James's Reviews > Outlander

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
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really liked it
bookshelves: 3-multi-book-series, 1-fiction, 4-historical-fiction, 2-fic-fantasy-and-scifi

In late 2015, I saw a book in Barnes and Noble (Written in my Own Heart's Blood) by Diana Gabaldon and thought "This sounds amazing." I picked it up (and it was nearly 1000 pages in harcover) and suddenly realized it was the most recent book in a series with books that were all practically a thousand pages long. I can't read a series book without doing it in order, so I put it back on the shelf and said "Another time."

Fast-Forward to 2016...

I sign up for the 2016 Reading challenge: 52 books in a year (1 a week). I can do it. Great start in January. Epic fail in February with 0 additions. Get myself started again in March. Epic fail in April with 0 additions. Epic fail in May with 0 additions.

OK, I'm not one to easily fail so I get myself back on track in June. June is going well, I'm averaging about 1 book every 4 to 5 days so that I can catch up by September. I finish reading a book in late June and realize I don't have anything new to read... I head downstairs to my building's small library and peruse the shelves (about 1000 books to choose from).

I see Outlander. I decide to buckle down and read the nearly 1000 page paperback version. I can do this. I can't get it done in a week.

It took a little longer as I added in a last minute family visit / trip where I didn't read for about 4 days... (but still had a great time!)

And I loved it! I suspend my disbelief at some things and at the amount of necessary repeated violence... then think perhaps I am a little whiny given what these characters go through without complaining. Could I take that much blood loss and hits? Vanity would probably kick in and I'd likely not make it through.

I am excited to read the series, but I need to catch up on my 2016 Reading Challenge before I take on another 1000 page book. Target: November when I hope to be almost ahead of where I should be with my 44 of 52 books at that point.

Read it. It's part historical fiction, part fantasy (the whole time portal thing), part romance (without too much focus on it) and part pure character study.
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Reading Progress

July 1, 2016 – Shelved
July 4, 2016 –
page 125
13.95% "Good intro. I like the Scots!"
July 5, 2016 – Started Reading
July 8, 2016 –
page 325
36.27% "I might be in love with one of the characters."
July 10, 2016 –
page 672
75.0%
July 11, 2016 –
page 775
86.5%
July 12, 2016 – Finished Reading
September 5, 2016 – Shelved as: 3-multi-book-series
March 11, 2017 – Shelved as: 1-fiction
March 11, 2017 – Shelved as: 4-historical-fiction
April 21, 2017 – Shelved as: 2-fic-fantasy-and-scifi

Comments Showing 1-43 of 43 (43 new)

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Patty Smith I also am in love with this series (I'm on book 4). I have also been watching the TV series (not bad!) Also I found that the pages flew by because I was so invested in the story and as a result visiting Scotland in now much higher up on my bucket list.
But you brought up something that I have been struggling with. How do I reconcile being part of the Reading Challenge and wanting to read books that are substantial and require more of a time commitment. I also am a bit competitive (with myself) and felt the pressure of seeing that I was "behind". I found that I was rushing through to finish and losing the pleasure of relishing the words. Yes, some books can be read quickly but that's not the only type of book I want to read. Then I read a great article by Shane Parrish on the problems with reading quickly, so now I'm thinking of pulling out of the challenge. Would love to know what you and others think?


Craftnut - I have this series on Mount TBR, maybe it is time to get started.


James Wow, lots to comment on:

1. I will definitely read more of this series, as well as watch the TV show when I get that cable channel.

2. Send me that article. I'm curious.

3. Scotland is high on my list. Fascinated by the accent. If you haven't read the cozy mystery series (Single Malt Murder, Whisky Business), you should give it a shot. It takes place in Scotland and gives you a light sense of the smaller towns and people.

4. The Big Question: Reading long books... see separate reply!


James I read such a variety of books that if I'm going to take on something like Outlander of another book over 500 pages, I'll pre-plan a few shorter books just before and after it so that I still get variety, don't veer to far from the Reading Challenge, and have a chance even to read a few at the same time if they are very different book types.

I agree with you... not easy. I'm curious what others think too. Let's hope we get a bunch of replies!


James Craftnut wrote: "I have this series on Mount TBR, maybe it is time to get started."

Yes, and before watching the TV show! :P


Frances Glad you enjoyed James; I loved it as well, and the T.V. series !


message 7: by Shaina (new) - added it

Shaina I am a little over halfway and I'm like yeah ... someday. Just now now. lol.


