I’ve been enjoying a lot of history lately. Like Conquistador.
[UPDATE 08.04.12: The Slave Who Circumnavigated The World]
This is set right around the same time. The descriptions of the sailors’ day-to-day lives are amazing, and just as interesting are the politics and intrigue back in Portugal and Spain behind it all. There’s a great deal more to the story than I learned in 6th grade.
If you’re interested in the genre, this is one to grab. I know it’s cliche, but I really did find it tough to put down.
Over the Edge of the World: Magellan’s Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe
by Laurence Bergreen