Book Week Scotland joins forces with Waterstones

Category: Press Releases

As part of this year’s Book Week Scotland celebrations, Scottish Book Trust has teamed up with Waterstones to provide exclusive book lists from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and bestselling author Maggie O’Farrell. Ahead of their sold-out event at Stirling Castle on Thursday 22 November, the First Minister and Maggie O’Farrell have provided five titles each that feature their favourite rebellious characters.

Book Week Scotland, the national celebration of reading and writing, takes place every November, and this year focuses on the theme of rebel. Waterstones will showcase the ten titles recommended by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Maggie O’Farrell throughout their Scottish bookshops during Book Week.


First Minister’s recommendations:

Sunset Song by Lewis Grassic Gibbon

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

She Came to Stay by Simone de Beauvoir

Autumn by Ali Smith


Maggie O’Farrell’s recommendations:

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg

Our Spoons Came From Woolworths by Barbara Comyns

The World’s Wife by Carol Ann Duffy

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman


The First Minister is a self-confessed book lover, and often shares her reading recommendations via her social media channels. In 2016, the First Minister’s Reading Challenge was launched to encourage a reading culture within schools. It was recently expanded to support children and young people between the ages of 5 and 18 develop a love of reading.

Maggie O’Farrell is the author of seven novels and winner of the 2010 Costa Novel Award for The Hand That First Held Mine. Her recent work I Am, I Am, I Am, is an astonishing memoir of the near death experiences that have punctuated and defined her life. The title has been critically acclaimed and is a Sunday Times bestseller.

Now in its seventh year, Book Week Scotland is run by Scottish Book Trust, the national charity transforming lives through reading and writing. The charity has been supported by Waterstones for many years, helping to facilitate many events across the country. 


Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said:

“It’s fantastic to work together with Waterstones to provide these two fascinating book lists. Featuring some striking Scottish writers such as Carol Ann Duffy, Lewis Grassic Gibbon and Ali Smith, there is something for everyone, whether reading for the first time or revisiting a classic. We’re grateful for Waterstones’ continued support over the years, and look forward to celebrating Book Week Scotland together with them at events across the country.”


Angie Crawford, Scottish Buying Manager at Waterstones, said:

“It is wonderful to have a national celebration of reading and writing and we are delighted to work with Scottish Book Trust on Book Week Scotland to promote a love of books within our local communities. The book lists from Maggie O’Farrell and Nicola Sturgeon feature a really interesting selection of classics and contemporary literature, that will provoke and create interest with readers around Scotland.”


Mairi Kidd, Interim Head of Literature, Languages & Publishing, commented:

“It’s great to see the power of reading recommendations harnessed by Book Week Scotland as a brilliant way to discover new voices and new stories – and indeed older books too, whether these be new to us or whether we’re discovering them anew as our own experiences and perspectives grow and change. Maggie O’Farrell and the First Minister have pulled together brilliant lists of weel-kent favourites and newer titles, and it’s brilliant to see so many books by women highlighted. It’s also really great to see Waterstones supporting our national reading week.”


The event with the First Minister and Maggie O’Farrell can be watched live as part of Book Week Scotland Digital Festival. More details can be found here.


Notes to Editors

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Scottish Book Trust is a national charity changing lives through reading and writing. We inspire and support the people of Scotland to read and write for pleasure though programmes and outreach work that include:

  • Gifting books to every child in Scotland to ensure families of all backgrounds can share the joy of books at home.
  • Working with teachers to inspire children to develop a love of reading, creating innovative classroom activities, book awards and author events.
  • Supporting Scotland’s diverse writing community with our training, awards and writing opportunities.
  • Funding a range of author events for the public to enjoy and promoting Scottish writing to people worldwide.     @scottishbktrust


For more information about Book Week Scotland, visit Follow @Bookweekscot on Twitter, check out #bookweekscotland or like the Book Week Scotland Facebook page.

Initiated by the Scottish Government and supported by £200,000 from the National Lottery through Creative Scotland Targeted Funding and £26,000 from SLIC, Book Week Scotland 2018 will be delivered by Scottish Book Trust from 19 November – 25 November.


In addition to general fundraising, Scottish Book Trust receives Creative Scotland support through Regular Funding. Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information about Creative Scotland please visit Follow us @creativescots and