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18 Books Set in Scotland that You’d Recommend

It’s Burns Night in Scotland tonight and no doubt celebrations will last well into the rest of the week and the weekend. You can find out more about the night, and Robbie Burns here, but it’s not just Rabbie, Scotland offers the most beautiful landscape for any literary works and so we asked you to recommend your favourite books set in Scotland.

I don’t think we’ve ever had a list that crosses so many genres, there really is all sorts here and something for everyone, if you fancy taking in a bit of Scottish ambiance with your next read. Thanks for all your votes, here are your 18 most recommended books set in Scotland.

Outlander Series – Diana Gabaldon

Our readers just love Outlander and often if it fits, it gets the votes. Outlander certainly fits in this category and if you want to enjoy some sweeping historical Scottish landscapes then this is a big series to get going with.

Outlander US
Outlander UK

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Kidnapped – Robert Louis Stevenson

And from there straight to a classic by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson. Originally marketed as a ‘boys novel’ it appeared in magazine form in 1886, but as our poll shows this historical fiction adventure story is still popular today.

Kidnapped US
Kidnapped UK

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Inspector Rebus Series – Ian Rankin

Another Scottish author and another novel series with Inspector Rebus, who you said offers wonderful depictions of Edinburgh that made you feel as though you were right there.

Knots and Crosses (book 1) US
Knots and Crosses (book 1) UK

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The Thirty-Nine Steps – John Buchan

Another classic, another Scottish author and another adventure novel in fourth place with the Thirty-Nine Steps, a 1915 book that has also featured in several film adaptations and a favourite with many of you.

The Thirty-Nine Steps US
The Thirty-Nine Steps UK

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Trainspotting – Irvine Welsh

Welsh’s Edinburgh is a bleak place but his poetic ramblings and off-tangent comedy makes him a favourite author for many, Trainspotting was my own choice for this question, and it’s fifth in the list of your favourite books set in Scotland.

Trainspotting US
Trainspotting UK

Review of Trainspotting

At The Water’s Edge – Sara Gruen

Lots of classics mentioned so far but now we have a fairly new release. At the Water’s Edge is historical fiction from Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants and many of you absolutely loved it!

At the Water’s Edge US
At the Water’s Edge UK

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Macbeth – William Shakespeare

A mention for the Scottish play, quite a few mentions in fact with many of you putting it as the best story set in Scotland.

Macbeth US
Macbeth UK

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Waverley – Sir Walter Scott

Another classic for the list and they just keep coming, this time with Waverley by Sir Walter Scott. Scott’s first venture into prose fiction and published in 1814, this is historical adventure that you will love.

Waverley US
Waverley UK

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Highlander Series – Karen Marie Moning

Another historical series this time with the Highlander Series. If you love Outlander, chances are you’ll love this too.

Highlander Series US
Highlander Series UK

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Five Red Herrings – Dorothy L. Sayers

Another classic to complete the top ten with Five Red Herrings, set in Galloway this mystery novel has been popular since its first publication in 1931 with its descriptions of literary landscapes particularly noted.

Five Red Herrings US
Five Red Herrings UK

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So that’s the top ten, but from your votes there were eighteen books that stood out on the list of favourite books set in Scotland, the final eight are as follows:

11. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie – Muriel Spark

12. The Crow Road – Ian Banks

13. The Wasp Factory – Ian Banks

14. Scotland Street Series – Alexander McCall Smith

15. September – Rosamunde Pilcher

16. Sunset Song – Lewis Grassic Gibbon

17. The Spanish Letters – Mollie Hunter

18. Greyfriars Bobby – Eleanor Atkinson

Burns Night is celebrated all around the world, so why not raise a wee nip to the Scottish poet and author, grab a lovely book set in Scotland and have a celebration of your own?

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