Posted by: biblioglobal | September 15, 2014

Will I have a new country to add to my list?

It’s been a busy few weeks in the Biblioglobal household and I haven’t managed to post for a while. But in the meantime, I’ve been accumulating all sorts of things to write about. I’ve got books from Hungary and Timor Leste to discuss. Plus the Dayton Literary Peace Prize finalist list has come out. Hopefully I’ll get to those posts soon, but in the mean time, there’s an event this week that could have direct impact on my project to read a book from every country.

This week could mark the creation of the first new country since I started my book-from-every-country project! I anticipated from the beginning that there would probably be a new country or two added during the course of the project. I was guessing Palestine though. Scotland was not on my radar screen.

This week, however, Scotland will vote in a referendum on independence from the United Kingdom. I haven’t followed all the details, but it seems like there’s about a 50/50 chance that the referendum will pass, based on current polling. I don’t have an opinion as to which way the vote should go, but I do think it would be fun to add Scotland to my reading list!

Even though it isn’t a country (yet), the internet is awash with Scottish book recommendations. There’s “The 20 Scottish books everyone should read“, “Your 100 best Scottish novels“, “Ten significant modern Scottish novels“,  as well as  “50 best Scottish books of the last 50 years“. I wish the literature of all the countries currently on my list was so well documented!

I find myself intrigued by Buddha Da by Anne Donovan, about a Glasgow man who suddenly decides to take up Buddhism. I also learned that Ali Smith, who I have been wanting to read, is Scottish, so this could be a good excuse.

Any Scottish book recommendations to help me choose from so many?


  1. I’ve been wondering the same thing! Kind of exciting!!

  2. As a Scot myself I’m a bit biased but there are lots of great novels. I’ve fallen into the Great Scottish Book list trap myself on my own blog but I enjoyed debating with myself on what to put in and what to leave out! Even though they didn’t make my list Ali Smith is always great and Buddha Da is very funny. I’d recommend anything by Ian Banks, though my favourite is Espedair Street but most of all, if you can get into it, Alasdair Gray’s book Lanark is a modern Scottish Classic – and it’s fantastic.

    • In my recent busy-ness, I had missed your post! Thanks for pointing me to it and for the suggestions. Lanark looks interesting, but also rather intimidating! I’ll have to see what I’m in the mood for.

  3. I seem to be very absent-minded lately, because this hasn’t crossed my mind at all. If it should happen I might just add a 21-st book to my tiny reading adventure as well!

  4. Oooh, great lists. Definitely an exciting time for Scotland, whatever the outcome. Many wonderful books from there, classic and current.

  5. You should probably say an “independent country” as it is technically it’s own country within the United Kingdom 😉 It’s an interesting history and the laws tying the four separate countries together and how they navigate new laws (like the Civil Partnership Act and Marriage Equality) is fascinating!

    • But thinking back, I’m pretty sure you defined “country” on your blog as UN recognized, but still the number of people I’ve had to explain the four countries as one nation idea to is countless!

      • Yes, I do mean “UN member state” when I say country. But that’s still a good point about being careful with my language!

      • As soon as I wrote that, I recalled that. Again though I wonder how long it would take the UN to recognize as if it happens it will take years for Scotland and the rest of the UK to fully extricate themselves.

      • That’s true, I’m assuming that Scotland will automatically get UN recognition, but these things do take time. On the other hand, I estimate I still have about 7 years left to go on this project. I would hope they would get it sorted out by then!

  6. The results are in and you need to read 47% of a book from Scotland.

    • That’s a clever and yet terrible idea. (Unless I deliberately find a book I don’t like!)

  7. The comment about a new country being created pulled me up. I know geography isn’t my strong point but Scotland already is a country in my book. And then I read Geoff’s comment and the penny dropped. It’s not a country according to the UN which means neither is my home nation of Wales. So bang goes my plan to champion the addition of Wales to your reading list.

    • I had no idea of the complexity of the terminology when I wrote this post. Even though I’m only committing to UN member nations, I’d still be very interested to hear your suggestions for some Welsh reading!

  8. Well looks like you won’t be adding another UN country to your list. If nothing else, at least you got some good Scottish book recommendations! I’m not sure I’ve ever read a book by a Scottish author. Many of the books on those “books you should read” lists are on my TBR list, but I couldn’t find any I had actually read. I have some Scottish ancestry so this makes me kind of sad. I guess I’ll have to rectify this!

    • Yes, I did get good recommendations! And sadly now I don’t have an immediate reason to read them. Though I could still pick one as my UK book!

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