Tuesday, March 2, 2021

A Bit About Britain's History by Mike Biles and Clanlands by Heughan and McTavish

Starting with the best book first we have A Bit About Britain's History by Mike Biles. It seemed appropriate to use my favorite and treasured bookmark I picked up at Cheddar Gorge back in 1999. 

This isn't a comprehensive history book yet richly detailed to keep your interest.  The writing isn't dry as one might think when conjuring up ideas of our school history tomes. The delivery of the historical information is very engaging and the humor kept me turning the pages. The time periods are broken down in eight chapters starting with ancient Britain, early medieval, Tudors, Stuarts running to the modern history.  

I loved reading about the Romans and the timeline at the end of the book breaks things down, sort of a basic crash course on which period you may want to explore more.  I learned more about Britain's history and the development of government from this book and found subjects I want to know more about. Why couldn't history classes in school/college be this delightful?!

If you have a history buff or Anglophile in your family this would make a dynamite gift for birthday or Christmas.  Mike Biles has a wonderful and informative blog as well called A Bit About Britain.


I enjoyed this book so much that I ordered another of Mike Biles' books.  This time I selected a Kindle version. My paper copy of the history is littered with post-it bookmarks for reference.  As soon as I have access to internet again (sigh) I will download and enjoy the holidays and high days book.



Clanlands by Sam Heughen and Graham McTavish

This book starts off quite funny but it wore thin for me after several chapters. What I expected was a history and virtual tour of important Scottish sites such as Glencoe, Inverness and Culloden as well as educating me about Scotland.  Heughan and McTavish are friends having worked on the Outlander television series together for many years. This relationship is a bromance and it certainly shows in the writing.

While it was amusing to hear Sam call Graham Lady McTavish and crack on him about how much he eats and his love of latte, likewise reading how Graham cracks on Sam about his whisky comsumption and his brand he sells, the number of times he goes shirtless, etc....after a while you want to say...C'mon guys....

I enjoyed the Outlander books but didn't love the television series.  I have a feeling this book grabbed the attention of the TV fans and I would probably give the series Men in Kilts a try.....but this book couldn't keep my attention.

Sharing with Joy for British Isles Friday and Shellyrae at Book'd Out for her Nonfiction  Challenge.
Genre/category: Travel (for Clanlands)


The Nonfiction Reader Challenge hosted by Shelleyrae at Book'd Out.  Check out the sign up post and info HERE. The challenge runs from January 1 through December 31, 2021. You can join in anytime!


  1. It always annoys me when a book isn't what it represents itself to be - or isn't what my impression of it is. I don't think Clanlands is for me which is too bad as I'd love to read more about Scottish history as my husband's DNA test came back as mostly Scottish (no part of me is shocked) and my dad's came back as mostly Irish with some Scottish. I know a decent amount about Irish history but almost nothing about the Scots. For Will's history we have been doing ancient history and are just at the beginning of the fall of Rome and I'm finding it absolutely fascinating. One of the interesting things about homeschooling is finding out how much you didn't know!

    1. Katherine, Doug thoought he would be mainly rish or Scottish and his 52% French! That's his mother's side and he looks like that side so, guess no surprise in the end.

  2. Tina - thank you so much for your very kind and generous review. I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

    1. Mike, you have a fabulous blog and I am loving your book very much.

  3. To order another by the same author as soon as you’ve finished the first is a strong recommendation:)
    I’m sorry you didn’t find Clanlands to your taste, humour is so very subjective. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about both of these books

    1. Shelleyrae, his blog is great as well so if you get a chance, if interested in the British history and scenery it's worth a visit.
      Clansland was so funny at first. I would read passages of the bantering to my husband but then it wore thin.

  4. That's so cool that you found and liked Mike's book!

    1. Thanks for visiting me, Unnown :-) I read his blog and the book is fabulous.


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