Tag Archives: Written In My Own Heart’s Blood

OUR FASCINATION WITH SCOTLAND AND THE STONES

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The Outlander series on STARZ is capturing the imagination of many TV viewers. The second episode aired recently with more to come. Are you enjoying it? How do you feel about the casting?

Are Jamie and Claire as you always imagined them, or not? This new version of our favorite characters gives another life to a story many of us have enjoyed for a number of years. Is it a jolt to see Claire in a white dress, streaked with dirt, and riding astride a horse toward an inhabited castle? Or is it what you expected to see when you got the chance?

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Author Diana Gabaldon’s fans are legion with good reason. She does some things better than any author I know. The action, the plot twists and turns, the multiple story lines, the many distinct characters; that’s only scratching the surface of her writing skills. Her latest book, Written In My Own Heart’s Blood, may well be a read so terrific it’s the equal of her first book.

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I’d not be surprised if readers are reading her books multiple times, and watching the new TV episodes of Outlander more than once. Or, are you one who is saving up for a binge watch.

Please let us know if you are watching and what you think.

And, what about this? If you read the novels more than once, with a span of intervening months or years, do your opinions change? If they do, how do they change? Please comment on your experiences with Ms. Gabaldon’s imaginative stories.

Before I leave you, and while we are still in the Scotland of the past, I want to bring to your attention a great article in the August, 2014 issue of National Geographic titled “Before Stonehenge”. It surprised me to learn about the past of the Orkney Islands 5000 years ago. Stone Age Orkney has been discovered to be an exciting place and time. Instead of imagining those islands to the far north of Scotland as utterly remote, “ it was an important maritime hub, a place that was on the way to everywhere.”(p. 47) Learn why when you read the article. It is as absolutely fascinating in its own way as the stories of passing through the stones, time travel, love, war and family entanglements in the history of Scotland and America. It’s hard to choose what is more mind-bending and highly interesting: the ancient history of the Scottish Isles or the stories of Diana Gabaldon.

FIVE NEW BOOKS TO EXPLORE

Everywhere the media is full of vampires, witches, horror, comics, erotica, apocalyptic and dystopian tales. Book columns, must-see TV and even the movies seem drawn to these genres. Mostly they leave me just-not-interested. I’ll keep my toe in the futuristic waters by watching for the opening of the movie Mockingjay from the Hunger Games Series. But there is so much more out there, it seems there is something for everybody.

What books are calling you? Check out these recent titles receiving media attention. Which ones might interest you? There is more available than blood and futuristic sagas.

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“Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands” by Chris Bojalian (Doubleday, July, 2014) : This new novel from the best selling author of “Light In the Ruins” will be released in early July and is receiving high praise. It is the story of a teen, a nuclear accident and her subsequent adventures as she searches for a new life.

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“Redeployment” by Phil Klay (Penguin Press, 2014): A debut short story collection described as painting a picture of war in Iraq and the psychological effects of veterans returning home. A best book of the month for Amazon.

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“In Paradise: A Novel” by Peter Matthiessen (Riverhead, 2014): Also an Amazon book of the month this novel is set in a 1990’s spiritual retreat at Auschwitz. Matthiessen is a three time National Book Award Winner. This is his final book as he died in April at age 86.

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“Written In My Own Heart’s Blood: A Novel (Outlander)” by Diana Gabaldon (Delacorte Press, June, 2014): Jamie and Claire are reunited in Revolutionary Times. Tangled relationships and adventures await Gabaldon’s many readers.

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“The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicolas and Alexandra” by Helen Rappenport (St. Martin’s Press, June, 2014): This is an absorbing history of a time and people holding fascination for many. The book has received mixed reviews, but the relationship of Alexandra and her daughters is an interesting one; and the book cover, an arresting photograph.