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In My Own Time - Janet Brown, Chief executive of the Scottish Qualifications Authority


- I really enjoy reading two types of books: mystery novels and history. I have read and re-read every Ian Rankin and have just downloaded the latest Rebus on to my Kindle, which I look forward to having time to read over the holidays. The plots are engrossing, and I find it difficult to put a book down until it is finished. I didn't get the chance to do much history at school, but it is a great interest of mine, so I am also reading Queen Anne: The Politics of Passion by Anne Somerset. It not only gives an insight into the politics of the time, but also highlights the pressure felt by a woman who believed that her defining purpose was to secure the succession. She died with no living offspring after having undergone 18 pregnancies.


- With no doubt, the best film I have seen recently is The Angels' Share, which effectively captures the complexities of life for some in Scotland. It is brilliantly acted and shows the serendipity of life, with chance meetings changing destiny.


- I think The Big Bang Theory is brilliant, and love the fact that being a "geek" can be endearing and funny. You can even learn quite a bit of physics if you listen carefully. I am a physicist and I have fond memories of my own "Sheldon", who would come out with weird statements at times.


- My favourite is an e-reader, although I know that some people don't like them and are of the opinion you have to touch and feel a book to get the full experience. It is great for me as I can carry as many books as I like, and flick between reading several depending on my mood and how long I have to read.

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