March 9, 2013

Take Me Away...to Scotland


If  only all men in kilts looked this hot.  You're welcome.

Take Me Away Saturday

Take Me Away showcases fiction, nonfiction, and children's books that take place in a specific country and/or within a specific culture.  Take a trip in books!  Look for where we are going next and places we've traveled at the bottom of the post.


This week we are visiting the Western European country of Scotland.
Click here to visit Scotland.org and learn all about Scotland.

Here is a basic map of Scotland:




Famous Scots:

Ewan McGregor

Deborah Kerr

Alexander Graham Bell

You didn't think I would leave him out, did you?


Now here are some books about these cultures, organized into a variety of fiction, nonfiction, and children's books. *Note I am not an affiliate anywhere.

(P.S. There is a list of  the countries and cultures visited in past Take Me Away posts at the bottom of this post. Check them out and discover some good books to read and recommend some, too!)

FICTION SELECTIONS:

Outlander (Outlander, #1) 
Claire Randall is leading a double life. She has a husband in one century, and a lover in another...

In 1945, Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon--when she innocently touches a boulder in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an "outlander"—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of our Lord...1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire's destiny in soon inextricably intertwined with Clan MacKenzie and the forbidden Castle Leoch. She is catapulted without warning into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life ...and shatter her heart. For here, James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a passion so fierce and a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire...and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

Never Seduce a Scot (The Montgomerys and Armstrongs, #1)  
Eveline Armstrong is fiercely loved and protected by her powerful clan, but outsiders consider her “touched.” Beautiful, fey, with a level, intent gaze, she doesn’t speak. No one, not even her family, knows that she cannot hear. Content with her life of seclusion, Eveline has taught herself to read lips and allows the outside world to view her as daft. But when an arranged marriage into a rival clan makes Graeme Montgomery her husband, Eveline accepts her dutyunprepared for the delights to come. Graeme is a rugged warrior with a voice so deep and powerful that his new bride can hear it, and hands and kisses so tender and skilled that he stirs her deepest passions.

Graeme is intrigued by the mysterious Eveline, whose silent lips are ripe with temptation and whose bright, intelligent eyes can see into his soul. As intimacy deepens, he learns her secret. But when clan rivalries and dark deeds threaten the wife he has only begun to cherish, the Scottish warrior will move heaven and earth to save the woman who has awakened his heart to the beautiful song of a rare and magical love. 

Kidnapped
Robert Louis Stevenson's "Kidnapped" is at once a rollicking adventure story and an earnest political allegory. This "Penguin Classics" edition is edited with an introduction and notes by Donald McFarlan and a foreword by Alasdair Gray. Orphaned and penniless, David Balfour sets out to find his last living relative, miserly and reclusive Uncle Ebenezer. But Ebenezer is far from welcoming, and David narrowly escapes being murdered before he is kidnapped and imprisoned on a ship bound for the Carolinas. When the ship is wrecked, David, along with the fiery rebel Alan Breck, makes his way back across the treacherous Highland terrain on a quest for justice. Through his powerful depiction of the two very different central characters - the romantic Breck and the rational Whig David - Stevenson dramatized a conflict at the heart of Scottish culture in the aftermath of the Jacobite rebellion, as well as creating an unforgettable adventure story.


Queen Hereafter: A Novel of Margaret of Scotland   
Refugee. Queen. Saint. In eleventh-century Scotland, a young woman strives to fulfill her destiny despite the risks . . .

Shipwrecked on the Scottish coast, a young Saxon princess and her family—including the outlawed Edgar of England—ask sanctuary of the warrior-king Malcolm Canmore, who shrewdly sees the political advantage. He promises to aid Edgar and the Saxon cause in return for the hand of Edgar’s sister, Margaret, in marriage.

A foreign queen in a strange land, Margaret adapts to life among the barbarian Scots, bears princes, and shapes the fierce warrior Malcolm into a sophisticated ruler. Yet even as the king and queen build a passionate and tempestuous partnership, the Scots distrust her. When her husband brings Eva, a Celtic bard, to court as a hostage for the good behavior of the formidable Lady Macbeth, Margaret expects trouble. Instead, an unlikely friendship grows between the queen and her bard, though one has a wild Celtic nature and the other follows the demanding path of obligation. 
Torn between old and new loyalties, Eva is bound by a vow to betray the king and his Saxon queen. Soon imprisoned and charged with witchcraft and treason, Eva learns that Queen Margaret—counseled by the furious king and his powerful priests—will decide her fate and that of her kinswoman Lady Macbeth. But can the proud queen forgive such deep treachery?

Impeccably researched, a dramatic page-turner, Queen Hereafter is an unforgettable story of shifting alliances and the tension between fear and trust as a young woman finds her way in a dangerous world.


