Library Moments: Outlander Read-A-Likes

written in my heart's own bloodBessie Sullivan, County Librarian: Hello, I’m Bessie Sullivan from the Haliburton County Public Library and this is Library Moments. Once a week some of us from the library will come and talk about books, upcoming events, or the services we offer at the library.

The Outlander Series written by Diana Gabaldon has been wildly popular since it was first published in 2001.  This year an eighth book was released and the popularity rages on.

In 1945, Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon-when she innocently touches a boulder in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is hurtled back in time to a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year 1743.  Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, and shatter her heart. For here James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire—and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

Readers like this series for many different reasons, some are drawn to the historical aspects of the story, while for others it’s the idea that people can time-travel and experience a different historical era than their own, the series is also appealing to romance readers.

Today Sherrill Sherwood, Erin Kernohan-Berning, and I will talk about books or series that have an aspect in common with the Outlander books.

Into the WildernessSherrill Sherwood, Collections Development: Capturing the imagination of readers worldwide, the Wilderness novels of Sara Donati bring to life compelling chapters in history, woven with tales of courage and passionate devotion. Into the Wilderness takes us to 1792 in a remote New York mountain village, where Elizabeth Middleton arrives from England to fulfill her dream of creating a schoolhouse, serving all the children, regardless of sex or skin color. But her father has other plans for her. He has a scheme to give Elizabeth substantial property—if she agrees to marry Richard Todd, a man to whom he owes significant debts. Elizabeth has always treasured her independence, valuing her freedom and honor above all else. The only man who seems to speak the truth to her is Nathaniel Bonner, a fiery outsider known to the Mohawk people as Between-Two-Lives. Soon Elizabeth realizes that Nathaniel is the only match for her. A saga of adventurous new beginnings, Into the Wilderness is the first of six novels in the Wilderness series taking us on a breathtaking journey through the heart and soul of one couple’s epic fate—and the destiny of a young nation. Fans of the Outlander series have initially been drawn to read Into the Wilderness when they discovered Donati “borrowed” some of the Outlander characters to make guest appearances in her first book.

the rose gardenErin Kernohan-Berning, Branch Services Librarian: Susanna Kearsley blends history, time travel, and romance in her 2011 book The Rose Garden. In The Rose Garden, after the death of her sister Katrina, Eva is tasked with scattering her ashes at their childhood summer home in Cornwall. While at the house, Eva begins to confront the ghosts of her past and those of a family who lived there during the eighteenth century. As she slips back and forth between past and present, she begins to fall in love with Daniel Butler, who lived and died long before her time. As she begins to question her place in her own time, she needs to decide where she truly belongs.

The Rose Garden is a stand alone book, but it’s not Kearsley’s only historical romance time travel story. Her first book, Mariana was published in 1995 and also featured an unwitting time traveler who finds herself in seventeenth century England, falls in love, and begins to question her place in the present. Both have been given awards, and both remain popular – so there is something about that history romance time travel combination that keeps readers enthralled.

Knight ErrantBessie: The War of the Roses series by R. Garcia Y Robertson begins in Knight Errant when Robyn Stafford, a young American executive, has flown from Hollywood to England to surprise her lover on his birthday, only to find that he’s married and it’s his wife who’s giving the party. She takes a few days off to recover from her outrage and dismay, travelling and hiking near the Welsh border. There she encounters a handsome young man on horseback, wearing a sword, plate armor and a surcoat, who confidently identifies himself as Edward Plantagenet, Earl of March, and asks directions to a nearby abbey. He thinks the year is 1459 and is amazed by her detailed, printed map and working cell phone. She doesn’t know what to think. But when three hostile knights and two dozen bowmen arrive, he sweeps her up in front of him and carries her off to safety, before turning back to valiantly fight off his enemies. Then, the immediate danger past, he returns and asks her to come and be his lady once he has beaten the king. After a parting kiss, he rides away, into the distant past, to the age of the War of the Roses.  And so Robyn Stafford must find a way to leave the world of today for the fifteenth century, where she will fall in love with a young knight, a prince who will be king. This is the first of three books in a sweeping historical romance.

Depending on the reason you liked the Outlander books, you might want to try one or more of these titles.  That’s it for today’s Library Moments where the year is 2014 and you are listening to 100.9 CanoeFM.

*Originally aired on 100.9 CANOE FM, November 2nd – 8th, 2014.


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