December 25th, 2015

Dead Dog Cat

(no subject)

At some point yesterday I had a chance to finish another book, this one being Osprey Men-At-Arms #83: Napoleon's Guard Cavalry. This is an older book in the series, thus the plates aren't as interesting as they become later. There's a lot of undigested information in here about the various units and their differences in uniform. The book is mostly for miniatures army builders, so that they can paint or modify their models appropriately. Not bad, not great.

Book 55- Cleveland TV Tales Volume 2

55. Cleveland TV Tales Volume 2, by Mike and Janice Olszewski. I think their first excellent book was the first book I reviewed for this year. Not sure this will be the last, but it does make for a nice bookmark. Again, the Olszewskis have compiled a fun assortment of facts on Cleveland-area television legends and shows, this time going from the 1970s to the 1990s. This book touches on Ghoulardi's long-running horror show, and the competition to fill his shoes once Ernie Anderson headed west; the sad story of Joel Rose; the Cleveland mayor who hosted a children's show; the strange and sometimes hazardous life of the investigative reporter; and a chapter on the legendary Dorothy Fuldheim, who was a strong presence in television even into her 90s. This is a fast, lively read, and can serve both as a way to go down memory lane for the Baby Boomer era, and an easy to follow (and enjoy) bit of local history for those who may not recall such figures like Superhost and The Ghoul. There was a hint at the end of the book that more books may be on the way. I certainly hope so.

Book 121: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Book 121: Outlander (Outlander #1).
Author: Diana Gabaldon, 1991.
Genre: Historical Romance. Dual Time Periods. Time Travel.
Other Details: ebook. TV tie-in edition, 863 pages.

1946, and Claire Randall goes to the Scottish Highlands with her husband Frank. It’s a second honeymoon, a chance to learn how war has changed them and to re-establish their loving marriage. But one afternoon, Claire walks through a circle of standing stones and vanishes into 1743, where the first person she meets is a British army officer - her husband’s six-times great-grandfather.

Unfortunately, Black Jack Randall is not the man his descendant is, and while trying to escape him, Claire falls into the hands of a gang of Scottish outlaws, and finds herself a Sassenach - an outlander - in danger from both Jacobites and Redcoats. Marooned amid danger, passion and violence, her only chance of safety lies in Jamie Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior. What begins in compulsion becomes urgent need, and Claire finds herself torn between two very different men, in two irreconcilable lives.
- synopsis from UK publisher's website.

This novel was originally published in the UK as Crossstitch as a play on ' a stitch in time' but the USA title prevailed and also became title for the series. My son introduced me to the TV series in early November and together we watched a number of episodes, which ensured that I was hooked and decided to read the book. I certainly enjoyed the novel and there were a number of unanswered questions to inspire me to commit to reading the second.

There was one major anachronism though the author did acknowledge this in her end notes so gave her a pass. She knew the history but just elected to ignore it.

However, it was odd that near the end I found that the presence of wolves in Scotland bothered me even though I could accept a woman stepping two hundred years through time. Perhaps this was because I have been aware of conservation issues and the wolf being hunted to extinction in these islands some hundred years before the setting stuck with me. Still only a mild personal quibble as I would not expect an American author to be familiar with the natural history of Britain or Europe.

Diana Gabaldon's 'Outlander' page - lots of material including excerpts and background.