The First Rule of #Outlander Book Club

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The only rule for Book Club, is bring whisky!

This month is the month that I am hosting a book club. The rules* are simple: (1) the person hosting the event gets to pick the book; (2) she also provides the wine (or, in my case, whisky) and snacks; and (3) anyone who fails to finish reading the book before Book Club must make amends through a gift of wine (or obviously, in my case, whisky).

I know you will be shocked to learn that for my Book Club title, I chose…Outlander. Inconceivable, I know. *ahem* Right. (And, no, I did not simply choose the book because it is really long and could result in compensatory whisky for me.** Mphmm. Cynics!)

A few of the ladies in Book Club have actually already read Outlander, but they are going to re-read it in preparation. Others have never read it and are only now being initiated into All Things Outlander. I exchanged numerous texts today with one such Outlander Initiate who can now count herself among the legions of JAMMF fans. I recognize the giddy biblio-high on which she is riding: the frantic texting, the swooningly sweet recitations of dialogue…yep, she has it bad.

When I suggested (okay, demanded) Outlander as my Book Club selection, I was drunk with power. Finally, I could inflict SHARE Outlander with other book lovers. I could talk about it in detail without eye rolls and murmurs of “obsessed” and “needs a life” being whispered behind polite smiles. No, after they read it, they, too, would finally understand.

I quickly invited even more people to join Book Club because, kind soul that I am, when I find am amazing book I want to share it. And I was prepared to share it, truly I was. I had dog-eared numerous “important sections,” and I had highlighted all the good parts (sooooo many good parts), and I had even discussed appropriate Scottish themed food and beverage (*cough* whisky *cough*) selections with my husband.

What I wasn’t prepared for was the sense of…of what? Ownership? Protectiveness?–I felt towards the book. I didn’t expect to feel such a need for them to understand it, to be carried away by it, to love it as much as I did. Perhaps it is a wee bit like taking a significant other home to meet your parents, or *gulp* your closest friends. You want so much for them see the best in the other, to get along, to adore the other as much as you do. Sometimes they do…but sometimes they don’t.

It is now just one week until Book Club. Time will tell whether I have added to the book’s legion of fans, or if the book simply didn’t speak to them as it had to me. Still, I am hoping, and planning, and making a list of all of my favorite parts from the first book to share next week. Because when you make these introductions, you always do want to make a good impression.

So, while I fret and worry and obsess over which whisky pairs best with Outlander, feel free to help me win over the newbies by sharing your favorite moments, quotes, scenes, and characters from the first Outlander book in the comments, and I will make sure to bring up these epic bits up at Book Club!

* Actually, there is just one hard and fast rule: BRING WHISKY!

** That is a perk, to be sure, but that was not my motive. (However, slow readers be advised: I like Islay whisky best; Laphroaig and Arbeg are personal favorites.)

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15 thoughts on “The First Rule of #Outlander Book Club

  1. When I discovered Outlander last year (before the series premiered on TV), I have to admit I was a little hesitant to tell my sisters/friends about the books. It’s not their usual genre. One sister did start watching the series and enjoyed it so I finally coerced her into reading the first book. It took her over a month to read it…I was surprised that she wasn’t swept away like I was. She did get slightly hooked and is reading Dragonfly in Amber now but again it’s taking her quite a while to finish it. Meanwhile I discovered my nephew’s wife loved Outlander but when I talked to her she said she lost interest once Diana dropped the Frasers in North Carolina! I would love to have friends to talk to about these wonderful books. I hope your friends are captivated by Outlander. One of my favorite parts is when Claire tells Jamie the truth and he tries to send her back through the stones to Frank. Enjoy your book club!

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  2. My favorite parts are the argument preceding ‘you’re tearing my heart out Claire’ and the ending of the book at the underground pool. Outlander = passion of all sorts!

    I am partial to Aberlour Glenlivit.

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  3. The first one that comes to mind is the wedding night where Jamie says that respect has maybe room for secrets but not lies. Pg 175 kindle version.
    The journey of how respect turns to love and how J&C are as honest as they are with one another really starts there.

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  4. Outlander was my first book club choice when we began our club in 2003. I was crushed when only three members actually finished it and only one liked it enough to read DIA. I am still crestfallen to know that these women, who I thought were insightful and intelligent, didn’t/couldn’t appreciate that which is Outlander. We are still together and I find that my taste in books is pretty different from most of our club members. They lean toward modern stories and I love historical/period fiction. I love classics and they like the latest bestsellers. But I love their company and we spend more time drinking and eating and laughing than actually discussing the book, so who cares!

    So many favorite scenes in Outlander. I love the one at Lallybroch when he finally confesses to Claire what the real reason was he wed her. I picture their chase around the room so clearly in my head and was so disappointed that it was not included in the mini-series. The laughing. The throwing of objects. The wrestling on the floor and then Jenny coming in and telling them to “get a room”! Ha! Splinters from the floor? Ha! And of course the return to the stones and her decision to stay, and the whole Wentworth/Abbey scenes, I can go on and on. How can one book have so many wonderful moments and memorable lines? Diana is a genius.

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  5. Enjoyed this! Silly, but there is a small scene after the wedding night that is one of my favorites. I think it is because I admire what DG was able to convey. Jamie has taken Claire into the ferns to make love to her and Diana describes Claire admiring his naked body. Claire emits a one word ephipiany “damn” She and both realized we were in danger of loving this man!

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  6. Honestly, I don’t think I could have hung on to the end of Outlander, the book, without first watching the TV show. Queue all your screams here!

    Initially, I perceived there were some over-the-top and hokey scenes in the book that I only appreciate now (and I truly love them but only now).

    The TV show brings Outlander into the mainstream, while the books add the complexities you didn’t know, and are delighted to discover, were missing.

    I have since gone on the read the entire series and can “see” what I need to, and suspend belief, in things I wouldn’t have before. I am hooked. This is the greatest real and gritty love story I’ve ever experienced, fictionally.
    ______

    BTW- I love your blog, and feel like your entire heart goes into it. You are giving us a gift through your writing. xxoo

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree so much about how the books and series can compliment each other and fill in the blanks. When I read The Exile, there were bits that made me think, Ohhhh THATS why it happened like that. I love the grittiness, too, and the complexity. Sometimes I get mad at the characters, but by the time the storyline plays out, I’ve made my peace with them.

      And thank you so much for your kind words. That means more than you can ever know. 💕💕

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  7. Yes the series needed that funny bit at Lallybroch and a few other choice passages that were left out that wouldn’t have taken much time. For example: At the oath taking it needed Jamie’s line about joining a clan with such fine taste in whisky which would have taken maybe 10 seconds to say.

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