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Issues archive

October sees the international publishing world gather together in one city - Frankfurt - to celebrate writing, publishing and storytelling, to make new friends and contacts, and to share in the excitement in what's happening around the world. Scotland will be well represented by its publishers, and, as ever, passing on the best of our own stories.

To celebrate Scotland's international outlook, we've gathered together fiction, non-fiction and poetry that show Scotland inspired by the rest of the world and taking us to new places - real and imagined - that leave us enriched, enlivened and entertained.

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After the revels of the summer and before preparing for the winter festive season is the time to step back, take a breath, and enjoy home, hearth and friends. Once again, we take comfort in the familiar and get back to a routine. For many, this change to autumn is a favourite time of the year and the perfect time to introduce yourself to new books.

In this month's issue we've gathered together a selection of titles that celebrate the wonder of the seasons and remind us that despite Tolstoy's famous quote 'Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way,' we wouldn't be without them.

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Edinburgh is THE festival city in August, as the whole city centre and beyond is taken over by shows, performances, installations, readings, acts, comedy, and of course, books. The tented village of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, 11-27 August, spreads out into the commercial centre of George Street once again this year as the main theme – Freedom to think, freedom to write – threads itself around and about the 1000+ sessions.

We present here a tiny selection of the feast of arts, culture, entertainment, thought and fun on offer, inspired by books, and here’s a reminder of the other August festivals -

• The Edinburgh Art Festival 26 July-26 Aug
• The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo 3-25 Aug
• Edinburgh International Festival 3-27 Aug
• Edinburgh Festival Fringe 3-27 Aug
• Beyond Borders International Festival 25/26 Aug
• Edinburgh Comic Art Festival 12 Aug

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We think summer is one of the loveliest words in the English language. In the publishing calendar it can often mean a pause, a chance to catch-up with reading that’s been put on hold during the rest of the year. Here’s our selection of titles to accompany the lighter nights and some well-deserved downtime. This summer, as t-samhradh in Scots Gaelic, simmer in Scots – whatever it’s called in your part of the country - enjoy our issue.

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The recent trend in what is loosely called nature writing looks set to continue. Robert MacFarlane in his essay, ‘why we need nature writing’, published in the New Statesman on 2 September 2015, argues that the very phrase “nature writing” has become a cant phrase, branded and bandied out of any useful existence”, and he would be “glad to see its deletion from the current discourse”. He goes on to say: “Yet it is clear that in Britain we are living through a golden age of literature that explores relations between selfhood, landscape and ethics and addresses what Mabey has described as the “growing fault line in the way we perceive and talk about nature”.”
As populations worldwide become more urban and the flight from the country more pronounced, there does seem to be a growing need to celebrate landscape, flora and fauna, and as McFarlane says, to insert the personal into nature. With that in mind, here is our nature issue of 2018.

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Spanning fiction and non-fiction and journeying from Canada to Nigeria, Bangladesh to France, Russia to Scotland and more, in the month of International Women's Day and Women's History Month, we highlight stories of, and by, remarkable women around the world.

What international women are you reading about at the moment? Let us know via email or by tweeting @scottishbooks.

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20 February marks the UN World Day of Social Justice. The UN defines social justice as 'an underlying principle for peaceful and prosperous coexistence within and among nations'. This Issue responds to this pertinent theme by highlighting key social and political issues including poverty, suffragettes, the Black Lives Matter movement, Brexit, the importance of ensuring access to books and libraries for all, slavery, and more.

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Kick-start your 2018 reading with stories that explore the theme of beginnings. This Issue features captivating children's books, bloody new Glasgow crime, historical podcasts, bold international fiction, young adult novels, pioneering art and more.

It's already shaping up to be a brilliant year for book lovers; let us know what you're most looking forward to reading via email or our social media.

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Planning to gift books to friends and family for Christmas but need some inspiration? Then look no further as we've got it covered. Our Issue spans Christmassy crime, nature writing, stories in Scots, award-winning novels, bold translated fiction, epic adventuring across continents, cookery and much more. With books to suit all tastes across non-fiction, fiction, and children's publishing, all that remains to be said is merry Christmas. We wish you happy yuletide gifting and reading!

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Inspired by Jolabokaflod, the Icelandic tradition of thoughtful book gifting at Christmas, we’re celebrating Nordic-Scottish literary links for Book Week Scotland 2017.

ScotBookFlood echoes the recent Arctic Circle Forum in Edinburgh, at which First Minister Nicola Sturgeon emphasised the importance of continuing to forge strong relationships between Scotland and its northern neighbours.

In this special Issue we explore the origins of Jolabokaflod, Edinburgh and Reykjavik as UNESCO literary cities, Scandinavian folklore, post-Brexit politics, and more. We also feature Nordic festive cocktail recipes to be enjoyed while a reading good book, and we're launching two fantastic giveaways.

Join in and tell us what Scottish books you're gifting to family and friends this Christmas with the hashtags #ScotBookFlood, #BookWeekScotland and @scottishbooks.

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Our Halloween-themed Issue presents spooky, spiritual and supernatural stories across fiction and non-fiction, for adults, children and young adults. Exploring classic and new takes on doppelganger and vampire tales, highlighting the spiritual origins of Halloween, and with much more including witchcraft, provocative contemporary art, and ghostly goings-on, the books featured here will have you looking over your shoulder the next time you're alone on a dark and misty night...

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To author Albert Camus, autumn is 'a second spring where every leaf is a flower'. Featuring new books across fiction, non-fiction and children's, this special bumper Issue showcases the abundant new publishing in the second spring of 2017. So pop the kettle on and enjoy...

