Books to Read Before You Travel to Scotland

Hint hint. I'm considering Scotland as one of my very first stops on my journey of long term travel. It's beckoning me with the perfect recipe for a solo traveler. Beautiful and rugged landscapes. A bustling social scene. Notoriously friendly people. Rich and storied (literally!) history. Here are the books I'll be reading before I make my way to Edinburgh and the Scottish Highlands. 

How the Scots Invented the Modern World by Arthur Herman. This book explores how one of the poorest societies in the world built the institutions of the Western world today. Take it at what it is, a love letter to Scottish history, and read up on the Scottish legacy before you go. 

44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith. McCall Smith has a knack for finding the humor in the everyday life of a place. His take on Scotland is no different. P.s. if you happen to be heading to Italy too, give this light read a look. 

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. This is a polarizing and popularly steamy series. Scotland itself is as rich a character as any in this time-traveling romance. 

A History of Scotland by Neil Oliver. The renowned stories of Scotland, Mary Queen of Scot's tragedy and Bonnie Prince Charlie's cause, get a second look. The book also explores how Scotland has maintained its individuality despite more than 300 years of union with England. 

Reunion by Ryan Littrell. If the clans are in your blood, you'll want to give this ancestral search story a read. Our author follows the footsteps of those that go before him, from country graveyard to old ledgers. Read this if your own past is intriguing to you. 

At the Water's Edge by Sara Gruen. This one's for the historical fiction fans. A spellbinding love story set in the Scottish Highlands as World War II devastates the country.