Good Saturday to you,
Welcome to another Saturday Saunter. Usually in this space I write an essay based on whatever’s been rattling around my head but this week and next week I will be doing something different. Next week will be about Scotland’s World Heritage Sites. Today will be Desert Island Books. Like the radio programme but with books instead of music. I have thought about this before and every time I come up with a different list. My luxury item would be a photo album featuring pictures of my favourite people. I’m quite happy not to have the Bible or the complete works of Shakespeare, only these. In no particular order, then, here are my Desert Island Books, beginning with:
A Far Cry From Kensington by Muriel Spark –
I don’t read much fiction these days but in the last few years I’ve read a few by Muriel Spark, particularly coinciding with the centenary of her birth in 2018. A Far Cry From Kensington is my favourite Muriel Spark novel because of how it is written. It is funny, witty and clever, of course, but it features some cool phrases and it is technically well crafted as all of Spark’s books are.
The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd –
The book which has emerged as my favourite in recent years. I keep a copy by my bedside just in case I’m stuck for something to read. It’s short but perfectly formed, a paean to the Cairngorms in all its dimensions and varieties.
My First Summer in the Sierra by John Muir –
I had to pick a John Muir book and my favourite Muir book has always been A Thousand-Mile Walk to the Gulf however some of his best writing is in My First Summer, which is as the title suggests about his first summer in the Sierra Nevada herding sheep and naturalising along the way.
Connemara: Listening to the Wind by Tim Robinson –
I haven’t read this one yet but I picked it because I haven’t read it and also because Connemara is an isolated part of the world and there might be survival tips that could be useful on the type of island I could be isolated on.
Saturday, 3pm by Daniel Gray –
I like how Daniel Gray writes and he absolutely captures the wonder of football and its experiences in broad brushstrokes.
Findings by Kathleen Jamie –
Kathleen Jamie also has a keen eye and Findings goes from Orkney to Edinburgh to Fife talking about the natural world and what can be seen when we look well enough.
Waterlog by Roger Deakin –
Again, this isn’t my favourite book by Roger Deakin – that would be Notes From Walnut Tree Farm – but Waterlog might be useful for survival since I’m not a confident swimmer and it is a beautiful book.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams –
I toyed with a few books for the eighth slot. I went with The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy because it is funny and the world of Arthur Dent, Ford Prefect, Trillian, Zaphod Beeblebrox and Marvin the Paranoid Android is immersive and would be distracting. Plus always having a towel with you is good safety sense.
Well, that’s my eight. I quite enjoyed that. Hopefully you did too. If you have any thoughts, please share them. That is the Saturday Saunter for Saturday 10th July 2021. Streets of Glasgow is back on Wednesday. Until then, tioraidh an-drasta. And Forza Azzurri.