• “The smartest historical sci-fi adventure-romance story ever written by a science Ph.D. with a background in scripting 'Scrooge McDuck' comics.”—Salon.com
  • A time-hopping, continent-spanning salmagundi of genres.”
    —ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
  • “These books have to be word-of-mouth books because they're too weird to describe to anybody.”
    —Jackie Cantor, Diana's first editor

A Brief Footnote on Tidiness

I’m as fascinated by y’all’s responses to my bookshelves as y’all are by the books, etc. [g] It seems to be about 20:1 in terms of “OMG, this looks just like my shelves!/I love it!” vs. “What a mess!/How can you FIND anything!/Let me come and organize that for you!”

I appreciate both schools of thought—and my sincere thanks to the kind souls who think I would do better (in some undefined way), if my books were alphabetized, sorted by color, arranged by height, or generally tidied into a visually pleasing (to them) formation that has nothing to do with what’s actually _in_ the books.

Now, putting aside any of my private opinions regarding the psychology that causes people to value Tidiness Uber Alles, tidiness _qua_ tidiness has two possible aspects that recommend it as a virtue: aesthetics and/or function.

As to aesthetics, I’ll just note that there are people who like Gustav Klimt and there are people who like Mondrian, and leave it at that. [g] Aesthetics rests on the perception of pattern, and there are patterns in total chaos (this is the basis of chaos theory). Some people like simpler patterns, some like more complex ones, and that’s fine.

Now function. That’s the “How can you FIND anything in there?” response, which assumes that in fact, I can’t find anything _unless_ the books are filed according to an arbitrary pattern that the observer personally finds aesthetically appealing. OK, this is conflating the two aspect virtues of tidiness, which do not necessarily operate in correlation with each other.

For an alphabetized reference system to be useful, the user has to know that the book s/he wants is written by a specific author. This in turn means that the user has to have read every word in all of the books to hand (so as to know what’s in them), and to be sufficiently familiar with them as to recognize almost any author’s content. If I had twenty books, I could do that, [g] though there wouldn’t be much point to it.

As it is…let me illustrate, briefly, how I work and how I use reference books. (This is, btw, my core reference collection. The books I read for pleasure—mostly fiction—are mostly alphabetized by author, because in that case, I’m usually looking for a specific author, not for specific content. They’re in several different collections/locations, though; not in this set of shelves.)

As I work my way into a new novel (the one I’m writing, I mean), I begin to pick up certain books—either from the extant collection, or new acquisitions—that I think _might_ be useful as background or specific references for that project. I’ll put these references on a shelf by themselves, and add occasionally to this mini-core collection, as new thoughts occur to me or as I come across new relevant reference books. One book that’s been on the mini-core shelf for the last several Jamie and Claire books is THE ALMANAC OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION. This helpful reference lists and briefly describes a huge variety of the events—large and small—that occurred during the Revolution, organized by date.

I use the ALMANAC not only to check dates, but to choose historical events that a) have intrinsic interest or importance historically, b) have or can have _fictional_ or dramatic significance to the people in my story, and c) are plausible to use in a geographical or chronological sense.

Now, I left everyone in the 18th-century part of the story in Philadelphia at the end of AN ECHO IN THE BONE, in mid-July of 1778. Ergo, even though many interesting historical events occurred in 1778, a lot of them were much later in the year and/or weren’t anywhere near Philadelphia. (In some cases, I could begin a new book substantially later than where the last one stopped, but owing to the spectacular triple cliff-hanger at the end of ECHO, I pretty much have to resolve those cliff-hangers in WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART’S BLOOD, and therefore MOBY (MY OWN HEART’S BLOOD = MOHB = MOH-B = MOBY. Geddit?) pretty much has to start where ECHO ended.)

So what happened in or near Philadelphia in the middle of July, 1778? Three very interesting things, according to the ALMANAC: 1) the British troops started to withdraw from their occupation of Philadelphia on July 15th, 2) Benedict Arnold became the military governor of Philadelphia for the Continental army on July 18th, and 3) the Battle of Monmouth took place near Philadelphia (well, near enough) on July 28th.

These events can all serve my purposes. So I need to know a few things, as I work. I need to know who the commander-in-chief of the British forces in Philadelphia was, what his personality and background were, and (insofar as possible) what he looked like. I need to know where Benedict Arnold was in terms of his personal political arc at that time. And I need to know what the location, order of battle, chief historical personalities present, and outcome of the battle of Monmouth was.

