Archive for the ‘Recommendations’ Category

Edinburgh Events and More

August 23, 2009

This week saw two events in Edinburgh, and several other things going on. I’m going to do about four posts in one here.

On Sunday 16th, I did a reading at Peter Bell. It’s my favourite kind of bookshop, the kind where you might come across a ginger cat sleeping on a pile of old hardbacks. There was a nice audience there, and it was great to read with Elaine di Rollo, author of The Peach Growers’ Almanac (A Bad Education for Girls). This event was part of the West Port Book Festival. Thank you very much to Peggy for inviting me to read, and for the fantastic cakes. I am a big fan of cake.

Click on the images below for Elaine di Rollo’s novel. Everyone enjoyed her reading, and we share an interest in old medical ailments and cures. I got two copies of the book, for myself and for my mum.

On Tuesday 18th August I had a really wonderful time at the Edinburgh Book Festival reading with Catherine Hall. I thought I’d be really nervous, because it was a sell out and it felt like a big deal(!) but actually I just loved every minute. Thanks so much to the staff of the festival, to everyone who came to see us, to Rosemarie Burnett who was the chair, and to my editor at Duckworth, Mary Morris, who came up to support me.

Here’s a sneaky picture by Chris, which is a bit naughty because you weren’t meant to, but we did.

festival ed

Catherine Hall’s book is called Days of Grace, and I would really highly recommend it. I read it while I was in the hairdresser having my hair done for my wedding, and alarmed the hairdresser by bursting into tears because Catherine’s writing is so beautiful. It was lovely to meet her in Edinburgh. Click the image for an Amazon link.

Our event was also mentioned in the following article in Wednesday’s Scotsman. Click here.

I said I’d put up some pictures of the honeymoon in Ireland, so here are just a few. All by Chris Dooks!




This week, I will be talking to historian, Professor Tom Devine and presenter Nigel Wrench on Thursday’s PM Programme on BBC Radio 4 between 5pm and 6pm, live from the Edinburgh Book Festival. We’ll be talking about Scottish identity, and a short dramatisation from The Tin-Kin will be played as well.

I am so excited to be off to Canada at the end of October for the International Festival of Authors in Toronto, where I’ll be reading from The Tin-Kin. More on that soon.

Finally, thank you also to everyone who is voting for me in the Guardian Blog’s Not the Booker Prize. If anyone hasn’t voted yet but would like to, you can do that till Midnight tonight!



Reading Around

July 23, 2009

I’ve just come back from a week in my tent on Taransay, and had to share my holiday book with you because I enjoyed it so much. Click the cover for more information.

Reading Around

June 18, 2009

I’ve decided I will occasionally post about whatever I’m reading, if it’s good, and I’m beginning by recommending books about Scottish Travellers. If you find yourself on my website, or here on the blog, it might be because you’ve met me somewhere or read The Tin-Kin, and perhaps you want to know more about the culture of Scottish Travelling people. These are just a few suggestions of where to begin:

Jess Smith is a prolific writer and a wonderful, passionate storyteller. She appears at events all over Britain, and has experienced the Travelling way of life first hand. Her incredible autobiographical trilogy is published by Birlinn. See below and click the photo for an Amazon link to the first in the series.

Sookin Berries is Jess’s collection of Travellers’ tales, suitable for younger readers, and she is also the author of, Bruar’s Rest, a novel (I think it was the first ever) with a Scottish Traveller as the central character.

So if The Tin-Kin was your first foray into the Scottish Travelling culture and you want to know more, please look up Jess’s books. They are rich with experience, and you won’t be disappointed. You can also visit her website.

If photographs are your kind of thing, The Summer Walkers by Timothy Neat also has a prominent place on my bookshelf.

Other wonderful books written by Travellers include those by Betsy WhyteSheila Stewart, and Duncan Williamson.