one’s your bet.
I read this book 12 years ago, but it’s still so vivid to me I just wrote the above summary off the top of my head. It’ll be available on pretty much any online retailer.