[Today’s edition of The Herald carries a feature in which various Scottish figures are asked to select their favourite books of 2013. Here is James Robertson’s selection:]
I thoroughly enjoyed Wayne Price's short story collection Furnace (Freight, £8.99) - understated, sultry, passionate, sometimes menacing tales that show a real mastery of mood and language. John Herdman's Another Country (Thirsty Books, £7.99), is a rich, insightful and witty memoir of literary and nationalist personalities meeting, and often clashing, in the pubs of 1960s and 1970s Edinburgh. A cause with which I strongly empathise - getting to the truth of the Lockerbie bombing 25 years on - is tackled in two new books: John Ashton's Scotland's Shame: Why Lockerbie Still Matters (Birlinn, £7.99) is a slimmer assessment of the whole sorry saga than his previous study Megrahi: You are my Jury, but no less damning; while Morag Kerr's meticulous examination of the facts, Adequately Explained By Stupidity? Lockerbie, Luggage And Lies (Matador, £12.99) effectively demonstrates how the bomb was loaded not in Malta but directly on to Pan Am Flight 103 at Heathrow. Finally, I welcome The Collected Plays Of Robert McLellan, edited by Colin Donati (Luath, £25). McLellan's is a very significant voice in 20th century Scottish theatre, not least because of his consistently articulate use of Scots, and it is great to see this volume at last.