Pompeii - Robert Harris This is an amazingly researched book about Pompeii and it's surrounding cities, set two days before the famous eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. The protagonist is engineer Attilius, newly in charge of the Aqua Augusta (the aqueduct that brings water to the landlocked cities in the Bay of Naples). I can't remember the figures but this aqueduct was remarkably efficient and kept something like hundreds of thousands of people hydrated over miles and miles of dry earth. I never thought I could be so fascinated by aqueducts, but somehow Robert Harris intertwines facts and flowing narrative so well that I couldn't help but be impressed.

I had never heard of Robert Harris before I found this book at a used book sale but I'm glad I ended up buying it. I've always wanted to go to Europe, especially to Rome and Pompeii, so that's what caught my eye. Everyone knows what happened in Pompeii but I had never really thought about what it would've been like to actually be in it. The book is divided into sections for each day leading up to the eruption. By the time I got to the day of the explosion I was on the edge of my seat and could not put this book down. The best part of it (aside from a really great story about Attilius and the people he encounters) is that I've come away from this feeling a little bit more educated on volcanoes, the city of Pompeii, and Roman technology without even trying. So that's a plus.