Birlinn Books – Notes from the Basement

Tuesday, 5th October, 2021
In Black History Month, Mara Menzies’ stunning, stirring fiction debut, Blood and Gold, is making waves in the press. Read all about it!

How do you address racism in Scotland?’, Janet Christie asked for the Scotsman. | [Scotsman]

Meanwhile, the Sunday Times called Blood and Gold ‘a beguiling mixture of poetry, moving prose and magical realism’. | [Sunday Times, £]Terms of Restitution by Denzil Meyrick won high praise in the Irish Independent as ‘one of the most satisfying gangland thrillers of the year.’

Michael McEwan’s The Ghosts of Cathkin Park is a near-perfect sports book. It’s the tale of a beloved team that disappeared in the golden age of Scottish football, told with a journalist’s nose for a story and love of the game. Read the extract that appeared in the Times this week. 

And you can listen to Michael talking about it on his native BBC Radio Orkney, or (should you prefer a different patter) on BBC Radio Scotland’s Off the Ball.

James Bond’s preferences notwithstanding, we are firmly Team Gin in these parts, with Ian Buxton’s Gin: The Ultimate Companion is out this week. Nonetheless, we proudly present the cocktail ‘No Thyme to Die’. Black tie/raspberry velvet smoking jacket optional.Sample more ginsights from Ian in this extract.

Scotch Malt Whisky Society founder Pip Hills’s new book The Star Drive launches at a special event at The Vaults in Leith on Monday 11th. Come along for a dram and the remarkable story of a brilliant Scottish invention that NASA has harnessed to take us to the farthest reaches of the universe. Book your ticket here.Closer to home, you can catch Denzil Meyrick tomorrow (6th October) at an online event for Libraries week. This one is hosted by our friends at Northumberland Libraries.

Mara Menzies is appearing online on Thursday 14th October to launch Blood and Gold with the National Library of Scotland.

Alexander McCall Smith will receive the Honorary Fellowship from the FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival tomorrow. The live event is in the Sheldonian Theatre. Buy tickets here.And he’s appearing in-person and online at the Henley Literary Festival on Friday 8th October. 

Remember: books can leave you shaken AND stirred.

Team Birlinn