The Winter Sea
History has all but forgotten...In the spring of 1708, an invading Jacobite fleet of French and Scottish soldiers nearly succeeded in landing the exiled James Stewart in Scotland to reclaim his crown.
Now, Carrie McClelland hopes to turn that story into her next bestselling novel. Settling herself in the shadow of Slains Castle, she creates a heroine named for one of her own ancestors and starts to write.
But when she discovers her novel is more fact than fiction, Carrie wonders if she might be dealing with ancestral memory, making her the only living person who knows the truth-the ultimate betrayal-that happened all those years ago, and that knowledge comes very close to destroying her...  

Standing in Another Man's Grave (Inspector Rebus, #18)
For the last decade, Nina Hazlitt has been ready to hear the worst about her daugh
ter's disappearance. But with no sightings, no body, and no suspect, the police investigation ground to a halt long ago, and Nina's pleas to the cold case department have led her nowhere.

Until she meets the newest member of the team: former Detective John Rebus.

Rebus has never shied away from lost causes - one of the many ways he managed to antagonize his bosses when he was on the force. Now he's back as a retired civilian, reviewing abandoned files. Necessary work, but it's not exactly scratching the itch he feels to be in the heart of the action.

Two more women have gone missing from the same road where Sally Hazlitt was last seen. Unlike his skeptical colleagues, Rebus can sense a connection - but pursuing it leads him into the crosshairs of adversaries both old and new.

Rebus may have missed the thrill of the hunt, but he's up against a powerful enemy who's got even less to lose.

Macbeth 
Macbeth by William Shakespeare




NONFICTION SELECTIONS:


After Elizabeth: The Rise of James of Scotland and the Struggle for the Throne of England
Many volumes have been written about the long reign of Elizabeth I. Now, for the first time, comes a brilliant new work that focuses on the critical year her reign ended, a time in which England lost its childless queen and a Machiavellian struggle ensued to find her successor.

December 1602. After forty-four years on the throne, Queen Elizabeth is in decline. The formidable ruler whose motto is Semper eadem (I never change) has become a dithering old woman, missing teeth and wearing makeup half an inch thick. The kingdom has been weakened by the cost of war with Spain and the simmering discontent of both the rich and the poor. The stage has been set, at long last, for succession. But the Queen who famously never married has no heir.

Elizabeth’s senior relative is James VI of Scotland, Protestant son of Elizabeth’s cousin Mary Queen of Scots. But as a foreigner and a Stuart, he is excluded from the throne under English law. The road to and beyond his coronation will be filled with conspiracy and duplicity, personal betrayals and political upheavals.

Bringing history to thrilling life, Leanda de Lisle captures the time, place, and players as never before. As the Queen nears the end, we witness the scheming of her courtiers for the candidates of their choice; blood-soaked infighting among the Catholic clergy as they struggle to survive in the face of persecution; the widespread fear that civil war, invasion, or revolution will follow the monarch’s death; and the signs, portents, and ghosts that seem to mark her end. 

Here, too, are the surprising and, to some, dismaying results of James’s ascension: his continuation of Elizabeth’s persecution of Catholics, his desire to unite his two kingdoms into a new country called Britain, and the painful contrast between the pomp and finery of Elizabeth’s court and the begrimed quality of his own.

Around the old queen and the new king, swirl a cast of unforgettable characters, including Arbella Stuart, James’s ambitious and lonely first cousin; his childish, spoiled rival for power, Sir Walter Raleigh, who plotted to overthrow the king; and Sir John Harrington, Elizabeth’s wily godson, who switched his loyalties to James long before the queen’s death. 

Courtesy of Leanda de Lisle’s keenly modern view of this tumultuous time, we are given intimate insights into of political power plays and psychological portraits relevant to our own era. After Elizabeth is a unique look at a pivotal year–and a dazzling debut for an exciting new historian. 

The Spirit of St. Andrews

There’s no question that Dr. Alister MacKenzie was one of the best golf course architects in the history of the game. Augusta National, Royal Melbourne, Cypress Point—among many other famous layouts—are proof of that fact.
In the mid-1990s, MacKenzie’s lost golf manuscript, written a year before his death in 1933, was found and finally published as The Spirit of St. Andrews.
Even all these years later, MacKenzie’s thoughts on such topics as the golf swing, rules, great courses and holes, and golfers are interesting and intuitive. 


A Charmed Life: Growing Up in Macbeth's Castle 
A Charmed Life tells the story of Liza Campbell, the last child to be born at the impressive and renowned Cawdor Castle, the same locale featured in Shakespeare’s Macbeth. It was at the historical ancestral home that Liza’s seemingly idyllic fairytale childhood began to resemble a nightmare.
     Increasingly overwhelmed by his enormous responsibilities, Liza’s father Hugh, the twenty-fifth Thane of Cawdor, tipped into madness fueled by drink, drugs, and extramarital affairs. Over the years, the castle was transformed into an arena of reckless extravagance and terrifying domestic violence, as Liza and her siblings watched their father destroy himself, his family, and their centuries-old legacy. 
     Painstakingly honest, thoroughly entertaining, and sharply written, Campbell’s contemporary fairytale tells of growing up as a maiden in a castle where ancient curses and grisly events from centuries ago live on between its stone walls. 


