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
Swing Hammer Swing

8. Swing Hammer Swing!

Jeff Torrington
Our Fathers

13. Our Fathers

Andrew O'Hagan
Newton's Wake cover

15. Newton's Wake

Ken MacLeod
Mr Alfred, MA

16. Mr Alfred, MA

George Friel
Glister cover

18. The Glister

John Burnside

20. A Case of Knives

Candia McWilliam
Pfitz cover

21. Pfitz

Andrew Crumey

23. Prevailing Wind

Joan Lingard

24. The Mind Benders

James Kennaway
The Bad Sister cover

25. The Bad Sister

Emma Tennant

26. Justine

Alice Thompson
Author Stuart Hood

27. A Den of Foxes

Stuart Hood
Lanark cover

29. Lanark

Alasdair Gray
Amande's Bed by John Aberdein

30. Amande's Bed

John Aberdein
Black and Blue cover

31. Black and Blue

Ian Rankin
The Magic Flute

32. The Magic Flute

Alan Spence
Joseph Knight cover

33. Joseph Knight

James Robertson
44 Scotland Street

34. 44 Scotland Street

Alexander McCall Smith
Under the Skin cover

36. Under the Skin

Michel Faber
Buddha Da by Anne Donovan

37. Buddha Da

Anne Donovan

38. Garnethill

Denise Mina
Trainspotting cover

40. Trainspotting

Irvine Welsh
Life After Life cover

45. Life After Life

Kate Atkinson
Grace Notes

46. Grace Notes

Bernard MacLaverty
Trumpet cover

48. Trumpet

Jackie Kay
The Cutting Room

49. The Cutting Room

Louise Welsh
Day cover

50. Day

A L Kennedy

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