One title on the list:
Pompeii: The Life of a Roman Town (US title: The Fires of Vesuvius)Read about another book on Merrill's list.
by Mary Beard
Mary Beard uses the ancient relics buried by the volcanic ash of Mount Vesuvius to bring the existence of everyday Roman people to life. Covering everything from government to graffiti, Beard's work takes the humdrum of Roman domesticity and turns it into a compelling account of the life of one Roman town.
The Page 99 Test: The Fires of Vesuvius.