Books to light up the darkening days
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.
Extract from The Story Cure By Ella Berthoud & Susan Elderkin Published by Canongate Books
Between ‘Once upon a time’ and ‘happily ever after’ is a land we’ve all been to. Strange and marvellous things happen there.
Sometimes they’re things we don’t normally get to do – like riding on the back of a dragon, or finding the golden ticket to the chocolate factory. Often they’re things we want to do but are too scared or sensible – like running away from home. And sometimes they’re things we wouldn’t want to happen to us at all, but we’re very curious to know what it’d be like if they did – like being orphaned, or stranded on a desert island, or raised by a badger, or tragically turned into a rock. By the time we come back, brushing the dust off our hats, a new, worldly look in our eye, we alone know what we’ve seen, experienced, endured. And we’ve discovered something else, too: that whatever is going on in our actual lives, and whatever we’re feeling about it, someone else has felt that way too. We’re not alone, after all.
When we suggested, with our first book The Novel Cure, that reading the right novel at the right time in your life can help you see things differently – and even be therapeutic – the idea was surprising and new. That children’s books can do the same for children won’t surprise anyone at all. Parents...
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about literary prizes, because in the next couple of weeks, I’m judging one. As I write, we have still to pick the five category winners for the Saltire Literary Awards – best fiction, non-fiction, poetry, first book and history – and then the overall winner, but we’ve already chosen the shortlists.
At this stage, I could easily imagine any one of at least half a dozen books winning the overall prize. And it’s this part of the judging process – when everything is still up for grabs, when ...
Behind the scenes on Scotland’s picturesque island of distilleries
‘We carried the man out through the back garden […] into the waste of nature beyond’
‘Her popularity even outshines artists such as Picasso here in Scotland’
‘His identity was taken from him, and from that day forth he answered to a cold, impersonal number’
‘It must have been a shooting star. Or his imagination. Then the light appeared again’
‘Good advice is like a nutrient-rich broth, made from boiling down the bones of life’
‘The decaying ruin of the former seminary itself sat patiently awaiting its fate throughout’
‘Blood will fill the scribe’s inkpot and pen’
‘Reports about insulin from Toronto were greeted with scepticism, especially in Europe’
Welcome to the wedding of the year
‘I was indeed a fan who got lucky and played in the Hoops’