The Killiecrankie Book List

Picture the scene: The Scottish Highlands have done their best to flatten sixteen weary hikers who are now recuperating in the warm and gracious dining room of the Killiecrankie House Hotel in Pitlochry.  (All of these Scottish names benefit from a wee roll of the tongue, by the way.) The fireplace in the grand old dining room has warmed our aching bits, a lavish dinner has been served by men in kilts, no less, and the wine has been flowing.


It wasn’t long before we discovered that travel and hiking were not our only common passions.  Oh no, soon conversation turned to books! And in between the fumbling for titles….”The Stone Cutters?” No, no, “Cutting for Stone!” and authors….”You know the guy…..the one who wrote that book about the spy….” we managed to come up with a list. Well, let’s be fair here. There would be no list if the Lovely Louise from San Antonio hadn’t had the presence of mind to grab a pen and record the titles being tossed around. And so here they are in absolutely no particular order or ranking although I may not be able to resist throwing in a comment on something I’ve already read. And I have culled a few Herman Wouk and Ken Follett titles assuming they are not new to anybody (Winds of War and Pillars of the Earth, etc.)

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

One friend enjoyed this thoroughly, another loathed it. I am reminded that no two people read the same book.

The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

The People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks

Another fascinating Geraldine Brooks novel.

Sarum by Edward Rutherford

The Violinist’s Thumb by Sam Kean

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

Mr. Nice  by Howard Marks

The Social Animal by David Brooks

White Dog Fell from the Sky by Eleanor Morse

A favorite of mine and one of my book club’s 2014 selections.

Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

If you haven’t already encountered Ignatius J. Reilly, you should. One of fiction’s most memorable characters.

Old Filth by Jane Gardam

FILTH: “Failed in London, Try Hong Kong”. Immerse yourself in Gardam’s intelligent and tender writing.

Any Human Heart by William Boyd

Read this (and very much enjoyed it) shortly after I got home because John from Maine declared it the favorite of his All Men’s Book Club. I’d love to be a fly on the wall for one of those meetings.

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

How It All Began by Penelope Lively

One of my very favorite authors.  Adding to my TBR pile right now.

The Expats: A Novel by Chris Pavone

And there you have it. Happy Reading!

About Silver in the Barn

Life in a 1915 farmhouse in Central Virginia. And the odd thought or two.
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5 Responses to The Killiecrankie Book List

  1. George and Pat says:


    I loved your post. I will comment here as I am not on Facebook or Twitter. Your description of the gathering where the book list was compiled made me feel as if I were there and caught up in the good fellowship that seemed to be enjoyed on your tour.

    I agree with the books on the list that I have read and will add the remainder to my never ending list of books to read. Thank you for the suggestions.


  2. Mary says:

    Hi Barb – Thanks for the great book ideas for future reading. Does Mike know about this blog?


  3. Kathy says:

    Dear hiking reading friends! Just finished The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards and enjoyed that.
    In February I relaxed in Mexico reading Tell the Wolves I’m Home (a lovely young adult book) and Not Taco Bell Material ( a rather surprising autobiography by Adam Carrolla)

    Now I am reading financial statements, bad dialogue but interesting plot to follow.
    Keep up the list so I can plan what to read.
    Perhaps we could have a virtual book group meeting once a year via group Skype?

    Kathy Bussman from the rainy part of the country


    • Barbara says:

      Bad dialogue and interesting plots: yup, that pretty much sums up your financial statements! Kathy, my next one The Goldfinch!! Can’t wait to start it. Great to hear from you.XXX


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