What the Media are Saying…

  29 Sep '19   |  Posted by: Birlinn
Checking the reviews

Just a few of the highlights from August and September:

A Taste of Scotland’s Islands – Sue Lawrence

Charts Lawrence’s personal odyssey round familiar islands and those less well-travelled, where she spoke to producers and cooks and gleaned more than 100 new dishes. From the intensely traditional to the contemporary, this is a celebration of the landscape, the history, and, especially, the people of the Scottish Islands

Daily Mail

a beautiful cookbook by the marvellous Sue Lawrence’

Jay Rayner

Lawrence’s enthusiasm for food, travel, and island life comes across in spades, making the book an enjoyable read as well as an interesting collection of recipes

Shetland Times

Sue Lawrence shows how far we went down the road to food purgatory and how far we have since returned. …

West Highland Free Pres

Peppermint Tea Chronicles – Alexander McCall Smith

Take a few minutes to relax with a cup of your favourite tea and savour the affairs of the world in microcosm, teeming with life’s loves and challenges. Little dramas writ large by the master chronicler of modern life and manners

The Week

Wonderful as always. I just love this series. Brilliantly narrated and I just lose myself in 44 Scotland St. Characters are so real and Bertie and Ranald make me smile so hard as they are wonderful real characters. Just wish the series came out more often

Audible Five Stars

Pulsating with the little dramas of life, this delightful book is definitely our cup of tea

Sunday Post

King Over the Water – Desmond Seward

The King over the Water… is his best work because it plays to his gifts of being largely persuasive and consistently employing a briskness in pace, a clarity of style and a genius for capturing the character of those long dead, long-forgotten and, perhaps, never remembered… It is a not a comprehensive history but a rollickingly splendidly chronological one

Hugh MacDonald, Herald

Desmond Seward’s clear-sighted examination of the Jacobite movment shows how close it came to succeeding

Allan Massie, Scotsman

The author of a new book on the Jacobite rebellions argues that efforts to restore a Stuart to the British throne were much closer to success than popular history recalls and were only thwarted by “an exceptional run of bad luck”

The Times

Thunder Bay – Doug Skelton (Longlisted for the McIlvanney Prize 2019)
A pitch-perfect thriller. With his signature jet-black humour, and the stamp of approval from a McIlvanney longlisting, this is the novel which should see Skelton take his rightful place at the top of Scottish crime writing

David Robinson, Literary Critic

And in the End – Ken McNab
The Beatles’ final year together was a minefield of conflicting ideas about how to proceed musically and how to structure their new Apple venture, and sorting through it can be confusing. But Ken McNab’s carefully researched, engagingly written account lays out the complex disputes that led to the Beatles’ breakup with the clarity they deserve, and that readers need‘ 

Allan Kozinn, author of ‘The Beatles: From the Cavern to the Rooftop,’ and co-host of the ‘Things We Said Today’ podcast.  

Travels with a Stick – Richard Frazer
Frazer not only gives an engaging account of his own pilgrim’s progress along the Camino but shows how transformative the whole experience can be. In banning pilgrimages, he argues, the Kirk took a wrong turn 450 years ago. As minister of Greyfriars Kirk in Edinburgh, Frazer successfully pushed the Kirk to change its collective mind about pilgrimages, to the extent that more pilgrim walks are opening up in Scotland right now than in any other part of the UK

Books from Scotland

A Breath on Dying Embers – Denzil Meyrick
Meyrick offers a lightness of touch which many other crime writers lack… What also sets his books apart from the countless detective stories sagging the shelves of municipal libraries is a keen eye for the everyday realities of policing. …an enjoyable and highly readable adventure. It surely won’t be long before Daley returns for his eighth book

Scotland on Sunday

Facing the Bear – Trevor Royle
Engrossing… Like a military commander at the top of his game, Royle marshals his material to maximum effect to show how Scotland has been shaped by, and also helped shape, the Cold War, which began in 1945 and ended after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. He ranges far and wide and has that rare talent to marry the local with the geopolitical… But this is not not simply a story of military hardware and confrontation. Royle is very interesting on how the Cold War influenced our cultural life from the novel to poetry and the protest song

Barclay McBain, The Herald

Pabay – Chris Whatley

The inspiring story of how a family left the city behind to set up home on their very own isle of dreams

Sunday Post

Beautifully written, and presents a richly detailed and fascinating historical narrative

Dundee Courier

Mother: A Human Love Story

Motherhood is a transformational journey but it’s not an exclusive journey, what [Matt] is saying is that we can all key into motherhood and experience that narrative…

BBC Radio 2, Good Morning Sunday with Kate Bottley, 18.8.19

A collection of powerful stories

BBC Radio 2

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