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McNally Robinson Literary Tour of Scotland

Friday, Apr 05, 2024 at 2:32pm

First Journey of the McNally Robinson Travelling Bookclub

Hosted by Chris Hall, Co-Owner of McNally Robinson Booksellers

April 25 - May 8 , 2025

From classic Scottish authors like Walter Scott and Robert Burns to popular modern writers like Ian Rankin and Val McDermid, a journey through Scotland can reveal many literary connections, with its lush rolling hills, dramatic coastlines, tiny villages, to towering fairytale castles. On this literary tour of Scotland, you’ll feel your heart skip a beat as you journey through the breathtaking Highlands, ferry to its most beautiful islands, and immerse yourself in a world of haunting bagpipes, hallowed battlefields, hoppy brews and literary greats.

With visits to the Neolithic village of Skara Brae, the legendary golf town of St. Andrews, and a famous whisky distillery for a tour and a wee dram, this Scotland vacation offers countless opportunities to raise a glass to your many passions. Making a spectacular scenic loop from Edinburgh to Glasgow onto literary highlights in Dumfries, Alloway and Abbotsford, this Scotland tour is indeed an affair to remember.

Before we depart we’ll meet as a Bookclub in the McNally Robinson Community Classroom on Jan. 30, Feb. 27, and Mar. 27, 2025 to talk about some books by Scottish authors. A suggested reading list will be provided and improved upon as a group.

Download the .pdf with the itinerary and cost here!

For those that couldn't make the final info session, or who are curious, here is the recording of the second info session we hosted.

Get a jump on Scotland by reading these authors!

Categories: Discussions, Staff Pick, Authors, Book Clubs, Store News, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, What To Read

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Scottish Stories

- Gerard Carruthers

Hardcover $29.99
Reader Reward Price: $26.99

A beautiful hardcover Pocket Classics collection of stories by great Scottish writers from the past two centuries ranging from Sir Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to Muriel Spark, Ali Smith, Irvine Welsh, and Leila Aboulela, and many more.

Scottish Stories is a treasury of great writing from an entrancingly literary land. Scotland is known for its centuries of colorful Celtic folklore and its long tradition of spine-tingling ghost stories, as well as for fiction that revels in the gorgeous landscapes of the Highlands and the Western Isles and the rich histories of Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Everyman's Library pursues the highest production standards, printing on acid-free cream-colored paper, with full-cloth cases with two-color foil stamping, decorative endpapers, silk ribbon markers, European-style half-round spines, and a full-color illustrated jacket.

Selected Poems

- Robert Burns, Carol Mcguirk

Trade paperback $27.00
Reader Reward Price: $24.30

This selection gives equal weight to the two aspects of Robert Burns's reputation, as a lyricist and as a much-loved Scottish poet. Placing works in probable order of composition, it includes lyrics to his most well known songs, such as the nostalgic Auld Lang Syne, the romantic A Red, Red Rose, and the patriotic Scots What Hae. As a poet, Burns wrote with deceptive simplicity and imaginative sympathy, and demonstrated enormous range - from comic dramatic monologues such as Holy Willie's Prayer, which mocks hypocrisy, to narratives including the celebrated Tam O' Shanter, about the ghostly visions of a drunk.

Poor Things [Movie Tie-in]

- Alasdair Gray

Trade paperback $23.99
Reader Reward Price: $21.59


"Witty and delightfully written" (New York Times Book Review), Alasdair Gray's Poor Things echoes Mary Shelley's Frankenstein in this novel of a young woman freeing herself from the confines of the suffocating Victorian society she was created to serve.

Winner of the Whitbread Award and the Guardian Fiction Prize

In the 1880s in Glasgow, Scotland, medical student Archibald McCandless finds himself enchanted with the intriguing creature known as Bella Baxter. Supposedly the product of the fiendish scientist Godwin Baxter, Bella was resurrected for the sole purpose of fulfilling the whims of her benefactor. As his desire turns to obsession, Archibald's motives to free Bella are revealed to be as selfish as Godwin's, who claims her body and soul.

