Mother’s Day gift recommendations

  14 Mar '23   |  Posted by: Birlinn

There is perhaps no gift more thoughtful than a book, so we have put together a list of recommendations ensuring you can find something perfect for the loved one in your life this Mother’s Day. Click on the book covers for more information and to purchase.

For the adventurous… Blue Scotland

Whether you are buying for a wild swimming fanatic, or someone who is just dipping their toes into the world of watersports, Blue Scotland is the perfect gift. Written by world-record breaking adventurer Mollie Hughes, this book brings together all her expertise on swimming, paddle-boarding and kayaking to suggest some of Scotland’s best spots to enjoy the water.

For the cooking lover… A Taste of the Highlands

This is not just a cookbook, but a culinary journey around Scotland’s highlands and the diversity of produce it has to offer. Ghillie Basan brings her vast experience and global outlook to Scotland’s cuisine, offering over 100 recipes using local knowledge and produce. From grass-fed lamb to seasonal berries, local beer and fresh salmon, this book celebrates the best that Scotland has to offer.

For the romantic… Pavilion in the Clouds

Set under the blazing sun of 1930s Ceylon during the final days of the British empire, and the rolling hills of modern-day Scotland, Pavilion in the Clouds is a heartwarming story of romance, guilt, and redemption. Alexander McCall Smith is one of the world’s most beloved storytellers, and any of his funny, humorous books would make an ideal Mother’s Day gift.

For the poetry lover… Blood Salt Spring

Blood Salt Spring is the debut poetry collection by Edinburgh Makar Hannah Lavery, which explores ideas of nation, race, and belonging. The relationship between mother and daughter is a key theme that Hannah returns to throughout the collection, marrying the personal with the political in a way that looks to the future with hope. Read her poem ‘My Mum Wears Pink Lipstick’ here.

For the keen gardener… Fruit and Vegetables for Scotland

Many of us are interested in the idea of growing our own fruit and vegetables, but just don’t know where to start. Particularly if you live in Scotland, it can be tricky to know what works best for our changeable climate! Fruit and Vegetables for Scotland answers all these questions in an easy-to-use guide for the budding gardener.

For the animal lover… Scurry of Squirrels

Polly Pullar’s story is a remarkable one. A wildlife rehabilitator in Perthshire, she brings a unique perspective to the plight of the red squirrel in Scotland. Having reared dozens of orphan squirrel kits, she shares her experiences and love for the squirrel and explores how our perceptions have changed. Polly works continuously to encourage wildlife great and small, and highlights how nature can, and indeed will, recover if only we give it a chance.

For the conservationist… The Two-Headed Whale

Weaving together travel writing, memoir, and nature writing, The Two-Headed Whale is an extraordinary book which unveils the dark legacy of twentieth century whaling. Author Sandy Winterbottom embarked on an expedition to the Antarctic in 2016, where she discovered the heartbreaking story of Anthony Ford, a teenage whaler who died thousands of miles from his Edinburgh home, failed by an industry that put profits before people. This book also looks to the future of environmentalism and discusses ways we can better preserve our planet for future generations.

For the historian… Homecoming

Mary, Queen of Scots is one of this country’s most enduring icons, but how well do we really know her? For the keen historian, Homecoming delves into Mary’s twelve years in Scotland and the impact they had on her life and character. Rosemary Goring’s essential book leads us through the many locations throughout Scotland which impacted Mary, offering a truly unique perspective on this misunderstood monarch’s life and death.

For the keen walker… The Hidden Fires

The Hidden Fires responds to Nan Shepherd’s seminal work The Living Mountain, and explores the same landscapes and themes in a conversation between two women over a century. Merryn Glover grew up with quite different hills in the Himalayas, and her early experiences with the Cairngorms left her feeling underwhelmed. Gradually though, Merryn warmed to these Scottish hills and through engagement with Shepherd’s work, she discovered the spark that set the mountains, and herself, alight.

For the music lover… Alternatives to Valium

For the punk music fans out there, Alternatives to Valium relives the highs and lows of the seventies music scene. Alastair McKay tells his fascinating story of growing up in North Berwick, before making it as a journalist, in a book that is both funny and poignant. Filled with top-rate anecdotes of his encounters with stars from Tilda Swinton to Iggy Pop, Dolly Parton to Mark E. Smith, this book really packs a nostalgic punch.

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