Read Scotland 2015 discussion

15 views
The Hebridean: 9-12 books > Linda's books

Comments Showing 1-35 of 35 (35 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Linda (new)

Linda | 27 comments I have just finished my third book for the challenge, Take a Breath by S. K. Paisley. One to read if you like stories of flawed but realistic characters, mysteries and Glasgow. My review is here - https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 2: by Linda (new)

Linda | 27 comments The 2nd book I read for this challenge was In a Class of Their Own by Millie Gray set in Leith, Edinburgh. A good read with some local dialect. My review is here - https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 3: by Linda (new)

Linda | 27 comments The first book in my Read Scotland book challenge for 2015 was Parly Road by Ian Todd. I loved this book and will be reading the others in the series in due course. My review is here - https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 4: by Peggy (new)

Peggy (peggyherself) | 162 comments Mod
Linda wrote: "The first book in my Read Scotland book challenge for 2015 was Parly Road by Ian Todd. I loved this book and will be reading the others in the series in due course. My review is here - https://ww..."

They all three sound really good Linda. I will be looking for these authors at used books while I'm in Scotland!


message 5: by Linda (new)

Linda | 27 comments When are you coming to Scotland Peggy?


message 6: by Peggy (new)

Peggy (peggyherself) | 162 comments Mod
Linda wrote: "When are you coming to Scotland Peggy?"

May. Staying for the whole month of May. You live there don't you Linda?! I'll be staying in Glenrothes, Markinch. How close is that to you?


message 7: by Linda (new)

Linda | 27 comments I do and Glenrothes is not too far away Peggy, certainly no more than an hours drive away. Fife is a lovely part of the country and very handy for getting to other areas.


message 8: by Linda (new)

Linda | 27 comments I have finished Blue Wicked by Alan Jones. I agree with him that the book is not for the faint hearted and certainly not for any cat lovers but I really enjoyed it. The way that the cat crimes were linked to crimes against people and the involvement of a vet in a police investigation were certainly novel and not like anything else I have read.

The swearing and mild violence didn't bother me at all, there is more swearing in Ian Todd's Glasgow Chronicles books and although there is also some violence in them it is very tame in comparison.

I enjoyed the way the relationship between the two main characters developed and the ending was very well done. I have just bought Alan's other book, The Cabinetmaker and look forward to reading that once I have finished my current book. That's my total to 4 books so far for this challenge.


message 9: by Alan (new)

Alan Jones Linda, thanks for your comments and for doing the interview. I'll post the results on my website when I get them all in. There's still one slot to fill, so if anyone else wants a free book in return for answering a short questionnaire, let me know.


message 10: by Peggy (new)

Peggy (peggyherself) | 162 comments Mod
Linda wrote: "I have finished Blue Wicked by Alan Jones. I agree with him that the book is not for the faint hearted and certainly not for any cat lovers but I really enjoyed it. The way that the cat crimes we..."

It is a bit gory, Linda but I think Alan is a very talented writer and look forward to his next book!

Looks like your going to have upgrade your challenge level ;)


message 11: by Linda (new)

Linda | 27 comments I have just finished Run, Johnboy, Run by Ian Todd. this was the sequel to Parly Road and followed the exploits of Johnboy Taylor and his fellow members of the Mankies, as their gang was called. This book also expands on Johnboy's mum and her attempts to stop warrant sales being held when people got too behind with their rent or other debts. I really enjoyed the book though it was on the long side. It could almost have been two books. There is an awful lot of swearing throughout and the book is written in Glasgow Scots, so those not familiar with that would struggle to understand much of the book. There are 4 books so far in this series but I am going to give myself a break and read a few others before starting number 3 in this series.

That is a total of 5 books so far for this challenge.


message 12: by Linda (new)

Linda | 27 comments I really need to remember to update this as I go. First of all I read the latest Stuart MacBride book in the Logan McRae series and I think it was his best yet. It sees Logan as a uniformed officer heading up the policing of a patch of a group of small villages in the Aberdeen area. DCI Steel soon makes an appearance as she wants Logan back working for her and so the story starts. Well worth a read if police procedurals are your thing.

I then went on to start James Oswald's Prayer for the Dead, which is his 5th book featuring Tony McLean and is set in Edinburgh. I got part way through and began to get annoyed by the references to things that had occurred in the previous books. I knew I had read the very first one, Natural Causes, and I quickly found that I had bought the other books in the series but not read them. I have subsequently read - Books of Souls (#2), Hangman's Song (#3) and Dead Men's Bones (#4) and I have now gone back to number 5, Prayer for the Dead, which will be my tenth book for this challenge. I will post an update when I finish it.

