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The Scottish Bothy Bible: The Complete Guide to Scotland's Bothies and How to Reach Them

by Geoff Allan.

This first-ever complete guide to Scottish bothies reveals Scotland's unique and often hidden network of bothy cabins and mountain huts. Scattered across Scotland's most beautiful landscapes, these evocative abandoned crofts and farmsteads are free to stay in and offer a chance to experience the ultimate in wild adventure living.

Calum's Road

by Roger Hutchison

Calum MacLeod had lived on the northern point of Raasay since his birth in 1911. He tended the Rona lighthouse at the very tip of his little archipelago until semi-automation in 1967 reduced his responsibilities. "So what he decided to do," says his last neighbour, Donald MacLeod, "was to build a road out of Arnish in his months off. With a road he hoped new generations of people would return to Arnish and all the north end of Raasay...." And so, at the age of 56, Calum MacLeod, the last man left in northern Raasay, set about single-handedly constructing the "impossible" road. It would become a romantic, quixotic venture, a kind of sculpture; an obsessive work of art so perfect in every gradient, culvert and supporting wall that its creation occupied almost 20 years of his life. In Calum's Road, Roger Hutchinson recounts the extraordinary story of this remarkable man's devotion to his visionary project.

Glasgow: The Autobiography

Edited by Alan Taylor (Birlinn)

Glasgow: The Autobiography tells the story of the fabled, former Second City of the British Empire from its origins as a bucolic village on the rivers Kelvin and Clyde, through the Industrial Revolution to the dawning of the second millennium.

Arranged chronologically and introduced by journalist and Glasgowphile Alan Taylor, the book includes extracts from an astonishing array of writers. Some, such as William and Dorothy Wordsworth, Dirk Bogarde and Evelyn Waugh, were visitors who left their vivid impressions as they passed through. Many others were born and bred Glaswegians who knew the city and its inhabitants -- and its secrets -- intimately. They come from every walk of life and, in addition to professional writers, include anthropologists and scientists, artists and murderers, housewives and hacks, footballers and comedians, politicians and entrepreneurs, immigrants and locals. Together they present a varied and vivid portrait of one of the world's great cities in all its grime and glory -- a place that is at once infuriating, frustrating, inspiring, beguiling, sensational and never, ever dull.

So you think you know Scotland?

by Adrian Searle

Did you know Morris dancing was just as popular in Scotland as it was in England from the 15th to the 17th century, until it was banned by the Church of Scotland? Did you know 11 percent of all Nobel prizes have been awarded to Scotsmen? Did you know Scotland has the highest proportion of redheads in the world? Adrian Searle's book is a journey through the weird, wonderful and downright bizarre facts of Scottish life, culture, and heritage. With stunning full color illustrations by award-winning artist Judith Hastie, So you think you know Scotland? will surprise you, and maybe even shock you a little, with its remarkable information about Scotland.

The Lighthouse on Skerryvore

by Paul A. Lynn

Perched on an isolated rock in the Scottish Hebrides, this is a fascinating and comprehensive account of Skerryvore, "the most graceful lighthouse in the world," and the great Victorian engineer who designed and built it. Alan Stevenson's Skerryvore lighthouse, at a height of 156 feet, is the tallest lighthouse in Scotland, and Paul Lynn's book details the Herculean challenges Stevenson encountered over six years to build it on an isolated rock in the wild North Atlantic, 12 miles off the Hebridean island of Tiree. Reading Alan Stevenson's 1848 Account of the Skerryvore Lighthouse, the author immersed himself in Skerryvore through the mind of its creator, using his background as a professional engineer to assess the state of knowledge at the time, and to learn all he could about its background, technical design and the many trials and tribulations surrounding the lighthouse's construction. This highly readable book, illustrated in full color with beautiful old maps, engravings and photographs, also contains introductory material about Eddystone and Bell Rock, two lighthouses that greatly influenced Alan Stevenson in his design and construction of Skerryvore.

subscribe Full reviews of these books are available in the Sping 2017 issue of Scottish Life.

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