Book Week Scotland ends today. To celebrate, our Writer-At-Large Neil Mackay, who’s also a novelist, has compiled a list of the 50 Scottish books you’ve got to read. This week, we give you the rundown from 25 to number one.

25 One Fine Day in the Middle of the Night - Christopher Brookmyre

Brookmyre is damn good fun. You get a cracking, page-turning thriller, lots of contemporary references to politics, jokes, a twist of satire, and some of the best titles in publishing: Quite Ugly One Morning, All Fun and Games Until Somebody Loses an Eye, A Big Boy Did It and Ran Away.

One Fine Day came out in 1999 just ahead of Friends Reunited – the social media site which reconnected you to old school pals – and mercilessly mocks the one-upmanship we still feel towards the people we knew in our teens.

It sees a group of old school mates meet up to party on a converted North Sea oil rig – which is just about to be attacked by a gang of mercenaries. Witty, dark and action-packed, it’s perfect popular fiction.

24 Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone - J K Rowling

The novel may have become wearyingly ubiquitous – and its status as a cash cow can leave many cold – but the cultural impact of the book cannot be underestimated.

If it did nothing else – apart from make Rowling very rich and powerful – it turned an entire generation of children on to reading. Within a few years of publication in 1997, the mobile phone and the computer screen would come to dominate children’s lives. The boy wizard made sure children never lost touch with the written word. In 2016, the franchise was worth £25 billion.

23 Behind the Scenes at the Museum - Kate Atkinson

“I exist!” What an opening sentence – and it sets the tone for this tragic-comic family saga. It’s a story told with naivety, honesty, wonderment, and humanity, while exploring the hard and painful matter of simply being alive in this rough old world of ours.

With Ruby Lennox the central charter, Behind the Scenes at the Museum unravels the lives of six generations of women from the same family as it charts the social history of Britain.

READ MORE: 50 Scottish books we all must read, 50-26

22 Cal - Bernard MacLaverty

In the past, many Irish writers found it easier to analyse their troubled homeland in self-imposed exile. MacLaverty, from Belfast, left home in the mid 1970s at the height of the Troubles to begin a new life in Scotland.

His writing blossomed and he gave us Lamb, Grace Notes and Cal, a story of love, shame and murder amid sectarian warfare. It’s a profound study of the Troubles and its effects on ordinary people.

21 The Dumb House - John Burnside

At the intellectual centre of Burnside’s phenomenal novel lies the idea of the so-called "Forbidden Experiment" – in which children are raised deprived of language, often in isolation, in order to discover if humans have an innate ability to talk.

The experiment was conducted a number of times in history, including once in Scotland by King James IV.

In The Dumb House, Luke, the central character, is drawn to similar dark experiments. Burnside is a poet of great standing and at its heart this novel is a meditation on how humanity is defined by language. Without language, we’ve no shared understanding of each other – and without that, how can there be love?

20 Debatable Land - Candia McWilliam

Reading the book now it’s hard not to see allegories about the present debate in Scotland over our constitutional future and independence. Readers in 1994, when the book was published, might not have been so keenly attuned to its political subtext, despite the title referring to the borderlands between Scotland and England.

Set on a boat in the South Pacific, it tells of a group of passengers, three of them Scottish and two English, and the interior journey they make as they travel together. McWilliam in her rich and complex style asks: what’s the future of this country?

19 Scar Culture - Toni Davidson

Infuriatingly disregarded, this is one of the most powerful and distressing novels to ever come out of Scotland.

The book has been compared to Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. It’s a horrifying tale of abused children, which gets worse when they enter the world of psychiatrists. One can only hope that as the years pass this dark gem of a novel is rediscovered and Davidson receives the praise he so richly deserves.

18 The Cutting Room - Louise Welsh

The barnstorming debut novel of one of Scotland’s most talented writers. Published in 2002, it received instant critical and commercial success. It tells the story of a desiccated auctioneer called Rilke who comes across a collection of snuff pornography during a house clearance.

Rilke’s descent into the netherworld of Glasgow to discover the truth behind the pictures is genuinely disturbing. Literary crime novels are hard to pull off, but Welsh’s curdled examination of sexuality and violence staked her claim to being Scotland’s greatest exponent of the modern gothic.

17 Me and My Gal - Des Dillon

A book with real soul – it’s a modern Scottish version of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. A simple, joyous story of two boyhood pals in Coatbridge living life to the full.

Dillon wrote the way his protagonists talked with all their slang and Scottishness, and it became instantly beloved when published in 1995. Although Dillon has eluded the fame of many of his contemporary Scottish writers, on World Book Day 2003, the public voted Me and My Gal the novel which best portrayed modern Scotland.

16 How Late It Was, How Late - James Kelman

It remains an affront to Scottish culture that James Kelman has never received the recognition he deserves. At times, even the recognition he has received has come with a sneer.

How Late It Was is written in Glaswegian vernacular. It’s narrated stream of consciousness, and tells the story of a Sammy, a drunk and ex-con. If you want an honest, poet of the working class then Kelman is your man.