For those unfamiliar with the Tony McLean books they are police procedurals with a supernatural twist, and are very well written. I will go into more detail once I have finished book 5.


message 13: by Peggy (new)

Peggy (peggyherself) | 162 comments Mod
Linda wrote: "I really need to remember to update this as I go. First of all I read the latest Stuart MacBride book in the Logan McRae series and I think it was his best yet. It sees Logan as a uniformed offic..."

I enjoy Inspector McLean too, Linda! Have yet to read a MacBride book but will get to it soon.


message 14: by Linda (new)

Linda | 27 comments The MacBride books really do need to be read in order Peggy. The stories are standalone but the character's lives are a bit complicated so reading them in order is easiest.

I have finished the 5th Oswald Inspector Maclean books and I have to say that I normally get fed up with an author after reading 2 books in a row. The only other books I have read more than 2 in a row are the Harry Potter ones.

Each of the Oswald books stands alone in terms of the crimes committed and solved but like the MacBride ones, it is best to read them in order due to the complications in the character's lives.

As police procedurals they are very good but the supernatural elements help them stand out. Nothing is ever proved or disproved in terms of the other worldliness, much of that is left to the reader to work out what it could be.

All of the stories are set in Edinburgh and the Lothians so anyone familiar with these areas will be able to visualise the places but there is enough description in the books to help the reader 'see' the crime scenes regardless. Well worth reading, I know I will be on the lookout for other books by this author.


message 15: by Linda (new)

Linda | 27 comments Book 11 of my challenge was Smokeheads by Doug Johnstone and it was very disappointing. It is a tale of 4 guys who have been friends since university on a weekend trip to Islay to visit some of the local distilleries. Early on there was a car accident which was the pivotal point of the book and when everything started to go wrong.

The characters were either totally over the top or completely non descript, the police on Islay were all corrupt, there was an illegal still, ran by said police, a fire, several deaths and a completely unbelievable ending. If the book hadn't been so short I would have given up part way through. Not one I would recommend.


message 16: by Linda (new)

Linda | 27 comments Book 12 of my challenge was the wonderful Dreamwalker which had been recommended by Margaret. I loved this book and was so disappointed when it ended, that I immediately bought the next 2 books in the series, the 4th of which will be published later this year.

It was a very enjoyable tale of the parallel lives of a young boy and a young dragon whose future fates seem to be strongly linked. I think I will be starting book 2 of the series at some point today.


message 17: by Peggy (new)

Peggy (peggyherself) | 162 comments Mod
Linda I got to go visit James Oswald last week! He is a sweet gracious man. Loved seeing his coos and sheep. Have the first 3 in that series now to take home with me. They aren't published in the U.S.


message 18: by Linda (new)

Linda | 27 comments I saw that in one of your other posts Peggy. Are you on a tour of Scottish authors or is this something you organised yourself?

I am on book 2 and will likely start book 3 straight after that. James Oswald is the only author I have read where I haven't been fed up and needed a break from the characters after 2 successive books in a series.


message 19: by Peggy (new)

Peggy (peggyherself) | 162 comments Mod
No I'm not on a tour of authors. Just stay in touch with the two and since I am here made arrangements to meet. I follow James Oswald's Twitter and watch his lamcam each year when the ewes lamb. So when I was coming he said to come see the farm animals. I'll pass it on to him what you said about characters in series! We did Stirling Castle yesterday and off to Dunfermline today to Robert the Bruce's grave. The difference in our currency is quite expensive for me though and I am going to have to be very careful! Won't do as much as I thought I would this trip. Hopefully there will be others.


message 20: by Linda (new)

Linda | 27 comments It sounds like you are having a great time. It can be very expensive to do 'touristy' type things in this country and I say that as a native. I try to expose my grandchildren to a range of experiences but it isn't always as affordable as I would like.

I really must try to get to grips with twitter, I dip in and out of it but it should be easier now I am only following people for pleasure rather than for the latest research, as I was doing when I was still working. Watch this space!


message 21: by Linda (new)

Linda | 27 comments As I have now completed book 13 in my challenge and have begun reading book 14 it looks like I am heading for Ben Nevis.

Book 13 was The Rose Cord which is the 2nd of the Ballad of Sir Benfro books by James Oswald. Just as riveting as the first and equally as enjoyable. I started book 3 in this series - The Golden Cage, immediately on finishing.


message 22: by Peggy (last edited Jun 15, 2015 07:43AM) (new)

Peggy (peggyherself) | 162 comments Mod
Linda wrote: "It sounds like you are having a great time. It can be very expensive to do 'touristy' type things in this country and I say that as a native. I try to expose my grandchildren to a range of experi..."

Linda, I'm rubbish at twitter. I just basically follow others but don't 'tweet' much myself. Mostly I just do it for the pics of the farm James Oswald posts! If you want to follow him he is @SirBenfro


message 23: by Peggy (new)

Peggy (peggyherself) | 162 comments Mod
Linda wrote: "As I have now completed book 13 in my challenge and have begun reading book 14 it looks like I am heading for Ben Nevis.

