The Great American Read

Q&A with Diana Gabaldon

Last Updated by The Great American Read Editor on

Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander novels, answers a few questions from The Great American Read:

What are you reading right now?

Today? Well… Imran Ahmad’s hilarious/poignant memoir, THE PERFECT GENTLEMAN: A Muslim Boy Meets The West and Myke Cole’s THE ARMOURED SAINT – spare, vivid and surprisingly sensual fantasy and Ross MacDonald’s THE MOVING TARGET (a really old reread, courtesy of BookBub) and Rachel Kushner’s THE MARS ROOM (really excellent book, but so depressing I can’t read it for more than an hour or so at a time) and Patrick O’Brian’s MASTER AND COMMANDER (audiobook; starting the Aubrey/Maturin series again for probably the fifteenth time; one of my all-time favorites, particularly on audio—wonderful performance by Patrick Tull!) and SAVANNAH 1779:  The British Turn South, by S. Martin and B. Harris (research; I don’t so much read research books as flip through quickly, then cherry-pick useful sections to read for detail.)

What’s your favorite way to read? Hardback, paperback, or tablet?

All of the above, plus audiobooks. I love tactile books (and have (literally) thousands), but a) there’s only so much space (owing to my husband’s refusal to let me put bookshelves on every wall of the house; the books are (more or less) confined to the office wing, the office bathroom and the garage storeroom), b) a Kindle and/or iPad (I use both is indispensable for travel—nothing worse than finishing your tactile book at midnight in a city that doesn’t have an English-language bookstore, and being reduced to reading yesterday’s local newspaper in Italian (I don’t speak Italian, but speak Spanish and read French, so can usually at least guess what the Italian paper is talking about), and c) I spend at least an hour a day out walking with the dogs, and need hands-free reading, hence audiobooks.

What’s one book that didn’t make the list of 100 that you would add?

ONE?!?  Surely you jest…

When you’re in a book store, what section do you gravitate to and why?

The “New Books” rack, the aisle tables and end-caps, to be honest. I’ll read absolutely anything that looks interesting, and all the books in these locations are a) cover out (thus more likely to catch my interest), and b) something I know I haven’t encountered before.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this blog post are solely those of the respondents.

More about Diana Gabaldon:

Diana Gabaldon Diana Gabaldon is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the wildly popular Outlander novels — Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, Drums of Autumn, The Fiery Cross, A Breath of Snow and Ashes (for which she won a Quill Award and the Corine International Book Prize), An Echo in the Bone, and Written in My Own Heart’s Blood — as well as the related Lord John Grey books Lord John and the Private Matter, Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade, Lord John and the Hand of Devils, and The Scottish Prisoner; one work of nonfiction,The Outlandish Companion; and the Outlander graphic novel The Exile. She lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, with her husband.


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