Diana Gabaldon’s latest novel, The Scottish Prisoner (out Nov. 29), continues her epic, wildly popular Lord John series. We gave our signature book quiz to the historical fiction author to see which books make her cry, which ones inspired her to write, and which ones she never reads in public.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What book are you reading now?
DIANA GABALDON: I’m actually reading two or three of them right now. I’m reading The Book of Fungi, which is a life-sized guide to 600 species from around the world by Peter Roberts and Shelley Evans, which is extremely good. I’m reading the World Almanac of the American Revolution and Southern Campaigns of the American Revolution. Those are background research for the book that I’m working on at the moment. For fun, I just finished reading Right Ho, Jeeves, which is a P.G. Wodehouse book.
So you read a mix of nonfiction and fiction, which makes sense for you.
Yeah! In fact, I just picked up Alan Bradley’s brand new book, the fourth Flavia de Luce book I’m Half-Sick of Shadows. I just started that one this morning.
What was your favorite book as a child?
Well, I can’t remember not being able to read. I was told I could read by myself very well at the age of three. The earliest books that I can remember reading myself were Frank Buck’s Jungle books, which are full of rhinoceri and all of that, a couple of the early Oz books, and a picture book, which I remember very, very vividly, the main character of which is a very troglodyte-ish character named Mr. Mixie-Dough, and I don’t remember anything about the story, but I remember the book very vividly because of the images which were very beautiful — sort of primitive but complex images on a black background and vivid colors, and that book just gave me the most intense feeling of beautiful mystery about it. So I always loved it despite the fact that I don’t remember anything about the story itself. It’s called The Baker Man, and it’s actually by Vernon Grant, whose main distinction — other than being a very good artist — is that he’s the person who designed and drew Snap, Crackle, and Pop, the cereal elves. [Laughs] READ FULL STORY »