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Scottish politicians reveal love of reading

29th December 2009

Members of the Scottish Executive have revealed which books have had a lasting impact on their lives.

First minister Alex Salmond still remembers the first book he read - Enid Blyton's Shadow, the Sheep Dog - and as a child he named his pet after the title character.

Nicola Sturgeon, deputy first minister, explained that The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier was her favourite childhood read and made a 'big impression' on her by showing how war can affect ordinary people.

Allan Campbell McLean's The Hill of the Red Fox was chosen by Michael Russell, cabinet secretary for education and lifelong learning.

'As a child it entertained, thrilled and even frightened me and I know it awoke in me a love of reading that has never stopped - I still read for pleasure and leisure every day,' he said.

The ministers also voiced their support for the Scottish government's Play, Talk, Read campaign, which aims to instil a love of books from an early age.

Last month, Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck and Nicholas Stern were among the authors that a host of business leaders selected as their literary influences for BBC2's Working Lunch programme.

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