Thursday 1 December 2011

Day 1 of the 30 Day Book talk

The best book you read last year

Jo's choice

This is a difficult one but my book of last year (2010)  was a split choice between two books.

An Echo in the Bone
The Owl Killers

My favourite writer ( see Day 13) published a much awaited book in a series I have been following since 1991

An Echo in the Bone (Outlander, #7)An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon

I've waited since 2005 for the next installment in the Jamie and Claire story. This book is mammoth, a whopping 860 pages of tiny print, and covers the years 1777-1778 with particular references to the Independence Wars in America,covering the seige of Ticonderoga and the battle for Saratoga. As with all Outlander stories this one has many twists and turns - it has more than enough medical stuff with Claire at her best on the battlefield and sees an older and more philosphical Jamie.It is obvious in this penultimate saga that DG is tying up loose ends, and we get answers to some questions and a hint of resolution. There are some poignant scenes set in Scotland and both the past and future sections are sympathetically written.There are some genuinely sad moments and some scenes that had me laughing out loud and a couple of events that left me quite shocked.If I am at all critical, I would suggest that whilst the descriptions of the battles are interesting, these sections are overlong and could be condensed.

I understand that this saga isn't for everyone, and you really do have to start at the very beginning to understand the depth of characterisation and to follow the storyline, but if you have followed from the beginning then this book won't disappoint. And at the end of the book, there are still more questions than answers, just another 4 years to wait for the conclusion.

The Owl KillersThe Owl Killers by Karen Maitland

Dark, deeply atmospheric and full of ancient superstition this tells the story of the Old ones and a pagan world of terror. When a beguinage of religious women enter the village, the status quo is altered and soon mysterious things start to happen, and accusations of witchcraft abound.

Wonderfully gloomy and deeply moving - I loved it. Karen Maitland is fast becoming one of my favourite historical fiction writers.

I remember visiting a beguinage in Bruges in Belgium - it proved to be an oasis of calm in  a busy and bustling city and nothing like the beguinage of The Owl Killers !

Jaffa's Choice

Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the WorldDewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron

This handsome chap looks rather like me - I thought that this book was charming, full of magic,descriptive but never overly sentimental. I think I live in a library as Jo has so many books - I'd like to be as famous as Dewey....maybe I am...

Tissues needed !!


  1. Oooh ot one I know, I have seen a few people do this challenge. Where is the challenge link?

    I loved Jaffas choice, have you seen the video of Dewey on youtube?


  2. Lainy - I couldn't find a link so have linked to Dizzyc's blog which is where I saw the idea first.
    Do join in - it should be fun -

    I'm off to youtube to watch the Dewey Video !

  3. Echo wasn't initially one of my favorite Outlander books but after discussing it all year at the OBC, I'm starting to appreciate the depth of the story a little better.

    Sorry, couldn't get into the Owl Killers - it was probably the dark and gloomy part. I must have tried when I was looking for lighter fare.

  4. Pauline - I have so far only read Echo once - I think it is a very complex story on many levels especially the details around the war and the battles - but DG does it all so incredibly well.

    Pity about The Owl Killer - I agree its a dark and gloomy story - have you tried A Company of Liars - same author but less gloomy.


Thanks for taking the time to comment - Jaffareadstoo appreciates your interest.