OUTLANDER Challenge 2009

I stumbled across this site today:


"The challenge is simple: to read or listen to (because audiobooks are a great format for these books) each of the six Outlander books in publication order prior to the release of An Echo in the Bone."

Now that 2009 is here, and we are all eagerly anticipating the release of AN ECHO IN THE BONE, it's time to think about starting a re-read (or re-listen, if you're like me and you prefer the unabridged audio versions).

If you start now, there's probably enough time to get through all six OUTLANDER books, and possibly the Lord John books as well.

So....are you up for the challenge? I definitely am. I'm in the middle of ABOSAA at the moment myself, will probably listen to one or more of the Lord John books after that, just for a bit of a break, then I'll start over with OUTLANDER. I'm going verrrrry slooooowwly this time around, but I'm going to try to time the next go-round so that I'm done with ABOSAA sometime around the time ECHO comes out.

And that's the tricky part, isn't it? We don't yet know ECHO's exact publication date. Diana keeps saying that it will be sometime in the fall of 2009, but keep in mind that she's still WRITING the book. <g> Last I heard, she's hoping to be done by mid-February, if she can manage to write 90,000 words (!) in the month of January. I will, of course, post here if I hear anything from her on Compuserve about a possible publication date.

I'm always curious to hear what parts of the books people are currently reading. I'm currently at the part in ABOSAA just after Henri-Christian's birth, where we have a very long flashback of Ian's memory of the loss of his first child, and his encounter with a wolf. The following quote really jumped out at me when I listened to it the other day:

"You will want the skins," [Eats Turtles] said. "To wrap your son, when he shall be born."

A shock went through Ian, like the shock of sudden rain on bare skin. Eats Turtles saw his face, and turned his head aside, avoiding his eyes.

"This child was a daughter," Turtle said matter-of-factly. "Tewaktenyonh told my wife, when she came for a rabbit skin to wrap the body."

(From A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 36 ("Winter Wolves"). Copyright© 2005 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)

Happy (re-)reading!

UPDATE 1/9/09 1:34 pm: Here is another reading challenge I found online that some of you may be interested in. This one involves reading Big Books, so it won't be difficult for those of you who are already thinking about doing the OUTLANDER challenge described above.


If you see any more of these challenges that you think people here would be interested in, please let me know.


Anonymous said...

I love listening to the books! I've listened to books 1 through 3 twice while walking the dog and housecleaning. I am currently listening to Drums of Autumn for the first time and forgot how much I enjoyed that book. Especially the sections when Jamie and Claire are settling Fraser's Ridge. I am at March, 1970 (I think that was the date), where Roger is thinking about Bree's letters and is perplexed by what he perceives to a change in her attitude. Looking forward to her time travel!
D. Fraser

Anonymous said...

I am currently listening to Outlander in my car since I have a long drive each day to drop off and pick up my children from school. I have just begun a third reread of Fiery Cross (I'm just in the first few chapters.) The funny thing about FC was that, honestly, on the first read-through, I was a little disappointed that it did not seem to be as "thrilling" or intriguing as the other Books. With time and a few rereads, FC has become a cherished favorite of mine! While I think it is a little "different" from the others, it is such an intimate glimpse into J&C's daily life and marriage, which I love. So I'm looking forward to another FC experience. So excited that this is the year we will (hopefully) see Echo!!!

Karen Henry said...


I love FIERY CROSS for the same reason. From the very beginning, when they wake up on the first day of the Gathering, to Jamie's wonderful line at the end, the book is a real treat for those of us who love to watch their relationship. So many sweet little moments!


Karen Henry said...


Well, as I say, I'm thoroughly addicted to the audio versions. I bought an iPod a couple of months ago, mostly so I could listen to them anywhere. Davina Porter is a terrific narrator and I really hope she will be available to do ECHO when the time comes.


Unknown said...

Karen, thanks so much for posting these! I've signed up for both, since I plan to re-read all 6 Jamie & Claire books this year anyway. I enjoy checking your blog, thanks for the work you do on it!
Cindy G

Karen Henry said...

Hi Cindy, and thanks for stopping by! I'm glad you are enjoying my blog.


Deanna Lack said...

Love these books but never got past Drums. I may be back to participate if I can finish my Dune books in time :)

Karen Henry said...

Hi Youvegotmaille:

Thanks for stopping by!

I hope you do decide to give the OUTLANDER books another try. There's a lot of good stuff in the last two books (FIERY CROSS and A BREATH OF SNOW AND ASHES). And as I mentioned earlier, the seventh book in the series, AN ECHO IN THE BONE, is due out in the fall of this year.


Mary said...


I have been lurking on Compuserve; not enough time to figure out all of the rules on how to jump in. Maybe spring break... Anyway, I was planning on rereading the 6 sometime this summer, maybe August. ABOSAA came out right at my birthday. I am hoping for a similar present this year.

Mary aka Whaligoe

Karen Henry said...


Don't be afraid to jump into the discussions on Compuserve if you have something to say. I have been making a big effort, since becoming Section Leader in Diana's section there in September, to create an environment where newbies feel welcome. I understand that it can seem like an intimidating place for first-time posters, but I hope you'll de-lurk one of these days. <g>


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