What I read in December

Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander #2) by Diana Gabaldon ★★★★

Ok, I will say that I am biased and that you can’t come here for an honest, objective review (but when is a personal review of a book ever objective? Either you love a book or you don’t – and I LOVE this book, this series!)

This book has 800+ pages, so yeah, it took me a bit to get through it, what with Christmas and all, but for me, the series does not let up. I have stayed up quite a few nights and read until 2 am. This hasn’t happened with any books in a long time.

This book is the sequel to Outlander, and begins in 1968, twenty-one years after we left Claire and Jaime recovering in the French Abbey, pondering their decision to try and stop Bonnie Prince Charlie from starting a war to reclaim the Scottish throne.

This book has a very different feel from the first one, not least because we get to spend some time with Claire and her (almost) grown daughter Brianna in their own time tracing her ancestry before we learn what happened to Claire and Jamie in France when they embarked on a tumultuous (and dangerous) quest to try and change history in order to save Scotland from a pointless but inevitable war.

Some people find the historical information that is embedded in the story tedious and long-winded, but I personally find it necessary to set the stage for everything that is happening to Jaime and Claire, and I enjoyed it as much as the rest of the story.

What did you read in December? Anything you’d like to recommend? Leave a comment, and then add me on Goodreads to keep in touch.

  1. December was my slowest month of reading all year and I only finished ONE book – How To Break Up With Your Phone by Catherine Price. It was short and a really insightful read for me.
    I already had some good practices in place for screentime, but this really has pushed me to make bigger changes in my scrolling patterns which I’ve really appreciated.
    I might have to try the Outlander series. I feel like my Dad has read these multiple times and also loved them. It is a big commitment…we’ll see. Maybe 2023?

  2. I was in a TERRIBLE book slump in December, and only read one book — which I’d begun in November. It was really good though: Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law by Mary Roach.

  3. I only read the first book in the Outlander series and while I admire the writing and the scope of the world, I found some of the elements of the book so disturbing that I never went back for more. One of the members of my book club LOVES the series so much and she listens to all of them as soon as they’re released. I think she did the math and admitted that she’s spent hundreds of hours with the series. I love how excited she got about it.

    The best book I read in December was Into the Drowning Deep – a science fiction book about mermaids. It was so well done and surprising to me.

  4. That is a behemoth of a book so I can see why it was your one read for the month! My favorite books in December were “Share Your Stuff, I’ll Go First” by Laura Tremaine and “The Guncle” by Steven Rowley! December was such a blur as it was a bad month for illness/sleep in our family so I had to look at goodreads to remember what I read and it made me realize how great of a month of reading I had in December!

  5. I really want to read the Outlander series but I am so intimidated by the length of the books and I think some of the content might be too much for me. Maybe one day!

  6. I love that you are so enthusiastic about this series. I swear I am almost infected to by them all at once. But maybe I should start with the first one.

  7. This is a behemoth of a book! “Only one” for December = “the equivalent of 3 typical-length books. :)

    I read this series during my dissertation – on the express bus ride that took 45 minutes (it was the DC area… where “express” just means “not a lot of stops”).

    I really liked them, and would love to read the new ones (I have not read the last 2). But the idea of figuring out who everyone is again, and what the heck happened over books 1-8, is holding me back.

    A friend who loves these almost as much as you recommended getting some summary book, which I may look into. Then again, I probably have enough books downloaded for the rest of my natural life already, so… :)

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