Being on our land gives me the most peaceful moments, ever. It also gives me the most hectic, scary moments, ever.
Part of my peaceful moments has included reading, as usual. If I can't read my blog buddies entries, I'm reading a book. For now, we don't have Internet connection on our land. I hope that will change very soon.
Lately, I've been re-reading a favorite book, "Outlander." In fact, I last read this book about ten years ago. So, when I came across it again while browsing the shelves at Half Price Books, I purchased my dad a copy as well so that we could read it around the same time and talk about it. I have one of those awesome dads who loves to read.
Outlander is a novel mostly about characters based in Scotland, which includes a few interesting English characters. The main time-frame is circa early-mid 1700's, and it is fantastically written with historic facts and tidbits weaved into the storyline. Since I lived in Scotland for part of my childhood, it's a book that brings back fond memories of the climate, the language, the people, the traditions...it is a land that will be a part of me until the day I die.
However, if you are thinking about reading this book, let me give you a friendly warning...if you are hesitant to read "red-zone" material or are uncomfortable with reading "sex" subject matter, then don't consider this book because it's an integral part of the book. The hot-topic doesn't come up until later in the book, but it is a definite eye opener for those of us, such as me, who do not watch Rated-R movies. I've probably seen less than five Rated-R movies my entire life.
Until this past year, we NEVER had more than basic cable in our house. Then, for a couple of weeks, after the cable company added "free" movie channels to our selection, without a choice, I received an education into how shocking television can be...it's not to be underestimated. To put it lightly, I was HORRIFIED. I never allowed this kind of material into our home because I didn't want to chance a "bad" channel being watched by any of the kids coming in and out of our home.
Now, I'm not from the dark ages, I'm sure my kids saw their share of Rated-R movies through the years, and I did allow them to watch "The Shining" at one point, but the options in our house were extremely limited. I'm thankful for it, personally, because I learned very young to keep my mind from being a trash container. Unfortunately, once something goes into our mind, we can't dump it out...it stays. So, I am selective. Just because something is available to read or to watch doesn't mean that you should allow it free entry...guard yourself...having a selective memory is truly a joke.
Regardless, I found "Outlander" worth traipsing through the red-zone. If you like historical reads with lots of twists and turns along the way with details that appeal to every sense we were born with, then this is a read for you. The author did her research, it is evident. It's not a light read, but it is a worthy read.
Speaking of red-zone, I must say that one trip to Bourbon Street in Louisiana during my late twenties probably exposed me to more Rated-R material to hold me over for a life-time. Frankly, I don't want my mind filled with that rubbish, so Deputy Dave and I decided to never go back. One time was enough. Although I did learn to proficiently tie a cherry stem with my tongue in 30 seconds flat during that trip. I'm one talented woman. I'd never seen that done before that trip, so I had to learn. And, I was sober. Of course, I had to teach this amazing feat to my daughters. I'm also easily entertained. But, you'll be pleased to know that I put my foot down when they asked to do this for Show & Tell at school.
Bourbon Street...I can only imagine the other things learned from being in that kind of setting for too long. Like I said, I can live without it.
Regardless, I felt as if I needed to be clear about part of the contents of this book. Since I am not a nun, I'm not afraid of broaching the "sex" subject and am not afraid to read a bit of fiction with it included, as long as the storyline is INCREDIBLE. I guess that would give the Playboy reader validation..."I only read it for the articles." Sure. Right. The articles are the magnet...skim the photos and read the articles. Blah.
I've had fun conversations this past year with my mother-in-law, specifically about today's romance novels. The first time she gave me a load of her books, I read a few and told her, "I'm surprised that you are reading porn!" She laughed hysterically and replied, "I can't believe you said that! It's NOT porn!"
I decided to think about it for a moment, then agreed, "You're right, it's not porn, there aren't pictures; therefore, it's smut."
She and I shared a hearty laugh over that observation.
Even though "Outlander" is FAR from smut, it has its smutty parts. Still, I'd not miss this read and look forward to reading Diana Gabaldon's other books in this series. Those will be a first-time reads. My kids are grown, so I definitely have more reading time on my hands.
Regardless, smut pages or no, the book is awesome. I love how this author writes without fear. She seems to immerse herself into the feelings of the moment in such a manner that you are drawn into her world. Sometimes, it is great to mentally travel to another time and another place, even if you are already sitting in the most magical, natural environment you've ever visited. I'll take a trip back to Scotland any time.
This afternoon, I'll be calling my dad to see what chapter he's reading. I'll be truly laughing out loud after he reaches the red-zone and tries to pretend he hasn't read it yet. Well, since my dad and I are good friends, he might readily admit that it's better than the Playboy articles he studied in his younger days.