GLASGOW doesn't often think of itself as a literary city, not in the same way as the residents of Paris, London or even Edinburgh do. 

But it should.

Here are some of the best lockdown boredom-busting books about our great city.

1. Lanark by Alasdair Gray

Glasgow Times:

Perhaps its portrayal of a dystopian, eerily empty mirror image of Glasgow is a bit on the nose for our times but this is without argument the definitive Glasgow novel. Gray sadly died at the end of last year (you can read his final interview here), leaving behind a wealth of drawings, paintings, books, poems and murals. He also left behind a legacy which inspired countless others to think about Glasgow beyond its reputation as No Mean City. He saw Glasgow as on a par with the cultural centres of London, Paris, New York and wanted us to see it like that. Lanark is not an easy read but it is a rewarding one. If you stick with it, you might see our city in a new light. As Gray famously wrote in the novel: "'Glasgow is a magnificent city,' said McAlpin. 'Why do we hardly ever notice that?'

'Because nobody imagines living here,' said Thaw. 'Think of Florence, Paris, London, New York. Nobody visiting them for the first time is a stranger because he’s already visited them in paintings, novels, history books and films. But if a city hasn’t been used by an artist, not even the inhabitants live there imaginatively.'"

2. No Mean City by Herbert Kingsley Long and Alexander McArthur

Glasgow Times:

Now a worn byword for a reputation most modern Glaswegians are all too keen to shrug off, this book paved the way for the gritty portrayals Glaswegians got used to seeing of themselves for decades. But it shouldn't be rejected so quickly; it is a fantastic, searing novel about the hardships and terrors of Glasgow slums in the early twentieth century. It follows the story of vicious gangster Johnnie Stark as he rises to the top of the pile during Glasgow's lean and mean period following the First World War. 

3. New Selected Poems by Edwin Morgan 

Glasgow Times:

Edwin Morgan was the first Poet Laureate of Glasgow, appointed in 1999. By that time, he had had a distinguished career as one of Scotland's brightest literary talents, producing screeds of poetry and a much-praised translation of the epic Anglo-Saxon poem, Beowulf. If you're finding it hard to concentrate on a full book during lockdown, dipping into a collection of poems as refreshingly crisp and taut as Morgan's can be a tonic. For a taster, free versions of King Billy (about the funeral of infamous gang-leader Billy Fullarton) and Strawberries (one of the most gorgeously innocent love poems ever written) are available to read for free online.

4. Acid Attack by Russell Findlay 

Glasgow Times:

If you're loving Netflix's impressive array of true crime during lockdown but want something a little closer to home, this is your book. Russell Findlay is an investigative journalist working in Scotland, who unearthed and unmasked a host of gangsters, murderers, drug dealers and corrupt cops. He was rewarded by a squirt of acid in his face by an enemy he made in uncovering Scotland's underworld and this book tells of his search for justice. Interspersed with retellings of his career highlights and a little reminiscing about the more high-flying, hard-drinking days of newspapermen, this book is a must for anyone interested in journalism, crime and Scotland itself.

5. The Cutting Room by Louise Welsh 

Glasgow Times:

A pacy noir thriller debut set in Glasgow, this novel starts with the discovery of a sizable collection of pornography in a dead man's Hyndland mansion and only gets creepier from there. Welsh explores sex, sexuality and violence in a fast-paced ride through the gutters, dingy pubs and antique dealers of Glasgow's underworld. 

6. How Late It Was, How Late by James Kelman

Glasgow Times:

One of the most controversial Booker prize winners of all time, How Late... has rightly became accepted into the canon of Scottish literature over the years. Kelman tells the story of a drunk who, blinded in a fight with some policemen has to come to terms with his new disability. Written in a thick Glaswegian dialect, this book put off some of the snobs of the English literary establishment. But for those who can read and understand it, it offers rich rewards.

7. Its Colours, They Are Fine by Alan Spence

Glasgow Times:

Poverty, sectarianism and violence might seem a crutch or a cliche for modern Scots writers but only because they were so well employed by writers such as Alan Spence in the past. Spence's classic collection of short stories about Orange Walks, Catholic weddings, tenement Christmasses and every other facet of Glasgow life remains a touchstone for many looking to reflect our city in writing. You can read the first story in the collection for free here

8. Dear Green Place by Archie Hind 

Glasgow Times:

Set in the 1960s, Archie Hind's legendary novel tells the story of an aspiring writer in Glasgow, at a time where those ambitions put him at odds with his social class, family and friends. The book is an essential guide for the feel and flavour of a city far removed from the Glasgow most of us know today - for better or worse. 

9. Motherwell by Deborah Orr

Glasgow Times:

The title gives the game away somewhat here - this memoir tells the story of a Motherwell childhood. It tells the story of Orr's childhood in the shadow of the formidable Ravenscraig Steelworks, which dominated much of the life of that town until its closure in 1992 and her later career as a successful London journalist. Orr - who would later go on to edit the Guardian's weekend magazine, until her untimely death last year - grew up as much in her mother's shadow as that of the monolithic Lanarkshire factory. In Orr's tender and candid telling, a bright young girl becomes increasingly at odds with her family as she drifts further away from their lives. It examines the relationships that formed her and at times, nearly broke her.