Let’s start with the battle. If you look at the original photo of my bookshelves (at the head of the previous post), just above and behind Otis’s right ear, you’ll see a book with a yellow cover, on which the word “BATTLES” is clearly visible. I have no idea who wrote this book; it isn’t important. What _is_ important is that it’s an encyclopedia of historical battles throughout the ages. What’s also important is that it’s standing with five other encyclopedias of battle. And it’s standing on _that_ shelf, because that’s where the general-purpose military books—encyclopedias of battle, treatises on weapons and artillery techniques, Osprey Men at War books dealing with the history and equipment of relevant regiments, a novel on the siege of Havana, two books on dueling, and THE MILITARY EXPERIENCE IN THE AGE OF REASON (a survey of the military structures and operations in effect across Europe in the 18th century)—are. So when I want to know the general information about a battle (where was it, what happened, who was fighting, who won), I go to that shelf.

Now, I have much more specific references that deal with the American Revolution, and there are a couple of _very_ detailed books that will give me maps and exhaustive descriptions of the Battle of Monmouth (those are in the smaller bookshelf, which you haven’t seen, and which contains most of the American Revolution-specific references)—but there’s no point reading through all that until/unless I decide that I really want to use that battle. So I start with the general reference, which tells me—among other things—that General Washington commanded the American and allied troops at that battle. Cool. Jamie/Claire et al haven’t yet met George Washington, but this might be a good opportunity.

So…if, say, Jamie is going to meet George Washington, what do I (as his amanuensis) need to know about GW? I need to know what he looks like, what his overall impression (as in personality) was, and how he talked. Where will I find that sort of information? In fact, I found what color his eyes were by googling that question, but other specific information is on my mini-core shelf, in the form of ANGEL IN THE WHIRLWIND, an excellent biography of GW by an author whose name I don’t know and don’t need to know, because I know exactly where that book is.

_Vide_: [Excerpt from MOBY]

“ Jamie ducked under the lintel after Dan and found himself in a dark, shabby room that smelled of cabbage-water, grime, and the sharp reek of urine. There was one window, its shutters left open for air, and the sunlight coming in silhouetted the cropped head of a large man sitting at the table, who raised his head at the opening of the door.

“General Morgan,” he said, in a soft voice touched with the drawl of Virginia. “Have you brought me good news?”

“That’s just what I brought you, General,” auld Dan said, and shoved Jamie ahead of him toward the table. “I found this rascal on the road, and bade him come along. This’ll be Colonel Fraser, who I’ve told you of before. Just come back from Scotland, and the very man you need.”

The big man had risen from the table, and put out a hand, smiling—though he smiled with his lips pressed tight together, as though afraid something might escape. The man was as tall as Jamie himself, and he found himself looking straight into sharp gray-blue eyes that took his measure in the instant it took to shake hands.

“George Washington,” the big man said. “Your servant, sir.”

“James Fraser,” Jamie said, feeling mildly stunned. “Your…most obedient. Sir.”

“Sit with me, Colonel Fraser.” The big Virginian gestured toward one of the rough benches at the table. “My horse pulled up lame, and my slave’s gone to find another. No notion how long it may take him, as I require a good sturdy beast to bear my weight, and those are thin on the ground these days.” He looked Jamie up and down with frank appraisal; they were much of a size. “I don’t suppose you have a decent horse with you, sir?”

OK. Going back to the original set of questions, plainly I need to know the particulars of Benedict Arnold’s actions, context, and state of mind when he took over as military governor of Philadelphia. Fine. In the mini-core collection is BENEDICT ARNOLD, a very detailed and excellent biography whose author I could check by looking at the spine, but I don’t care who wrote it, only that I can find it when I need it.

_Vide_: [Excerpt from MOBY]

“ I thought I could manage the three blocks to the livery stable without incident, but at the corner of Market Street and Seventh, I was hailed by a familiar voice from a carriage window.

“Mrs. Fraser? I say, Mrs. Fraser!”

I looked up, startled, to see the hawk-nosed face of Benedict Arnold smiling down at me. His normally fleshy features were gaunt and lined, and his usually ruddy complexion had faded to an indoor pallor, but there was no mistaking him.

“Oh!” I said, and made a quick bob. “How nice to see you, General!”
My heart had sped up. I’d heard from Denny Hunter that Arnold had been appointed military governor of Philadelphia, but hadn’t expected to see him so soon—if at all.

