Notre-Dame: A Short History of the Meaning of Cathedrals by Ken FollettWhat it is: an impassioned and atmospheric chronicle of the cathedral Notre-Dame de Paris, from its centuries-long construction to the fire that devastated it in April of 2019.
Read it for: Pillars of the Earth author Ken Follett's deep knowledge of cathedral construction, which reminds readers that a cathedral is always a work in progress; an engaging examination of the power of large-scale, culturally rich buildings to move us.
Martin Luther: Renegade and Prophet by Lyndal RoperWhat it is: a thought-provoking new biography of Protestant reformer Martin Luther, published in 2017 to coincide with the 500th anniversary of the posting of his 95 Theses at All Saints' Church in Wittenberg, Saxony.
Why you should read it: Historian Lyndal Roper presents a comprehensive narrative of Luther's life that doesn't shy away from the theologian's uncompromising nature and antisemitism, and manages to balance thorough research with an approachable, engaging readability.
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