Book 13 was The Rose Cord which is the 2nd of the Ballad of Sir Benfro book..."


Brought all three of these books home with me as they are not published in the US.


message 24: by Linda (new)

Linda | 27 comments I hope you enjoy them Peggy, I certainly did and am anxiously awaiting September for book 4!


message 25: by Linda (new)

Linda | 27 comments Book 14 was The last days of Disco by David F Ross. A bittersweet story set in the early 80's and focusing on a working class family living in Ayrshire. I'm not sure that anyone not living or having lived in the west of Scotland for many years would understand it as much of it is written in dialect but I loved it and can't wait for the next in the series.

One of the things I love about this challenge is it gets me reading books I would otherwise have ignored.


message 26: by Linda (new)

Linda | 27 comments Book 15 was The Credit Draper by J David Simons about a Jewish boy called Avram Escovitz who finds himself sent alone, aged 11, to live in Glasgow with a moderately wealthy Jewish family. It tells Avram's story from his arrival through to his new life as a credit draper in the highlands of Scotland once his education is finished. The story goes on to find Avram's dreams of playing for Glasgow Celtic almost realised when he plays against them and then his fortunes as he pioneers his own business selling waterproof clothing to crofters, farmers and gentry across the highlands.

A well written, detailed story of Jewish life from 1911 onwards. My only gripe was the ending which, to me, just didn't sit well with what had gone before.


message 27: by Peggy (new)

Peggy (peggyherself) | 162 comments Mod
Linda wrote: "Book 14 was The last days of Disco by David F Ross. A bittersweet story set in the early 80's and focusing on a working class family living in Ayrshire. I'm not sure that anyone not living or hav..."

Me too Linda, Genre wise I have really expanded my reading.


message 28: by Linda (last edited Aug 09, 2015 01:22PM) (new)

Linda | 27 comments Books 16-19 were the books written by Denzil Meyrick and featuring DCI Daley. I stumbled across these books by chance and was delighted that I had. Dalintober Moon is a short story with the same main characters but the other 3 are full length stories set in Cambeltown which is known as Kinloch in the books. There is some local dialect but not as much as would make it very tricky for a non native to follow.

The books are part police procedurals and part thrillers with a fair few twists and turns. They are extremely well written and easy to follow and I am impatiently waiting for the next one which is likely to be next year.

I guess this means I am officially at Ben Nevis and heading fast for the Back O' Beyond.


message 29: by Peggy (new)

Peggy (peggyherself) | 162 comments Mod
Linda wrote: "Books 16-19 were the books written by Denzil Meyrick and featuring DCI Daley. I stumbled across these books by chance and was delighted that I had. Dalintober Moon is a short story with the same ..."

Yea, to the back o'beyond! Myerick's books do sound good. I follow him on Facebook. He did a giveaway but, alas, I didn't win.


message 30: by Linda (new)

Linda | 27 comments Book 20 - Gallowglass by Gordon Ferris
This is the 4th in the Douglas Brodie series and almost my favourite (the 1st one holds that place currently).

It begins with the funeral of Douglas Brodie and then goes on to tell how the funeral was planned to allow Brodie to escape from jail, where he was being held on charges of kidnap and murder. These charges were obviously false and were as a result of corrupt policemen doing a shoddy job and some bery skilful manouvering by those who wished to see Brodie hang, regardless of his innocence.

Brodie then goes on to uncover the truth while ensuring the British economy didn't collapse and the Anglo-American loans went ahead. A cracking good read.


message 31: by Linda (new)

Linda | 27 comments Book 21 - Shadowplay by Karen Campbell. This is the third book featuring Anna Cameron, although I haven't yet read 1 and 2. A thoroughly good police procedural set in and around Govan in Glasgow. This book has everything from the kidnap of an old lady to money laundering and cannabis farms with a host of other crimes in between. A cracking good read. Mt review is here - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8...


message 32: by Linda (new)

Linda | 27 comments Book 22 The Strife of Riley by De-ann Black - a cracking thriller set in Glasgow and Edinburgh and featuring a few members of the Navy's version of the SAS as well as several other memorable characters.


message 33: by Linda (last edited Oct 19, 2015 11:48AM) (new)

Linda | 27 comments Book 24 was Alexander McCall Smith's retelling of Emma. Not a book I would have read without this challenge but not one I particularly enjoyed either.


message 34: by Linda (new)

Linda | 27 comments Book 23 was Hit and Run by Doug Johnstone - my review of this book is here - https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 35: by Peggy (new)

Peggy (peggyherself) | 162 comments Mod
Linda wrote: "Book 24 was Alexander McCall Smith's retelling of Emma. Not a book I would have read without this challenge but not one I particularly enjoyed either."

I think I'll skip those re-telling books, Linda!


back to top