Monday, June 1, 2009

Reads and Roots

Okay. I admit it. I'm an Anglo/Scotophile kind of gal. Love their literature. Love their land. Love their history. These are my people and my roots, and although there is no sign of Scottish blood in the documentation of our family tree, I know in my heart and bones it is there somewhere! When browsing at bookstores, I'm most definitely drawn to novels based in the U.K. My most recent adult and children's favorites are:

The Sweetness of the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

Mystery is not one of my favorite literary genres. Perhaps it was the word "pie" that caught my eye in the Wellesley Booksmith as the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (now in paperback) is high on my list of recent favorites. I typically don't eat pie, but I seem to enjoy reading about pie! The protagonist is 11 year-old Flavia De Luce - Harriet the Spy/Sammy Keyes meets Sherlock Holmes/Miss Marple. The characters in the novel are quirky and delightful. When Flavia discovers a dead body in the family's cucumber patch she wishes she could say she was afraid. "But I wasn't . Quite the contrary. This was by far the most interesting thing that had ever happened to me in my entire life."

Death in the cucumber patch...gotta love it! So very British.

And then there is Julie Hahnke's fantasy novel for intermediate readers, The Grey Ghost.

When Black Duncan Campbell starts murdering his neighbors in 1526 Scotland, eleven-year-old Angus suddenly finds himself the sole survivor of Clan Macnab. Aided by a goshawk and a pine marten, and urged forward by a mysterious luna moth, Angus must uncover his clan’s heritage, reveal ancient secrets, and try to end the Campbell’s bloody rampage.

Julie also hosts AMAZING author/bookstore visits and presentations as she brings along her bagpipes (she is a superb piper) plus lots of historical /scientific information and slides about the animals and countries she writes about in her novels.

Great Stuff...So what would be the Scottish verion of "Erin Go Bragh"? Mel Gibson might know.

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