Sunday, 26 January 2014

Read Scotland 2014 challenge, and some quick notes

    There I was, thinking I might be able to go a year without joining a challenge.  I thought to myself, is this my year to not join any?  Do I be free and just read whatever takes my fancy?  Can I organize myself to read all the non-fiction I start and never finish?  I really thought this was the year of no challenges for me, except for Carl's Once Upon a Time and RIP annual challenges.  And then Geranium Cat put up her post here for Read Scotland 2014.


Which after some time to think about it, I realized I do want to do.  It's easy - any book set in Scotland, or written by a Scottish writer, counts.  Fiction or non-fiction.  Peggy Ann at Peggy Ann's Post is hosting it, and her blog post is here. 

It's easy because I look for books set in Scotland to read, naturally.  There is something about the setting and the people that I really enjoy.   I possibly have some Scottish heritage myself - my father is adopted, and the story goes that his father (and mother?) was from Scotland.  My grandmother (the person who ended up adopting my father) knew my father's natural mother, who was very young and unmarried, and - you know the rest, the usual for that time and place in history.  This is the story that we've all been told.  So Scotland is a place of deep interest for me.  A place I might be from.  And heck, for a tiny country, they have produced some great writers - Robert Louis Stevenson. Sir Walter Scott. Robbie Burns.  And some really good novels have been set there: Outlander, for one of the most popular series for the past 20 years.  And one of my favourite mystery writers, Ian Rankin.  So I am going to join.  My first challenge of 2014!!

I am going to do the level Highlander, which is 5 - 8 books. 

Some of the authors and titles (if I know them at this time) that I am considering are:
- Saints of the Shadow Bible - Ian Rankin
- any number of M.C Beaton's Hamish McBeth series.  I have recently decided to start reading this series in order.  This is a future post, so stay tuned.
- The Lewis Man - Peter May (Book 2 in his Lewis trilogy)
- The Chessman  - Peter May (Book 3)
- The Glass Guardian - Linda Gillard (e-book)
-  Robbie Burns poetry
 - The Lore of Scotland

More titles will follow. 

January Blahs:
I still have some posts to finish - my wrap-up books read last year, and best books of the year, and what I've been reading.....but January has started for my family the way December was, with plenty of winter-like flu and coughs and colds. I am currently going through a bout of bronchitis.  So I'm hoping to have enough energy to do some posts this week, before January is done.  It's also been very very cold here - we are now in the midst of our coldest winter since 1981.  It's so cold I don't want to step outside.  I am very grateful for central heating, and if I could hide out at home all winter, I would. I'd be a hibernating bear, and come out in the spring, in March.  Maybe. We sometimes get snowstorms then too.  Maybe April.....

Posts to come:
  I am getting some reading done, but as my children have also been sick, there has been alot of tv-watching and family movie watching going on too.  So posts will follow on The Abdominable (very interesting and a surprising impact on me), Hamish McBeth series, the ending of the Liveship Traders series, and some poetry reading.

I hope you all have been well, my Gentle Readers, and are staying healthy and warm where you are, this winter.


Kailana said...

Fun. A bunch of the guys family lives in Manitoba and they are having the coldest winter in like 30 something years, too. I don't envy you guys! Nova Scotia's climate has entirely changed. We are almost more tropical and are more likely to get rain than snow. We have had some bad storms, but we have also had warmer than normal temperatures and lots of rain. It's bizarre!

Susan said...

Kelly: I know, we are getting the same cold weather they are out in Manitoba too. And I dislike winter at the best of times! lol Sometimes I wonder if I might do better on the coast, where the snow melts faster :-) It's weird that you are having warmer than normal temperatures when we aren't, though. Take care, and stay dry! lol

Alex said...

If you're in the market for a newer Scottish crime writer who is every bit as good as Ian Rankin then I suggest you try Gordon Ferris starting with 'The Hanging Shed'. He is every bit as good as Rankin and definitely one to watch.

Literary Feline said...

How fun! I wish you luck with this one, Susan. I enjoy reading books set in Scotland too. But then, I like reading books set just about anywhere outside the U.S. (and inside the U.S. too, if I'm honest), which just about means I like all settings, doesn't it. Well, almost all settings.

I think my draw to Scotland is because of my ancestry too. The one little branch of family I can trace back the farthest hails from the Campbell clan of Scotland (which an Irishman in a pizza parlor once told me never to admit--the Campbell's were horrible people, he said).

I do hope everyone in your house is soon feeling 100% healthy. My husband's down with another cold. It never seems to end . . .

Cath said...

I'm doing Hebridean, 9 - 12 books. (I too thought I would go challengeless this year. 'Cue gales of laughter'.) It should be a hugely enjoyable challenge I think. I just bought Selected Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson and am absurdly thrilled with this purchase. Only me...

I'm sort of from there too. My grandfather was a Scot - from Aberdeen. My lot were the McDonalds.

JaneGS said...

I may end up doing this challenge by detault--I'm rereading Outlander before the mini-series premieres, and just got a couple of Scottish books within the past few weeks. Plus I have an Ian Rankin on the TBR shelf.

Your set of books sound great--a nice variety.

Interesting family story--sounds like you have a connection to Scotland somewhere along the way :)