I should have left it there, but couldn’t help asking, “How’s the leg?” I knew he’d been badly injured at Saratoga—shot in the same leg that had been wounded a short time before, and then crushed by his horse falling with him in the storming of Breymann’s Redoubt—but I hadn’t seen him then. The regular army surgeons had attended him, and from what I knew of their work, I was rather surprised that he was not only alive, but still had two legs.

His face clouded a bit at that, but he continued to smile.

“Still present, Mrs. Fraser. If two inches shorter than the other. Where are you going this morning?” He glanced automatically behind me, registering my lack of a maid or companion, but didn’t seem disturbed by it. He’d met me on the battlefield, and knew me—and appreciated me—for what I was.

I knew what he was, too—and what he would become.

The hell of it was that I _liked_ the man.”

And, not by serendipity, but by the fact that historical events form a logical nexus when people are writing about them _ex post facto_, the ALMANAC, ANGEL IN THE WHIRLWIND, and BENEDICT ARNOLD all mention that General Clinton had taken command of the British troops in Philadelphia at the time of the withdrawal, and our friend Wikipedia supplies me with a painting of the general and his birthdate (so I know how old he is in 1778. He was 48, if you’re curious; of an age to think Claire very charming).

Now, if Claire—it has to be Claire, for logistical reasons—is going to talk to General Clinton, I need to know a few other things, like what she’d be wearing and how she would travel. The bottom shelf of the second bay of my shelves has the large pictorial books on historical costume, while DRESS IN 18th CENTURY EUROPE is among the books on social/cultural English/European background—these being just to the right of the encyclopedias of battle.

_Vide_: [Excerpt from MOBY]

“ By the time we’d got my hair done up in something resembling order, corralled in a cap-like snood and pinned respectably under a broad-brimmed woven straw hat, I’d come up with at least a rough notion what to tell General Clinton. _Stick to the truth as far as possible_. That was the first principle of successful lying, though it had been some time since I’d been last obliged to employ it.

Well, then. A messenger had come for Lord John—one had—bringing a note—he did. I had no idea what was in the note—totally true. Lord John had then left with the messenger, but without telling me where they were going. Also technically true; the only variance being that it had been a different messenger. No, I hadn’t seen in which direction they had gone; no, I didn’t know whether they had walked or ridden—Lord John’s saddle-horse was kept at Davison’s livery on Walnut Street, two blocks away.

That sounded well. If General Clinton chose to make inquiries, I was reasonably sure he’d discover the horse still in its stall, and thus conclude that John was somewhere in the city. He would also presumably lose interest in me as a source of information, and send soldiers round to whatever haunts a man such as Lord John Grey might be supposed to be visiting.

And with any luck at all, by the time the General had exhausted such possibilities as Philadelphia offered, John would be back and could answer his own damn questions.”

Beginning to see how this works? For me, that is. I imagine some of the tidier-minded writers of historical fiction actually spend years poring through their references, tidily transferring bits of information to index cards (or their electronic equivalent) so that they could instantly look up “women’s clothing,” “Revolutionary War battles,” “George Washington, physical appearance,” and the like.

If that suits the way they work, great. Anything that helps you get words on the page is the right thing to do. This is just how _I_ do it.

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56 Responses »

  1. I was once given a bumper sticker that said CREATIVE MINDS ARE RARELY TIDY, to which I added my own postscript….. AND VICE VERSA. :)

  2. I think your way of organizing your bookcases is very useful, especially if you’re using so many reference books while writing!
    My own preferred way of organizing books is also by topic… If you want to put everything in author name order, you keep moving your books if you get new books…

  3. Makes perfect sense to me, as someone who’s worked in several libraries and run one (although I never finished my library qualifications). Non-fiction is always organised by topic, because that’s how it’s useful. Admittedly a good catalogue is fabulous to have, but that’d be more work than it’s (usually) worth for a private library. I have no idea why you’d organise non-fiction by author at all…

  4. I LOVE your footnote about tidiness!!

    Structure and tidiness shall serve us – not the other way round!

  5. I like tidiness as well as the next person, but not on my writing desk. I _know_ what’s in each of those piles of paper, I promise. Stick to your own way of organizing, Diana. It obviously works. ; )

  6. The _way you do it_ works amazingly well. I am constantly delighted by the choice tidbits that are included in your stories. (just finished rereading Echo). You had me laughing and crying over and over again.
    I remember you saying that you would look up something in the library, then peruse the shelf that item was to be found on, and the shelf above and below it and frequently found books containing exactly what you were looking for (but perhaps didn’t know it at the time).
    I worked in the library system for 18 years. There is a use for LoC, and for the Dewey Decimal system, but not in a home library.
    My shelves look much like yours!

