Last Kingdom – Book Review

Book #3 of the year.

Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres to read, and lately I have been digging Vikings! It is a goal of mine to read a completed series this year, and I have decided to read the Last Kingdom series by Bernard Cornwell. I really enjoyed the series on Netflix and Bernard Cornwell is an excellent author. He does a tremendous amount of research, and I love learning as I am entertained.

The Last Kingdom is the story of Uhtred son of Uhtred – a Saxon – and his battle to regain his homeland of Bebbanburg. Uhtred is taken by the Danes, but is treated well by them. He then loses his Danish family and begins fighting for the Saxons. Back and forth, Christian against Pagan, Saxon against Dane the story goes, and I love it! The book is written in first person, from Uhtred’s point of view.

This book was very rich in English history. In it I learned about Alfred the Great and how he handled the occupation of the Danes, and in it I am also learning some history of my Christian faith. This time in history is known as the Dark Ages and admittedly, I do not know much on it. Reading about the struggles of the faith at this time, and what so many endured at the hands of each other, I feel grateful to be living in an age of so many comforts and so much knowledge.

I am giving the Last Kingdom a 4.5 rating out of 5 stars. I love how Mr. Cornwell writes and how I am carried off to the land of the Saxons so easily. I cannot wait to see how Uhtred handles what destiny has for him in the next book! The series is composed of 13 books in all.

If you love Vikings, the Dark Ages, Saxon wars, or historical fiction, I definitely recommend this series! If you like the Netflix series and like to read, this will also be a fun read.

You can buy this book at The Shire or here.

Grow Your Roots

Second book for the year is read!

At The Shire Bookstore, all kinds of books come in as donations and I am always so grateful for them! I saw this book and thought it would be a fun read, and it was! The book is titled “Kentucky Ghosts” and is written by William Lynwood Montell. It is composed of 6 short stories and each one mentions the county of where the ghost story originated.

I am not a Kentucky native, but I have grown to love this beautiful state. In my home state of Texas, there is hot and hotter when it comes to weather, but here in Western Kentucky I get to enjoy the four seasons. I love the massive trees, the array of birds, the wildlife, and just how close to nature I can get to. The temperatures are not extreme and the people are friendly. It is my prayer that God will keep us here until I draw my last breath. My family has cultivated and grown roots here, and that is what I want to briefly talk about in this blog.

One way that we can grow roots and love for an area is to read about its local history. I know that after I read “Drowned Town” by Jayne Moore Waldrop, I did grow a reverence for the lakes that are minutes from my house. I met the people affected by the flooding of the rivers. I visited sites with my children and walked along the shores of the lakes looking into their vastness trying to imagine a town under there. Reading Kentucky Ghosts helped my roots here get just a little stronger. Two of the six stories spoke of counties I recognized (Trigg and Muhlenberg). The stories in the book weren’t scary per se and they spoke of haints and ghosts in a positive light. I may not believe in ghosts, but the stories told me more about the living than about the dead. It spoke of the connection to family and how love surpases all. One of the stories was a bit silly as it was meant to be. I believe the author of the book wanted this book to feel as if grandma or grandpa was telling you their story around a campfire or the house hearth. That is what the book felt like.

If you like local folk tales or history written in a very simple form, then I believe you would like this book. This book can be read in one sitting. It is only 64 pages long. I only have one copy of this book at The Shire and it is $5. You can also buy this book if you click here.

Live Your Truth and Other Lies

Book Review

I first heard of Alisa Childers when she spoke as part of the documentary American Gospel. I loved her eloquence and the story she gave about her faith, so I wrote her name down on my notes. When I looked her up, I was elated to find out that she has a podcast and a YouTube channel. Her book then was “Another Gospel” and spoke on progressive Christianity. In that book, she speaks about how she struggled in her faith, and how doubt reigned most days. She also spoke on the dangers of what has now been coined as “deconstruction”. Deconstruction is when church leaders and other outside sources deconstruct a person’s faith, to then build up a more progressive Christianity/idealogy. Desiring God puts it as ” Deconstruction is a critical dismantling of a person’s understanding of what it means to be an evangelical Christian. To read more about this, you can visit this link.

Now onto Alisa’s second book – Live Your Truth and Other Lies. Alisa does great in explaining how a lot of humanistic cultural concepts have crept into the church. She affirms that truth is not subjective (my truth, your truth), but objective (the truth). She does so well in telling us the disservice we do to society and to other Christians when we let them “follow their heart” or go with “what feels right”. So many times, I “amened” what she had to say. She put to words so many things I have thought and worried about when it comes to nominal American Christianity. Sometimes the truth hurts, and the only way to make it not hurt is to lie, and that benefits no one.

Here are some quotes from the book:

There’s a big difference between live your truth, and live the truth.

So many of the lies we cover in this book begin with the foundation of self. To be authentic, I must belong to myself. To be happy, I must put myself first. To be fulfilled I must be enough for myself. To be successful, I must control my own destiny. All these ideas build upon the starting point of “self”. But as we look at each lie, we’ll see the self is a faulty foundation. It’s a structure with cracks in it; it’s broken.

Our culture is brimming with slogans that promise peace, fulfillment, freedom, empowerment, and hope. The problem? They are lies.

I do recommend this book to all Christians! I really enjoyed it and learned so much from it. I will forever be a fan of Mrs. Childers.

I gave this book 4.5 stars out of 5. The only reason I did not 5 star this book was because Alisa likes to give examples to help explain her position, and sometimes those examples were unrelatable to me and maybe a bit juvenile. Thankfully, this may have happened only twice, but enough for me not to 5-star it.

You can buy this book at my bookstore The Shire or order it on Amazon.