The most gripping fiction for history enthusiasts

Who am I?

History is my passion. I’m a graduate of medieval history from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and post-graduate of London University. Former high school history teacher, and previously held the post of assistant researcher at the Museum of the Diaspora, Tel Aviv. I was commissioned by the Council of Zambian Jewry to research and write the history of Northern Rhodesian/Zambian Jewry. I have lectured frequently on my subjects and have contributed diverse historical articles in newspapers and journals. I have published six books, fiction, and non-fiction.  


I wrote...

The Conspiracy against Mary Magdalene

By Frank Shapiro,

Book cover of The Conspiracy against Mary Magdalene

What is my book about?

This is a case demonstrating the bending of truth in history. Read how Mary Magdalene, Jesus’ closest companion, was metaphorically crucified! In one dramatic act of interpretation and condemnation the role model of Mary Magdalene was severed from the axis of Christianity. The Apostle of the Apostle was suddenly considered undesirable and dangerous. Yet, at the crucifixion while all Jesus’ disciples scattered in fear, Mary stayed by his side. Later, she was the driving spirit encouraging the followers to return to build the movement. It was Mary Magdalene who saved Christianity from becoming just another marginal sect. Mary Magdalene was certainly most fitting to be the first bishop of Rome. Yet as we know, no female pope waves at us from the Vatican window in St. Peter’s Square.

The books I picked & why

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Troy: The Greek Myths Reimagined

By Stephen Fry,

Book cover of Troy: The Greek Myths Reimagined

Why this book?

As a historian I have often felt the need to get to grips with the basis of western mythical-historical writing, meaning—Homer. After reading Mythos, I couldn’t resist reading Fry’s second book of his Greek mythology trilogy, and I was rewarded! Despite the often-confusing flood of Greek names of gods, Titans, divine mortals, etc. you can’t help enjoying this exciting read of Paris’ abduction of Helen of Sparta. As usual, Fry’s erudition is combined with side-splitting humor and wit. He has the brilliance to bring alive the ancient classical Homer’s Iliad to a modern-day audience. 


The Crocodile Bird

By Ruth Rendell,

Book cover of The Crocodile Bird

Why this book?

I pick Rendel’s books because she knows how to get inside the complex workings of the human mind. I have always been a keen enthusiast of Rendel’s crime fiction thrillers. What amazes me is her depth of understanding of human psychology. On the one hand, I just couldn’t put the book down, and yet due to the interest, it evoked I never wanted to finish it. The story revolves around a teenager Liza who is kept away from the outside world in an isolated rural mansion and is completely dominated by her mother. Secrets, murders, and love affairs interlock, twist and turn and evolve into a thrilling page-turner. 


Saturday

By Ian McEwan,

Book cover of Saturday

Why this book?

McEwan has always numbered among my favorite fiction writers, not only because he knows how to spin a tale, but I enjoy his immaculate prose. I was amazed by the way McEwan creates an exciting and brilliant story all in a one-day narrative. Unusual happenings occur in a famous neurosurgeon’s free Saturday following an exhausting week of intricate surgery. His mundane routine explodes into an unusual, complex situation when a minor car accident leads to a scene of violence and confrontation with a gang of youths. I was so drawn in to this story that I found myself almost being there and sweating in a state of anxiety. 


Mysteries of the Middle Ages: And the Beginning of the Modern World

By Thomas Cahill,

Book cover of Mysteries of the Middle Ages: And the Beginning of the Modern World

Why this book?

I often like to break away from in-depth academic historical reading and indulge in lighter yet informative work. This always leads me to Cahill’s history books. He always has a new take, such as ‘how the Irish saved civilization’ to this intriguing book, Mysteries of the Middle Ages. He skillfully portrays here how medieval thought foreshadowed the making of the Renaissance and the development of the modern scientific era. Cahill’s talent is in his easy-to-read excellent prose and intellectual richness. His books are also well-illustrated with beautiful pictures and artistic layout.  


Civilization of the Middle Ages

By Norman F. Cantor,

Book cover of Civilization of the Middle Ages

Why this book?

Every second book I read must be a history book. As history is not only my vocation it is also my passion. As a historian I always enjoy reading and rereading Cantor’s works on the Middle Ages. This particular book is one of my favorites; it is a really engrossing history and his knowledge is presented in such a clear, informative, and interesting style that makes it very readable for the general public. This book has been extensively revised and gone through numerous editions.  


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the Middle Ages, a middle age man, and heroes?

5,888 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the Middle Ages, a middle age man, and heroes.

The Middle Ages Explore 245 books about the Middle Ages
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And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Growing Up in Medieval London, Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts, and Making a Living in the Middle Ages if you like this list.