James Shaina wrote: "I am a little over halfway and I'm like yeah ... someday. Just now now. lol." ha! you'll get thru it! :)


Jamie Definitely read the rest of the series. You wont regret it!


message 10: by Linda (new)

Linda Great review, James! I'm retired, but I'd still be working, if they'd had a library where I worked!


James Linda wrote: "Great review, James! I'm retired, but I'd still be working, if they'd had a library where I worked!"

Good point! I wish there was a library there too!


James Jamie wrote: "Definitely read the rest of the series. You wont regret it!"

I need to get on it!


Tahera My colleague will be lending me the books soon and I can't wait to get started! She has specifically told me to read the books before I even think about watching the TV series!


James Yes definitely must read first!


message 15: by Fred (new) - rated it 5 stars

Fred Shaw James, I read this as well and loved the story, characters, setting, all of it. Not sure I want to read the sequels. Maybe someday.


message 16: by Kim. E. (new) - added it

Kim. E. Patty, James- I set a reading goal this year, but as time goes on I realize that hitting it or not is not the important part of this site. Having fun, comparing books with others, and finding new books to read- that is the point. I admit to struggling sometimes with reading toward a goal, but maybe the goal needs to change.


James It is a lot to read... and I totally agree. Book reading fun comes first. Then everything else.


James I am not sure I'll do the whole series yet, but it has been a while. I might be due for the second one.


James Thinking about #2 this month.


Sarah This book is so wonderful. I really need to see the series through. They are just soo long!


James I know. But they are good!


message 22: by Cherry (new)

Cherry To be honest, I picked 'Written in my Own Heart's Blood' and thought it was amazing too but instead of putting it back on the shelf and making sure that it's a standalone I ended up buying it and then imagine my surprise when I pick it up again at home to read it just to find out it was the eighth book to the outlander series. It was not fun. That day I ended up also buying the tenth book of a series I never knew it existed, which was also no fun. They're still sitting on my bookshelf unread. And I've been hesitating to read the 'Outlander' series for a while now, still not quite sure if I am going to read it or no. Nice review by the way!


James Thanks. Oh what luck. I can imagine your surprise at home. Sorry! Nice to hear from you.


Teresa I read this many years ago James and I loved it!! Went on to read the series, got half way through book four and just couldn't go on. I just got bogged down and the violence got worse in it and I don't like too much violence anyway. I've actually never gone back to it but I hope you enjoy it.


James Thanks! I ordered book 2 last week so I will read that one. Then see how it goes!!!


James Yes! I almost want to take off for a week and read them in Scotland! I appreciate the feedback.


Olivia I've been listening to them on audio for about the past year. I'm on the current book now. Davina Porter is one of the most amazing narrators I've ever listened to.


James I've not listened to a book before. Need to try it. That's a lot of books to listen to!


Olivia James wrote: "I've not listened to a book before. Need to try it. That's a lot of books to listen to!"

It certainly is! Most of them are 40+ discs. But, I had a long drive to and from work up until the end of June, so I listened then.


message 30: by Jenn "JR" (new) - added it

Jenn "JR" Dang it - I can't remember if I read this or not now, but I read "Dragonfly in Amber" this year.

The series is pretty good on Starz!


James I haven't seen it yet. I have dragonfly to start when I get home from this trip.


message 32: by Jenn "JR" (new) - added it

Jenn "JR" James wrote: "I haven't seen it yet. I have dragonfly to start when I get home from this trip."

Have an awesome trip, wherever you may be!


James North Carolina.


LadyJBookishNook I started this book but then got side-tracked and didn’t finish. I still want to read it someday!


James LadyJ71 wrote: "I started this book but then got side-tracked and didn’t finish. I still want to read it someday!" It's a bit controversial in some areas, but I do love it! Good luck with reading.


message 36: by Ian (new)

Ian I keep looking at this series as everyone has raved about it. But mainly so I can get the right feel for the Sir John books.


James Makes total sense!


Ashley ♥ This is one of my all time favorite books!


Tracey Welcome to the clan! A girl I work with just finished Outlander, and seeing how excited she's been makes me want to go back and start all over again. It is just that good!


Betty Great review! The Outlander series is my favorite, and I'm glad to see you've enjoyed reading this book. :)

The books are big, but they are all so wonderful to read. The TV series is great, too!


James Thanks, Betty. I totally agree. Saw two episodes already and love it.


James Tracey, yes! Did you go back to read them?? :)


James Thanks, Ashley.


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