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Edinburgh

READING AND TRAVEL GUIDE

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Books for

Enrich your travels with reading! Here's a hand-picked list prepared for your journey in conjunction with the book experts at Longitude.

Essential Reading

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Scotland, A Concise History

Scotland, A Concise History

by Fitzroy MacLean | Magnus Linklater

  • HISTORY
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 248 PAGES

This richly illustrated survey brings Scottish history up to the present through its romantic figures and bloody battles. With 250 well-integrated illustrations, this revised fourth edition includes a newly added chapter on Scotland's place in the 21st century. (SCT15, $19.95)

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

by Muriel Spark

  • LITERATURE
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 150 PAGES

A terribly witty novel from the pen of Dame Muriel. Miss Jean Brodie is an unorthodox teacher at an Edinburgh girls' boarding school who wins the hearts and minds of her students, only to discover that girls from the provinces are ill-prepared for progressive thought. (SCT42, $13.99)

 

Edinburgh Map


by Streetwise

  • 2010
  • MAP

An accordion folded, pocket size, laminated travel map of Edinburgh at a walking scale of 1:12,000. (SCT52, $7.95)

Scotland Map M 501

Scotland Map M 501


by Michelin Travel Publications

  • 2012
  • MAP

A clear, colorful road map at a scale of 1:400,000. (SCT12, $11.95)

Southern Scotland & Northumberland Map

Southern Scotland & Northumberland Map


by Ordnance Survey

  • MAP

A fine locally grown map of southern Scotland, at a scale 1:250,000. (SCT34, $14.95)

Lonely Planet Edinburgh Encounter

Lonely Planet Edinburgh Encounter


by Neil Wilson

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 176 PAGES

This lively shirt pocket guide to the city, jammed with personal recommendations and photographs, also includes a pull-out map. (SCT138, $13.99)

Time Out Edinburgh

Time Out Edinburgh


by Will Fulford-Jones

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 320 PAGES

An up-to-date guide on what to do and where to go by the people who publish Time Out Magazine. (SCT118, $19.95)

How the Scots Invented the Modern World

How the Scots Invented the Modern World


by Arthur Herman

  • HISTORY
  • 2002
  • PAPER
  • 472 PAGES

Herman argues convincingly in this bestseller that many of the greatest political, intellectual and technological innovations of the 18th and 19th centuries came from the Scots. (SCT65, $16.00)

On Glasgow and Edinburgh

On Glasgow and Edinburgh


by Robert Crawford

  • HISTORY
  • 2013
  • HARD COVER
  • 345 PAGES

A history and guide, Crawford's lively account, drawing on a wealth of historical and literary sources, affirms what people from Glasgow and Edinburgh have long doubted -- that it is possible to love both cities. (SCT191, $35.00)

Stone Voices, The Search for Scotland

Stone Voices, The Search for Scotland


by Neal Ascherson

  • HISTORY
  • 2004
  • PAPER
  • 240 PAGES

Ascherson writes with verve and insight on the centuries-old impulse toward nationhood in Scotland in this absorbing portrait, interweaving history with archaeology, myth and his own interviews and travels. (SCT66, $27.00)

The Celts: A Very Short Introduction

The Celts: A Very Short Introduction


by Barry W. Cunliffe

  • HISTORY
  • 2003
  • PAPER
  • 161 PAGES

A concise, revealing social history of the Celts by a reigning authority and popular writer. (CLT03, $11.95)

The Highland Clans

The Highland Clans


by Alistair Moffat

  • HISTORY
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 176 PAGES

This excellent compact history of the Scottish Highland clans brings to life their leaders, traditions, families and heroic deeds with color illustrations, photos, a clan map and an alphabetical family list. (SCT164, $15.95)

The Most Beautiful Villages of Scotland

The Most Beautiful Villages of Scotland


by Hugh Palmer

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2004
  • HARD COVER
  • 208 PAGES

Not just drop-dead beautiful, this lavishly illustrated compendium includes suggestions for historic hamlets, market towns, castles and estates. With notes on travel, hotels, restaurants and accommodations. (SCT81, $40.00)

