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! Sally Pattle takes us forward on 10 December.
SALLY PATTLE, Owner of Far From the Madding Crowd bookshop, Linlithgow
It’s always hard to pick just one title as the year draws to a close, that it seemed particularly difficult this year is an encouraging sign for Scottish publishing! Christopher Nicholson’s Among the Summer Snows, an absolutely beautiful book, stayed with me long after finishing it, and Douglas Dunn’s The Noise of a Fly, his first collection in 16 years, was definitely worth the wait. My book of the year, however, is Charlotte Peacock’s biography of Nan Shepherd, Into the Mountain (Galileo, £20). Shepherd has been enjoying a long overdue revival in the past couple of years with special editions of her work appearing, along with her inclusion on the new £5 note. Charlotte Peacock’s biography uses what scant correspondence and records Nan left behind to construct a picture of this enigmatic figure, her place in the Scottish Modernist Renaissance and above all the lifelong friendships she forged with figures such as Jessie Kesson, Neil Gunn and Barbara Balmer which are revealed to have been so important to her. Intensely private throughout her life, Peacock’s biography really gives us readers a way into Nan’s being, a way into her living mountain. Everyone should read this book.