Sep 20 09
by cara
at 7:39 PM
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Good Reads: Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon

I’m a bookworm.  I’ve been using my Amazon wishlist for the last few years to keep track of all the books I’d like to read (not necessarily own, and as of today, I’ve got 1208 books on my list.  Although I’m a fast reader, I’m not making much of a dent in my wishlist since I keep adding to it.  We’ve got a great library nearby that allows me to place books on hold online and then lets me know when they’re ready to be picked up.  Though the book selection at the library is somewhat limited, with a list of 1208 books I want to read, I can always find something to suit my mood.  I do place my fair share of Amazon orders too, but I try to use the library as much as possible.

I get really antsy if I don’t have something good on my nightstand to read, and I try to rotate between fiction and nonfiction.  While there is so much information to glean from reading lots of nonfiction, I love the escape of a good novel.  I started and finished the Twilight Saga last month then promptly reread all four books.  (My favorite was Eclipse, btw.)  I discarded the next couple of dud novels I picked…what a huge letdown after Twilight!

Then finally I picked up this book and couldn’t put it down:


At over 600 pages, Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon kept me busy for a while, and it was a much-needed distraction at the time.  I was pleasantly surprised at how much I loved this book.  After all, the premise is a bit wacky: it is a historical romance with an element of time-travel thrown in. Strong-willed Claire Randall, a World War Two nurse, and her husband Frank travel to Scotland shortly after the war to rekindle their marriage.  A trip to some mysterious ancient stones sends Claire back to 17th century Scotland, where she finds herself in the middle of a skirmish between the British and Scottish.  She’s kidnapped by the Scottish warriors, and the story revolves around her attempts to return back to the mysterious stones and her husband Frank.  Along the way, she meets a young and loyal Scottish warrior named James Fraser with whom she forms a strong bond.  She also meets Black Jack Randall, an English officer and all-around bad guy who is a distant ancestor of her husband (and resembles him greatly).  Certain events occur to hamper her return to her rightful time in post World War Two Scotland, and there is some question as to whether she will return at all.  I will warn that this book has its fair share of violence as Highland Scotland is an often brutal, savage place (Braveheart anyone?), but don’t let that keep you from reading.  This is one amazing story!

And the best part of all?  Outlander is the first in a series of SIX novels, all longer than 600 pages each.  To date, I’ve only read the first three books, but #2 and 3 were every bit as wonderful as Outlander.  I’m pacing myself before starting #4 so I can actually get something done around the house in the meantime.  These books are THAT good.  Definitely something I would go back and read again and again!

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  1. I have to laugh, I felt the same way after reading the Twilight series (though I swore I would hate them, and they were not for me… but I loved them! Read them at warp speed!).

    I couldn’t get into anything until I read the Time Traveler’s Wife, which sounds similar to Outlander – have you read it? I’ll be adding Outlander to my reading list 🙂 Thank you!

  2. Corinne: Ok, I’m glad I’m not the only one who had trouble with fiction after Twilight! (I also resisted reading the Twilight books for the longest time because I just couldn’t imagine liking vampire stories…ha!) The Time Traveler’s Wife is one of my favorite books. I re-reread it a couple times a year and notice something new each time. I’ve heard the movie is pretty good too and hope to see it soon.

  3. LOVE your new blog content, first of all — what an awesome way to integrate other parts of your life into your writing!

    And it’s funny, I actually JUST reserved “Outlander” at the library. I’m pretty low on the waiting list for it, but it’s something I’ve been wanting to read for a while, so I consider it to be worth the wait. Besides, hopefully it’ll get me through my maternity leave this winter (yeah. As if I’m going to need a BOOK to keep me busy at that point).

  4. Don’t you just love libraries? There was the best one about 10 minutes from our old house and I’d go there almost every week. I always made good use of the “place hold; pick up when ready” system too. What a timesaver!

    I read the first three Twilight books (I am now waiting to borrow the fourth one from my sister…) and was surprised that I actually liked them. 🙂

    Thanks for the book recommendation, by the way. It sounds fascinating.

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