Books of the Year 2017 – A Literary Advent Calendar
December 22, 2017 | by
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! Kathryn Ross takes us forward on 22nd December.
KATHRYN ROSS, literary agent at Fraser Ross Associates
Last year, James Robertson and illustrator, Kate Leiper breathed new and glorious life into an ancient Scots poem, first published almost 600 years ago. By reimagining The Book of the Howlat (BC Books, £12.99) as an exquisitely illustrated picture book, they made a medieval satire about the trials and tribulations of a young owl dissatisfied with his appearance not merely accessible to a 21st century readership, but relevant and hugely enjoyable too. The moral of the original poem was ‘know your place’, but the far more uplifting message of this contemporary version is ‘be true to yourself’. Robertson’s lyrical, witty text in both the Scots and the English versions is a joy to read aloud and Leiper’s detailed and subtly humorous illustrations are sheer delight. Published in paperback this year, The Book of the Howlat is a thing of beauty and the perfect gift for all ages.