We have a confession to make – it looks like we should have done a bit more research before setting ourselves the challenge of recording a podcast about Literary Scotland when on holiday on the shores of Loch Fyne, a hour away from Glasgow. Please accept our apologies for not putting out a podcast today but we hope the two bonus podcast last week – Rob’s new venture with his brother Rich, The Really Bad Film Podcast, and Kate’s interview with Tom Pollock on Adventures With Words Young Adult Edition – will go some way to making up for it.
It turns out we were near the wrong city. Glasgow has been a European City of Culture – there are some great galleries and museums – and it’s a UNESCO City of Music, but the most literary we got was the statue of Robert Burns wearing a tartan tam o’shanter and scarf in George Square. Of course, Iain Banks did set some of his real-world contemporary novels in and around Glasgow but the majority of Scotland’s literary history is based in Edinburgh. As it was, we were so busy with the Commonwealth Games (fantastic seeing some homegrown medal winners) and enjoying the outdoors in some really quite spectacular sunny weather (no midges to be seen) that we didn’t make it over to Scotland’s bookish capital. We’ll just have to come back north of the border again soon.
For our next two podcasts, it’s back to our now third annual Booker longlist sample-read and discussion. Of the thirteen books on this year’s Man Booker longlist, we’re gathering as many titles as we can, in the form of Kindle samples or ARCs, so that we can read the opening chapters to give you a flavour of what to expect. We’ll divide the list over two podcasts, so we can give each title a little more space.
- To Rise Again at a Decent Hour – Joshua Ferris
- The Narrow Road to the Deep North – Richard Flanagan
- We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves – Karen Joy Fowler
- The Blazing World – Siri Hustvedt
- J – Howard Jacobson
- The Wake – Paul Kingsnorth
- The Bone Clocks – David Mitchell
- The Lives of Others – Neel Mukherjee
- Us – David Nicholls
- The Dog – Joseph O’Neill
- Orfeo – Richard Powers
- How To Be Both – Ali Smith
- History of the Rain – Niall Williams
We’ll be back this time next week with part one…