Sunday, January 03, 2010
And now for something completely shorter...
Posted by JaneGS
Last Monday I blithely laid out my reading/viewing plans for the week, and I'm happy to saw that I did finish The Fiery Cross, fifth in Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. I thoroughly enjoyed it, hadn't remembered huge chunks of it, but gratifyingly remembered key nuggets, so it was a thumping good reread.
None of my bloggie friends have mentioned being Gabaldon fans, that I can recall, which is a bit surprising, frankly. It's excellent time-travel, with a spunky, intelligent, attractive heroine and a hunkster hero and wonderful twists and turns to well-crafted plots. True, this fifth book, like the others, weighs in at just under 1000 pages, but it's relatively quick to read once you start pacing yourself.
What I enjoy most about these books is how Gabaldon has so neatly solved the problem that plagues most historical writers, anachronisms. The fact that Claire Randall Fraser is a twentieth-century woman learning to live in the mid-eighteenth century she can get away with saying and doing modern things because she is modern. Repeatedly I read the chief complaint against any given historical novel is that women couldn't or wouldn't act as the author has them act. Gabaldon doesn't have this problem because her two main heroines, Claire and her daughter Brianna, weren't raised in the timeframe in which they are currently living. Brilliant!
All my gushing aside, I do need a break from Gabaldon, though I do plan to read her sixth and seventh books in the series before next winter. At least that's the plan.
In them meantime, I need to read and think about and write about Ethan Frome (only 133 pages!) for the Edith Wharton leg of the Classics Circuit, which starts tomorrow. Mark your calendar to visit me on January 18 for that post. I'll be on a business trip that week, so I'll be writing it ahead of time and queueing it up to post from a hotel in Florida. Yes, Florida in January. I also do Florida in August in case you're wondering.
I'm a hairsbreath away from finishing the audio book of Vanity Fair which I posted on a while ago here. There's another massive book that I've managed to complete and enjoy completely. Not one to stick to my resolutions and stick to short books, I'm thinking the next audio book will be either Pickwick Papers, which will be a reread, or a Tolstoy (either War and Peace or Anna Karenina, depending on what the library has since I haven't read either.
Speaking of the library, their computer called me today to let me know that it's holding a copy of Murder at Longbourn for me. That one's short, isn't it? Can't be more than a couple hundred pages tops.
Need to squeeze in reread of Northanger Abbey before Valentine's Day and my next JASNA meeting.
Oh well, my TBR list is more ambitious than I have time for. It's back to work tomorrow, though it's been a wonderful, relaxing holiday.
My best wishes for a happy, prosperous book-filled 2010 to all of you.