I just finished (very slowly) reading A Little History of the World by E.H. Gombrich.
It was one of the most interesting and enjoyable books I’ve ever read. It’s a book for kids and it was allegedly written in about six weeks by an artist, although you would never guess that it was written hastily by reading it.
The book starts with dinosaur times, then (if I remember correctly, which I probably don’t) the ancient Egyptians, then the Mesopotamians, then a bunch of European stuff. Since the book was written for kids, the style is very accessible and conversational, which I appreciate.
I think the most interesting thing I took away from this book was that I learned from it where the days of the week come from.
According to the book, the ancient Mesopotamians were aware of the existence of five planets. They named the seven days of the week after the five planets plus the sun and the moon. Saturday is Saturn day, Sunday is Sun day, Monday is Moon day and apparently the rest of the days don’t translate as well. I love learning stuff like this.