Reading Suggestions.

Mar 18th, 2004, 11:25 AM
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Reading Suggestions.

Going to Scotland this summer and I would like recommendations on books to read. I prefer fiction specially if it takes place in the highlands, skye or Edinburg. Any suggestions?
Laly is offline  
Mar 18th, 2004, 12:01 PM
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Don't have any specific recommendations but you may want to check out this site.
grimmy is offline  
Mar 18th, 2004, 12:10 PM
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Oh Laly, you MUST read Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, not only does it fit your critera but is quite possbily the most absorbing piece of fiction ever written. You will spend your entire time in Scotland looking out for tall men with red hair. And the good news is, when you finish, there are 4 sequels and 2 more in the works. You can read some samples at the author's website -
Daisy54 is offline  
Mar 18th, 2004, 01:23 PM
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The Ian Rankin mystery series is set in Edinburgh.
carolyn is offline  
Mar 18th, 2004, 01:39 PM
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Definitely second Carolyn's suggestion of an Ian Rankin Inspector Rebus novel or two... very well written and pleasantly gritty; it should stave off any OTT romantic notions you may be inclined to indulge in about Scotland and Edinburgh in particular. And I always think it's best to keep a certain realism when entertaining thoughts of thine hosts!

Seriously though - extremely good books, easily read, good characterisation and light on the detective clichés and hackneyed dialogue. You honestly can't go wrong.
Dr D.
Dr_DoGood is offline  
Mar 18th, 2004, 03:11 PM
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I agree with Daisy, I loved the Outlander series! It is mostly set in the Highlands before, during and after Culloden. The 2 main characters(Jamie and Claire) are some of my favorite fictional characters of all time. I think you will LOVE it too. Judy
Judyrem is offline  
Mar 18th, 2004, 05:50 PM
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Another vote for the Outlander series.
Some of the best fiction you will read.
Jenn is offline  
Mar 19th, 2004, 01:02 AM
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I read the first novel of the Outlander series and have to say I didn't like it. A little too sadistic for my tastes. But Laly, are you interested in historical fiction or something more currant.
I enjoyed reading The World of Jennie G. by Elisabeth Ogilvie. It's set in the early 19th century Highlands and focuses on the clearings, which forced so many Scots to emigrate.
BTilke is offline  
Mar 19th, 2004, 03:28 AM
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A Scots Quair by Lewis Grassic Gibbon. This is set in the north east of Scotland I think. THe first book is called Sunset Song, then it is Cloud Howe and the final book in the trilogy is Grey Granite. The books are about Chris Guthrie, a girl who is torn between loving her land and wanting to get out of it all! It is set in the early part of the 20th century. I loved it. In Scottish schools this was a set text for english class.
Scotgirl is offline  
Mar 19th, 2004, 07:17 AM
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Also set in - or based around -Edinburgh are Christopher Brookmyre's 'gritty' crime novels. Don't know if they're available outside the UK.

Other possibilities -
Muriel Spark - The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
Robert Louis Stevenson (Kidnapped, Catriona, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde)
Adam Nicolson - Searoom (non-fiction but a beautifully-written book about the lives of people who lived on some small Hebridean islands he inherited)
PatrickLondon is offline  
Mar 19th, 2004, 08:59 AM
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If you can find a used copy, I would suggest "Bride of the McHugh." It's set in the Highlands and gives you a marvelous sense of history and the lay of the land. Because of the book we made a point of visiting the ruins of Castle Campbell, where part of the story takes place.
Underhill is offline  
Mar 19th, 2004, 12:11 PM
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Daisy et al: I read the Outlander 4 years ago, the complete series, and absolutely loved it. I visited Scotland in 2001 (got back 1 day before 9/11 via NY). Great story and imagination.

Carolyn et al: Thanks for the suggestions I will try to get some of these books, and find the time to read them.

Places mean a lot more when there is a story (fiction or non fiction) behind it.


Laly is offline  
Mar 19th, 2004, 03:18 PM
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.....Dorothy Dunnett's "Lymond Chronicles" - five wonderful books
about a dashing Scottish adventurer
in the Renaissance. Totally addictive.
llamalady is offline  
Mar 19th, 2004, 05:44 PM
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For some good fiction based in Scotland, read Rosamunde Pilcher's "September" and "Winter Solstice". She's the author of the wonderful "Shell Seekers" and "Coming Home". Read those, too!! (Based in England).
Sue4 is offline  
Mar 20th, 2004, 01:14 AM
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The Hills is Lonely and other books by Lillian Beckwith tell the story of an English schoolteacher who goes to live in the Hebrides. I found them very funny. They were written before WWII, so tell of a life probably long gone even in the Hebrides. I thought the books would be out of print, but I just searched the net and found several places selling them.

They're not fiction, but interesting reading nonetheless.
islandpaddler is offline  
Mar 20th, 2004, 05:22 AM
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The newest book by Robin Pilcher, son of Rosamunde, takes place in Scotland too.
huebie is offline  
Mar 20th, 2004, 07:26 AM
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M.C. Beaton's Hamish MacBeth mystery series. I am told the BBC has a television program based on these books. Light reading.
Izzybits is offline  
Mar 20th, 2004, 06:04 PM
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Yes! How could I have forgotten Hamish Macbeth, especially as I was just reading the latest in the series.
Underhill is offline  
Mar 20th, 2004, 06:29 PM
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Outlander - absolutely!
nicenancy is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2004, 01:38 PM
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I've done a few "routes" for people where the text is smattered with a reading list. It's how I see my country. Is that sad or what?

Thinking geographically and starting here:-

69 Things To Do With A Dead Princess
Coloured Lights
The Machine Doctor

Around the north east and all over, there are various novels by Neil Gunn, particularly, the Silver Darlings and Tales of Para Handy.

In the Highlands, I've just finished White Male Heart; you have the D. K. Broster novels- Flight of the Heron and a Gleam in the Dark. masses of stuff by Sir Walter Scott. Lots of historical novels by Nigel Tranter.

All of George Mackay Brown's Orkney stuff

Moving onto the Hebrides, there's Callanish, the Road Dance, lost by John Buchan (he did more than The 39 Steps), Woolf's "To the Lighthouse". Crowdie and Cream set on Harris and then there's The Island Wife from Mull.

Val McDermid is another great Scottish crime writer, and her most recent book The Distant Echo is set in Fife. Her Lindsay Gordon books are set in Glasgow

Quentine jardine, mentioned above, has the Oz Blackstone books as well as the Skinner ones. Denise Mina's Glasgow book are ace, and Ajay Close's something and Doubtful in Glasgow is also first class

Notwithstanding your theme of non-fiction, no such list can be complete without Boswell and Johnson and their trip to the Hebrides, and there's a a particularly good book of seal myths, the name of which is temporarily escaping me.

There's all of the RL Stevenson oeuvre.

Morven Caller set in Oban

Anything by Hogg, set in the Borders;

there's lots of good options. get back if you'd like more.

Oh, just to finish, reently found (at least by me) are all the books by Meg Henderson
sheila is offline  

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