Queen of Scots, The True Life of Mary Stuart

Queen of Scots, The True Life of Mary Stuart


by John Guy

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2005
  • PAPER
  • 608 PAGES

This major revisionist biography of the much-maligned monarch by British historian and Cambridge fellow John Guy won the 2004 Whitbread Award. (SCT82, $17.95)

44 Scotland Street

44 Scotland Street


by Alexander McCall Smith

  • LITERATURE
  • 2005
  • PAPER
  • 325 PAGES

In this witty novel, McCall Smith traces the lives and eccentricities of the men and women living in an Edinburgh boarding house. (SCT83, $15.00)

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde


by Robert Louis Stevenson

  • LITERATURE
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 144 PAGES

Stevenson's gothic classic set in Edinburgh -- a great horror story and allegory for the dual nature of man. (SCT74, $3.95)

Friends, Lovers, Chocolate

Friends, Lovers, Chocolate


by Alexander McCall Smith

  • MYSTERY
  • 2006
  • PAPER
  • 272 PAGES

The second book in the Sunday Philosophy Club series, set in Edinburgh and starring detective Isabel Dalhousie, the editor of the Review of Applied Ethics. In this installment, chocolate plays a key role in the mystery. (SCT113, $15.00)

Knots and Crosses


by Ian Rankin

  • MYSTERY
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 256 PAGES

Ex-SAS and now just a cop hiding from memories, detective John Rebus copes with a baffling series of crimes terrorizing his Edinburgh in this first book in Rankin's blockbuster series. (SCT174, $14.99)

One Good Turn


by Kate Atkinson

  • MYSTERY
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 448 PAGES

Atkinson follows her mystery debut Case Histories with this percipient, funny, and totally satisfying read set in Edinburgh, once again featuring ex-cop turned private investigator Jackson Brodie -- except this time he is the prime suspect in a deadly crime. (SCT185, $14.00)

Poor Things


by Alasdair Gray

  • LITERATURE
  • 2002
  • PAPER
  • 317 PAGES

Set in 19th-century Edinburgh, Gray's satirical novel-within-a-novel chronicles a mad scientist's attempt to create the perfect companion. The oversize paperback includes the author's wonderfully strange illustrations. (SCT173, $14.95)

The Sunday Philosophy Club


by Alexander McCall Smith

  • MYSTERY
  • 2005
  • PAPER
  • 256 PAGES

The first book in the Sunday Philosophy Club series, set in Edinburgh and starring detective Isabel Dalhousie, the editor of the Review of Applied Ethics. The mystery opens when a man falls to his death outside a concert hall. (SCT114, $14.95)

Trainspotting


by Irvine Welsh

  • LITERATURE
  • 1996
  • PAPER
  • 344 PAGES

You may have seen the movie, but Irvine Welsh's novel is a far darker, albeit moving, tale of junkies set in a bleak version of Edinburgh. It has a fine sense of place, plenty of dirty words, and loads of black humor, all delivered in a thick Scottish accent. (SCT85, $15.95)

Waterlight, Selected Poems

Waterlight, Selected Poems


by Kathleen Jamie

  • LITERATURE
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 108 PAGES

A collection of dazzling poems by the Scottish poet, highlighted by precision of language and close attention to the natural world. (SCT183, $14.00)

Waverly

Waverly


by Sir Walter Scott

  • LITERATURE
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 464 PAGES

Scott drew on childhood tales for this richly detailed portrait of the Highland and Lowland Scots, culminating with the defeat of Bonnie Prince Charles at the 1746 Battle of Culloden. (SCT119, $12.95)

Birds of Europe

Birds of Europe


by Lars Svensson

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 416 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

Featuring 3,500 glorious paintings by Killian Mullarney and Dan Zetterstrom, the second edition of this exquisite guide has been updated with revised text and maps. (FG47, $29.95)

More Recommendations

Here are some other groups of books that might be of interest

Longitude provides recommended reading for travelers in partnership with the leading tour operators and travel programs for hundreds of destinations worldwide. We've got the classic, new and hard-to-find books and maps to help you get the most out of your adventures.