Books of the Year 2017 – A Literary Advent Calendar
December 24, 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! Robert Crawford takes us forward on 24th December.
ROBERT CRAWFORD, poet, scholar and critic. He is currently Professor of English at the University of St Andrews
Though it could have been better edited, Charlotte Peacock’s biography of Nan Shepherd,
Into the Mountain (Galileo, £20), provides the first nuanced full-length portrait of a writer best known to many people for featuring on the Royal Bank of Scotland’s £5 note. Her biographer shows what lies behind Shepherd’s classic of twentieth-century ‘nature writing’, The Living Mountain; using judicious quotation and deft biographical research into this sometimes elusive author, Peacock showcases, too, the pinpoint prose of Shepherd’s fiction. In love for many years with her best friend’s husband, Shepherd destroyed much material, but her biographer has done an impressive job of reconnecting her life and work. If you love wild places, complicated lives, and the vocation of writing, you’ll relish this book.