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Best Books About Scotland

Embark on a literary journey to the land of lochs and legends with this selection of the best books about Scotland, celebrated in articles from leading book blogs for their robust portrayals of Scottish life and lore.

Recommendations from 39 articles, Twinkle Khanna, Tim O’Reilly, Irvine Welsh and 8 others.
82 books on the list
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Outlander book cover
Diana Gabaldon - 2005-07-26 (first published in 1991)
Goodreads Rating
Transported from 1945 to 1743 Scotland, a former combat nurse named Claire Randall navigates a dangerous new world torn by war and raids. Amid lairds and spies, she finds a love so intense it tears at her loyalty and heart, forcing her to choose between two lives and two men.
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie book cover
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
A Novel (P.S.)
Muriel Spark - 1999-02-03 (first published in 1961)
Goodreads Rating
A charismatic schoolmistress shakes up her students' lives as she molds them into a select group of the best and brightest. Her unconventional methods spark surprises and challenges the status quo. This P.S. Edition offers additional insights and interviews.
Knots and Crosses book cover
Knots and Crosses
An Inspector Rebus Novel (Inspector Rebus Novels (1))
Ian Rankin - 1995-01-01 (first published in 1987)
Goodreads Rating
A serial killer is on the loose in Edinburgh, and Detective John Rebus is determined to solve the case. But as the murders continue, Rebus struggles with memories of his time in the elite SAS and battles his own demons. Knots and Crosses is a thrilling and intricately plotted mystery, featuring a complex and compelling detective in a fascinating locale.
Kidnapped book cover
Robert Louis Stevenson - 2002-06-01 (first published in 1886)
Goodreads Rating
A young man named David Balfour is kidnapped and set to be sent to America by his scheming uncle. However, when the ship runs into trouble, he is rescued by Alan Breck Stewart, a rogue Jacobite. The two form a unique bond as they traverse the Scottish landscape, encountering dangerous situations and remote places. Robert Louis Stevenson's classic is an expertly written novel of travel and adventure, with a delicate balance of humor and action that has enthralled readers since its first publication in 1886.
44 Scotland Street book cover
44 Scotland Street
Alexander McCall Smith - 2005-06-14 (first published in 2004)
Goodreads Rating
Discover the charming residents of 44 Scotland Street and the city of Edinburgh in this satirical and perceptive novel. Meet six-year-old Bertie and his mother, alongside colorful characters like Pat and Bruce, the athletic young man with a keen sense of his own appearance, and Domenica, the eccentric and insightful widow. Enjoy a delightful and witty portrait of Edinburgh society, complete with love triangles, a lost painting, and encounters with famous Scottish figures.
A History of Scotland book cover
A History of Scotland
Look Behind the Mist and Myth of Scottish History
Neil Oliver - 2011-11-01 (first published in 2009)
Goodreads Rating
Discover a Scotland beyond the tragic tales of failure and submission in this compelling history book. Archaeologist and historian Neil Oliver rewrites Scotland's past with the latest research, placing her story in the wider context of global history to explode the myths that have pervaded for years. This captivating portrait is filled with action, high drama, and centuries of turbulence that have helped to shape modern Scotland. Oliver explores forgotten battles, iconic landmarks, and historic architecture, while charting the growth of patriotism and recent political developments. Come celebrate Scotland's place in the wider world.
How the Scots Invented the Modern World book cover
How the Scots Invented the Modern World
The True Story of How Western Europe's Poorest Nation Created Our World & Everything in It
Arthur Herman - 2002-09-24 (first published in 2001)
Goodreads Rating
Discover the fascinating role Scotland played in shaping modern society with this captivating historical account. Through science, philosophy, literature, education, medicine, commerce, and politics, Scotland made significant contributions to the development of democracy, free market capitalism, and more. Explore the origin of modern ideas and gain a newfound appreciation for the Scots, with insights that will change the way you see the world.
