A survey conducted by BBC Scotland, the Scottish Book Trust, and The Scottish Library and Information Council asked Scots to name their favourite books. The choices were from a list of thirty novels compiled by the panel of the Scottish Book Trust all set in Scotland or by authors who are Scottish.
The nation has spoken, and from the votes we have a top ten favourite books, as chosen by the Scottish people. There are some fantastic selections in the list, so without further ado, here it is.
Sunset Song – Lewis Grassic Gibbon
Sunset Song is considered to be one of the most important Scottish novels of the 20th century, so we’re not surprised to find it at the top. Written in 1932, it captures the hardships of rural Scotland and deals with many shocking issues.
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie – Muriel Spark
Set in 1930s Edinburgh, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie is an iconic novel, often included in the ‘greatest of all time’ lists. The story follows a group of girls and their teacher, Miss Jean Brodie.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – J. K Rowling
While Scotland is never named in Harry Potter, it’s fairly clear to anyone from the UK that Hogwarts is built there, putting the tale of the boy wizard in this top ten.
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Sherlock Holmes may have dwelled at Baker Street, but Sir Authur Conan Doyle is from Edinburgh in Scotland, and as this survey shows, he’s still as popular today as he ever was.
The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner – James Hogg
Scottish author, James Hogg penned this anonymously, and it’s the first on the list that I haven’t heard of. Part gothic, part mystery, part satire and part crime-fiction, it’s set in Scotland and while reviewers of the first edition didn’t think much of it, it’s received much critical interest and attention in more recent years.
So that’s it, Scotland’s top ten books, according to the people of Scotland. Would you agree? Are there any iconic Scottish novels you think are missing from the list?