Rightly, the book was nominated for the Booker Prize – and won. But it brought down the wrath of literary London. One judge, Julia Neuberger, was outraged the novel won, reportedly calling it “crap”. The commentator Simon Jenkins called it “literary vandalism”.

Kelman in his acceptance speech said: “A fine line can exist between elitism and racism.”

15 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks

The death of Banks was one of the greatest losses to Scottish literature in years. His first book The Wasp Factory stands testament to his talent.

The novel, published in 1984, tells the story of a Scottish teen psychopath living on a lonely island. Banks wrote fearlessly about violence. If there was violence in his novels he never shied away from showing it. But the book is also subversively funny.

Some critics thought the novel “depraved” – a sign that Banks was a great writer indeed.

14 Ivanhoe - Sir Walter Scott

Walter Scott seems to have slipped out of favour in recent decades. Some feel he’s a difficult read – he’s really not. Ivanhoe is probably his most accessible book.

It’s a swashbuckling romp through the Middle Ages with jousts, witches, crusades, damsels in distress and wicked knights. Don’t look for historical accuracy or commentary that accords with our modern views. This is the book which laid the foundation of the modern adventure story. Hollywood would have struggled for plots were it not for Ivanhoe.

The book also marks a step-change for Scott, who in Ivanhoe shifts his imagination away from Scotland and stories like Rob Roy and Waverley. For a man who invented many of the modern notions of what it means to be Scottish – including tartan kitsch – that may be no bad thing.

13 The Hound of the Baskervilles - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The best Sherlock Holmes story Conan Doyle wrote. The novel takes Holmes out of his usual urban crime setting and plunges him into what appears to be a gothic horror story. It drips with atmosphere and it’s packed with the usual Watson-Holmes detective shenanigans.

The novel is set on Dartmoor where a terrifying devil-dog is on the lose. There’s deadly quicksands on Grimpen Mire, cursed families, escaped convicts, and life-or-death struggles in the fog. It’s a rollicking read, first serialised in The Strand magazine in 1901 which means each chapter comes with a guaranteed cliffhanger.

12 Hotel World - Ali Smith

A post-modernist tour-de-force study of what it means to be alive, and also a meditation on death and grief. It’s delivered with enough wit and humour to lighten the heavy metaphysical load.

It tells the story of the lives of five women, whose fortunes intersect at one hotel. Some are ghosts, some are guests. You can feel the spirit of Marcel Proust hovering around the edges of the pages as Smith explores the sense of our lives ticking away.

The hotel is a metaphor for life – we check in, we check out, and there’s not much in between. The message of the story is: remember to live. The Irish writer, Sebastian Barry, described Smith as “Scotland’s Nobel laureate-in-waiting”.

11 Sunset Song - Lewis Grassic Gibbon

It’s a shame some people still imagine that this is dull little book about life meandering away on a Scottish farm. Perhaps the title doesn’t help – it gives the book a soft focus.

Don’t be fooled. This book is dark and strange. It centres on the life of a young woman called Chris Guthrie. It’s set amid the First World War on a farm in north-east Scotland. It’s a ghastly family saga. There’s suicide, infanticide, sickness, incest, war, domestic violence, death. It can be unremitting, and at the time of its publication in 1932 it shocked the chattering classes. It can still shock today.

10 Trainspotting - Irvine Welsh

The book which kicked open the doors of literature and came in shooting. Everything about the book was shocking when it was published in 1993.

Its story of heroin addicts self-destructing in Edinburgh seemed uniquely of its time – but Welsh was picking up the mantle of other poets of the gutter who have gone before him, like Charles Bukowski and Hubert Selby Jnr.

Welsh was uncompromising with language – not just the visceral nature of what he said, but how he said it using Edinburgh slang. The dialect made readers work hard to get into the minds of his characters, but, like A Clockwork Orange, once you got the language you were lost in it.

It remains a masterpiece – one of those gateway novels, like Catcher in the Rye, that draws young people who don’t read into the world of literature.

9 Lanark - Alasdair Gray

If Ireland and Dublin have James Joyce and Ulysses, then Scotland and Glasgow have Gray and Lanark. The book’s reputation goes before it, and Lanark is probably the one novel most people who aspire to think of themselves as intellectual claim they’ve read but really haven’t.

Reading the novel is like interpreting a dream by Scotland itself. It feels almost mythological – as if all of Scottish culture has bubbled up out of Gray’s mind and he’s trying to nail it down, and make sense of it, in a fictional form.

Half of the story takes place in a strange city called Unthank – a creepy doppleganger of Glasgow. The rest of the book is a coming-of-age story of a semi-fictionalised version of Gray.

Lanark refashioned how Scottish literature was seen on the world stage. Gray became our Kafka, our Gunter Grass.

8 The Trick is to Keep Breathing - Janice Galloway

This is a stark but beautiful book. Joy Stone, the central character, is fading out of life. She’s a woman battered by the world to the point of near total – but not complete – destruction.