But Bella has her own passions to pursue. Passions that take her to aristocratic casinos, low-life Alexandria, and a Parisian bordello, reaching an interrupted climax in a Scottish church. Exploring her station as a woman in the shadow of the patriarchy, Bella knows it is up to her to free herself--and to decide what meaning, if any, true love has in her life.

"Gray has the look of a latter-day William Blake, with his extravagant myth-making, his strong social conscience, his liberating vision of sexuality and his flashes of righteous indignation tempered with scathing wit and sly self-mockery." --Los Angeles Times Book Review

 "This work of inspired lunacy effectively skewers class snobbery, British imperialism, prudishness and the tenets of received wisdom."--Publishers Weekly

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

- Gail Honeyman

Trade paperback $19.95
Reader Reward Price: $17.96



USA Today's top 100 books to read while stuck at home social distancing 

A Penguin Book Club Pick
"Beautifully written and incredibly funny. . . I fell in love with Eleanor; I think you will fall in love, too!" --Reese Witherspoon

Smart, warm, uplifting, the story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes the only way to survive is to open her heart.

No one's ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine.
     Eleanor Oliphant is, well, a bit of an oddball--albeit a loveable one. She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she's thinking . . . and that, combined with her unusual appearance (scarred cheek, a tendency to wear the same clothes year after year), means that Eleanor has become a bit of a loner. But for Eleanor, nothing really important is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding perplexing social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, Glen's Vodka, and phone chats with "Mummy." 
     But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and sweet IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kind of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond's big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repairing her own damaged one.
    Smart, warm, and uplifting, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is the story of a quirky yet lonely woman whose social misunderstandings and deeply ingrained routines could be changed forever--if she can bear to confront the secrets she has avoided all her life. But if she does, she'll learn that she, too, is capable of finding friendship--and even love--after all, if only she can learn to open her heart.

Rob Roy

- Walter Scott

Trade paperback $20.00
Reader Reward Price: $18.00

The Living Mountain

- Nan Shepherd, Robert Macfarlane, Jeanette Winterson

Trade paperback $22.50
Reader Reward Price: $20.25

A classic eulogy to the beauty and magnificence of the mountainsA lyrical testament in praise of the Cairngorms, this prose meditation testifies to the author's love of the hills and her knowledge of them in all their moods. First published in 1977, 30 years after it was written, it is a work deeply rooted in Nan Shepherd's knowledge of the natural world, and a poetic and philosophical meditation on our longing for high and holy places. Drawing on different perspectives of the mountain environment, Shepherd makes the familiar strange and the strange awe-inspiring. Her sensitivity and powers of observation put her into the front rank of nature writing.

Modern Classics Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

- Muriel Spark, Candia McWilliam, A K Ramanujan

Trade paperback $16.99
Reader Reward Price: $15.29

One of the BBC's '100 Novels That Shaped Our World'

'A sublimely funny book ... it is a book to be read by all ... unforgettable and universal' Candia McWilliam

Romantic, heroic, comic and tragic, unconventional schoolmistress Jean Brodie has become an iconic figure in post-war fiction. Her glamour, unconventional ideas and manipulative charm hold dangerous sway over her girls at the Marcia Blaine Academy - 'the crème de la crème' - who become the Brodie 'set', introduced to a privileged world of adult games that they will never forget. Muriel Spark's The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie was adapted into a successful stage play, and later a film directed by Ronald Neame and starring Maggie Smith.

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

- Robert Louis Stevenson, Robert Mighall

Trade paperback $12.00
Reader Reward Price: $10.80

Everyone has a dark side. Dr Jekyll has discovered the ultimate drug. A chemical that can turn him into something else. Suddenly, he can unleash his deepest cruelties in the guise of the sinister Hyde. Transforming himself at will, he roams the streets of fog-bound London as his monstrous alter-ego. It seems he is master of his fate. It seems he is in complete control. But soon he will discover that his double life comes at a hideous price.