Monday, July 16, 2018

Holiday Books

Have you even really been on holiday if you don't buy a book, or two? Well, if you're a bibliophile than thevanswer is clearly no. I didn't buy a lot of books this time but I'm really pleased with the ones I got and have noted a couple more to look for in paperback.

These were Jon Dunn's 'Orchid Summer', which follows his search for Britains orchids. It sounds excellent but looks a bit heavy for carrying around so I'm not buying it just yet. There's also Donald S. Murray's 'The Dark Stuff' about peat and peat moors. I'm interested in the subject, it's my kind of landscape, but when I read Murray's book on herring a couple of years ago I found it a bit of a mess, so whilst I might stretch to the paperback I really don't need the hardback. 

I did buy a couple of knitting books - Jamieson and Smith's new collection, and Marie Wallin's Shetland collection. I'll write more about these in a future post.

This trip we stopped in Inverness on the way up and down from Shetland, it wasn't a quick way to travel but it was stress free, the flight times were more or less civilised, and it eased me back into returning to the city. There's also the bonus that Inverness has an excellent Waterstones, and the famous Leakey's second hand bookshop. 

I left my bookshopping to the return journey (something to look forward to) so missed the second hand copy of Edith Durham's 'High Albania' and resisted the temptation to buy yards of tatty John Buchans, eventually leaving Leakey's empty handed.

Not so Waterstones where I got Nan Shepherds 'The Quarry Wood' in a lovely new Canongate edition. Nan Shepherd now adorns one of Scotland's £5 notes - I wonder what she would have made of that or the possibility of buying her work with money bearing her image. Anyway, I'm looking forward to reading this soon.

I also got John Dickson Carr's 'The Case of the Constant Suicides' reissued by Polygon. It's set in mid Argyll, and supposed to be one of his best works. Between the plane and train home I'm over half way through and can confirm that it's excellent so far.

I gave into the lure of Westwood and Kingshill's 'The Lore of Scotland' after enjoying 'The Fabled Coast' So much and am looking forward to dipping in and out of it at leisure.

Finally I got the updated new edition of James Hunter's 'The Making of the Crofting Community'. I read this as a text book when a student and found it fascinating. I'm interested to re-acquaint myself with it and see what it has to say about the changing politics of Scotland and how they might affect crofting. 


  1. Hello Desperate Reader,
    so Leakey still excists. I have been there - it must be 1995 after my back operation - and I must say I have never seen before and after such a bookshop.
    My husband read the book about orchids.
    Kind regard

    1. It’s an amazing place. The cafe has gone but otherwise I think it’s much the same. Did your husband enjoy the Orchid book? It looks really interesting, but quite substantial, and I’m surrounded by interesting books that I really ought to read first.