    Vicki

  7. Organized people are just too lazy to look for things.

    • AHH-but according to Lazarus Long (character created by R. Heinlein)-Lazy people ARE the most efficient people because they don’t want to waste their time…Just a thought.

      Diana you are most efficient as evidenced by your list of published books. Perhaps LAZY according to L. L. could include the ability to really live and enjoy life in every moment.

      I wager that Diana does this…

      Loretta Remington

    • I loved this quotation, made me giggle (I am of the “not too tidy” group, especially in places where I try to be creative)

  8. Never mind the tidiness or otherwise. If it works for you do it. No-one else needs to find thee books you need do they. However the knife in front of the World Almanac of the American Revolution…..Hmm

    • I really liked seeing the knife on the bookshelf of Diana G. I am the one who would like to put some civilized manner to her books -I too have a knife similar to the one shown that my youngest son won taking second place in a calf-tying competiton. Those kind of treasures add personality and memories to a bookshelf . . .

  9. It is such a relief to see that we are all in agreement…gotta dig in and make a mess to create. Loved the tour it is interesting to see how others create, thank you for sharing that with us.

  10. I am studying Law and Accounting and my textbooks are “sorted” like your reference books :-). My study area often looks as if a cyclone has visited, but I can find what I am after rather quickly. I’m sure if I had them all neatly lined up it would take me most of my time trying to find the book I needed rather than the information it contained!

  11. Diana,

    Nice to know that I am not the only one who uses this mehtod of research. When I am looking for info in my genealogical quests, I grab onto small pieces of info about a person and run with it, till it is exhausted, then go in another direction. It’s not neat or methodical, but it works for me too. Your method sounds quite fine to me!! & IT WORKS as demonstrated by your completed books!

  12. I, personally, do not worry how your bookshelves look like, we all have a way of doing things, what I do appreciate is that you take time from your busy schedule and explain the way you do things, bravo….
    I , for one, am looking forward to MOBY, because there were too many cliffhangers at the end of the last one, and I’d like to know the answers before I grow white and senile ( am already 68 years old )….
    I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for your very entertaining and historically correct books that I’ve enjoyed so much from day one, take care and keep it up…..

  13. Your bookshelves ARE organized. They make sense to you. So do the piles of newspaper clippings on the end of my couch (if only I could stop knocking them down.)

    Part of the fun of historical research is the heap of tidbits you get along with the main dish, as it were. In looking for clippings from a 1944 event, I ran across an LST docked in the river so the steel workers could tour it, a cat who was waiting for his lost human, a young man given up for dead who had made a wondrous recovery, a man who spent thirteen years in the hospital and a little girl who had her movie money stolen, chased the perp for a couple of blocks and apologized to the police for losing her grip on the young criminal’s coat. Anyone who tried to organize the clipping heap would have to decide where to put all of that.

  14. Diana,
    I am always amazed at how much work you put into each book. The historical accuracy is amazing and that is the reason I love your books soooo much (plus a couple like Jamie and Claire doesn’t hurt).

  15. I am most definitely a Mondrian and my husband Klimt we somehow find a way to exist together in relative peace. He allows me my obsession with organization and I allow him to keep his stacks but they must be contained in bins (this only took 25 years). His office on the other hand is off limits to me and I am fearful if I should try to organize him I would have a meltdown!

  16. Yup, sure looks a lot like my bookcase. My husband regularly tries to tidy up the books and arrange them so they look nice but they are very shortly in disarray again. That’s ok becuase that room is a library/music room with nothing else in it but a grand piano,a string bass, a large book shelf, a filing cabinet for music and a flowered ottoman with a large illustrated copy of the United States Constitution! I’m not sure what that says about me but there it is!

  17. Actually, your bookcases loof pretty neat to me….tell you anything?

  18. Putting tidiness aside, history is one of my favorite subjects. I am in the middle of reading “Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow. Before that one I read John Adams by David McCullough. I read about American History in High School because I had to, but your books showed me other interesting ways to look at history.I started reading all I can about the american revolution because of your books and specifically to get ready for MOBY, I want to know all I can about the events and protagonists of the times to enjoy your coming book even more than I already do. So thank you for showing me different perspectives.

  19. If my life was tidy…I’d be bored. :)

  20. Do some people actually organize books by color? I find that astounding. One can only assume that they don’t read them.

    Love the compressed air idea… for years I’ve been wanting to get glass doors on all my shelves to keep the dust out. This might be a better and cheaper idea!

  21. Love your blog and your books! So excited for the hints on WMOHB–have been reading your books for about 20 years now and wait patiently for each new edition. Hope you never get tired of doing what you do! And by the way–my shelves are much worse and overlap onto the floor :-)

  22. Thank you for the wonderful bookshelf tour, I love the way your mind works! Please hurry with MOBY the suspense becomes more unbearable with each excerpt I read. I managed to stay away from your web page for a while to recover the emotional shock of the last cliff hanger, but the pull is strong! You are a cruel, cruel woman Diana Gabaldon but I truly admire you!!

  23. IMHO – a tidy desk or bookshelf is the sign of a “sick” mind!!! Mine works on the organised chaos theory….. To which my husband responds; “Why don’t you organise your books tallest to smallest.” (he’s an engineer – enough said!)

  24. I’m not American so please forgive me if this is a dumb question, but I couldn’t help wondering if General Clinton is related to Bill Clinton. And if so, whether they share any personality traits – like a liking for cigars (snort!).

  25. I sort my books the same way. Knitting, all sock patterns here, all shawl books here, all baby knitting here….. it dosnt matter who wrote them.

  26. My numerous bookshelves look just like that. Everything is mixed up. I do try to keep an author’s books together, but they are in no coherent order. I have piles of books in the corners of all my rooms as well as stacks of newspapers. I think this is common to readers/thinkers, and it seems like Thomas Jefferson had the same issue as did the Reverend Wakefield. I have been reading your books since 91/92, so any method you use is great with me. I want you healthy and happy and adding a book every three or four years to my shelves. Thank you.

  27. As I looked at the pictures of your shelves and read your explanation, I got a chuckle out of the fact that yours look similar to my own. Your “organization” makes perfect sense to me, and I thought it also interesting that one shelf includes a mortar and pestle and a knife. No wonder I relate so well to your writing. :)

  28. And thanks for the MOBY excerpts!

  29. Heh,I have a shelf like that-it’s the bottom one of a shelving unit the stereo and LPs sit in! Yes, my hubby and I have LPs (along with CDs and cassettes), and no, we aren’t over 40!

    As for Lord John, I love this:
    “…could answer his own damn questions.”

    LOL!

  30. My library bookshelves are organized like yours. The fiction is alphabetized by author. Biographies are grouped by person and generally by country and loosely when they lived. Everything else is by topic but, I’m sure, not in Dewey Decimal order. There are also a couple of shelves in my bedroom for books that I haven’t gotten around to reading yet. Am impatiently waiting for MOBY. Whenever a new one of your books arrive, it goes to the head of the line of books to read.

  31. It’s true, creative minds are very rarely tidy people. However, my intellectual (non-creative) friends tend to have very neat houses. Seems you can’t have both.And I’m thinking…since this awesome woman spends most of her time creating books that I love most dearly,that she can have her bookshelves any old way she likes! =)

  32. My bookshelves are like my dresser drawers in a way. I know where things are because I put them there and I use them. Frequently. The order (or lack of to some folks) is my order. Nuff said. I also have a small collection of pocket and other types of knives – kept in no particular order. I mention this because I noticed a fine looking knife in one of your photos. I use them for cutting things – string, bait, tangled up fishing line. The knives are kept where they come in most handy, kind of like my books. One exception is my Kindle. It rarely leaves my side. I’m afraid I’m a mess if I’m without it for very long. Love your books and they are the real thing, not eBook editions. There’s still nothing like cozying up with a good book.

  33. You know, when you think about it, University libraries are organised by subject and the Library of Congress Classmark system is done the same. Sorry all you “tidy” people if you want to tidy every University library in the world into “tallest to smallest” or alphabetically by author, I’m afraid you will bring research to a total halt! :-))

    Yep, my books are arranged by subject and I know exactly where to go if I want information on a particular area of interest – that, plus the internet where appropriate.

  34. My bookshelves look like yours. My books are organized by subject – I’m interested in 16th century Florentine women’s clothing, Tudor women’s clothing, Elizabethan women’s clothing, and illumination. One set of shelves for my clothing stuff and one set of shelves for my illumination and gold leafing stuff.

    So, I totally agree with how you group your books. :-)

    Kate

  35. My entire organizational skill for my book shelves is what way can I pile/stack/cram more books into the already bulging shelves. Other then that they go were they physically fit :)

  36. I like the knife in the second shot….is that a subtle commentary to those that wish to “change” (organize, tidy, etc.) your bookshelves?

  37. Whatever works for you. I love your books – they are amazing. But what REALLY amazes me is the fact that you would take time to explain all this to your fans! And – put excerpts in there as well. Keep writing, Diana, I don’t give a fig how you organize your shelves….just keep writing! :-)

  38. I just appreciate your proper use of “y’all” at the beginning of the article! As far as your bookshelves-don’t change a thing! Your system obviously works to help you create the best story of all time!!! Keep it up!

  39. I too love that you take the time to share these sorts of things with your fans.

    My bookshelves are very tidy, (borderline OCD but I’m still creative!) they are however organised by colour.

    It works well for me as I remember what colour a book’s cover is more than anything else but it does puzzle other people. I don’t really care though, they are MY books!

    Currently reading Magician by Raymond E. Feist. Yes I know it’s an “oldie” but as a first time reader of his I’m thoroughly enjoying it. So hopefully the rest of his series will keep me occupied ’til your next book comes out here (New Zealand).

    When I bought Scottish Prisoner I told my five children not to disturb me unless someone was on fire.

    Love your writing!

  40. ps. I’m definitely a Klimt fan, and I know exactly where all my books are and read them often!

    Perhaps my bookshelves are tidy because my brain is not!

  41. I’ve fantasized about the Reverand Wakefield’s study, and his bulletin board; slips of paper and odd bits of memorabilia, tacked and stacked. Now I know where he gets it from. ;D (duh) I rescind my previous offer to organize your office. Where I mistook disorder, I now (clearly) see order. I only had to step inside the mind of a magic-maker. Thank you for leaving the bread crumb trail. :)

  42. Thanks for the lastest posts! I always come to your web site when I want to read somehting interesting and funny!
    By the way, what really amazes me is the incredible amount of books you have!!! I’m quite envious!

  43. I love the way you explain how you work,thank you. I have been an avid reader since i was ten years old & tried to read every book in the local library. I would take a book from all different parts of the library & read them even tho I did not understand them.I remember my mother asking me if I really enjoyed Popular Mechanics. ha.

  44. Diana,

    Thank you! Only you could call this a wonderful essay a “brief footnote.” My research methods are much the same, although considerably less effective.

  45. Brief – hahahahaha. Love it! :D

  46. Whatever works for you. Whatever environment inspires enough to keep the story going. That is what is important.

  47. Hell, I just looked at all the pretty colors…

  48. Some of us like Klimt and Mondrian. I keep my reference by topic and my leisure reading by author. How else could you find what you need. When you have a sudden thought you want to go directly to it, not hunt around hoping you remember.

  49. You could come to my house and mess up whatever you want as long as you write write write!!! I’ll bring you coffee and sandwiches all day! Need book badly…

  50. I love the Hedge Hoggggg in the first picture!! I want of those, he’s adorable.

    I love your books shelves. I could really get lost in those. So many cool things intermixed with the books. I thought I was the only one who put Cool Stuff on the shelves with my books :) Though my shelves look a lot like that, I still know just where to go to find a certain book, so it works for me.

    Thanks for sharing your sanctuary :D

    Bonnie

  51. Love your books and have them in paper and e-books. Browsing your twitter I saw a new book that I was not aware of ot “A Trail of Fire” four stories of the Outlander series. When did it came out and were can I find it?.
    Once again thanks for all your writings, they are magical, entertaining and I’ve learn a lot reading your books

    Dalma

  52. Regarding Yari’s comment about American history: I’ve often said that the reason I’ve preferred World History most of my life is that elementary school didn’t have six years to nearly convince me that it was boring. Fortunately, I had a wonderful seventh grade history teacher who showed me there was more to the subject than I thought. Maybe things have improved these days, but in those days we were taught the same core events, usually organized by holiday, year after year. What was taught did not grow as we did. The content in sixth grade was little different than in the first, except the vocabulary was more mature. Now, I still prefer world history but as time has passed the gap has gotten narrower. I wish I had read your books when I was younger.

  53. I many thanks for sharing this good information. I always want in addition to love reading quality contents. Keep sharing. Best wishes for your own further efforts.

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