Thanks to Susan for introducing me to the writing of Simon Winchester. So far I've been able to read two of his books. The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary and The Map That Changed The World. Both books shed light on areas of history that are not well illuminated.
The Meaning of Everything details the long slog totaling 68 years it took to create the first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. While The Map That Changed The World follows the life of William Smith who is basically the father of modern Geology. His findings were instrumental in a number of areas including the determination that the Earth is much older than 4000 years. Unfortunately, William Smith was not high born so he was continually snubbed by English society. The story of his accomplishments was very interesting.
I'm rating both books a borrow as they are interesting reads but not necessarily required for your library at home.