As a writer, I consider any non-fiction book I read potential research for stories. One book I recently borrowed from the library for research is The End Is Always Near: Apocalyptic Moments, from the Bronze Age Collapse to Nuclear Near Misses. The author is Dan Carlin, who hosts a podcast called Hardcore History. I wasn't familiar with the podcast before reading this book; I prefer to take in information visibly instead of audibly. This book consists of several chapters that apparently are revised versions of some of Carlin's podcasts. (A Goodreads reviewer pointed this out.)
As I write this blog on Sunday, I'm only partway through this book. Some of the early chapters don't seem to meet the theme of this book, such as the one on parenting. While it's an interesting read, it wasn't what I expected. Another early chapter discusses how tough people are today versus those from previous areas. Carlin seems to think earlier people were tougher, ignoring the health and education benefits we have today.
Later chapters deal with historical events that fit the theme, like the fall of the Roman Empire and pandemics. These chapters not only describe what happened but also discuss the ramifications (such as the Black Death giving peasants opportunity to claim farmland). One thing I don't like about Carlin's writing style is his putting so many asides in footnotes. This disrupts the flow of the main text.
Despite its flaws, the book is worth reading. I'm not sure yet if I'll listen to the podcasts.
Do you enjoy reading about history? If so, do you have favorite eras? Feel free to share in the comments.