Brunelleschi's Dome. Its a short, enthralling story about architecture, design, and competition to construct the top of the Duomo, during the renaissance in Florence, Italy.
When MrLaurie and I were recently in Europe, one of our most challenging activities was climbing to the top of the Duomo - it is huge. Huge. Even more amazingly though, the dome part was built without internal scaffolding, and with amazing innovations in crane-type machines to move the massive pieces of marble into place.
(view from the top of Duomo - its a long, long way down) (image credit moi)
I don't usually read books on architecture... but a few years ago, I decided to 'just buy' books that caught my eye, and not to think about whether or not it fitted into my ideas of 'good books'. So after several years of confining myself to purchasing only lit-er-a-ture dahling, I expanded my reading, and my bookcase. So now I have biographies, and histories, and strange little items - a book on using physics to understand crowds (and other things...) - Critical Mass. I also have a book on IVF and the history of assisted reproductive technologies, and a history of prohibition in the US.
Reading in this way has expanded my interests, and knowledge... and my ability to be a pain at trivia nights :)