top of page
Desert Island Books - for the folks at Glad Cafe

Hello to Glad Café friends and others  just visiting. I was in Glasgow South on 27th November talk-

ing about formative books and said I'd post the list. Here it is - and Christmas Books might be just the thing.

Hans Christian Andersen's Collected Fairy Tales:
Too many editions to list  but make sure you get one with pictures and text that is not 'prettified' out of it's very stark meanings. It's a book for adults, really. 

Edward Lear poems - old-fashioned and very gentle indeed. Again, get one with his drawings with are bizarre as the limericks.


Stevie Smith: Complete Poems: Hats off, ladies, a weird and very guarded genius


Mrs Spark is a goddess. The short stories are great (available in collection from Cannongate)

OR you can read Prime of Miss Jean Brodie   or  The Ballad of Peckham Rye   or

Loitering with Intent   or   The Girls of Slender Means - there's loads. 


Marguerite Duras: The Lover - like reading a movie          


Jessie Kesson: Another Time, Another Place  

Get Kesson's books republished! 


Kathleen Jamie: The Queen of Sheba is now together with 

other early work by Kathleen in MR ad Mrs Scotland are dead

Barbara Gowdy - anything by her is arresting. Also try Mr Sandman.               

EXTRAS: Amy Liptrot's 'The Outrun'    

Alan Warner - The Deadman’s Pedal - you know you want to. 

In addition I recommend COURTNEY by John Burningham as one of the best books of all-time, though it's technically for the remarkably young. It's about a dog nobody wants. But they're wrong. Few words, wonderful imaginings.  COURTNEY is MORE THAN HE SEEMS...

bottom of page