Over the past few years, I've been trying to read about history. History has never been my strong point my historical knowledge is appalling but I think it's really important, so I'm planning on reading Scotland's Empire: 1600-1815 by Tom Devine. Last year I read How the Scots Invented the Modern World by Arthur Herman. It was one of the best history books I've ever read.
I also have a book I got in Rome last year, which I'm keen to browse through: The Gallery of Maps in the Vatican by Lucio Gambi. It's a collection of 15th and 16th-century maps the equivalent of today's Google Earth.
I'm a very visual person and I've always loved maps. I love getting that overview, so you can really grasp an area. I suppose that's why I like reading about history as well, so I can see the bigger picture. It also makes the mind boggle, thinking about how they managed to do that at that time.
I'm a typical boy reader. I read for information and for a purpose, rather than for entertainment. There needs to be a point to it. I read The Da Vinci Code a couple of years ago, and I enjoyed it, but I did think: 'What was the point in that?' Lying on the beach is the only place I could be persuaded to read such vacuous stuff. That said, I do like comedy and satire, so I'm planning to read Ben Elton's Chart Throb.