eSpotlight - Historical Adventures in eBooks, eAudiobooks, and More!

Viking longboat -Viking museum - panoramio. Photograph by Paul Berzinn [CC BY-SA 3.0 (] Image resized.

An Unexpected Journey

When I get home at the end of the day, I like to kick up my feet and step into an adventure. Whether it's a book or my latest binge of streaming television, I want it to be a rollicking, epic tale that transports me to a distant land or an age of heroes. My latest binge-watching obsession has been in the form of the streaming television series: The Last Kingdom. This show is based on the "Saxon Stories" series of books by Bernard Cornwell, which is, in my humble opinion, historical fiction at its best: raw and filled with intrigue and excitement! It follows the fictional warrior, Lord Uhtred of Bebbanburg, as he clashes with Danes and Saxons alike in the ancient Britain of King Alfred the Great.


If you don't subscribe to video streaming services, we've got you covered. You can actually check out all three current seasons of the series on DVD from the library.

Cover for The Last Kingdom Season Two DVD. Uhtred of Bebbanburg rides a white horse and his sword is drawn.The Last Kingdom Season Three Dvd cover image. Shows Uhtred, sword raised in battle, with the image of Alfred's face looming from above.

Discovering Treasure

Once I had devoured the series, I was hungry for more. So what did I do? I turned to the eResources at our library, of course!  I am now on the fourth eAudiobook in the "Saxon Stories" series. Hoopla has both abridged and unabridged versions of these titles, depending upon how deep you would like to immerse yourself.

Book cover image for The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell. The image features a a Viking longboat in foreground sailing with other ships in the background,Cover image for The Pale Horseman by Bernard Cornwell. The illustration features warriors riding on horseback with red banners waving against a pale blue backgroundCover image for The Empty Throne by Bernard Cornwell featuring an empty throne with a helmet sat upon it.

If you prefer reading an eBook, we have them:

Cover image for The Burning Land by Bernard Cornwell featuring a close up of a helmeted man. His eyes are not shown.Cover image for Death of KingsCover image for The Pagan Lord by Bernard Cornwell. From the shoulders down, a mail-clad warrior is seen holding a sword.Cover image for Warriors of the Storm showing men in a shield wall. The shields are of many colors and different devices. Cover for The Flame Bearer by Bernard Cornwell featuring a warrior riding to battle on a pale horse.Cover image for War of the Wold by Bernard Cornwell. A black standard displaying a knotwork beard in gold flies over a teal background of warriors on horseback.

I have discovered the riches of San Jose Public Library's hoard of historical adventure titles, and now I would like to share them with you, dear reader. Let me take you on an adventure through our library's eResources. Come join me... remember, fortune favors the bold!

Another favorite historical adventure show of mine is Vikings. Check them out at the most convenient San José Public Library location.

Cover image for Vikings: The Complete First Season DVD showing Ragnar Lodbrok peering out from the Vikings logoCover image for Vikings: Season 2 DVD featuring Ragnar Lodbrok's face in profile with flames coming out of his left eyeCover image for Vikings: Season 3 DVD with Vikings logo over Ragnar LodbrokCover image for Vikings: Season 4, Volume 1 DVD showing cast sitting at a table, looking a table in Ragnar's hallCover Image for Vikings: Season 4, Volume 2 showing a close-up of Ragnar Lodbrok with a long beard, looking tired and bentCover image for Vikings: Season 5, Volume 1 showing cast shown from above in the throws of battle

Can't get enough of Vikings? Here are a few more Viking videos that you can stream at home or on the go for free with Hoopla using your free library card number and PIN:

Cover image for Viking: The Berserkers showing a group of armed warriorsCover image for Hammer of the Gods featuring an armed warrior mid-scream with a battle being fought in the backgroundCover image for To Go Viking featuring a warrior wielding axe and shield, with skyscrapers looming in the background

A Taste for History

Has this whet your appetite for history? If you are like me and you want to know more about the history and mythology that inspired the creation of these stories, then why not check out some eResources that shine a light on the past? Have a look.


Cover image for The Viking Wars: War and Peace in King Alfred's Britain, 789-955 by Max Adams. Image displays an blue sea and a rocky outcrop of land. Near the horizon sails a Viking longboat.Cover image for The King in the North: The Life and Times of Oswald of Northumbria by Max Adams. The cover shows the book title with letters illuminated.Cover image for Alfred the Great by Barbara Yorke. Image displays a goldenrod-colored background with a rectangle showing the eyes of an artistic interpretation of King AlfredCover image of The Golden Dragon: Alfred the Great & His Times by Alf J. Mapp, Jr. Displays a line of armed spearman in a graphically stylized illustration in black and red on a white background.


Cover image for the eAudiobook of The Sagas of Ragnar Lodbrok translated by Ben Waggoner and read by Ray Chase. A runic "R" sits on the horizon line of the sea meeting the sky. Longboats sail on the water, and ravens wheel in the sky.Cover image for The Sea Wolves by Lars Brownworth showing a helmeted VikingCover image for eAudiobook The Story of the Volsungs: The Volsunga Saga read by Antony Ferguson. Cover art shows Vikings with shields and weapons raised as if there are charging toward the viewer.Cover image for Neil Gaiman's eAudio edition of Norse Mythology performed by the author. A golden and ornate Thor's Hammer is featured against a black background speckled with stardust.

You can find all of these exciting titles and so much more at Get your free library card today and sail toward your next adventure!



You got the f (facebook), the bird (twitter) , etc. etc blocking out all the data on the left side of your VIKINGs .... mean while 2/5 of the right side of screen is all white space. this is on my 11 inch MAC AIR computers ... TOTAL FRUSTRATION ... and I am very interested in vikings material ... REALLY, VERY FRUSTRATING.

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