Since I've recently reviewed books on the ancient Romans and the ancient Greeks, I might as well throw in a book about the ancient... um, English? Maybe Anglo Saxons is a better name and they're only half as ancient as the others - late 800s AD. The White Horse King: The Life of Alfred the Great by Benjamin R. Merkle is fairly short and easy to read, and a very interesting history as well.
Since I can imagine that some of my ancestors were probably on both sides of the conflicts described in the book (English and Danish) I found the story somewhat personal, but I was also impressed by the societal reforms Alfred instituted, making it a great insight into that part of history. Mr. Merkle is a professor of Theology and writes for a religious magazine (and Thomas Nelson Publishers is known mostly for their religious books) so there is a frequent attention given to religion in the book, but it helps to put some of Alfred's actions and beliefs into a context that made sense. It doesn't have quite the scholarly feel and there were a few things I wish had been better explained, but it does make it easier to read and follow and made me want to learn more on this period in history. (I received this book from Amazon Vine.)