Book Review: Guns and Gods in my Genes

For 2021, I challenged myself to read more books cover to cover. To be exact, the goal is 30 books!

Some may say that it is too much. However, for someone who really enjoys reading and actually turning the pages (Yes, I’m old school with that), the number thirty allows me to do an “push” but remains realistically manageable. To think about it, that is an average of 3 books a month.

This goal also will enable me to write at least one book review a month here in the blog. Plus a giveaway will make it more fun for you too right? Hint.. hint… (Note: This post contains affiliate links too.)

Anyway, for this month of March, I was able to participate in a book blog tour by Women on Writing and the book that we all read was Guns and Gods in My Genes by Neill McKee.

I have to say, this book really captured my curiosity. The title Guns and Gods in my Genes was a nice play on words and seemed quite vague enough that I couldn’t resist to actually pick it among stacks of books. Also, as I look back, this was the very first historical travel memoir book I have read.

So, what was the book all about?

Basically, it is the author’s documentation of his experiences and findings as he tried to trace his roots. Not only was he able to track his family members as far as 400 hundred years ago, he was also able to uncover his ancestors’ attitudes towards religion and guns. Now, the title makes sense doesn’t it?

With the help of professional genealogical researchers, Neill McKee was able to discover not just documents that started from his Pilgrim ancestors who arrived in the Mayflower in 1620, he also found stories of interesting family members – heroes, rascals, villains and more. Since his maternal grandfather who was a Canadian preacher married an American woman from Wisconsin, he also uncovered surprising connections that led him to have ask himself if he should apply to become a dual citizen of Canada and United States.

My Thoughts

McKee’s book made me realize the importance of tracing and documenting our own lineage. Living in a time that sadly, is filled with self doubt and uncertainty, having information on where we “really” come from and learning stories about our elders or even ancestors is not only enlightening, it is also empowering.

His style of incorporating documents, opinions, personal analysis, dialogue and stories was exceptional. He made this book informative and very interesting. I am now enticed to begin researching about my own family.

If you are into history, Guns and Gods in my Genes a nice book to read. Sort of behind the scenes details that can’t be found on regular history books. If you’re into memoirs, you will find so many juicy stories and personal reflections here too.


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