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The Golden Hare Reading Challenge 2018 – February

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]We don’t like to bring it up, but it’s been a month since people were saying words like “New Year’s” and “resolutions” in the same sentence. Don’t worry, we’re not checking up on your diet. We are, instead, offering you a great way to keep up another resolution you may have made: to read more books!

Whether this was something you vowed to do this year or you feel your reading habits have turned slightly monotonous, we have the perfect remedy. Our 2018 Reading Challenge has been hand-crafted by our booksellers to give you inspiration for what new books to buy – after all, you can’t read more if you don’t buy more! Plus, we’ll be checking in every so often on the blog with recommendations to keep you on track for that month. 

January has finally passed us by, and it’s safe to say that any book you have read this month was probably purchased in 2017, so we thought we’d we’d bypass recommendations for the beginning of the year and jump right into February. This month’s prompt is “A book set in Edinburgh”, so here are a few ideas to get you started. If you see something you like then pop into the shop and let us know – if it’s not in stock we’ll be more than happy to order it in for you if we can.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”7666″ img_size=”medium” onclick=”img_link_large” img_link_target=”_blank”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]

This is the reading challenge in full! Take a look at the prompts for each month so you can plan ahead and get some ideas swirling for what you might read in the future. For now, here are our recommendations for January…

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The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie – Muriel Spark

Arguably the most iconic book set in Edinburgh, this had to be at the top of the list. With Muriel Spark’s centenary fast approaching, more than ever we are grateful for the wonderful books she has brought into the world. Set in an Edinburgh secondary school in the 1930s, it charts the rise and fall of self-confident schoolmistress Jean Brodie and the girls she takes under her wing. Memorable quotes, moral warnings and bad decisions are abound in this quintessential Scottish novel. And don’t forget, on the 1st of March we have our event celebrating Spark’s centenary – brush up on your knowledge with Jean Brodie and come along![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”7653″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]

The Wages of Sin – Kaite Welsh

A more recent, but no less enjoyable, novel by a wonderful, local, Scottish author. Based around the Edinburgh medical school in the 1890s, this book follows one of the first female students to attend the school and unearths some of the darker parts of Edinburgh’s history. Filled to the brim with body snatchers and medical studies gone wrong, this is a beautifully written piece of feminist prose by an increasingly popular author.

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The Other Mrs Walker – Mary Paulson-Ellis

This is an outstanding debut in a genre that it is increasingly difficult to make a splash in: crime. This is not like most other crime novels, as there is no detective to be found. Instead, our main character is a woman returning to Edinburgh who finds a job finding the families of those who have died alone; in turn, this woman sees her life entangled with that of a woman she is investigating. A brilliant book and a haunting trip around the capital.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”7658″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]

Trainspotting – Irvine Welsh

We would be remiss if we left this out as you’d be hard-pressed to talk about Edinburgh-based books without giving a mention to Irvine Welsh’s emblematic novel. Charting the lives of a group of drug-addicted friends in the parts of Edinburgh not found in the travel guides, this book gave a voice to those in the city who were not poster children for idyllic Scottish living. Heartbreaking, graphic, hilarious and painful, this is not for the faint-hearted but it remains essential Scottish reading 25 years after its first publication. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”7659″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]

The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner – James Hogg

It is said that Hogg only received 6 months of formal education in his life. Well, it must have been the best education one can get, as this novel is a masterpiece. Set in the 1800s, we meet Robert Wringhim, a deeply religious man who truly believes none of his actions have consequences as he is predestined for heaven. Joined by a shady partner (who lacks only horns and a tail to reveal his true identity), Wringhim commits a series of murders against those who are ‘damned’. A classic and a tale for the age of religious extremism, this is genre-defining piece of literature set in our fair city.

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Knots and Crosses (#1 in the Rebus Series) – Ian Rankin

“In Edinburgh of all places. I mean, you never think of that sort of thing happening in Edinburgh, do you?” Ian Rankin’s Detective Rebus series are among the most famous of all Scottish crime novels – and this book is where it all started. While police are investigating a brutal kidnapping and murder of two young girls, a third girl goes missing and Rebus does all he can to find her before it’s too late. But he’s been receiving threats in the form of matchstick crosses and knotted string – will he crack the puzzle in time? This is an excellent example of Rankin at his best. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”7662″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”7464″ alignment=”center”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]

– Daisy

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