Clanlands Almanac: Seasonal Stories from Scotland By Graham McTavish

Clanlands Almanac by Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish is book 2 from these two Scottish actors (well known for Outlander and men in kilts) it's another charming giggle out loud read about their tour and series making of Men In Kilts and once again poor Graham trying to keep his life and more history and other places to visit in Scotland with a little more memoir added into the mix.
You do need to read their first book Clanlands and this will definitely make you want to watch Men In Kilts.
If an easy and simple clan history is what your looking for I definitely recommend this 📖 English The Clanlands Almanac: Seasonal Stories from Scotland was fun and fine, but it was almost too conversational to be a decent book. It would make a much better TV show, broken into 12 episodes. They could really let their freak flags fly, and could reuse hilarious content from their existing TV show.

As an audiobook, The Clanlands Almanac: Seasonal Stories from Scotland sounded like a podcast, which again is fine. However, there were such variances in the commentary that it was hard to hear it all properly. They went from hushed whispers to loud laughter and then back to normal speaking all within a 15-second clip. I had to skip certain parts because the production made it impossible to listen at any volume comfortably. That's unfortunate, because Heughan and McTavish have such great chemistry.

So four stars for the content, as it was quite enjoyable, but two stars for the production. English “The fascinating thing about history is that there is always something new to discover. History reveals itself slowly, almost teasingly, gradually adding more pieces to the puzzle. Sometimes this makes the picture clearer, but other times it make it frustratingly more difficult to get a clear image.”

“There’s no place on earth with more of the old superstitions and magic mixed into its daily life than the Scottish Highlands.”

English Don’t feel like I can rate this one because the hardback version very badly needs a copy edit. Defo wasn’t ready for print!

I listened to the audiobook of this alongside reading the hard copy though, which is narrated by Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish, same as their previous book Clanlands. And I did thoroughly enjoy their narration and would recommend consuming the book that way if you’re inclined to pick this up.

Being the mega Outlander stan that I am, I was always going to read this and my enjoyment of it was somewhat pre-guaranteed. However, having listened to Clanlands very recently and then watching their TV show Men in Kilts straight after, this book doesn’t really feel necessary? What I mean by that is, this book doesn’t really cover much new ground. A lot of the content in here is retelling an anecdote or historical fact they’ve covered already in either the first book, the show or both. There’s still joy to be found here though, in their animated storytelling (with help from co-writer Charlotte Reather) and jesting camaraderie.

Ultimately, it could just be the nature of an almanac - I don’t think I’ve read one before? - but the poor editing definitely didn’t help, and this just felt a bit messy. English “Clanlands Almanac: Seasonal Stories from Scotland” by Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish is the follow up to their first novel, “Clanlands: Whisky, Warfare, and a Scottish Adventure Like No Other”, but the two novels can easily be read separately. Both stories are narrated by Sam and Graham, and if you’ve read “Clanlands: Whisky, Warfare, and a Scottish Adventure Like No Other”, than you will recognize the witty banter and repertoire that the two Scots generate, which makes reading this story so enjoyable.

In “Almanac”, McTavish and Heughan illustrate all twelve months of the year using various celebrations, locations and battles in different parts of Scotland. For example, each month has a breakdown of important dates (including births and deaths of historical figures), one Scottish locale and one adventure to partake while there, an important historical battle that took place on the lands, and then of course, one “dram of the month” where the Scots pick one whisky from each region.

The hilarious back-and-forth between Sam and Graham makes (mostly) for light and easy reading. There is almost a constant stream of battles in Scottish history, and the authors definitely cover a LOT of them in detail. There will be something for everyone in this book, although not everything will fit in with every reader. I thoroughly enjoyed the personal information from Heughan and McTavish’s past, as well as when they told stories and anecdotes featuring characters from the Outlander set. The “adventures” recommended are interesting too, as they are not the ones you’d expect, and they provide an interesting alternative to the normal, run-of-the-mill forms of entertainment (there’s a LOT of hiking and climbing).

“Almanac” is a must for hard-core fans of Outlander (or Sam and/or Graham), but is also a must-read for anyone planning a trip to Scotland, as it provides a view of the country from the eye of a local. Some of it is dry and hard to get through (depending on where your interests lie), but “Almanac” has a lot of interesting information in it, and regardless of what you like and why you picked up the novel, it will provide you with some cool facts and knowledge.
English

Clanlands

A seasonal meander through the wilds of Scotland.

If Clanlands was a gentle road trip through Scotland, this almanac is a top down, pedal to the metal up and down odyssey through the many byways of a Scottish year. An invitation to anyone who picks up the book to join us on a crazy camper van exploration over 12 glorious, whisky fueled months. Mountains, battles, famous (and infamous) Scots, the alarming competitiveness of Men in Kilts , clans, feuds, flora, fauna, with a healthy sprinkling of embarrassing personal reminiscences thrown in. Much is explored, all is shared. It is a camper van cornucopia of all things Alba.

From First Footing to Samhain, Fringe Festival follies to whisky lore, Sam & Graham guide readers through a year of Scottish legends, traditions, historical and contemporary events, sharing personal stories and tips as only these two chalk-and-cheese friends can.
 
As entertaining as it is practical, The Clanlands Almanac is a light-hearted education in Scottish history and culture, told through the eyes of two passionate Scotsmen. The perfect escapist guide, The Clanlands Almanac is intended as a starting point for your own Scottish discoveries. Clanlands Almanac: Seasonal Stories from Scotland

Graham McTavish ↠ 5 Read & Download

2.5
While I enjoyed this book and learned some interesting tidbits of history and culture, there were many parts that dragged, feeling slightly unimportant. I would have given it a higher rating other than the fact that it clearly wasn't ready for printing. At times it reads a bit as though it was written in a speech-to-text fashion, and wasn't edited for clarity. At other times, there are simple grammatical errors, and others, blatant printing mistakes. The error that sticks out most to me was the story of how Sam travelled on a boat from INSERT.... Enough said. English 3 stars for content, 1 star for the narration 😀 English Listening to another book from Sam and Graham was a delight. I enjoyed that this book focused on each of their interests--Sam got to talk about whiskey and Graham got to talk about battles. There's also quite a bit of Scottish history.

Audiobook is definitely the way to consume the book. Some of Sam and Graham's laughter and unscripted jokes are kept, and it makes listening to their back and forth even more of a delight. English Funny and informative-- I love the banter between Sam and Graham, but... it really needed one more edit. I felt like I was reading an advanced reader copy with all the errors. English A must listen! I loved this new volume from Outlander and Men in Kilts frenemies Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish. Laugh out loud hijinks, behind the scenes stories and interesting tidbits from Scottish history. HIGHLY recommend!! English