Birlinn Books – Notes from the Basement

Tuesday, 14th September, 2021
Many congratulations to Polygon poet Hannah Lavery, who has been recommended as the next Edinburgh Makar. | [Bookseller, Edinburgh CC]Hannah will be headlining the inaugural Push the Boat Out Festival, with a performance of Blood, Salt, Spring on 16th October. It’ll be a sneak preview of her debut collection of the same name, which is coming in February 2022. | [PTBO]

Denzil Meyrick’s Terms of Restitution is an eBook of the Month over at LoveReading, where they spotlight Denzil’s ‘inimitable dark humour’, calling the novel ‘a wild ride you won’t want to miss, with thrills aplenty.’ | [LoveReading]

Rizzio continues to win praise. Antonia Senior, historical fiction reviewer for the Times calls for more: ‘The vivid style and the swift-moving plot are a pleasure. More historical fiction, please, Ms Mina.’ | [The Times, £]

Bloody Scotland is back! The Crime Writing Festival is running in Stirling this weekend, 17th-19th September. Denise Mina is talking historical fiction on a panel with Ambrose Parry and Craig Russell on Sunday. Book it!Tickets for the Cheltenham Literature Festival (8th-17th October) are now on sale. Browse the line-up for this hybrid festival here. | [Cheltenham Festivals]

Be sure to book for James Campbell, author of Talking at the Gates, in a night of live jazz and conversation on 15th October. He’ll be talking James Baldwin with Colm Toibin and novelist Robert Jones Jr. | [Cheltenham Festivals]Who’s this? Our extract of the week poses a puzzle. Walter Reid asks, can you distinguish Neville Chamberlain from Winston Churchill?

We like sports and we like history so we really like sports history in these parts. Michael McEwan’s The Ghosts of Cathkin Park: The Inside Story of Third Lanark’s Demise is published on Thursday. You may remember the team that suddenly collapsed in a golden era of Scottish football, or you may very well have walked unwittingly along its overgrown terraces near Hampden Park.Michael talked all about it to the Scottish Football Citizen podcast. Listen here. | [Podbean]

As Emma Raducanu’s amazing, inspiring US Open run captures the hearts of the nation and the newscycle, now is the time look back to the original teen tennis phenom, Lottie Dod, in Sasha Abramsky’s Little Wonder. Dod remains the youngest major tennis champion having won Wimbledon aged 15 in 1887. | [Telegraph]

In Wimbledon, but NOT tennis: Ian Williams, author of Every Breath You Take, will be debating Vince Cable on relations with China at the Wimbledon Book Festival tomorrow, Wednesday 15th September.

Bone up on the current talking points in the ongoing China discourse: Ian has two pieces in the Spectator this week, on China’s climate promises and classroom indoctrination. | [Spectator]

Ann Lingard’s fascinating The Fresh and the Salt: The Story of the Solway has been shortlisted for Lakeland Book of the Year. | [Cumbria Tourism]

We close with two treats for an autumn evening: The George Mackay Brown Centenary Book Group is reading An Orkney Tapestry on Monday 21st September.And our Recipe of the Week is Claire Macdonald’s Venison and Ale Puff Pastry Pie from her Game Cookbook. Hearty stuff.

Keep reading!
Team Birlinn