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Books in the news – perfect Christmas gifts

  20 Nov '23   |  Posted by: Birlinn

As we build up to Christmas, our books are in the news for gift giving and more…

The Scotsman published its annual Books of the Year supplement this weekend and we were delighted to have so many of our books and authors included. Who’s in? Ron Butlin, So Many Lives and All of Them Are Yours; Jim Carruth, Far Field; Liz Lochhead, A Handsel; Alexander McCall Smith, I Think of You; Denise Mina, Three Fires; David Greig, Columba’s Bones; Steven Veerapen, The Wisest Fool – James VI and I; Alistair Moffat, Warpaths; Merryn Glover, Hidden Fires; Alan Warner, Nothing Left to Fear from Hell; Jamie Crawford, Wild History; John H Reid, Eagle and the Bear; Lynsey May, Weak Teath; Dougie Strang, The Bone Cave. And lovely new ads for the latest volume in Alexander McCall Smith’s Scotland Street, The Stellar Debut of Galactica MacFee (currently running in daily episodes in that paper), and Anna Marshall’s Scotland Street Cookbook. And for our cracking new app, Scotland By the Book. It’s all happening!

Anna Marshall’s Scotland Street Cookbook, ‘This is not just a gimmick for opening on Christmas morning… The delicious morsels that McCall Smith cites in his novels have made for genuinely cracking recipes. So much so that I’m now contemplating the idea of hosting a literary-themed dinner party’, and Ghillie Basan’s Seafood Journey ‘easilv one of the most comprehensive seafood cookbooks I’ve seen‘ appear in the Scottish Field’s 10 Great Scottish Cookbooks. And both featured too in Edinburgh Life Festive Issue. Ghillie’s Seafood Journey also appeared in the Scotsman last weekend, ‘This is a book to make you roam, eat, and experience, not just whip up something nice for Friday’s tea’.

Northern Lights: The Artic Scots by the late Ted Cowan is hailed in the Scottish Field’s Christmas edition, ‘the remarkable tales of Arctic Scots including Sir John Ross and his nephew Sir James Clark Ross (who Cowan regarded as arguably the greatest polar explorer of the nineteenth century’), as well as the whalers and Inuit upon whom these Scots relied for survival. Cowan’s writing is lucid and engaging, and the concise chapters are easy to digest’.

The Bone Cave by Dougie Strang is Scottish Book Trust’s Book of the Month this month and enjoyed a Scotrail promotion in Oct and November. The Scottish Field gave it a Five Star review, ‘This is a glorious read: measured, insightful, wistful and replete with meaning… a gem of a book’.

Included in the Scotsman Books of 2023 but also reviewed last week in The Times, Steven Veerapen’s outstanding The Wisest Fool: The Lavish Life of James VI and I,puncturing‘ the image of the wisest fool in Christendom. It has also been selected by Alexander McCall Smith for his Christmas picks on Bookshop.org (going live this week).

Dublin Mapping the City is the latest book in Birlinn’s Mapping series, and we have exciting news on this book to announce next week. Dr Miranda Melcher reviewed it for the New Books Network: ‘An absolutely fascinating and beautiful book using maps to help us understand the growth and development of Dublin over time… I can’t emphasise enough how gorgeous the book is’

In sport, Revolution: Ange Postecoglou by John Greechan is much in demand on Christmas lists and was reprinted within weeks of first publication.

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