Scottish Books – September 2021

Scotland has inspired writers for hundreds of years. The historical novel is attributed to Sir Walter Scott who arguably, by writing his novels, invented Scottish tourism as we know it today. But the tradition goes back further than that with a rich history of storytelling around the winter fireplace and stories being passed on from generation to generation.

Today Scotland continues to inspire writers from across the world to write stories or indeed to bring the country alive with travel books, memoirs and stories of adventures. A myriad of great stories bringing Scotland alive and inspiring travel.

Which is why the next two years 2022/23, we are celebrating the richness of Scotland’s Stories in the Year of Stories.

The ScotlandHour team were delighted to be approached by the Travel writer Helen Ochyra who suggested this theme, “Scottish books that inspire travel”. Helen has written a book, Scotland Beyond the Bagpipes, described as a journey to discover the magic of Scotland- its stories, its history, its people. Thanks to Helen for this theme.

Joining Helen is the wonderful independent Roz De La Hey owner of the award-winning bookshop Mainstreet Trading in St Boswells. As it says on their website “Books are at the heart of what we do. Our goal when we opened our shop in 2008 was to create a space that was inspiring, ever-changing and welcoming to all. We believe in ‘extreme curation’, so we aim to stock the books we love, and those we think our customers will love too.

Scotland has some great crime writers. Even its own book festival, Bloody Sunday, dedicated to this genre. So it is great to have Mike Walters joining us with his crime novels set in the Black Isle. [His Twitter | Writing Retreat]

Finally, we have Merryn Glover whose second novel, Of Stone and Sky, was published this year and is already getting glowing reviews.

‘A rich stew of a novel, one with a Victorian complexity of plot, a family saga which is also a socio-economic survey of Highland history…a considerable achievement.’ – Alan Massie, The Scotsman newspaper
‘This special book gives, and then keeps on giving.’ – John Dempster, The Inverness Courier
‘It’s a gorgeous, poetic story full of big themes: love, grief, ecology, politics, history and community.’ – Sarah, ScotLitDaily

Fiona Drane, an avid reader from the ScotlandHour team, will be leading and is looking forward to finding new books to read and new places to travel in Scotland.

So, join us on the 29th September 9pm to 10pm Scotland-time. We’ll be tweeting in answer of these questions:

9:00 pm – Q1. What’s your favourite book about or set in Scotland? #ScotlandHour

9:10 pm – Q2. Why has such a small country produced so much great, world-famous literature? #ScotlandHour

9:20 pm – Q3. Where have you read about in Scotland that you’re still desperate to get to and why? #ScotlandHour

9:30 pm – Q4. Why do you think writers are so inspired by Scotland? #ScotlandHour

9:40 pm – Q5. What book about Scotland is still waiting to be written? #ScotlandHour

9:50 pm – Q6. Share your pictures and videos of destinations inspired by a Scottish Book or simply the Scottish Books that inspire you? #ScotlandHour

Don’t forget to start your tweet with A1, A2 and so forth, so everyone can know what question you’re answering. And don’t forget to include the hashtag #ScotlandHour in your tweet of course.

the Scotland Hour Team

Book photo by Ergita Sela on Unsplash