Clanlands by Sam Heughan & Graham McTavish
First line: Well, in The Beginning…there was a man in a kilt.
Summary: Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish, stars of the widely popular TV show Outlander set out on a trip around the Highlands of Scotland exploring the history, culture and landscape of this beautiful countryside. In their camper van they traverse the roads, lochs and pubs while sampling whiskey and traditional foods of the Highlanders.
My Thoughts: I highly recommend checking out the audiobook on CloudLibrary because I feel that this is what made the book much more interesting. Sam and Graham narrate the book. They recount times on set and with fellow cast members. They goof around and make fun of each other. I could tell that they really enjoy each other’s company and are good friends.
I learned a lot about the history of Scotland while reading this. As I listened I looked up the locations and people mentioned. It is astounding that there are homes older than our country. I could tell how proud they are to be Scottish.
I have always wanted to visit Scotland but I want to go even more after reading/watching Outlander. The land is beautiful and wild. The culture is rich and enduring. Much of my genealogy comes from Scotland. I want to experience the world my ancestors knew.
FYI: Find the audio book on CloudLibrary.
First line: Dear Mr. Wrexham, I know you don’t know me but please, please, please you have to help me
Rowan Caine stumbles upon an advertisement for what appears to be the
perfect nanny job. It is for a family with four children, in a big house
in Scotland, and a yearly salary of fifty five thousand pounds. When
Rowan arrives for her interview she is blown away and a little
intimidated by the house. It is a smart house. Everything is connected
to apps that can be managed from a cell phone.
After her initial
interview she is offered the job which seems like a dream come true.
However, she does not realize that appearances can be deceiving. On her
very first day she is left alone with the three younger children while
the parents are at a weeklong conference. The adjustment for the girls
is not going as smoothly as she had hoped but she is trying her best to
When strange happenings start to disturb her
nights she begins look into the history of the house and what could be
causing these strange noises in the attic. With each new night she gets
less and less sleep as the mysterious sounds gradually increase. Will
she be able to make it through her first week or will she leave in the
middle of the night like the other nannies before her?
My Thoughts: I really enjoyed Ruth Ware’s previous novel, The Death of Mrs. Westaway, but I think this one blew it out of the water. I seriously considered giving this 5 stars because it was very hard to put down. There was the perfect mixture of spookiness and suspense.
I love how the house
appears to be a big old Victorian but inside it is very modern. I love
the idea of a smart house but at the same time it is also a little
scary. I completely understand Rowan’s unease with the cameras and app
enabled features. And the fact that this house is basically out in the
middle of nowhere. Anyone could easily be spooked by any sounds in the
I enjoyed the way that the novel was laid out. It is done
in a series of entries in a letter from Rowan to a solicitor while she
is in prison for the death of a child. She eludes to what happens but we
do not get the full details until the end.
This is full of
twists and turns. When you think you have had the big reveal another one
appears. I loved every minute of reading this. I would highly recommend
this to anyone who is looking for something that they cannot put down.
Trust me. I had to force myself to sleep instead of reading one more
FYI: Warning: a child does die in the book.
The Book Jumper by Mechthild Glaser
First Line: Will ran.
Summary: Amy and her mother, Alexis, decide to make a trip to Scotland to their family estate on an island called Stormsay. When they arrive at the ancestral home and she finally meets her mother’s family she learns a secret that will take her love of reading to a whole new level. The two families that live on the island are able to jump into books and interact with the characters and story. Their mission in life is to protect the stories and keep them running smoothly. On her first day of lessons as a book jumper she enters the world of The Jungle Book but as the days pass things in the literary world start falling apart. It appears that someone is stealing ideas from stories!
Highlights: Once again the cover caught my attention. But the idea that someone could jump into a story and live along with the characters is a dream come true. What story would I jump into? The possibilities are endless. The little twists were fun and kept you wondering. The other stories were chosen well with a variety of different themes.
Lowlights: Spoilers. Several of the books that are mentioned I have not read but the plot gives away the endings to many of them. It made sense for the story and it isn’t a major problem but it was a little frustrating.
FYI: This story was originally published in German.