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Scotland’s favourite book revealed

Sunset Song, voted Scotland's favourite book, was recently filmed fro the big screen in the Mearns
Sunset Song, voted Scotland's favourite book, was recently filmed fro the big screen in the Mearns

Scotland’s favourite books have been revealed.

Sunset Song, the classic novel by Lewis Grassic Gibbon set in the Mearns was voted the nation’s favourite in the poll, conducted by BBC Scotland, in partnership with The Scottish Book Trust and The Scottish Library and Information Council.

The results were announced in a programme on Monday night after voting took place during the summer.

Fife-born authors Iain Banks (The Wasp Factory) and Ian Rankin (Knots & Crosses) came second and eighth respectively.

The Thirty Nine Steps by Perth-born John Buchan was fourth and JK Rowling, who has an estate near Aberfeldy saw her debut Harry Potter novel come sixth.

Published in 1932, Sunset Song is the first part of Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s trilogy A Scots Quair.

Lewis Grassic Gibbon
Lewis Grassic Gibbon

Championing it as her favourite novel in the programme was First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

She said: “I first read Sunset Song when I was in my early teens so maybe 13 or 14. It resonated with me firstly because it is a wonderful story, beautifully written, but it also said something about the history of the country I grew up in and it resonated with me very strongly as a young Scottish woman and I think its themes are timeless to this day.”

Pauline Law, Executive Producer, Arts, said: “The list of books spanned such an amazingly diverse and rich catalogue of terrific writing across generations of great Scottish writers.

John Buchan
John Buchan

“It was interesting to see that the Top 10 included James Hogg’s ‘Justified Sinner’ published in 1824 through to Muriel Spark’s thirties-set The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, which was actually published as a novel in the early sixties, to the modern resonances of Ian Rankin’s Rebus in Knots & Crosses and the contemporary classic that is Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting.

“Within the top 10, there are many great classics of Scottish literature and they range, from crime-writing to social commentary, from fantasy to gritty realism, and from the historical to the contemporary.

“From the feedback we’ve had, the poll certainly seems to have provoked discussion about Scottish literature.”

1997 first edition of Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone which came 6th in the poll
1997 first edition of Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone annotated by JK Rowling. It came 6th in the poll

The Top 10:

1 Sunset Song by Lewis Grassic Gibbon
2 The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks
3 Lanark by Alasdair Gray
4 The Thirty Nine Steps by John Buchan
5 The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
6 Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
7 Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh
8 Knots & Crosses by Ian Rankin
9 The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
10 The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg

 

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