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In the month of the Edinburgh International Book Festival and Publishing Scotland's International Fellowship Programme, we highlight Scotland's significant place on the global publishing map. Celebrating the far-reaching impact and influence of Scotland's publishers and authors, we present a selection of books spanning fiction, non-fiction, and poetry across languages and time zones.

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Celebrating Scotland's history and cultural heritage from the Highlands to the Lowlands, this bumper Issue marks 2017 as Visit Scotland's Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology. Travel back in time via insight into the Jacobites, the Celts, the Picts and Enlightenment Edinburgh, and find out about pioneers in industry and culture. For readers with more literary tastes, we preview two forthcoming books featuring stories by top authors inspired by the country's rich - and sometimes dark - built heritage...

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Inspired by World Environment Day, the UN initiative in June which aims to connect people with nature, our new Issue celebrates this special synthesis. Set sail on the high seas with Greenpeace, search for elusive summer snows, encounter tigers in the wild, explore nature in the Cairngorms, visit Jessie Kesson's rural Aberdeenshire, learn about the psychological benefits of woodland and discover the ecology of Scotland's varied environments.

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This Issue presents a selection of books and authors to see at various summer festivals in Scotland and elsewhere. Featuring something for everyone - crime writing, family drama, thrillers, travel writing, Shakespeare, new books for children and young adults, and more - all you need to do is read on with your diary to hand, and hope that the sun shines...

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This Issue shines a spotlight on books for children and young adults. Featuring vivid and memorable voices across fiction, poetry, music and design, this Issue takes you through history, across continents, into fantastical otherworlds and even outer space!

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This Issue marks the arrival of springtime with a focus on nature and the great Scottish outdoors. Featuring wildlife and walking routes in the Highlands, Hebridean islands and elsewhere, you can also explore Scotland's lost gardens and the influence of nature on Scottish storytelling. To quote Margaret Atwood 'in the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt', so if you venture out inspired by what you've read here perhaps you'll return home smelling of soil with a snowdrop or two in your pocket...

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This Issue explores politics past and present, art as activism, urban and rural regeneration, Scottish history and more. Spanning poetry, non-fiction, fiction, and children's, this varied Issue highlights some of the many profound shifts, in thought and in practice, that humankind has continually undergone. Where will we go next?

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Harper Lee famously wrote that 'You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view - until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.' Presenting diverse realms of experience spanning politics, prejudice, pregnancy, poverty and more, this Issue showcases an array of strong and vibrant voices.

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Inspired by Jólabókaflóð, the unique Icelandic tradition of gifting books on Christmas Eve to be read that night, this Issue presents a selection of stories across fiction, non-fiction, and children's. If you're looking for ideas for books to give - on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day - then we've got it covered.

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Presenting a selection of books to intrigue, inform, and inspire, this Issue is the perfect antidote to November's darkening days. With stories across fiction, non-fiction, and children's there's truly something for everyone.

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To author Albert Camus, autumn is 'a second spring where every leaf is a flower'. Featuring the best books across fiction, non-fiction and children's, this special Issue showcases the abundant new publishing in this second spring. To mark the month of Bloody Scotland we also present some tartan noir that's perfect for the darkening nights...

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In this Issue you'll find a diverse selection of stories about journeying close to home and further afield through the past, present, and future. We explore Ethiopian culinary delights, football matches abroad, time travel, surfing, international art, the Scottish coast and Hebridean islands, writing from a campervan in France, and literary walks and pilgrimages.

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This highly visual Issue celebrates innovation by past and present pioneers across architecture and design in Scotland and elsewhere. The very best of sculpture and architecture, a translated graphic novel, interactive maps, fiction, and an interview appear alongside internationally revered art and design icons.

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From Nordic noir to history, from music to gastronomy, we've got something to suit all tastes in this timely Issue. Published ahead of the EU Referendum, we highlight the decision the UK will make to leave or remain while taking you through the continent stopping off in Italy, Denmark, France, Finland, Greece, and Norway.

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Take a tour of Scotland through the words of the people who have known and loved its wild places, from practical guides to insightful histories, from moving meditations to poetic tributes.

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Art as defiance. Music as an untold narrative. Love as an act of belief. The stories in this issue represent the work of mothers and painters, poets and prostitutes, suffragettes and the High Priestess of Soul. It's an issue about complex women, women whose stories have, with irreducible individuality, reinvented tradition, championed diversity and contributed to a difficult but essential legacy. In honour of International Women's Day, here in Scotland we celebrate the stories of women around the world.

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This issue celebrates love: love of landscape, language, texture and verse. It celebrates the gracefulness of the mundane and the challenge of beauty. Enjoy some of Scotland's finest poetry.

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A few of Scotland's finest artists, musicians, poets and writers come together to re-imagine the famed words of the Bard of Ayrshire, and to give testament to his ongoing legacy.

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The old year is coming to a close. Put another log on the fire, and join us as we remember some of the oldest stories about who we are. From tales of selkies and fairies and witches, to myths around women's bodies, from old Arabian nights reimagined with a uniquely modern, Scottish twist, to some of the most fantastic creatures populating our imaginary landscape, this is a Christmas celebration about who we are as storytellers, and about everything we ever imagined we could be.

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This HOMEGROWN issue is chock full of personal recipes shared by Scottish authors and publishers, and alongside each recipe is a little anecdote from the author. We’re delighted to be able to break bread with you, and share a few of the personalities and stories we’ve come to love. You’ll recognise a few faces, such as Sue Lawrence, Anne Donovan and the Wee Lassie who swallowed a midgie, but we also hope you’ll discover something brand new. And, if you’re taken with any of the books or recipes you find here, why not check out our publishers’ websites?

HOMEGROWN is part of Book Week Scotland, a national celebration of books and reading.

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