PART OF THE The Gift of Reading ISSUE

‘The kindness of strangers can reduce you to your knees in a sobbing mess faster than a well-aimed punch to the solar plexus.’

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the book is a perfect Christmas gift. So, we start this festive season issue with a collection of book recommendations that will fit snugly in your Christmas stocking, those wee treats that will make you laugh, marvel and share with your friends and family.


Coorie In A tae Z

Published by Wee Book Company, £5.99

Tae coorie in
it’s a verb a richt
but jist wha does it mean?
Books say cuddlin, snugglin, cosy an tight
an a’hing in between . . .

Leaf through a wee treasure trove of Scots poems in this A to Z sharing wisdom a’ aboot the muckle great joys o’ bidin a’ hame. And this winter, that’s a great idea!


Frank, Get the Door, by Janey Godley

Published by Luath Press, £12.00

‘Ye’ve been TELT. Everybuddy’s gonnae die if yeez aw keep gaun aboot an meetin each other an gaun hame wi a virus oan ye. So Ah’ve telt ye wance an Ah’m no gonnae tell ye again. This is the official line. If Ah see any o you oot there, Ah’m gonnae take a run an pit ma toe up the crack o yer a*se. SO QUIT IT! Stey in the hoose, wash yer hands an keep yer family safe.’

Guaranteed to give you a giggle, the gallus Glesga humour of Janey Godley, who has been providing much-needed relief during the coronavirus pandemic and gained mass recognition since the start of lockdown.



Christmas is Murder, by Val McDermid

Published by Sphere, £10.00

‘Making sense of things was what Bradfield Police paid Tony for. But sometimes it was easier than others. This was not one of those occasions.’

In this collection of chilling tales from the Queen of Crime, Val McDermid, the dark and sinister stories inside are sure to shock and delight you. This festive exclusive is loaded with enigmatic and dangerous characters that will stir your suspicion from the get go.




A Large Measure of Snow, by Denzil Meyrick

Published by Polygon, £9.99

‘If they had been birds, they could have soared high enough to take in a scene more akin to an alpine village than a small fishing town on the west coast of Scotland.’

Breaking from his usual crime writing Denzil Meyrick’s novella, A Large Measure of Snow, bulges with humor. A welcome antidote to winter, this atmospheric adventure story satirically weaves old myths and legends of the Clyde into a modern day fisherman’s tall tale that will make a great gift for any family member of friend.




Fifty Words for Snow, by Nancy Campbell

Published by Elliot and Thompson, £12.99

‘Like the sheet a magician lays over their assistant before taking out the saw – when it is whisked away, the miracle is not that anything has changed, but rather that everything has stayed the same.’

A truly gorgeous gathering from writer and Artic traveller Nancy Campell, where 50 linguistic gems for these feather-like flakes we know as snow meet myth and story and bring new meaning to old magic. It is a journey to discover snow in all cultures through different languages.




Grimoire, by Robin Robertson

Published by Pan MacMillian imprint, Picador, £14.99

‘Then she gave me the seal skin,
And I put it on.’

From Booker shortlisted author Robin Robertson, Grimoire masterfully mixes the ordinary with the extraordinary, reimagining traditional myths, folk tales and superstitions to create haunting, elemental and transporting poems, as beautiful and dangerous as the Scottish landscape.



Plant Magic, by Gregory J. Kenicer

Published by Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, £12.99

In this educational and entertaining read we take a look at the history of plant magic in a post-magic world, shining a light on the various roles different plants have played over the years in lost supernatural and magical traditions and how modern science is now re-examining this historical uses as well as how they have informed the evolotion of the plants themselves.

Whether Foxglove or Mandrake, Hawthorn or Aspen, Rowan or Oak, St. John’s Wort or Bird Cherry, Plant Magic  shines a bright and fascinating new light on dozens of familiar plants.




Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops, by Shaun Bythell

Published by Profile Books, £7.99

‘The kindness of strangers can reduce you to your knees in a sobbing mess faster than a well-aimed punch to the solar plexus.’

Drawing on his twenty years behind the till of Wigtown’s The Bookshop, Shaun Bythell distills the essence of his experience into a quirky typology of the book-loving public. A warm and witty read that would make the perfect Christmas gift for any book-lover.





Bea and Brodie’s Mindful Journey, by Susan Cohen and illustrated by Heather McLennan

Published by Wee Book Company, £7.99

An inspiring tale for the young and young-at-heart with pearls of mindful wisdom at its core. Bea the light-hearted honey bee helps her dear friend Brodie, a Highland cow, return to a place of happiness and equanimity by taking him on a meditative journey of Scotland’s history and majesty. This is a wee gem that will raise your spirits.


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