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Late Call – Editors Blog 4

Referendum-related books on audio?

Referendum-related books on audio?


Kindles I’d happily bury in the ground but I’m addicted to audiobooks.  Probably about one out of every three books I read these days is on audio.  I’ve got a fair old library on my phone.  Plus a subscription to Audible.

There’s an extra dimension to the words when the authors read their own work.   A classic text like Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’ – a book, as the title suggests, on the art and craft of writing – is a joy to listen to when read by the man himself.

It’s long been one of my bugbears that far too few books from Scotland are recorded on audio, although its improving marginally.  James Robertson, Iain Banks, Irvine Welsh and a smattering of others have their books available for listening to. Most Scottish authors don’t.

A new project by Michael Greenwell – he of Scottish Podcast fame – aims to make more audiobooks available, especially books relevant to the Referendum.  The project is called ScotIndyBook.

The first in the series is already done: it’s the first chapter of a thriller being written by Mark Frankland called Toxic. Its read by the author.  More are to follow including Robin McAlpine reading from Common Weal, and Pete Ramand & James Foley’s ‘Yes:  The Radical Case for Scottish Independence’.

Michael Greenwell is currently looking for suggestions. Top of my list would be Lesley Riddoch’s Blossom.  Add your own suggestions – fiction or nonfiction – in the Comments section below and we’ll pass them on to Michael.



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  1. I’d certainly be interested in doing something like that with my novel Paradise Road. I try to capture the rhythm and emphasis of Glaswegian speech, which would hopefully come across well in an audiobook. See Bella’s Book of the Day review on June 26th for more info on the novel.

  2. Andrew says:

    Tom Devine reading his histories of Scotland

  3. Andy Nimmo says:

    For me Quintin Jardine (he of ‘Skinner’ fame) crime writer par excellence and devout YES Supporter

  4. Chris Brookmyre’s ‘Quite ugly one morning’

    1. The Sacred Art of Stealing 🙂
      especially if you could get Gerry Sadowitz to read this …

      1. even better would be if you could get Jerry Sadowitz to read it. I knew something was wrong as I pressed the ” send” button.

    2. bellacaledonia says:

      Chris Brookmyre should have been on my list of Scottish authors who make a point of getting their books onto audio. I know for sure Quite Ugly One Morning has been recorded as I’ve listened to it! Narrated by David Tennant no less. Most of his others books too. It may be something to do with having a big London publisher…

  5. goldenayr says:


    I’m getting a definite “buzz” from your blogs.

    I always thought Iain should have read “The Wasp Factory”(no pun intended) as an audio.I also would’ve loved Michael Marra to have read Burns on audio,no singing,no music,just let the poetry speak.

    There’s a wealth of originally spoken Gaelic tales(none of the faux English MOD stuff)recorded from years ago.To have that in a bilingual recording with someone as earthy as the progenitor,with all the mindboggling intonations,accurately reflected would be amazing.

    But then,what would I know,I just scribble pictures…and I stopped doing that years ago.

  6. Jim Sillars “In place of Fear 2” but please don’t ask Jim to read it, he has far too many demands on his time as it is. Get someone else to do it.
    Even though when I read it in print I can hear Jim’s voice 🙂

  7. Fay Kennedy. says:

    I read parts of Lewis Grassic Gibbon and Neil Gunn out loud to friends and they love it. To think it’s taken me almost seven decades to discover some of the rich literature of Scotland sometimes makes me rage. So many great writers past and present so much to look forward to in the years ahead if I’m lucky.

  8. This is a great idea. One of my very favourite books on Scotland is Stone Voices, The Search for Scotland by Neal Ascherson, which gives fantastic insight into our culture and history, political and otherwise.

  9. yerkitbreeks says:

    The chapter on Dr Hepburn in “Blossom”

  10. Nicol Hands says:

    Robin McAlpine or any appropriate reader for Common Weal – Practical Idealism for Scotland, the whole book, not an extract. Or, thee book from iBooks, so I can anyone can read it on the iPad iPhone, or iPod with the “accessibility” on from Settings, General menu.

  11. Gordon says:

    Ideal for me as my eyesight makes reading very slow for me and I lose the sense in long sentences. I’ve got an ipod nano with plenty of space on it, so 1 book at a time would be possible.

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