The Best of 2012: It’s the Scots Whay Hae! Roundup of the Year Podcast…

It’s that time of year where Ali, Ian and Chris park themselves round the kitchen table on the High St and ponder the past 12 months in terms of books, film, music and other miscellany. As usual Ali concentrates on the Scottish side of things while Chris helps to widen the debate and lets the other two know what they’ve been missing.

There is the annual missive from Scots Whay Hae’s Dr Books, Ronnie Young, who pokes Chris with a Thor shaped stick, and once more give us his list of the best of the blockbusters of the year. We also had a contribution from the Skinny’s book man Keir Hind which unfortunately arrived too late to include but you can see his fine choices at the bottom of this page.

Things kick off with what passes for an Ali rant in support of James Kelman and ends with good will to all. In between we discuss what has been a great year in books and music, and perhaps not such a great one in film. Where else could you find and hour or so of discussion that touches upon Alan Warner, Johnny Greenwood, the use of Doric in a Pixar movie, the resurrection of electro/pop, the wonder of David Byrne and the joy of silence.

As ever you can get the podcast from iTunes or with RSS (out now), and you can read the Scotsman’s reportage of the Kelman Saltire acceptance speech here to make sense of what Ali and Chris talk about for the first few minutes.

This is the last podcast of 2012, but we can promise you some fantastic sights as well as sounds as next year begins. Until then here are Mr Keir Hind’s books of the year:

Hello,

Here’s five, just for the sake of writing five (in no particular order),

Skagboys by Irvine Welsh, which I took a while to fully appreciate (but liked from the start too).

Close Your Eyes by Ewan Morrison, which narrowly edges out Tales From the Mall for me. As structurally interesting as Mall, but more subtly so, if you need a reason (I liked both, though).

Bevel by Billy Letford is quite good – the design of the book itself seemed a bit shabby, to put it politely, but the contents were good.

Every Short Story 1951-2012 by Alasdair Gray. Not new work, true, but Gray’s becoming increasingly easy to collect in full, which cannot be bad. There’s Life In Pictures, A Gray Play Book and Collected Verse now available, covering most of everything that isn’t the novels.

And

The Hydrogen Sonata by Iain M Banks. Because you snobs rode roughshod over his sci-fi work in your Banks coverage, and also because it is good, contrasting the Culture, a seemingly endless civilisation, with one who who have decided by referendum to end it all. A surprisingly funny book too, in the suitable places.

– KH

Good choices and fair points all round, so thanks to Keir and also to all of our guests, readers and listeners. Merry Christmas to the lot of ye. Ali, Ian & Chris. x

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