If our Twitter book club ever wrote a list of values, two ideas near the top would be democracy and diversity. Almost every choice is a vote, and readers often vote on books that extend into genres and topics we don't know as well. This month, bookies voted to read a romance novel, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.
Conversation and cooperation would also be near the top of the list of values for #1book140. While I was out with an illness last week, Connie Donoghue coordinated nominations, organized a poll, and announced the winner. Bookies have also been holding hour-long real-time discussions on Twitter every other weekend. Thanks everyone!
In Outlander, the British army nurse Claire Randall is transported from an unsatisfied married life in 1945 to 18th-century Scotland when she encounters a stone circle. Claire finds herself caught between the English and Jacobites and taken back to a Scottish castle. To protect her from the British, she is married off to the Scottish rebel Jamie. As she falls in love with him, Claire must choose between her new life and the one she left behind.
Outlander won the Romance Writer's of America RITA award for best romance in 1991. Although bloggers do take time to discuss the novel's historical setting, genre-bending tendencies, and literary style, they mostly gush about Jamie, the hunky hero with a sensitive soul who marries Claire. Jessica Gelt of the LA Times puts it bluntly, quoting Gabaldon: readers "want to lick him." Most reviews of Outlander appear on sites that have point ratings for "spice" and "sexy scenes." This book always gets five out of five.