Birlinn Books – Notes from the Basement

Tuesday, 7th September, 2021

Tomorrow, Wednesday 8th September, is UN World Literacy Day. From 2-3pm UK readers of all ages will be adopting the Finnish tradition of Read Hour. Join us on social media as we share news of what we’re reading. As ever, we are full of suggestions about what you might read. Read on!

Denzil Meyrick’s Terms of Restitution is spotlighted in the Times and Sunday Times Crime Club today. They have fulsome praise for the grit, humour and humanity that swirl through this gripping novel, calling it ‘a winning combination of fisticuffs and philosophy’.

The Sunday Post herald this new venture from the DCI Daley author, saying ‘Meyrick’s breaking the mould with the latest offering straight out of the underworld of Paisley and the gritty streets of London’. We totally agree.The Guardian chose Denise Mina’s Rizzio as a Book of the Day on Friday. Peter Ross called it ‘stabby and pithy…an intriguing sketch in blood’. It’s spot on. | [Guardian]

The Scotsman went right under the bonnet of Rizzio’s writing process and lavished laudatory adjectives on the end result: ‘electric and absorbing’ they concluded. | [Scotsman]Jim Sillars was interviewed in depth for the Herald Magazine, who said A Difference of Opinion was ‘partly a memoir but also a diagnosis of where we are and where we’re going.’ Read the whole interview here. | [Herald]

It’s Scottish Food and Drink fortnight, spotlighting Scotland’s skilled producers, chefs and food writers. We have a bumper crop of food and drink books coming out next month from Sally McColl’s pocket-sized The Tobermory Seafood Bible and Ghillie Basan’s glorious A Taste of The Highlands, all the way to Ian Buxton’s mighty Gin: The Ultimate Companion.

But before that, our recipe of the week comes from the September hedgerows. It’s the Hazelnut and Brown Sugar Meringues from Claire Macdonald’s Scottish Wild Food Bible.Polly Pullar will be appearing in-person at the Wigtown Book Festival on 23rd September. The Herald previewed her even in this fascinating feature on her new book A Scurry of Squirrels.

Before the delights of Wigtown, however, you can catch Merryn Glover at Nairn Book and Arts Festival on 10th September and Ian Williams in conversation with Chris Patten at Wimbledon on 15th September.Whenever your Read Hour happens – happy reading!
Team Birlinn