Books

Books

Scotland Street chronicles set for return to BBC Radio 4

One of Scotland’s most popular books is to return to the airwaves next week thanks to a new BBC Radio 4 serialisation.

UK
Author Philip Pullman has confirmed a follow-up trilogy to His Dark Materials. Picture: AP/RandomHouse

Philip Pullman announces follow-up trilogy to His Dark Materials

Acclaimed author Philip Pullman will publish his long-awaited follow-up to the His Dark Materials trilogy in October, 17 years after the last instalment.

Books 1
The Edinburgh Book Festival has been asked to reduce its impact on Charlotte Square's gardens: Picture: Phil Wilkinson

Brian Ferguson: Festivals must not fear loss of New Town venues

If you have seen the film, you will know the line by now: “First there was an opportunity… then there was a betrayal.”

Opinion 1
Val McDermkd took part in a workshop with scientists & medical experts before writing the Radio 4 thriller "Resistance."

Real-life concerns of scientists inspire Val McDermid drama on deadly outbreak

Leading Scottish crime writer Val McDermid has written a new BBC drama about an apocalyptic epidemic - based on the real-life concerns of scientists.

Lifestyle
More than 230.000 people flocked to the book festival site at Charlotte Square Gardens last summer.

Edinburgh book festival to spill out of Charlotte Square to protect historic garden

For more than 30 years it has attracted the world’s leading authors to the historic heart of the Scottish capital.
News 2
David J Vaughan

Book review: Mad Or Bad - Crime And Insanity In Victorian Britain

It’s believed to be the first time a suspect relied on the defence of sleepwalking in a British criminal case. In 1878 a Glasgow man, Simon Fraser, stood trial for murdering his young son. Fraser was convinced “a large white beast” had entered his bedroom and attacked his son as he slept in a nearby cot. The case is one of about two dozen featured in Mad Or Bad, a collection that explores the evolution of the insanity defence in the Victorian era. Author David J Vaughan, a former archaeologist who writes and blogs on history, tackles each crime with two questions in mind: was the accused “mad” or ‘bad” when they committed their crime, and what then should be done with those considered insane?

Books
Jonathan Lethem PIC: Taylor Hill/Getty Images

Book review: The Blot by Jonathan Lethem

Jonathan Lethem is one of the very few contemporary writers whom I think of as required reading for anyone interested in the state of the art: his works also give me almost unalloyed joy. But it is difficult to specify the nature of his genius. Most of his novels combine pop culture with literary theory. He is interested in genre-bending; from the science-fiction take on John Ford’s western The Searchers (Girl In Landscape) to classic bildungsroman with added superpowers (The Fortress Of Solitude) to a hard-boiled noir where the detective has Tourette’s (Motherless Brooklyn). He is able to ventriloquise uncannily and yet still be recognisably himself, channelling Philip K Dick (Amnesia Moon), Raymond Chandler (Gun, With Occasional Music) or even giving an indie-pop version of Jane Austen (You Don’t Love Me Yet).

Books
Annalena McAfee PIC: Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert / Getty Images

Book review: Hame, by Annalena McAfee

Almost half a century ago Gore Vidal derided writers who, as he put it, wrote novels to be taught rather than read with enjoyment. They were clever books, often tricksy, the authors keen on intertextuality and all that. At first I thought Hame just such a novel, and indeed I can imagine it being enthusiastically dissected in places where Creative Writing is taught. And why shouldn’t novelists craft their work for that market?

Books
10 books to read before they become TV adaptations

10 books to read before they become TV adaptations

Literary adaptations continue to dominate television, with an array of eagerly-anticipated book-inspired shows due to hit our screens in 2017 and beyond.

Books
Heather McDaid (left) and Laura Jones of Glasgow-based 404 Ink believe digital tools can boost print products. Picture: Sinead Grainger

404 Ink prove print publishers need not fear the internet

It’s fair to say the rise and rise of the internet has not always been kind to publishers. But despite reports of plummeting magazine circulations and a decline in the adult fiction market, the literary world is not afraid to embrace the digital age.

Tech
Brian Conaghan, whose book The Bombs That Brought Us Together has won the Costa Children's Book Award. Picture: Ben Turner

Scots writer Brian Conaghan wins Costa Children’s Book Award

A former apprentice painter who was rejected hundreds of times by publishers has won a coveted literary award for a novel inspired partly by the tensions of the Scottish Referendum.

Books 4
The Elephant House on George IV Bridge

Best things to do in Edinburgh for a book lover

With over 500 years of literary history to be discovered, Edinburgh is like heaven for book lovers.

News 1
John Burnside

Book review: Ashland & Vine by John Burnside

Given how prolific he is, it is almost surprising that this is John Burnside’s first novel since A Summer Of Drowning, six years ago. Granted, he has published a short story collection, three volumes of poetry and another volume of askance memoir betwixt, as well as judging the Man Booker Prize. What is more surprising is what a different kind of novel it is.

Books
Arno Geiger

Book review: The Old King in his Exile, by Arno Geiger

The Scotsman’s monthly review of a book about health, promoted by Wellcome

Books
William Nicholson

Book review: Adventures in Modern Marriage, by William Nicholson

William Nicholson finds infidelity, hypocrisy and disappointment lurking beneath the veneer of respectable middle-class life

Books
Robert J Harris, author of The Thirty-One Kings. Photograph: Greg Macvean

New novel featuring Thirty-Nine Steps hero Richard Hannay is first for more than 80 years

He is one of Scotland’s greatest literary heroes who was said to have been the prototype for James Bond.

Books
Edwin Morgan recites one of his poems in 2004. The poet wished to see his unpublished works shared publicly, but copyright laws have hampered moves to create an online archive. Picture: Stephen Mansfield/TSPL

Plan for online Edwin Morgan archive faces copyright setback

He was the first Scots Makar of the modern era, a poet with an international reputation for experimentation and embracing new challenges.

Tech
Reza Ali presents his Burns translation to members of the Mother Club in Greenock, thought to be the first time that Burns work has been performed in the Tamil language

Robert Burns poem performed in Tamil for first time

As Scots celebrate the life of Robert Burns, the Bard’s work continues to win new fans in unlikely corners of the world.

Books 3
Robert Burns wrote more than 200 poems in his short life. Picture: Cate Gillon

Five of Robert Burns’ most famous poems

Robert Burns wrote his first poem aged 15. By the time of his death in 1796, aged just 37, the Bard of Ayrshire had completed around 220 works of poetry.

Lifestyle 16
Load more