My Favourite Books of the Year 2021Gerry HassanScottish Review, 15 December 2021 2021 has been a dramatic year - defined by COVID and the incompetence and deceit of Boris Johnson’s Tory administration. For myself, the year was divided between the first eight months on Glasgow’s Southside followed by moving to Kirkcudbright for the rest of the year and beyond. That entailed packing eighty plus boxes of books, then unpacking them and putting them on newly built shelves – as well as thinning them out. Unconnected to all this (so it is claimed!), within two months of moving
Can books really change the world? Gerry HassanScottish Review, 26 October 2021 The past two months has seen me spend much time packing and unpacking piles of books: putting them into boxes, labelling them, taking them out of boxes, and putting them up on newly built shelves as I recently have moved house. It has made me think many things: firstly, about the importance of books and ideas generally; secondly, about their role and impact in my life; and thirdly, on the role of books and ideas, considering the huge challenges we face as humanity and a planet.
My Favourite Books of 2020 Gerry HassanScottish Review, December 16th 2020 Since 2014, I have compiled an annual list of my books and publications of the year (as well as music), and for the first time this year have undertaken it for Scottish Review. My rules for inclusion are that I have read the book over the past year and think it worth commending; I have a bias towards books published in the past twelve months but include some older titles as I have read them during this year. Section One: ScotlandScotland: General Murray Stewart Leith
Cultural Highlights of the DecadeGerry HassanSunday National, December 29th 2019MUSICElza Soares, The Woman at the End of the World/A Mulher do Fim do Mundo, Mais Um Discos 2016. Brazilian music - from bossa nova to Tropicalia and present sounds – has always been a passion of mine. Elza Soares is a Brazilian national treasure and inspiration who was born in poverty in one of Rio’s favelas. She has had huge commercial success and now in her 80s a couple of years ago decided to make a contemporary album. This is no nostalgic act or even Rick
My Favourite Books of 2019Gerry HassanDecember 22nd 2019 This is a list of my favourite books of the year. It is the fifth year in a row I have done this – and undertaken separate book and music lists – the latter coming in the next day. It is a totally subjective and idiosyncratic list: made up things I have read, come across, been involved in or inspired by and which have stopped me and made me think. The biggest reason I do these lists is for my own enjoyment: looking back and reflecting on reading and listening,
My Favourite Books of 2018December 22nd 2018Gerry Hassan This is a list of my favourite books of the year. It is a totally subjective and idiosyncratic list: made up things I have read, come across, been involved in or inspired by and which have stopped me and made me think. There is a bias towards books out this year but as it is my list and a reflection of what inspired me it is a deliberate mixture of old and new. This is the fourth year in a row I have done this kind of selection and recommendations
MY FAVOURITE BOOKS OF 2017 December 15th 2017 Here is a selection of my books of the year. By its nature, this is subjective - made up of books I have read, enjoyed and been impressed by, and isn’t thus an attempt to comprehensively cover every subject. While the vast majority of books listed were published this year, there are a few from late 2016, and a couple published before then. Scotland: My Favourite Books of the Year James Robertson, Michael Marra: Arrest This Moment, Big Sky Press This is a beautifully produced book on a precious talent -
MY FAVOURITE BOOKS OF 2016December 19th 2016 The political upheavals of 2016 will be captured for many years to come through books and publishing. I enjoyed my wide reading over the year, while still feeling that events and crises were racing ahead of publishers and writers. I revelled in researching and writing my own book - Scotland the Bold – on the country, its politics, culture and ideas and prospects for change. Writing at book length always gives you permission and discipline to read widely – and beyond narrow subject categorisation – which is a joy. Anyway, without further