The Book Shelf

Make sure you have a look at Christine Macrae’s good book guide.

Here is a small selection from our bookshelf. I will mainly focus on books about Glasgow but will include more general titles and Jim (my husband who is an avid reader) will also select his favourites. One way I am hoping to finance this site is by people using this page as their entry point to If you buy a book via this page I get a small percentage of the price and you of course also get a reduction – the beauty of buying direct. Don’t worry though if you don’t buy any books from here – I won’t fall out with you. Because you are buying from the UK version of Amazon all books should arrive within a couple of days. I have bought loads of books from Amazon, I have never had any problems and the they have all arrived promptly.

Recent good reads

Read a free chapter from Ian Mitchell’s book Walking through Scotland’s history Women Walking. Watch out for it in the bookshops in Autumn. (June, 2001).

Albion of Scotstoun

Albion of Scotstoun – A century of Cars, Trucks and Buses – by Paul Adams and Roy Milligan. Clearly this book is a labour of love; celebrating 100 years of the Albion motor company in text and pictures. Paul Adam’s knowledge and enthusiasm is combined with the technical expertise of Roy Milligan (a former Albion Engineer) to produce this superb book. Jammed full of pictures, it is a delight to look at – and for the enthusiast, it is a goldmine of technical and engineering detail. Highly recommended.

Buy Albion of Scotstoun – A century of Cars, Trucks and Buses from Amazon.

Sitting Among the Eskimos by Maggie Graham is the best novel I have read this year and comes into the ‘can’t put down’ category. Highly recommended for a great read over the holidays or a popular Christmas present.

Buy Sitting Among the Eskimos from Amazon

Maggie was the winner of the Robert Louis Stevenson award for 2000. You can find out more about this talented new writer among our. West End Characters

Another good idea for a cheerful read is of course Ali Abbasi’s Joke Book – I think my brothers might go for this one.

Gordon Urquhart’s fabulous ‘Along Great Western Road’ for the West End enthusiast – it will look great on any coffee table. Just published in October it has already been reprinted.

Ian Mitchell’s ‘On the Trail of Queen Victoria’ – very interesting and a new slant on both the royalty and the Munros.

‘Not the Worst of Tom Shields Just to show how magnanimous I am despite his mockery of our great Web site – I will say that you will split your sides at this book.

Along Great Western Road

Gordon Urquhart’s book ‘Along Great Western Road’ published by Stenlake and in the shops since October is already so in demand it is being reprinted before Christmas. A really wonderful book with fabulous illustrations. A must for anyone interested in the architecture, transport and history of the West End.

Jim’s Review of Along Great Western Road

Buy Along Great Western Road from Amazon

Stationmaster's Daughter bookcover

The Stationmaster’s Daughter published by Headline. A passionate family saga set in Partick, in Glasgow’s West End during the war years. Maggie Craig, herself a stationmaster’s daughter was brought up in Clydebank and now lives in Aberdeen. She has enjoyed success with two previous novels ‘The River Flows On’ and ‘When the Light Comes on Again’.

Buy The Stationmaster’s Daughter from Amazon

Trail of Queen Victoria book cover

Ian Mitchell’s latest book provides an insight into the history of Balmoral and the travels of Queen Victoria during her reign. I have still to read this book but my appetite was well and truly whetted at the launch. Ian entertained everyone with slides from the book and talked about Victoria’s conquering of the Munros and her relationship with John Brown.

Buy The Trail of Queen Victoria from Amazon

Ian R. Mitchell

I have recently interviewed and written up a profile of local character Ian R. Mitchell – Writer & Mountaineer. The following are some of his celebrated titles.

‘Mountain Days and Bothy Nights’ This book has become a classic of the genre and has sold more than 13,000 copies (co-author Dave Brown).

In 1991, when ‘A View from the Ridge’ won the Boardman-Tasker Prize for Mountain Literature, Ian’s reputation as a mountaineering writer was truly established: “if you buy any one mountain book this year make sure it this one”
Kevin Borman (High, 1991).

Yet another award was gained in 1998 for ‘Scotland’s Mountains Before the Mountaineers’ (a pre-history of Scottish Mountaineering) which won the Outdoor Writers’ Guild Award for Excellence. Ian’s other books include:

Second Man on the Rope, 1992. “Chris Bonnington crossed with James Kelman” (Scotland on Sunday)

The First Munroist, 1993.

Mountain Footfalls, 1996. “A masterpiece of its kind, or indeed of any kind” (Usual Suspects, BBC Radio)

The Mountain Weeps, 1997.

Sculpture in Glasgow – an illustrated handbook by Ray McKenzie. When Pat and I went up to visit Ian R. Mitchell the (mountaineer and mountaineering writer) he gave me a loan of this book. What can I say, other than it’s a tremendously interesting book about Glasgow’s statues and sculptures with lots of striking colour photographs. As it says on the back of the jacket, “It’s a celebration of over four centuries of achievement.”

