bestof2014-3

Every day between now and Christmas morning, we’ll share the twenty-five stories that engaged, enchanted, amused and amazed us the most in 2014. If you missed them, now’s your chance to catch up; if you’re looking for a gift for the wonk in your life, then these are our most enthusiastic recommendations!

Today, Outlander.

It was a little less than ten years ago that, after years of hearing about Jamie and Claire and wondering what all the fuss could possibly be about, I finally bought the first novel in Diana Gabaldon’s groundbreaking Outlander series and was transported into a world of time travel and highlanders. I haven’t really come back yet. Went so far as to have my own highlander imported in from Scotland, and Reader, I married him. So when Ronald D. Moore & Co. produced a television interpretation of the Outlander series for Starz, my Scottish love and I sat down to talk about it for our podcast, The Scot and the Sassenach, and we haven’t stopped talking about it since.

Outlander is fascinating in both its forms, books and television, and so today, I recommend them both. The books are a cozy rabbit-hole, long and winding but always interesting, and the core relationship between 18th century Scotsman Jamie Fraser and 20th century army nurse Claire Beauchamp Randall is easily one of the most fascinating and engaging romances yet written. You know how they say that you can’t get a couple together, or no one will care about the story anymore? They prove that to be completely untrue. Tell a fascinating story, and your romance gets better and more engrossing, not less.

The television series, though only eight episodes into its first season of sixteen, is showing equal promise. Breathtakingly beautiful, deftly adapted from the source material, and written by a team that is well up to carrying the torch for Diana Gabaldon, even if you don’t have Starz, you can buy the downloads at iTunes and they’re worth every penny. If you haven’t yet fallen down the rabbit-hole into Jacobite Scotland, then now’s the time.

Buy it now: Outlander