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New year resolutions: Four Highland independent bookshops share their top 5 recommendations for those wishing to read more

By Federica Stefani

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How often have you jotted down "read more" on your new year's resolutions?

Although the key is carving out time to sit with a good tome or a sleek e-reader, making time for reading is always easier if you have the right titles calling for you from your to-be-read list.

So, we have asked independent bookshops across the Highlands to help us recommending some great books to help you start the year with the best inspiration.

Here are their recommendations!

The Ullapool Bookshop

Bookshop. Ullapool west coast Rosshire ..Picture: Alasdair Allen. Image No. 021135.
Bookshop. Ullapool west coast Rosshire ..Picture: Alasdair Allen. Image No. 021135.

The Bookseller of Inverness

by S G MacLean

Book seller of Inverness
Book seller of Inverness

A cracking historical thriller set just after the Battle of Culloden, full of twists and turns, even if you don't normally read historical fiction, this is a must.

The Faultline TAKE PIC

by John McLellan

Set in Kinlochewe in 1977, a group of young geologists are brought together by chance. This beautiful novel tells of the unique Geology and History of the area, as well as exploring life and making life changing decisions. A beautiful novel.

Lochs of Scotland

by Stuart Fisher

A new illustrated guide to 50 sea and inland lochs, with stunning pictures and detailed maps and excursions. Includes many lochs in the Highlands, eg Loch Assynt, Loch Maree and Loch Broom.

Hebridean Journey

by Brigid Benson

Following on from the success of her North Coast Journey book, Brigid takes us from the tip of The Hebrides down to the south, through all of the islands, all beautifully photographed and accompanied by a fascinating travelogue.

We disagree about this tree

by Ross Collins

A fantastically funny festive story about the Bear and the Mouse who always disagree. Can they come to a decision and compromise about how to decorate their tree?

Picaresque Books, Dingwall

Picaresque Books in Dingwall can arrange personal browsing times.
Picaresque Books in Dingwall can arrange personal browsing times.

The Bookseller of Inverness

by S G MacLean

This is a great work of historical fiction and really good read by a local author, internationally-renowned S G Maclean, which is set in Jacobite times, just after the battle of Culloden.

Slaves and Highlanders

by David Alston

Slaves & Highlanders book cover
Slaves & Highlanders book cover

A fascinating historic book revolving around how the Highlands and people living here were involved in the slave trade.


by Jenna Watt

Hindsight Book Cover
Hindsight Book Cover

This book is about someone living in the Highlands and the relationship with the deer and the nature in the glens.

The Heart of the Forest

by John Miller

The Heart of the Forest Book cover
The Heart of the Forest Book cover

A book about green issues and about why forests all over the world are so important.

This is published by the British Library with archive pictures, it’s a beautifully illustrated book.

Bad Girl Bakery

by Jeni Iannetta

Book Cover Bad Girl Bakery
Book Cover Bad Girl Bakery

This is a great recipe book – if you have got a sweet tooth, this is the book for you! They also have a store in Muir of Ord and the Victorian Market.

The Nairn Bookshop

Nairn Bookshop.
Nairn Bookshop.

Blue Scotland: The Ultimate Guide to Exploring Scotland’s Wild Waters TAKE PIC

by Mollie Hughes

This book will appeal to anyone who enjoys wild swimming, paddle boarding, kayaking or surfing in Scotland.

Full of great advice with colour photographs and maps throughout.

PICTS: Scourge of Rome, Rulers of the North

Written by Gordon Noble , Nicholas Evans

This is the first dedicated book on the Picts that covers in detail both their archaeology and their history. It examines their kingdoms, culture, beliefs and everyday lives from their origins to their end, not only incorporating current thinking on the subject, but also offering innovative perspectives that transform our understanding of the early history of Scotland.

This book has flown off our shelves.

Small Things Like These

by Claire Keegan

Shortlisted for the Booker Prize 2022

This book has sold well for us and we would definitely recommend it. It is 1985, in an Irish town. During the weeks leading up to Christmas, Bill Furlong, a coal and timber merchant, faces into his busiest season. As he does the rounds, he feels the past rising up to meet him - and encounters the complicit silences of a people controlled by the Church.

Tales for Twilight: Two Hundred Years of Scottish Ghost Stories

Edited by Alistair W.J. Kerr

This book has a beautiful cover and is an ideal present or a treasure for you to keep. It has been very popular with us being bought by both tourists and locals. Tales for Twilight offers a spine-tingling selection of unnerving tales by writers from James Hogg in the early eighteenth century to James Robertson, very much alive in the twenty-first. Scottish authors have proved to be exceptionally good at writing ghost stories. Perhaps it's because of the tradition of oral storytelling that has stretched over centuries, including poems and ballads with supernatural themes.

Illustrated Legends of Scotland's Kings and Queens

by Theresa Breslin, illustrated by Liza Tretyakova

This is the fourth title in the children’s Illustrated Legends series. As ever, the story telling and illustrations are superb and deserves a place on your child’s bookshelf.

Inspired by historical sources and ancient legends, Breslin's stories are by turns thrilling, surprising and heart-warming. This unique anthology brings to life fascinating, influential characters from the past and offers vivid glimpses of Scotland emerging as a nation. Illustrated Legends of Scotland's Kings and Queens is a beautiful celebration of Scottish heritage that will be treasured for a lifetime.

Bookmark, Grantown-on-Spey

Grantown's finest bookshop - and the country's?
Grantown's finest bookshop - and the country's?

A Town Called Solace

by Mary Lawson

Beautiful writing from a great novelist, kind and wise.

News of the Dead

by James Robertson

James Robertson
James Robertson

Set in Scotland over time. Written by an author who understands history, and the importance of stories we hear, and those we tell ourselves.

Witch Light

by Susan Fletcher

This book is set in Scotland. I have sold so many. It is a book where you are there, with your heart in your mouth with the main protagonist every step of the way.

The Bookseller of Inverness

by S G MacLean

Written by a wonderful historian.Gives us a true picture of the times and the historical changes which we still, even now remember.

This is Happiness

by Niall Williams

Set in Ireland. A joy to read, nothing happens but everything happens. Great writing and wonderful lines about being young and seeing changes in the place you call home.

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