Pillars of the Earth - Ken Follet. A FASCINATING novel of life in 12th century England and a very believeable story about how the magnificent cathedrals came to be. It IS fiction, so of course the author’s own worldview colors those of all the characters. He does a pretty evenhanded job in this book, but its sequal “World Without End” seems to me to betray an agnostic or at least a Deistic worldview (God doesn’t matter) in the heart of the author. Nevertheless, the first book is a wonderful story whose main theme is very catholic: Man is good, but sinful. When he works towards a society based on Natural Law, human rights and justice he prospers. When he seeks power and personal advantage only, he reaps ruin and destruction for himself and his whole community.
How the Reformation Happened - Hillaire Belloc. A surprising read for this GenX American who grew up absorbing a lot of Protestant propaganda without realizing it. Scholarly, but clear.
Yes, I’m realizing just how culturally ignorant my tech-heavy engineering education has left me and am compensating!