Gransnet forums

Books/book club

Help with book on Scottish theme

(47 Posts)
eebeew Fri 19-Oct-18 22:57:42

My book group have decided on the theme of Scotland for our next book. I’m stumped. Can anyone suggest a good book please? It can be anything but I’d prefer a non-historical novel.

GeminiJen Tue 06-Nov-18 11:46:35

Thanks for that. My misunderstanding. When you said you'd read This is where I am I hadn't twigged that it was your book club choice.
Thanks too for starting this thread. I'm sure I'm not alone in discovering some new authors...and rediscovering some old favourites smile

eebeew Tue 06-Nov-18 02:17:43

Yes I read This is Where I Am and as I already posted I thought it a wonderful book. I’m now reading another of Karen Campbell’s books; Rise.
I’m grateful for all the suggestions and have saved them all for future reading. Muriel Spark is another I will add to the list.

GeminiJen Sun 04-Nov-18 13:33:39

You may well have made your choice by now....? which case it would be good to know what you decided and why.
And, if you haven't, here's another suggestion: Muriel Spark - probably best known for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. All 22 of her novels have been published this year in special editions to mark the hundredth anniversary of her birth, all with introductions written by modern Scottish writers.
I've just finished reading her third: Memento Mori , introduced by Zoe Strachan, and would recommend.

moleswife Sun 04-Nov-18 10:33:26

I've just noticed DoraMarr has beaten me to it - sorry! Sunset Song is the first of the triology and, I believe, was made into a film a couple of years ago.

moleswife Sun 04-Nov-18 10:28:22

To really get the best flavour of north east Scotland 'A Scots Quair' by Lewis Grassic Gibbon is a must - made up of 3 novels it offeres a great story of a woman and her family in the region about 100 years ago.

Katek Wed 31-Oct-18 09:06:20

If you’re into detective fiction there is also Stuart McBride’s Logan McRae series.

SueDonim Wed 31-Oct-18 00:38:00

I'm pleased you enjoyed it, Eebeew! It's quite an unusual story, I thought.

DoraMarr Wed 31-Oct-18 00:37:22

I second Marmight’s suggestion, “Sunset Song” is wonderful. It uses Doric, the language of the North east of Scotland, and it’s a beautiful evocation of the sometimes harsh lives lived there in the early 20th century, with a compelling central character, Chris Guthrie.

eebeew Wed 31-Oct-18 00:23:20

Suedomin : I read the book you recommended “This is Where I am” by Karen Campbell. Thankyou so much it is the best book I have read for a long time!

Marmight Mon 22-Oct-18 04:30:26

Sunset Song by Lewis Grassic Gibbon?

Elegran Sun 21-Oct-18 20:47:06

A detection series with a different contemporary view of Shetland is the Cass Lynch series by Marsali Taylor. There is a lot of detail about sailing a small boat (or a tall ship) as well as a lot about Shetland and Shetlanders, and the characters are realistic. The first one is "Death on a Longship". It is on Amazon for the Kindle at £1.99 so you could try it out without breaking the bank. I have read the next three as well.

Melanieeastanglia Sun 21-Oct-18 20:39:31

Sorry, meant "one of Ian Rankin's novels".

Melanieeastanglia Sun 21-Oct-18 20:38:57

What about one Ian Rankin's novels? Murder mystery. I think most people would enjoy them.

Jane10 Sun 21-Oct-18 20:11:54

I loved 'Gillespie and I'. I know its 19th century but the art world setting and the psychological aspect would give rise to lots of discussion at the book club.
Thanks for the plug Pittcity!

varian Sun 21-Oct-18 20:08:23

Bill Paterson's short stories about growing up in Glasgow in the 1950s and early 60s- "Tales from the Back Green"

Marelli Sat 20-Oct-18 19:17:51

Marydoll and Geminijen, I'd read all of her books many years ago, then found most of them all again on Amazon. I enjoyed them all over again - even more - when I re-read them. 🙂

travelsafar Sat 20-Oct-18 18:49:40

Dr Findley's Casebook available on Amazon.

muffinthemoo Sat 20-Oct-18 13:42:52

Scottish writers tend frustratingly to write about Scotland in historical contexts, so finding a novel with modern setting that’s distinctively ‘Scottish’ is harder than it might be.

I’m guessing the book group are not very into Irvine Welsh, so will refrain from suggesting that.

Janice Galloway’s The Trick Is To Keep Breathing is an incredible book about living with depression.

If you’re ok with dark crime fiction, Louise Welsh’s The Cutting Room is great.

Iain Banks - The Crow Road.

AL Kennedy - Looking For The Possible Dance.

TerriBull Sat 20-Oct-18 12:41:46

Sorry OP, have just re read your post, and have seen you'd prefer not to have anything historical so like others have suggested, Peter May and Anne Cleeves, their books tend, in the main, to have a contemporary setting.

TerriBull Sat 20-Oct-18 12:31:55

"Gillespie and I" Jane Harris, a great Victorian murder mystery set in Scotland. Peter May's "Runaway" is excellent as is "Entry Island" which although set primarily in Canada, I think, has also has a" back in the past" narrative
regarding the 19th century and the highland clearances, if I remember rightly, read it a while ago, I do remember it was very good. I also love Anne Cleeves "Shetland" books, she never produces a dud.

Sweetie222 Sat 20-Oct-18 12:29:34

Oops typo on two line message! Doh

Sweetie222 Sat 20-Oct-18 12:28:37

Outlander/Cross Stich by Diana Gabaldon. Ok, it's about time travel and now a TV series but a really interesting page turner!

SueDonim Sat 20-Oct-18 12:21:31

There's also Christine Marion Fraser, although I'm not sure her books are still in print. They're not challenging to read, though. More just lovely beach/rainy Sunday family sagas.

GeminiJen Sat 20-Oct-18 11:44:03

eebeew...I agree with all of the above. I'd also recommend a modern Scottish novel I've just finished reading: A Unicorn on the Meadows by Linda Menzies. It tells the story of Mary McGregor, born in 1950, who remembers her previous lives in the 18th and 19th centuries, where there have been tragedies and injustices which have blighted lives and which need to be resolved. Although set in Edinburgh, the novel deals with universal themes of injustice, divisions in society, family issues and retribution... I loved it!

GeminiJen Sat 20-Oct-18 11:31:22

Marelli...You've taken me on a trip down memory lane smile I'm another one who loved the Lilian Beckwith many years ago...Must re-visit.