The beauty of reading is that it can take you anywhere, and make anything possible. In this month's issue, let BooksfromScotland take you to a variety of places and times with the best fiction, travel writing, memoir, sci-fi and childrens books. Whether you want to change the world or travel widely in it (and beyond!), we hope you find something here to enjoy.

Sara Sheridan’s fiction has always highlighted her fascination with uncovering forgotten women in history. Now, her latest book brings those women to every corner of Scotland. Kristian Kerr takes a trip through this alternative nation.


Where are the Women? A Guide to an Imagined Scotland By Sara Sheridan Published by Historic Environment Scotland


SCOTLAND – a version of the present day. Arthur has been unseated and Triduana has taken his place. Her mountain is girt by the Livesey Crags, named after Doris Livesey Reynolds, geologist and the first woman elected to be Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. The one o’clock gun has been silenced, and every day at the Scottish Parliament an MSP presides over a ceremony to commemorate the life of a woman who fostered political change. The Mother’s Monument to all women who died in childbirth has stood in Glasgow’s necropolis since the 1970s, inscribed with the words ‘our foremothers, our heroines’; in Dundee an architecturally striking new museum stands on the docks, it is the Museum of Misogyny because that is a thing of the past.

This is the country as imagined by writer Sara Sheridan, in her new book Where are the Women: A Guide to an Imagined Scotland. It propels its reader into a powerful counterfactual thought experiment, one that asks what it might be like to live in a world that honours women’s achievements in its toponymy and memorializing practices.

Sheridan herself honours the work of American feminist and environmental writer Rebecca Solnit, who relabelled the Manhattan Transit Authority map, naming all its subway stations after women, and turned the five boroughs pink. In the essay that accompanied this radical female topography, Solnit pondered life in this alternate universe, writing, ‘I can’t imagine how I might have conceived of myself and my possibili...


Douglas Watt uses his knowledge and passion for 17th century Scottish history in writing his MacKenzie crime thrillers. He has now released the 4th book in the series and speaks to BooksfromScotland about his creation.


The Unnatural Death of a Jacobite By Douglas Watt Published by Luath Press


You’ve just released your latest novel The Unnatural Death of a Jacobite. Could you tell us a little about it?

Crime and history meet in a rollercoaster journey through 17th century Scotland. The Unnatural Death of a Jacobite is a crime novel set in Edinburgh in 1689 during the first Jacobite Rebellion, featuring investigative advocate John Mackenzie and his side-kick Davie Scougall.

A body is discovered near Craigleith Quarry on the outskirts of Edinburgh after a summer storm. It’s identified as that of Aeneas MacLeod, a young lawyer wh...



Lee Randall Interviews: Denise Mina click

Lee Randall Interviews: Denise Mina

‘In the chill of the morning kitchen I was still in denial, trying to convince myself that I had heard the name wrong, but my heart rate rose steadily. It was as if my blood admitted it really was him …


The Doll Factory click

The Doll Factory

‘She smiles at it, a sly drawing of a line separating those who know the initials’ true meaning, and the uninitiated who do not. Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. She feels a brief pride over her inclusion …


David Robinson Reviews: Malachy Tallack and Robert Alan Jamieson click

David Robinson Reviews: Malachy Tallack and Robert Alan Jamieson

‘He’d never felt that pull since he’d moved south. Not once. The pull, always, had been in the other direction.’


Hard Pushed: A Q & A with Leah Hazard click

Hard Pushed: A Q & A with Leah Hazard

‘It’s a strange thing, watching someone cross over into the shady world of pain, and it’s an even stranger thing to find yourself willing them to make that journey.’


This Script click

This Script

We are not this script Though we act it well – and with vim


Nakedness click


‘The conversation had turned out to be incredibly silly. To a certain extent even insulting. It had turned into a kind of exercise in making excuses: he wasn’t believed, but he objected, stubbornly pe …


Guardians of Wild Unicorns click

Guardians of Wild Unicorns

‘Look carefully and you’ll see them. Stone unicorns are everywhere. . .’


‘A Short History of Migration in Five Fragments of You’: A Short Story from Incomplete Solutions by Wole Talabi click

‘A Short History of Migration in Five Fragments of You’: A Short Story from Incomplete Solutions by Wole Talabi

‘You decide suddenly in that moment, what you will do, knowing what it will cost and that it will change the course of your life forever.’


World Heritage Canal: Thomas Telford and the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct click

World Heritage Canal: Thomas Telford and the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

‘We owe a great deal to Telford and others for creations that have stood the test of time, built with courage and daring in an age when major construction projects relied heavily on pickaxes, wheelbar …


The Space Between Time click

The Space Between Time

‘I am a child of the sea, I sometimes think, and have done ever since we first moved to live beside it. I feel subject to its vagaries and tempers, with its foaming margins framed against a towering s …


Saving Francesca Maier: In Berlin click

Saving Francesca Maier: In Berlin

‘You’re not planning on staying, are you? You are just visiting, aren’t you?’