These are both marvelous books. Palmer provides an excellent overview in the development of Latin. It is a permanent reference work in my library. Palmer has written a similar work on Greek which I recommend as well.
Scribes and Scholars is a masterpiece. Not only a very sound treatment but a spellbinding story of some fascinating men who devoted their lives to the work of textual transmission. It's an adventure story for intellectuals.
I recommend N. G. Wilson's Scholars of Byzantium and From Byzantium to Italy: Greek Studies in the Italian Renaissance to complete the story.