We’ve asked Scotland’s leading writers, booksellers, festival directors and critics to pick one, or two, books — published this year or in the past — that they most enjoyed reading in 2017. There will be new selections every day until 21 December — so keep reading for great ideas about what to read next and visit your nearest high street bookshop to purchase your Christmas gifts! Malachy Tallack takes us forward on 15th December.
MALACHY TALLACK, writer, editor and singer-songwriter
I was delighted to see Kapka Kassabova win the Saltire Book of the Year award last month. Border (Granta, £14.99) is a marvellous and deeply humane book, which shines a spotlight on a region that few in Western Europe will ever have visited or even considered before: the borderland where Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey come together. Kassabova illuminates this place, its tangled histories, geographies and mythologies. But she is best, always, at people. From the inhabitants of dying villages in the Bulgarian mountains, to Kurdish and Syrian refugees on Europe’s doorstep, desperate to get in: each person she meets is brought to life on the page. ‘I had no distance from anything and cared too much about the doomed,’ she frets, early in the book. We, her readers, are fortunate for that.