What’s in the News (other than Coronavirus)?

  18 Apr '20   |  Posted by: Birlinn
Checking the reviews

Over the last few weeks our authors and books have enjoyed superb coverage in the media. The examples below are simply that – a tiny fragment of what has appeared. For reviews of individual titles take a look on the appropriate book page.

Alexander McCall Smith

Tiny Tales as started in the Financial Times! Don’t miss this unique collaboration between the world’s favourite author, and his long-time friend and illustrator Iain McIntosh. At the end of March, the paper published a six page article written by Alexander about these little morsels of delight – cartoon style strips of four panels, telling a full story in each strip. Tiny Tales will be published in book form in August but in the meantime, you can catch one strip a week, every weekend, on the back page of Life & Arts, FT Weekend.

Alexander has also written two poems for readers in this difficult time. He read the first, ‘In a Time of Distance’, on BBC Radio 4’s PM programme and again on BBC Radio Scotland. On Facebook it has reached more than 120,000 people so far. The second, a poem of gratitude ‘For Those Who Care’ was published in the Sunday Times and a video showing Alexander reading this poem can be viewed there. Both poems are also available in full on his website.

And he wrote a short story for readers of the Sunday Post.

The Declaration of Arbroath

Marking the 700th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath, The Sunday Times published a full poster showing the original document on one side and the translation on the other along with an article by Edward Cowan, author of The Declaration of Arbroath: For Freedom Alone. Coverage for the anniversary and this book included a short series of programmes on BBC Radio Scotland, coverage in many of the papers across Scotland including the National, the Courier, and the Herald, and on news programmes.

Doug Skelton

Doug was in the Sunday Post in a meet the author interview as he celebrated publication of The Blood is Still. And a lovely puff appeared from Ian Rankin on social media:

If you don’t know Skelton, now’s the time!

Ian Rankin

Doug also appeared on the Big Light Tartan Noir podcast

Fruit and Vegetables for Scotland

Created by Ken Cox and Caroline Beaton, Fruit and Vegetables for Scotland appeared in Scotland on Sunday as the country turned to self-sufficiency. Caroline Beaton offered her advice to gardeners.

Native: Life in a Vanishing Landscape by Patrick Laurie

Native attracted rave reviews on publication and a great feature in the Sunday Post. It was our second online launch and a great success.

‘Galloway, past and present, is the bedrock of this book, a granite foundation on which Laurie is to build his future… an unflinching account of what it takes to turn into a farmer, bearing callouses, bruises and scars…. moving as well as inspirational. This Galloway farm might be just one stamp in an album, but if a butterfly wing can cause a hurricane, what about a rampaging bull?’ – Rosemary Goring, Herald

Remarkable… profoundly enjoyable to read… extraordinary heights and depths of rich, sweet lyricism… Its importance is huge, setting down a vital marker in the 21st century debate about how we use and abuse the land.’ – Joyce McMillan, Scotsman

‘Native is described as ‘a hymn of love to his native land’. It’s an apt description for a wonderful book… a poignant and thought-provoking read, I loved it’ – Matt Johnson, LoveReading

‘I work at Forum Books in Corbridge and got a proof of this – it’s the most incredible book I can recall reading – prose to compare with Macfarlane. Staggering, should win prizes’ – Bookseller Forum Books

‘I simply adore this book!’ – Polly Pullar

One Week in April

The 200th anniversary of the April uprising was marked in style in the Sunday Post with an article on Maggie Craig’s One Week in April. The book was also featured in the Herald and the Sunday Post. And this book was launched online (trumpets please!), our first virtual launch – a great achievement for all involved. The Lost Glasgow online team featured the book and did a giveaway on publication.

‘It was seven days that shook Scotland, a week when the country’s impoverished, exploited workers said enough was enough’ 

Sunday Post

This is an excellent book, quite the best and fairest account I have read

Alan Massie, Scotsman

Scotsman Sessions

The Scotsman started new video interviews on their website – Scotsman Sessions. Poet Roseanne Watt talked about her book, Moder Dy in one of the first of the Sessions, followed by Andrew Greig talking about Later That Day.

There are echoes of music, mountains and MacCaig in Later that Day. But there’s something else too. There’s a directness about the way in which he writes about old friendships, even ones in the shadow of old age and death. Love, friendship, and the wonder of everything in nature that death will take away – these are his poetry’s recurring themes, seldom expressed with such fond lucidity

David Robinson, Scotsman Sessions

Andrew’s book was also reviewed in the Scotsman and the Herald and he was interviewed for the Dundee Courier.
And GoodReads is awash with 5 star reviews for Moder Dy. This one summed it up:

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous.

Muriel Spark

The Ballad of Peckham Rye won accolades in the Daily Mail’s Best Books Ever:

‘The novel is wickedly funny, if cruel. I prefer it to Spark’s The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie’

Para Handy – back to where it all began

The Sunday Post ran a lovely extract from Para Handy, the first book Birlinn published, 27 years ago.

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