Reading list

This is the pile of books on my bedside table that I will get round to reading when I’ve finished my degree!

  • The Borders by Alistair Moffat. I am actually half way through this book and it is fascinating. It’s all about the history of the Scottish Borders but really what you’re getting is the history of the UK through a regional lens because the Borders has played such an important part in that history. Last night I read about where the term “heckling” comes from. It is a term for part of the process of turning flax into linen. The flax needs to be beaten to release the fibres and the people who did this job were called hecklers. The job was so boring that the hecklers paid people to read to them as they worked, resulting in the hecklers becoming particularly articulate and well informed. The textile industry in the Borders was massive and the hecklers were a noisy force to be reckoned with in the political arena.
  • The Box Of Delights by John Masefield. This was bought for us by Little Owl with the help of her grandparents from a gorgeous Borders bookshop called Main Street Trading. My mum started to read this with my sister and I when we were little but we never finished it. It’s a poetic tale full of snow and magic so I’m thinking of saving it for the lead up to next Christmas.
  • Wildwood by Roger Deakin. Four months after he wrote this book Roger Deakin died of a brain tumour so it feels like an even more precious book. Tim Adams in the Observer writes, “It is a book that comes with an argument, that ‘the enemies of woods are always the enemies of humanity’ and a manifesto ‘[to excite] a feeling for the importance of trees through a greater understanding of them, so that people don’t think of “trees” as they do now, but of each individual tree and each kind of tree.'” Can’t wait!
  • Vanished Kingdoms by Norman Davies. This book should be amazing because it’s all about revealing the stories of lost kingdoms, one of which being the Kingdom of the Rock near Glasgow. It should be but it’s an absolute tome. My ambition with this one is just to finish it. It’s the kind of book you read not because you enjoy it but because it’s good for you.
  • The Illustrated Natural History of Selbourne by Gilbert White. This is a classic of natural history writing. I plan to read it like a devotional…a few pages a day.
  • Birdwatching With Your Eyes Closed by Simon Barnes. I’ve had this book for a while and the reason I haven’t got into it yet is because I want to give some serious time to it. I’m always so envious of the Farm Manager here who stops mid-conversation and goes, “Hear that? It’s a…” Nope, I just heard general bird song BUT I’d love to get to know the individual voices of birds.
  • Beyond the Page by Quentin Blake. National illustration treasure Quentin Blake talks about his work in this gorgeous coffee table book. The honest truth is that I probably won’t read many of the words because I’ll be lost in the pictures but then, that’s what good illustration is all about.
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2 Responses to Reading list

  1. Reupheus says:

    I’m off to Ibrox library might just have to request wild woods. & I love simon barnes. 🙂

  2. Reupheus says:

    Just saw the cover on Amazon, I got it out on Skye but had to give it back before I finished it (and more or less before I started)

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