When I took a trip up to U of Chicago a few weeks ago, I wasn't alone - my girlfriend and I both went up there both looking at the school. She's interested in developmental biology. Because flights were too expensive, we drove - if you don't genuinely like being around someone, 15 hours in a car will not be a fun experience. Proving there is a God, she didn't get rid of me immediately after the trip.
And for some strange reason, today she gave me a gift that is sure to keep me around - Warren H. Carroll's 2nd volume in his History of Christendom series titled The Building of Christendom.
The series is 6 volumes and I believe Dr. Carroll has been working on them since the 70's. Each volume is weighty, chock full of sources. However, Carroll brings out the narative in history. Unlike some other history books I've been reading lately (such as Von Grunebaum's Classical Islam, which is nothing more than date, fact, date, fact, date, fact), Carroll brings history to life. If you've never read him, I suggest picking a volume up - he may very well be my favorite Church historian.