Get Sculpture in Glasgow – an illustrated handbook

Women and the Labour Movement in Scotland 1850-1914 Women and the Labour Movement in Scotland 1850-1914 is written by my friend Eleanor Gordon and one of my favourite books. “It is a stimulating and thorough account, which challenges many assumpitons about the organizational apathy of women workers and about the invevitable division between workplace and domestic ideologies.” If you are interested in obtaining a copy of the book please get in touch with me directly: [email protected]

Glasgow on a Plate – new recipes from Glasgow’s Finest Chefs, edited by Ferrier Richardson. I got this as a Christmas present from Jim and it’s a great book – an introduction to some of Glasgow’s best Chefs – with tips, insights, and ideas. The blurb on the jacket says’ ‘this book is a showcase of the work of the city’s finest chefs and best resaurants.” It’s a beautiful looking book with great photographs apart from anything else. I particularly like the fact that each set of recipies is introduced by the chefs themselves – it gives you a flavour of what they are like as people.

Get Glasgow on a Plate from Amazon.


Think and Grow Rich Book JacketThink and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. Napolean Hill first published his philosophy of individual achievement in 1928. Think and Grow Rich is the book that inspired all subsequent personal development books. Discover for yourself the secrets to personal success that Napolean Hill uncovered after interviewing 504 of America’s richest men. I am currenly reading it for the third time – interesting, inspirational, enlightening and full of valuable lessions. At the front of the book the publishers writes, “It gives you a tested plan that makes men rich” I assume that also applies to women? ( Jim )

Get Think and Grow Rich from Amazon.

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Books about Glasgow

Central Glasgow – An illustrated Architectural Guide by Charles McKean, David Walker and Frank A Walker.
The best guide to the buildings of Glasgow I have come across – pictures and a short description of hundreds of Glasgows’ most interesting buildings. Having said that, he does leave out some of my favourite West End buildings such as Alexander Thompson’s Great Western Terrace – perhaps it is just a bit too far away from the centre of the city to be included. Get An illustrated Architectural Guide from

Eating Out in Glasgow by David Phillips
100 recommended restaurants, cafes and bistros. Many in the West End of the city with useful descriptions of each. Get Eating Out in Glasgow from Amazon.

Hyndland – Edwardian Glasgow Tenement Suburb by Anne Laird
Written and researched by Anne Laird a local resident of Hyndland, with help from Glasgow West Conservation Trust, the Mitchell Library and local residents. Full of old photographs, maps, stories and an enlightening list of the occupations of the residents of Dudley Drive between 1901 and 1912. A great wee book. (Amazon doesn’t seem to have this book in their database but if you would like it I can pass you on to Anne directly and I am sure she will be able to get you a copy).

The Story of Partick Volume 1 by Bill Spalding
A little book packed with stories and history of the development of Partick. Another one that isn’t in the Amazon database – but I could get it and post it to you if you fancy it.

The Life and Works of Rennie Mackintosh by Nathaniel Harris
A good introductory guide to the the life and works of Charles Rennie MacKintosh. Here you can read about Mackintosh’s development as an architect, his loves, his travels and of course his buildings and interiors.

Get The Life and Works of Rennie Mackintosh from Amazon.

Architecture Books

From Bauhouse to our House by Tom Wolfe
It says on the jacket of the book ‘A devestating and timely attack on the hideous follies of modern architecture’ and that’s just what it is. Another good read about why we have the buildings we have – controversial but I’m with Tom on this one.

Get From Bauhouse to our House from Amazon.

Internet Stuff

Philip and Alex's guide to Web Publishing book cover

Philip and Alex’s Guide to Web Publishing by Philip Greenspun
This is one of those ‘if you only buy one book on the subject buy this one’ type of books. Entertaining, an insight on every page and lots of great photographs throughout the book. The Alex in the title is Philips pet dog – which gives you some idea of where Philip is coming from.

I used lots of information and tips from this book when building this Web site. I really think this is the best book you could ever read if you ever plan to do the same.

Get Philip and Alex’s Guide to Web Publishing from Amazon.

Personal Development

Use Your Head book cover

Use Your Head by Tony Buzan
Tony Buzan is the ‘mind maps’ man. This is a great book if you are interested in finding out how your mind works and how to speed up your learning. I certainly found it an interesting read and It gave me lots of insight into how the mind works (or doesn’t work ). This is useful when I am trying to learn new things – which is all the time.

Get Use Your Head from Amazon.

The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz
A self development book that I would recommend. The only flaw is that it is written entirely from a man’s perspective, seems to be aimed mostly at inspiring salesmen and comes across as a bit sexist at times. However I forgive him – because it is so motivating – it is chock full of good stuff to make you feel good and believe you can have whatever you desire out of life.

Get The Magic of Thinking Big from Amazon.


Complete Computer Trainer book cover
The Complete Computer Trainer by Paul Clothier
If you are involved in computer training this is a must read – lots of insight and good advice. As Paul says “People do not learn by being given good answers – they learn by asking good questions”.

Get The Complete Computer Trainer from Amazon.



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Avatar of JimByrne West End based web Developer, writer, songwriter and musician. And the person who takes lots of photos for the Glasgow West End website.

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