This is a very old post, from 2011-08-11.
A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous Fourteenth Century (Barbara Tuchman) was my first experience listening to a nonfiction audiobook, and it was a very good one (but I wish I had a print copy, for footnotes and such).
Even at more than six centuries’ remove, the stories of these people can make for somber listening. The inscrutable Black Death spreads misery widely. Peasants revolt, desperate for freedom or relief, only to be crushed. Jews are slaughtered. Bands of brigands exploit the populace, out of control. The crusaders described towards the end of the book march off with misguided dreams of glory, and die en masse ignominiously. The picture is not generally pretty, but it is fascinating.
Random tidbits that piqued my curiosity: