• “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.”
  • “These books have to be word-of-mouth books because they're too weird to describe to anybody.”
    —Jackie Cantor, Diana's first editor

What a week it’s been!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

2018-10-Roses-PBS-Read-ResultsMAN, what a week it’s been! First off, let me thank ALL of you who did such great work, voting in the PBS “Great American Read” program. I know a lot of you voted day after day, and often multiple times a day; I appreciate that HUGELY—and your votes were not in vain!

PBS filmed the finale on Sunday night (swearing the audience to secrecy, which apparently worked; I didn’t see any leaks), but aired it this evening (Tuesday). It was an interesting format: they invited a number of authors from nominated books to come and introduce segments of the list (with light running commentary)—by “segments,“ I mean they had two writers count down the list from the book that ended up in 100th place, to the book that was #81. Then they did a video about one or another of the five finalist books, shuffled their screen of intriguing book-covers, and called up the next set of authors to comment on books 80-61, and so on.

When they got to the last (or first, depending how you want to look at it) ten books, they counted down to the final five, then called the representatives of those books out on stage for the final countdown. I say “representatives,” because the authors of three of the finalists are dead, and J.K. Rowling, who was in the list, wasn’t there. I was the only author representing my own book. <g>

If you’d like to watch the finale episode yourself, here’s a link to it:


But for those who don’t want to sit through the suspense <g>—OUTLANDER came in second, behind TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (the PBS people noted that MOCKINGBIRD had been #1 on the list from the very first day of voting, and never wavered from that position).

Personally, I was thrilled—we beat PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, LORD OF THE RINGS (!!) and HARRY POTTER! TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD is a great classic, a wonderful read—and a book that means a lot to a great number of people in the current political climate, owing to its themes of racial and social justice. It totally deserved to win.

Besides, as my lovely editor said in an email to me this morning (retrieved in JFK airport on my way home),

“You are officially the most beloved living writer! … We are so thrilled and proud to be your publisher!”

I’m thrilled and proud to have the support of a great publisher—but most of all, to have the support of so many wonderful readers! MORAN TAING! (that’s “Thanks a lot” in Gaelic)

And if you’d like to see the final results of the “Great American Read”here’s the complete list:




20 Responses »

  1. I would like to congratulate you on the Great American Read placement. I have read and reread the series several times and offered my votes in your honor. Thank you for writing this very interesting and entertaining novel and am very much looking forward to “Bees” and also the upcoming tv season of Outlander. They seem to be doing a good rendition, but will admit that I find reading the book even better. No disrespect intended, just my personnal preference. Best wishes to you and yours for whatever the future holds.

  2. Congratulations – you earned it.

  3. I gobbled up all of your books over the last 12 years and if you asked my kids, they would tell you that my favorite books of all time come from the Outlander series. I have always loved To Kill A Mockingbird and completely understand why such a classic piece of American literature would win; however, you have such a way with words and completely draw your reader into the story. As a very distracted mother with a full-time job, it is rare that I can concentrate on one project for very long. When reading the Outlander series, I used to completely lose track of time. Now that the kids are older and wouldn’t notice if I went missing (except around dinner time), I’m anxiously awaiting the next novel in which to get lost. Congratulations!!

  4. I cannot tell you how excited we all are (meaning your myriad fans) that you are the greatest American author still living! I just finished an annual re-read of ABOSAA–in audio–and will follow it up with Echo and MOBY after NaNoWriMo.

    We all love your characters and settings. Thank you for your hard work in providing so much joy to so many people!

    Many Blessings upon you and your house.

  5. So very pleased for you, D! I have voted every day I was close to a computer (or phone or iPad). I have to say there was one day I did vote for Little Women because that was the very first novel that I read, but Outlander was in my heart the whole time for the win!

  6. MANY, MANY CONGRATULATIONS, Diana !! Claire and Jamie would be VERY PROUD of you !!

  7. Congratulations Diana, from Canada
    Love all your books, novellas and the characters you have developed
    looking forward to your next book

  8. Just finished watching Great American Read and I am so proud and excited that your books came in SECOND! WOW! I live in Phoenix, love the STARZ show and will be ordering the first Outlander book tonight so I can start actually reading the series! Congratulations to my famous fellow Arizonian !!!

  9. Diana,
    Congratulations on this momentous distinction! Well deserved. Now I say to the few friends and family members who have not yet read Outlander, “See, you are missing out!”
    I have read and reread your books. Thank you for giving us characters to love, a story line that upholds love and family, and beautifully researched and crafted books to share with those we love. I cherish each page!

  10. Diana,
    So pleased with the results, hearty congrats. I voted every day. However, I’m still curious as to the final tally. How many votes did you and the others get? Was it close? Surely, the numbers are available. I’ve searched but with no luck.
    Many thanks for a lifetime of pleasure. Outlander–my companion.

  11. Congratulations Diane!! You are my favorite Author, you had me at Outlander!!


  12. Congratulations! I just caught the end of a rebroadcast of The Great American Read finale and was proud a “new” book got its proper recognition. Great characters (love me some Jamie, and Claire!), great descriptions (without going on for four pages about a leaf), proper grammar and spelling (I will actually stop reading a book if those show up too often), history woven in fluently, “relationship” scenes (vertical as well as horizontal), smart dialogue, and humor…You deserve the votes and the recognition. Now back to your home page for me for my monthly check-in for tidbits from “Bees”. Again, congratulations and happy writing. Thank you for untold hours of reading enjoyment!

  13. Congratulations on your well-deserved Great American Read win, from someone who has been a “Diana Gabaldon Pusher” for the last thirty years! The Outlander TV series is fine and dandy, but your books have my heart. I’m thrilled for you, Diana.

  14. You are beloved as are your books. You have created a wonderful world, historically interesting..valiant characters with wicked villians and the best olfactory descriptions I have ever read. Thank you so much!

  15. so glad to hear the new book is close to completion. anxiously waiting. favorite author for sure.

  16. Congrats. Not only you are beloved writer but an exceptional one! You have a way to make us feel your stories more than just reading them. Please keep writing!

  17. WOW, I realize now that I was waiting for the best books to come along. All my life I have admired people who could sit and read for hours. Although I tried, I would fall asleep before turning a page. Despite the urging and recomdations from my very dear friend for many years, I was a reading failure.

    She casually mentioned one day that she was reading a series of books and had read all eight of them so many times she had lost count. Again, I was amazed and envious but I believed that this Outlander series was just another opportunity for failure. The next day I inherited a Nook and thought this was a sign so I ordered the first Outlander book. Yesterday I finished book eight for the fourth, fifth or sixth time. I have lost count.

    Until I learned about this Great American Read award, I thought it was the convenience of the Nook that broke the spell I was under. Now I know these books are special and Diana is a unique author as I have no experience in this area. Maybe I will give To Kill a Mockingbird a try? Thank you Diana!

  18. I was so happy to hear that Outlander came in second in the Great American Read behind To Kill A Mockingbird!!

    I actually heard the news at my local Half Price Books store. I was turning in a spare copy of Voyager and the clerk told me the series had won. So now he sales they are “selling a lot of them.”

    If only he knew!!!!!

    I absolutely love the series. My daughter does too!! I’ve read thru to the last book and have done some repeating, so I have to keep my mouth shut, because she hasn’t finished Drums of Autumn yet.

    Watching Season 4 now and always wonder how you feel about some of the changes made in the television adaptation?

    I want to yell “Where’s the heat??!!!” I love the opening chapter of Drums of Autumn and the oppressive heat you describe is almost like another character. So am surprised it is missing at the beginning of the show.

    Oh well, I know what’s to come and can enjoy it unfolding before my eyes now.

    Congratulations on the Great American Read win!! Well deserved & I hope it brings even more readers.

  19. You are the most beloved living writer, please continue this trend for the next hundred years or so.

  20. I have just finished reading book 8 Written in My Own Hearts Blood and was I was so disappointed when Book 9 was not yet released. This has been the best series of books I have ever read. I will have to watch the Outlander episodes on Netflix and possibly reread book 8 in anticipation for the release of book 9. Thank you for these stories. The actors Claire and Jamie couldn’t have been better picked. Love it. And yes it’s addictive!

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