I just finished skimming over quite a tome that our little library had to get via inter-library loan from UCSD: Ecclesiastical History by Eusebius Pamphili. Eventually I would like my own copy, but they run a bit pricey and we haven't got the funds for books at the moment.
I found it very interesting; the unfortunate thing is that it's due on Thursday, and I've already renewed it once. I have one day to write down all my notes which I marked with little orange sticky notes.
I learned the most about the heresies of the time: Monatonism, Arianism, etc. I also got more of a "feel" for the biggies of the Church: Irenaeus, Polycarp, Justin Martyr, etc. The stories of the different martyrdoms throughout the first three centuries of the Church was also fascinating, and in a way, inspiring.
Eusebius was one of the biggies of the Church as well -- Bishop of Caesarea for over twenty-five years until the mid-300s, present at the Council of Nicaea which produced the Nicene Creed which he signed, and a peacemaker among different factions and heresies.
Reading this work also made me want to read works by the Shepherd of Hermas, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, and Polycarp, among others. The period of the Early Church up through the Council of Nicaea absolutely fascinates me, and I want to read more by the major Church Fathers of this time period, both for my own enjoyment and also as material for the book.
I still have quite the stack of reading material in my book bag, all of which are intended to help with research and writing my book: Bede's A History of the English Church and People, The Rule of St. Benedict, Thomas Howard's Evangelical isn't Enough (a re-read), plus several books on the 1928 Book of Common Prayer as well as a whole 'nother stack o' library books upstairs that I haven't even touched yet (and will have to renew).
Right now I'm hoping to get my intro drafted before school starts on August 20 and finish taking notes on Eusebius. The rest will have to be squeezed into moments at the school table while the boys are doing copywork and math. Aaah, the life of home schooling....