Suggested Reading List
A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland and The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides
Author: Samuel Johnson, James Boswell
Description: Written when Johnson was 63 and Boswell 32 in 1773 (when they had been friends for ten years), these travel journals were the result of a three-month trip to Scotland. Johnson observed Scotland, and Boswell observed Johnson.
Bradt Guide Faroe Islands
Author: James Proctor
Description: A practical guide to the North Atlantic islands, essential for anyone contemplating an extended visit. With islands maps, city plans, and detailed information on what to do and where to go throughout the archipelago.
Author: Susanna Kaysen
Description: Susanna Kaysen's charming novel about a social anthropologist off on a grant to study the residents of the Faroes wonderfully evokes the people, culture and windswept landscapes of the North Atlantic archipelago.
Footprint Focus Guide Orkney & Shetland Islands
Author: Alan Murphy
Description: In typical Footprint style, this slim guide provides invaluable information on Scotland's northernmost islands, Orkney and Shetland including transport, accommodation and eating as well as information on wildlife and history.
Lonely Planet Edinburgh Encounter
Author: Neil Wilson
Description: This lively shirt pocket guide to the city, jammed with personal recommendations and photographs, also includes a pull-out map.
Lonely Planet Scotland's Highlands & Islands
Author: Lonely Planet
Description: This handy guide in the popular series covers the Hebrides, Shetland, Orkney and other islands, celebrated and remote, throughout Scotland. With 53 maps and terrific background information.
Off in a Boat, Hebridean Voyage
Author: Neil Miller Gunn
Description: Gunn captures the romance and exhilaration of small boat travel in this enchanting account of a 1930s voyage through the Hebrides, interweaving his own adventures with history and lore.
On Glasgow and Edinburgh
Author: Robert Crawford
Description: A history and guide, Crawford's lively account, drawing on a wealth of historical and literary sources, affirms what people from Glasgow and Edinburgh have long doubted -- that it is possible to love both cities.
Orkneyinga Saga, The History of the Earls of Orkney
Author: Hermann Palssom, Paul Edwards
Description: A fusion of myth and legend, circa A.D. 1200, by an unnamed Icelandic author. The medieval chronicle has its center of action among the Orkney Islands, describing their conquest by Norwegian kings during the Viking expansion of the ninth century.
Scotland, A Concise History
Author: Fitzroy MacLean, Magnus Linklater (Contributor)
Description: This richly illustrated survey brings Scottish history up to the present through its romantic figures and bloody battles. With 250 well-integrated illustrations, this revised fourth edition includes a newly added chapter on Scotland’s place in the 21st century.
Sea Room, An Island Life in the Hebrides
Author: Adam Nicolson
Description: Nicolson explores the nature, history and magic of three remote islands in the Outer Hebrides in this affecting memoir. Tiny islands surrounded by serious tides, the Shiants nonetheless make their mark with 500-foot basalt cliffs, seabird and seal colonies and a long history.
Stone Voices, The Search for Scotland
Author: Neal Ascherson
Description: Ascherson writes with verve and insight on the centuries-old impulse toward nationhood in Scotland in this absorbing portrait, interweaving history with archaeology, myth and his own interviews and travels.
The Brendan Voyage
Author: Tim Severin
Description: Severin, inspired by tales of St. Brendan, recreates the voyage of the 6th century monk from Ireland to the New World, down to building a historically accurate medieval leather curragh.
The Crofter and the Laird
Author: John McPhee
Description: McPhee packs up his family and returns for a year to his ancestral land on the Isle of Colonsay in this lyrical, appreciative portrait of place and traditional ways of life in the Hebrides.
Whisky, Kilts, and the Loch Ness Monster
Author: William W. Starr
Description: Beginning and ending in Edinburgh and making stops at Glasgow, Culloden, Loch Ness, the Isle of Skye and more, William Starr follows hilariously in the footsteps of Boswell and Johnson across Scotland.