The Most Beautiful Villages of Scotland 
In the dramatic landscapes of Scotland, beloved of Romantic poets and composers, lies a wealth of delightful villages, here revealed in Hugh Palmer's evocative photographs and commentaries. 

The traditional architecture and stunning natural settings of the Highland villages have long proved an attraction to visitors. Some of the most picturesque are former fishing villages, like Auchmithie, from which the herring fleet has long since departed, leaving the splendid harbor to the contemplation of visitors and a couple of lobster boats. Lowland villages often have an air of quiet, well-ordered prosperity. Rows of stone cottages and a fantastic profusion of hanging baskets make places like Luss on Loch Lomond a charming stop on the road north. Here, too, is the extraordinary Dean Village—a complete, self-contained community surrounded by the city of Edinburgh. And among the many ravishing port-villages on the Islands is the little gem of Tobermory on Mull, where the reflection of a main street of brightly painted houses shimmers in the waters of the harbor. 

Altogether, thirty-five villages are included. Special sections on the Scottish castle and the monuments of the country's Celtic past round out the account, making this beautiful book one of the most complete pictures of rural Scotland in recent years. A Travelers' Guide listing places to visit, to stay, and to eat helps the reader to enjoy even more a visit to the Scottish Highlands, Lowlands, and Islands. 250 full-color photographs 


Scotland's Lost Houses 
Since 1945 more than 200 of the most noted houses in Scotland have been lost, whether to fire, rot, or demolition. Fortunately, photographs were taken of many of these great structures both prior to and during their destruction. Collected here are images of 20 of the most important lost Scottish houses, among them Hamilton Palace, Rosneath, Balbardie, Amisfield, Gordon Castle, Guisachan, Dunglass, and Millearne. These images provide a fitting testimony to architectural masterpieces from a variety of eras and—in cases such as that or Murthly—offer a painstaking and heartbreaking record of their unfortunate demise. 


CHILDREN'S BOOKS:

The Story of Scotland
The story of Scotland from the Ice Age to the Vikings, the Picts and the Romans, to Robert the Bruce, Mary Queen of Scots, Bonnie Prince Charlie, Flora Macdonald, Sir Walter Scott, Logie Baird, Keir Hardie, and many more famous Scots up to the present day. Each page is packed with colorful pictures and witty captions and speech bubbles, and a pithy text gives the facts and tells the story. The Story of Scotland won the Saltire Society/TES Award for Educational Publications and the Scottish Arts Council Children's Book Award. 

The Clue of the Whistling Bagpipes (Nancy Drew, #41) 
Nancy travels with her father and two close friends to visit her great-grandmother in Scotland and discovers the mystery of a missing family hierloom. 

The Black Island (Tintin, #7)
The classic graphic novel. Investigating a mysterious plane crash, Tintin discovers he's onto something big! The case leads Tintin to Scotland, where he learns of a monster that stalks a lonely island. 


This is, of course, just a sampling of books on Scotland and Scottish life for you to read. Do you want to recommend/share books that feature Scotland? Or do you want to share other thoughts?  Please leave a note in the comments!

Be sure to check back for our next trip in books! :)

Where do you want to go next?





Where we've been so far in our literary travels so far:



Australia, Pacific Islands
New Zealand
Fiji
    
  

10 comments:

  1. I love the look of that Nancy Drew-I adored those books when I was younger and they're always good when you need a comforting mystery.

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    1. I haven't read one since I was a teen, but it does look like a really comforting read, I agree!

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  2. It is a shame that kilts don't look good on all men, because the men they look good on, it's hot.

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  3. Thank you. :) This is a good selection of Scottish books. One of my favorites is How to Kiss a Hero by Sandy Hingston.

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    1. Thanks for the rec! And you are welcome. ;)

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  4. I've just added The Most Beautiful Villages in Scotland to my buy list! Thanks! I really enjoyed this post, it was fun to see what I've read, and what I haven't yet. Yaay! for Rebus (one of my favourite detectives), and for Kearnsley, and MacBeth. This was a lovely post about Scotland, thank you Becca.

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    1. Awesome! I am so glad you enjoyed and that you found a book you want to read! There is no better compliment. Well, that you like the book also would be the icing on the cake!

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  5. Great selection of books.

    The Queen Hereafter and the book about the last child born in Macbeths castle sound really interesting. I also want to read the Susanna Kearsly one (only recently discovered her books).

    Plus my fave Shakespeare play Macbeth was included awesome!

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    1. Yay! Glad you found some books to check out, Mandy!

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