Monday, November 25, 2013

Alfred the Great (2005)

Alfred the Great. Justin Pollard. 2005. John Murray. 368 pages. [Source: Library]

I liked this biography of Alfred the Great. I can see why it might not appeal to every reader. Why it might not be considered a must-read by everyone. Not everyone gets excited by history. But I did enjoy learning more about Alfred the Great. This biography was pleasantly complex. It was rich in detail; it wasn't always the easiest to follow. I wouldn't want to be quizzed necessarily. But at the same time I was fascinated that there was so much to know, that so much has been passed down to us, that there are historians who specialize in this time period. There is a great deal about Vikings in this biography, which is just what I was looking for...

Since falling in love with Vikingland, I wanted to learn more. The song goes, "We split your isles diagonally from south-east to north-west. Our section was called the Danelaw, King Alfred ruled the rest" and "though we began as raiders so well-planned you accepted us as traders." The song does have a propaganda feel (in a good way) to it.

I found plenty within this one to interest me. Readers can learn a lot about Anglo-Saxon culture through the centuries. My goal was mainly big-picture. As I said earlier, there was a lot of information that could be absorbed by a careful reader or scholar. I wasn't trying to learn-to-remember every little thing. 

© 2013 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
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  • fantasy
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  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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