THIS WEEK: (27th) The writer Ely Percy
NEXT WEEK: (3rd) Writer James Connarty & musician Kris O'Rourke

The writer Ely Percy

EP: Despite having previously enjoyed the Edinburgh vernacular in Irvine Welsh’s ‘Trainspotting’, it was not until I read ‘How Late’ that it dawned on me that I was also allowed to have a go at writing in Scots. That’s when I discovered I had a good ear for dialogue ... click here to read more

Michael Curran
of Tangerine Press

MC: There are of course many books that people tell me I ‘should’ read. When I shake my head, they look horrified ... click here to read more

The artist Lucy Sweet

LS: To The Lighthouse - if you're looking for a beautifully judged description of a coastal path, an overgrown garden or the inner life of a woman, Virginia Woolf is your gal ... click here to read more

The illustrator
Steven Learmonth

SL: The main theme of the novel is the difficulty of fitting into regular society, how some people long for that kind of acceptance and conformity, and how others may never achieve it ... click here to read more

The writer Lynsey May

LM: I have never hated anything so much. I hate-read it to the end. I was more persistent then. ... click here to read more

Professor Gerard Carruthers

GC: The seemingly apocryphal story, although I’ve been told not, is that when the Luftwaffe bombed my hometown of Clydebank during the Blitz this was the only book damaged in the town’s central library (I want to believe) ... click here to read more

The writer & NWS editor
Rachelle Atalla

RA: I expected to love it with its Kafkaesque elements but the protagonist is so jaded it reads to me like the thin mask of Coetzee in essay form ... click here to read more

Rachael Fulton of Netflix

RF: Like most little-girl bookworms, I felt an affinity with Matilda, (though I lacked her skills in maths and telekinesis) but my favourite was probably Danny The Champion of The World. The gypsy caravan and paraffin lamps are vividly imprinted in my mind’s eye, more like a memory than something from my imagination ... click here to read more

The poet Ciara MacLaverty

CM: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte left a big impression on me as a teenager. The Road by Cormac McCarthy is haunting and spellbinding, as beautiful as it is scary. It's the novel of our Climate Emergency times ... click here to read more

Publishing Scotland's
Vikki Reilly

VR: ...Heller knows exactly what he’s doing in representing the random, chaotic, ugly, illogical world his characters find themselves in. I love its structure, the call backs, its anger, its moments of victory, every single one of the characters – even when they’re being utter arseholes. Oh, I’m due a re-read! ... click here to read more

Scots Whay Hae's
Alistair Braidwood

AB: I read it in one sitting on a flight to Australia in the late ‘90s and the sights, sounds, textures and flavours were almost overwhelming. I think the woman sitting beside me worried for my health as I was moved to tears on many occasions. They do say you feel more keenly at altitude so there may have been a bit of that ... click here to read more

Journalist & editor
Catherine Taylor

CT: It's a work of metafiction, and a story within a story, a form of the pseudonymous autobiography at which Nabokov excels, as well as being a novel of exile, a meditation on the loss of parents, and wild with literary ambition and hope. It's stuffed with beauty and poetry and wit, and the rather liberating idea that we are all just moveable characters on the stage of life ... click here to read more

The writer Lynnda Wardle

LW: Books about finding long-lost family on a leper colony in Crete, designer baby hospitals for rich women on fancy ocean liners with a searingly handsome gynaecologists, Books with pastel covers, aggressive marketed as 'women's fiction' or the 'Holiday Read'. You get the picture ... click here to read more

Allan Cameron
of Vagabond Voices

AC: She is part of an unusual story of an unjust world, which doesn't work out well. Sought-after marriages are unhappy, and perhaps the unhappiness teaches the victims something ... click here to read more

Samina Chaudhry
(of Ten Writers Telling Lies)

SC: This style comes from a certain segment of Nigerian society linked to the socio-economic and educational background of the speakers. Heartfelt and timeless, the destruction of war is reflected poignantly ... click here to read more

Pat Byrne
(of Ten Writers Telling Lies)

PB: I love everything about this story. The vivid imagery, fantastic dialogue and the richness of the emo-tions felt by the characters. The revelation of a disturbing memory ... click here to read more

Litstack's Lauren Alwan

LA: I was angered and disappointed by Terrorist by John Updike, a book the author confessed having researched by reading 'Islam for Dummies', which tells you all you need to know. The novel employs some of the worst and most ignorant stereotypes imaginable ... click here to read more

The novelist Dr Rodge Glass

RG: It’s about the power of language and corruption of language. There are two poets, ripped from their families as children, imprisoned by a regime that tasks them with waiting a lifetime to write a single poem ... click here to read more

Professor Simon Kövesi

SK: .. What a bag of self-inflationary hot air that book is. Like walking into a gentleman’s club in the 1910s and being shouted at for being in the wrong building. Just odious ... click here to read more

The novelist David Keenan

TCB: The book that most disappointed you?
DK: I Fought The Law: The Life And Strange Death of Bobby Fuller by Miriam Linna and Randell Fuller ... click here to read more

The Common Breath editor
Brian Hamill

BH: The beginning strikes me as much more significant. Everything rides on whether you’re going to engage with this writer’s world, or not. I suppose an answer for this depends on what you think of when you think of a brilliant opening to a novel – first line? First paragraph? Page? Chapter? ... click here to read more

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