20 Books of Summer 2015! – The second 10…

And an easier quiz this week…promise!



Cathy over at Cathy746 is hosting this challenge to read twenty books between 1st June and 4th September. My first list was a random bunch of 10 taken from my existing TBR, but for the second batch I decided to go for a theme. So today’s question is…

What do these books have in common?


* * * * *


The Last Refuge by Craig Robertson – murder and nightmares on the Faroe Islands.

Waverley by Sir Walter Scott – love and war in the Jacobite Rebellions. Credited with being the first ever historical novel.

The Cone Gatherers by Robin Jenkins – an examination of good and evil and billed as a modern masterpiece.

The Redemption of Alexander Seaton by SG MacLean – historical crime set in 17th century Banff.

Waiting for Sunrise by William Boyd – sex, scandal and spies in WW1 London and Vienna.

Sunset Song by Lewis Grassic Gibbon – a woman torn between her passion for the land, her duty to her family and her love of books. The first book in Gibbon’s classic trilogy A Scot’s Quair.

In Another Light by Andrew Greig – love and scandal across generations in Penang and Orkney.

The Tender Herb by Lexie Conyngham – Book 6 in the Murray of Letho series. Historical crime this time set in Mughal India.

A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – the first ever appearance of Sherlock Holmes.

Docherty by William McIlvanney – Winner of the Whitbread Prize, one man against tradition in a working-class town in the west of Scotland.

* * * * *

The prize for guessing correctly

a lovely plate of haggis and neeps and a wee dram of single malt.

haggis and whisky

The forfeit for guessing wrong

a deep-fried Mars Bar and a can of Irn Bru.

mars bar and irn bru


56 thoughts on “20 Books of Summer 2015! – The second 10…

  1. Neeps! Brilliant 😀 My first instinct is that there is a Scottish connection. If I am wrong, I shall be sad to miss out on the neeps (and Scotch) but I rather like Irn Bru and deep fried Mars bars so I thought it would be worth the risk 🙂

  2. What fun, FictionFan!!! And I have to say I do love your selection here. I really hope you’ll like the MacLean. I think her novels about – ahem – history – are beautifully done.

    • I felt kinda guilty after the last one! Yes, the theme is Scottish authors – I hadn’t actually picked up on the historical bit until you and Margot spotted it – have yourself a haggis AND a Mars Bar!

  3. I’ve read quite a few of these, and the others all sound good – oh, Dear …….. I’ve got a haggis in my freezer (left over from Burns night): I may dig it out when this unseasonably HOT weather subsides. I blame the government…. 🙂

  4. I guess you have to eat things that keep you heroic enough to eat it. But the food sounds interesting. I find when eating unusual food it’s best to never ask what is in it. Do you prefer the stomach’s stomach, or artificial ?

  5. These all sound very Scottish! I like the idea if reading a lot of books by authors of one region. You could do some interesting comparisons by the end of the summer!

    • Yay, you won! Enjoy the haggis! 😀 It always appals me how much good Scottish literature I haven’t read so this should redress the balance a little bit. I might be so Scottish by the end of the summer no-one will be able to understand my accent… 😉

  6. Hm, I thought deep-fried Mars was unique American fair food. I have never encountered it anywhere in Europe. Maybe that’s a good thing. I had thought the connection was crime; I didn’t even catch the Scottish thing. Event though I should have known by the time I came to the haggis (which I actually kinda like…).

    • Really? I didn’t know it was available in the US! Another great Scottish creation taking over the wordl! 😉 It’s a bit of a joke over here – no-one actually eats it except tourists.

      Yes, lots of crime in there too, but the theme I was going for was the Scottish authors. You like haggis?? Well…OK you can have some, but washed down with Irn Bru…

  7. Great quiz and much easier so I’m up for the haggis, neeps and whisky! A great mixture here – I’m keeping my second set of ten under wraps for the moment (translation: I have a terror of choosing and then wanting something different)

    • Well done! Oh, go on, you can have the Mars Bar too! Haha! I have no idea how I’m going to fit these in amongst the books I’m supposed to be reading for review over the summer, so my final list might look a little different from my starting one… 😉

  8. I didn’t know Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was Scottish. As my old ma always says, it’s a sad day when you don’t learn something new.

    BTW, In Another Light sounds intriguing…

    • An Edinburgh man! I tried to see if he’d written anything based in Scotland but couldn’t find anything – traitor!

      It does, and I’m told he’s a great writer, so should be good…

  9. Now that was so very easy I thought it had to be a red herring, or at least a tartan kipper. Can I have Just the wee dram for the joke? It’s too hot for neeps and the rest…well! You could have offered Scottish loganberries for those of us of a less robust constitution. Reckon you need to be some kind of extreme sports afficionado – bungee jumping, abseiling down Everest, doing all the Munros in an afternoon, that kind of thing, to be fit enough to survive your runner up prize.

    Glad to see another of my favourite authors in there with Andrew Greig! PS, it’s only the company that alerted me to the fact that the wonderful William Boyd is Scottish. How could I not have registered that??

    • For that joke? OK – but only a blended one…

      We would of course have to deep-fry the loganberries just to prove they’re Scottish. In fact, I’m rather surprised we haven’t devised a method for deep-frying whisky – perhaps I could invent a gadget and make a fortune!

      Yes, as you know, I previously abandoned the Andrew Greig book, but the time has come I feel to try again. I think Boyd’s Scottishness is a little dubious – he was born in Ghana, but educated in Scotland. However he declares himslf to be Scottish, so who am I to argue?

        • Oh, I didn’t cast it aside because of the book – just that life intervened and made it hard to pick it up again. But hopefully I’ll be able to read it without being thrown back in time. So don’t give up on our friendship just yet!!

  10. I was at first leaning towards the crime theme as the link but then you started talking about haggis, deep fried mars bar and Irn Bru 🙂 I really enjoyed A Study in Scarlet and I hope you do too.

    • Yes, there’s a fair amount of crime in there, and also quite a lot of historical fiction – but the link is Scottish writers. You can understand why there’s so much crime when you see what we’re expected to eat, can’t you? 😉 A Study in Scarlet will be a re-read for me, though it’s a long time since I last read it, Always love Holmes though…

  11. Not Walter Scott. Be wary. He’ll take your life, if you’re not careful. *gags* Yes, I think all the books have torture in common. That must be it. That’s what a mars bar looks like?!

    • Oh, you can’t be mean about Wally! He’s my hero! I’ve added Waverley to your TBR – I’m sure you’ll enjoy him once you’ve read eight or nine of his books…

      *laughs* Not a particularly Professorial bunch of books, I admit! But you need to read more Scottish literature or you won’t be allowed to wear your clan tartan! Only deep fried! They look much nicer… raw!

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