50 Best Scottish Books of the Last 50 Years

Stuart Kelly picks the past half-century's most memorable Scottish reads

In anticipation of Book Week Scotland 2013, literary critic Stuart Kelly and staff at Scottish Book Trust compiled this list of the top 50 Scottish books of the last 50 years. Click on the individual covers to find out what Stuart (and a few SBT staffers) thought of each book. Then, head over to the results page to find out which books came out on top.

The Bridge cover

1. The Bridge

Iain Banks
Excession cover

2. Excession

Iain M. Banks
Morvern Callar

3. Morvern Callar

Alan Warner
Docherty cover

4. Docherty

William McIlvanney

5. Consider the Lilies

Iain Crichton Smith
Magnus cover

6. Magnus

George Mackay Brown
Grace Notes

7. Grace Notes

Bernard MacLaverty

9. Trumpet

Jackie Kay
Swing Hammer Swing

10. Swing Hammer Swing!

Jeff Torrington

12. Fergus Lamont

Robin Jenkins
Newton's Wake cover

17. Newton's Wake

Ken MacLeod
Mr Alfred, MA

18. Mr Alfred, MA

George Friel
Glister cover

20. The Glister

John Burnside

25. Prevailing Wind

Joan Lingard

26. The Mind Benders

James Kennaway
The Bad Sister cover

27. The Bad Sister

Emma Tennant

28. Justine

Alice Thompson
Author Stuart Hood

29. A Den of Foxes

Stuart Hood
Life After Life cover

30. Life After Life

Kate Atkinson
Lanark cover

32. Lanark

Alasdair Gray
Amande's Bed by John Aberdein

33. Amande's Bed

John Aberdein
Black and Blue cover

34. Black and Blue

Ian Rankin
The Magic Flute

35. The Magic Flute

Alan Spence
Day cover

36. Day

A L Kennedy
Joseph Knight cover

37. Joseph Knight

James Robertson
44 Scotland Street

38. 44 Scotland Street

Alexander McCall Smith
The Cutting Room

40. The Cutting Room

Louise Welsh
Under the Skin cover

41. Under the Skin

Michel Faber
Buddha Da by Anne Donovan

42. Buddha Da

Anne Donovan

43. Garnethill

Denise Mina

List created by

Stuart Kelly
Stuart Kelly

Stuart Kelly is an author, reviewer, and Man Booker Prize judge. He is on the council for the International Man Booker and judged the Granta Best of Young British Novelists. His book, Scott-Land: The Man Who Invented a Nation, was longlisted for the Samuel Johnson non-fiction prize and was Radio 4's Book of the Week. He writes reviews for The Scotsman, Scotland on Sunday, The Guardian and The Times.

Tags: scotland