Recommended by
Charlie Munger
The Blackhouse book cover
The Blackhouse
Peter May - 2011-01-01 (first published in 2009)
Goodreads Rating
A Scottish detective returns to his troubled past on the Isle of Lewis to investigate a grisly murder that bears similarities to a brutal killing on mainland Scotland. As he reconnects with his tortured childhood, the desolate but beautiful island and its ancient customs assert their grip on his psyche. This mystery novel was nominated for the Barry Award Best Mystery/Crime Novel of the Decade.
Findings book cover
Kathleen Jamie - 2005-06-02
Goodreads Rating
"Findings" by Kathleen Jamie is an award-winning collection of essays that takes readers on a journey through the Scottish landscapes and the author's personal experiences with nature. From following the call of a peregrine in the hills of Fife to exploring the Orkney islands during winter solstice, Jamie's storytelling is both modern and nuanced, bringing to life the connections between humans and their surroundings. Discover the beauty and wonder of Scotland in "Findings."
Sunset Song by Lewis Grassic Gibbon
Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh
Lanark by Alasdair Gray
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Diary Of A Bookseller by Sean Bythell
At the Water's Edge by Sara Gruen
The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley
Girl Meets Boy by Ali Smith
The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd
The Lost Queen by Signe Pike
The Scottish Bothy Bible by Geoff Allan
The Hidden Ways by Alistair Moffat
Rebus's Scotland A Personal Journey by Ian Rankin
Women of the Dunes by Sarah Maine
Mary Queen of Scots by Antonia Fraser
One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson
Waverley by Walter Scott
Mary Queen of Scotland and The Isles by Margaret George
Wild Guide Scotland by Kimberley Grant
Trumpet by Jackie Kay
The Highland Clans the Highland Clans by Alistair Moffat
Bothy Tales by John D Burns
Scotland by Christopher Fleet
A Sense of Belonging to Scotland by Andy Hall
The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware
Whisky Galore by Compton MacKenzie
Bone Deep by Sandra Ireland
Luckenbooth by Fagan Jenni
To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
The Crow Road by Iain Banks
And the Land Lay Still by James Robertson
The Story of the British Isles in 100 Places by Neil Oliver
Photographing Scotland by Dougie Cunningham
Confessions of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell
At the Loch of the Green Corrie. Andrew Grieg by Andrew Greig
An Illustrated Treasury of Scottish Folk and Fairy Tales by Theresa Breslin
Rick Steves Scotland by Rick Steves
In Freedom's Cause by G. A. Henty
The WASP FACTORY by Iain Banks
Katie in Scotland by James Mayhew
Just Another Mountain by Sarah Jane Douglas
Edinburgh Picturesque Notes by Robert Louis Stevenson, Ahzar Publishing
Raven Black by Ann Cleeves
His Bloody Project by Graeme MacRae Burnet
The Valley at the Centre of the World by Malachy Tallack
Gillespie and I by Jane Harris
Trick Is to Keep Breathing by Janice Galloway
Under the Skin by Michel Faber
Morvern Callar by Alan Warner
From the Shadows by G. R. Halliday
The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg
The Sunlight Pilgrims by Jenni Fagan
How Late It Was, How Late by James Kelman
Bizarre Scotland by David Long
Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart
Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher
The Game of Kings by Dorothy Dunnett
Black and Blue by Ian Rankin
The Bookseller of Inverness by S. G. MacLean
Scotland by Magnus Magnusson
Whirligig by Andrew James Greig
Scottish Island Bagging by Helen Webster
Insurrection by James Hunter
Horrible Histories Special by Terry Deary
Quite Ugly One Morning by Christopher Brookmyre
Espresso Tales by Alexander McCall Smith
Sea Room by Adam Nicolson
Thin Ice by Compton MacKenzie
Raw Spirit by Iain Banks
The Heart of Midlothian by Walter Scott
A Traveller's History of Scotland (Traveller's History Series) by Andrew Fisher by Andrew Fisher