For today’s second challenge post I am to share four books. In a change from previous posts on this subject, today I will be sharing four works of non-fiction that have been a source of great entertainment, happiness and inspiration over the years.
1. The Highlands and their Legends (by Otta F. Swire)
I used to use some of the tales in this book as inspirational starting points for my creative writing. As my stories blended fantasy and reality, I would source ideas from traditional folklore and update them for contemporary times. At one point I had the whole series Swire wrote on this subject (including The Isle of Skye and its Legends, The Inner Hebrides and their Legends and The Outer Hebrides and their Legends) but alas this source of wonder has slipped into the abyss of breakdown and poverty.
They are beautifully written collections and the best on the subject of myth and folklore that I’ve ever come across.
2. How to Dominate Men and Subjugate Women (by Alva Bernadine)
My favourite photography book used to live on my shelf alongside several other photography folios. Right beside it I positioned an exceedingly cheap and tacky book entitled “Nude Photography” (a collection of some of the most uninspired, tedious nude photography you are ever likely to come across) to test a hypothesis. My theory was people will always go for something with ‘nude’ in the title – even if the book right beside it contains far more innovative, sensual and erotic images.
No-one ever went for Bernadine. Not once!
3. Hitchcock | Truffaut (by Francois Truffaut and Alfred Hitchcock)
I once stole a copy of this book from the school library and refused to return it as I couldn’t find it anywhere else. It is made up of transcripts of interviews conducted between master film-makers Francois Truffaut and Alfred Hitchcock on the latter’s life and work.
One of the greatest books on film-making I have ever read and a must for anyone with an interest in the subject.
4. Inverness (by James Miller)
This book was instrumental in the research for The Ghosts That Haunt Me and the creation of ‘my’ Inverness.
A stunning history book that takes us from the early days of the city’s foundation through to the changes of the new millennium. Sadly little-read outside of Scotland, it is a superb book and a must for anyone interested in Scottish history and/or the capital of the Highlands.