We’re right inside Joy’s head as she disintegrates. It’s claustrophobic and distressing, yet still it manages to maintain the humour we all find necessary to carry on amid our own struggles.

Galloway fearlessly confronts the agony of being alive. The book’s message is in its title: the trick really is to just keep breathing.

7 Trumpet - Jackie Kay

Shamefully, there are few black voices in Scottish literature. We’re a country which boasts endlessly of how progressive we are – but we’re also a country that looks almost universally white when you look at who holds power when it comes to culture.

Jackie Kay, however, is the exception to the rule. She is one of the most important writers in the UK. She’s also currently Scotland’s national poet, the Makar.

Her first novel Trumpet, about the life of a transgender Jazz musician, is as lyrical, haunting and spare as her poetry.

6 The 39 Steps - John Buchan

We’re in original Boy’s Own Adventure territory here. It’s the eve of World War One, and German spies are plotting against Britain. Scottish hero Richard Hannay – half James Bond, half Sherlock Holmes – is the only man who can save the country.

It’s the archetypal "man-on-the-run" thriller, with Hannay pursued across the country as time runs out. The novel still echoes today in Tom Clancy novels and the Mission Impossible franchise.

It was published in 1915 and became a hit in the trenches. It made Buchan, who was also a Scottish MP, a literary star.

5 The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner - James Hogg

Hogg penned this brutal satire on Scotland and its religious obsessions in 1824. It’s an early example of both horror literature and crime fiction. Hogg tells the story of Robert Colwan, raised a Calvinist and brought up believing in predestination – the idea that everything that happens to you is already fated by God. Part of the theory holds that some of us are "elect" – destined for heaven before we’re born.

Robert meets a man who calls himself "Gil-Martin" – and may well be the Devil himself. Believing himself elect – that he’ll get to heaven no matter what he does – Robert is encouraged to kill with impunity.

The book saw little success in Hogg’s lifetime, but today it’s hailed as a psychological masterpiece, worthy of mention in the same breath as Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment.

4 The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie - Muriel Spark

Spark was a cruel writer. It’s often women who are subject to her sharpest scalpel. With Jean Brodie she created a character of such complexity that it feels as if the very idea of what it means to be a woman in interwar Britain has been taken, placed on an operating table, and vivisected.

Brodie is a skittish, narcissistic romantic, a devotee of masculine power in the shape of fascism, who’s also a progressive advocate of women and female power. She’s weak, she’s strong, she’s obsessive, she’s flighty, she’s highly sexed, she’s faux-chaste, she’s schoolgirlish, she’s spinsterish. She’s an intellectual but she’s utterly thoughtless.

In the end, she’s too much of a contrarian and a rebel, too much of an individual, to survive in society – especially the constrained world of Edinburgh in the 1930s and 40s. The powers of conformity destroy her in the end.

3 The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - Robert Louis Stevenson

Ironically, for a book which has wormed its way into culture’s subconscious, Jekyll and Hyde came to Stevenson in a nightmare.

We all know the story – it’s a horror classic that’s been retold time and again. Its themes are deeply Freudian, and fittingly it was published in 1886, the same year the Vienna doctor set up his practice.

Two years after its publication, the book had sunk so deeply into the popular imagination that when Jack the Ripper terrorised London, the actor who played Jekyll and Hyde on stage was even suspected of involvement in the murders.

2 The Cone Gatherers - Robin Jenkins

Jenkins is surely Scotland’s most under-rated writer. Memory of him seems to be fading even though he wrote more than 30 books during his life, including this masterpiece which stands as a European response to John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men.

Set in 1943, the story centres on two brothers, Neil and Calum, as they gather cones in a Scottish forest to help replant trees which are being cut down for the war effort. Calum is disabled. He has a hunchback, and the powerful and psychologically damaged gamekeeper Duror detests anything he deems deformed.

Like George and Lenny in Steinbeck’s novel, Neil and Calum are outsiders trying to live a decent life in a world ruled by bullies, wealth and cruelty. The Cone Gatherers charts an inevitable journey towards violence and destruction. It’s a poetic and ruthless indictment of society.

1 The Driver’s Seat - Muriel Spark

How would you plot your own murder? Slap-bang in the middle of the Women’s Lib movement, Muriel Spark brought out this curdled examination of women, sexuality, feminism and male violence in 1970.

Lise is a stifled career woman in early middle age. One day, she walks away from her empty life. She buys wildly over-the-top clothes and flies to Italy. On the way, she manages to creep out just about everyone she meets. Lise tells people she’s “looking for her boyfriend”. She’s not. She’s looking for a man who wants to kill women.

Lise is one of the most disturbing characters ever created. By seeking her own death, she wants to reclaim power from men. Her self-sacrifice is meant as an act of revenge. The book is claustrophobic, and sweaty with fear and sick sexual energy.

Spark may be best known for Jean Brodie, but this is her greatest work, and one of the finest novels of the 20th century. That’s why she’s the only writer to appear twice on this list.