Posts Tagged ‘Outlander/Cross Stitch’

Stories overlapping and intertwining

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

I’ve just started reading Trinity: a novel of Ireland by Leon Uris, as I finished The Professor and the Madman this morning, and this was one my DH expressed an interest in my opinion of. I’ve seen novels by Uris before, but not read any of them. At the moment this is sharing the opening set-piece of Dubliners: the wake of an old man, respected in the community (if not by all), as viewed by a young boy connected to his family. I haven’t got far enough in it to say more than that as yet. Already, though, it’s got my DH and I discussing Irish history again, which is never a bad thing.

Still, if I’m to get to even having read a quarter of last year’s total books (320), I do need to get a move on, as I’m at precisely a fifth (64) today. Not that anyone besides me does or should care about that…

37. The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J. K. Rowling

I believe I was given one copy of this and offered two or three more. Not sure if this says more about me or the book (I was being offered once read copies, where the purchaser thought it unlikely they’d reread the book). It is perhaps more of a book of children’s fairy tales than might be expected from Hermione’s fascination with it in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, but for those who enjoyed the Harry Potter series in its totality it’s certainly worth reading once, and for more than the sake of completeness.

38. Cross Stitch by Diana Gabaldon

After 2008’s reading of the original American version, this was me going back through the series as I knew it originally. As I pointed out then, they are only fractionally different. I still love the story and the writing in this series, but on this reread I was getting disturbed by the huge amount of violence (sexual and non) within the books, so it may be awhile till I go back to them, presuming I do. I haven’t even got hold of or read An Echo in the Bone (the newest book, which came out this September just gone) because of this.

39. What Diantha Did by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

I listened to this back to back with Mr Hogarth’s Will, as described two days ago, and since they have some overlapping themes I thought I was going to get them thoroughly mixed up, but I think I have them more distinct now than I did at the time!

Unlike Mr Hogarth’s nieces, who are educated to provide for themselves, and then turfed out to do so, Diantha has to do a lot of persuading of her family that she be allowed to try so to do (so far so like Agnes Grey), especially since she has a young man desperate to marry and look after her (so not like any book I’ve come across before the current generation). This is a clever, practical, principled young woman with her own plan of action, to benefit many women young and old, who will not be deterred from her path, especially by those she loves.

40. Posing for Portrait Photography: a head-to-toe guide by Jeff Smith

One of those random books I read for work, but I like to think it has and will help in my snapping, even though it’s decidedly written for those in or going into professional portrait photography. (I did some ‘proper photography’ courses in school, after learning a lot from my father, but these day I use an automatic digital camera mostly to record my crochet here and on Ravelry, and otherwise to snap pics of friends, family, and touristy stuff.)

Oh, and while I’m discussing improving photography skills, I just came across a really interesting photography blog. It is aimed towards proper photography, but those of us trying to get beyond ‘just snaps’ (again) can learn and be inspired too.

Reading Amusement

Sunday, 9 March 2008

66. Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade by Diana Gabaldon

67. Lord John and the Hand of Devils by Diana Gabaldon

I finally finished my read of the whole Lord John sequence in order (the three stories/novellas in Hand of Devils sandwich the two novels) of which the last novella (“Lord John and the Haunted Soldier”) is the only one I hadn’t read before. This story is about the aftermath of one of the more minor events of Brotherhood, restoring that event to a significance even beyond the one Lord John thought it would have. There are rather a lot of major events of Brotherhood that aren’t referred to in more than passing, but it does need to be kept relatively short, and as Gabaldon has explained, she wrote these two at the same time, and was not given sufficient copy-editing time in between. The two books were published literally within days of each other in the USA, although annoyingly in the UK we had to wait months for Hand of Devils, for no discernible reason.

Anyhow, I was also checking through the silly number of programs I have on my computer, and noticing Family Tree Maker 2005 I wondered whether it would complain about Gabaldon’s time-travellers, so I made a new file and put in some of the characters from her main series. As I suspected, it didn’t much like someone from the 20th century getting married in the 18th, but not because they weren’t born yet, just because the bride was under ten years old! That made me giggle, anyhow.

Rereading?

Saturday, 9 February 2008

I feel like I haven’t been reading at all this week, but I have finished another book this evening, at last!

40. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

I put this down as a partial reread on my list, which I don’t think I would have done had I just been in the States and picked it up to reread Cross Stitch for the umpteenth time, but I actually specifically got it to look for the changes, so…

Obviously, it really isn’t that different, and to be honest I think most of the changes were good edits, although there are a few extra details that were nice to read. I think I’ll go back to the one I’m used to the next time to go through the series, though.

So as you can probably guess, I do really like Gabaldon‘s writing, even if I actually might not have started with her books these days. Time travel is fun, and works when it’s been well-thought out, as here. Historical fiction has long been a favourite of mine, when well researched, which this has. Character development is the big thing over a long series, though, and she can do that, so it’s a winner.

The only thing I’m really surprised at is just how long this reread has taken (months) as it normally wouldn’t have at all. I must have been distracted. Or perhaps I just obtained Outlander too soon after rereading the whole series!

I also wanted to add that I’ve just found out that DG now has a blog herself, which proves to also be well written and interesting.