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.

Following on from the success of The Novel Cure, the Story Cure authors turn their attention to children and further their convincing case: that reading the right stories at the right time can help you see things differently and even be therapeutic. At Books from Scotland HQ reading is the best type of medicine that we can imagine…

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...


The Saltire Society’s annual literary awards shines light on Scotland’s wealth of literary talent and is a highlight of the cultural calendar. Here our columnist – and this year’s chair of the judges – delves into the 2016 Non Fiction Shortlist which includes five brilliant books by Amy Liptrot, James Crawford, John Moore, Richard Holloway, and John Kay.

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 ...



Whisky Island: A Visual Tour of Islay click

Whisky Island: A Visual Tour of Islay

Behind the scenes on Scotland’s picturesque island of distilleries


Fallow click


‘We carried the man out through the back garden […] into the waste of nature beyond’


Joan Eardley’s Life & Work click

Joan Eardley’s Life & Work

‘Her popularity even outshines artists such as Picasso here in Scotland’


A Homeland Denied click

A Homeland Denied

‘His identity was taken from him, and from that day forth he answered to a cold, impersonal number’


Light On Dumyat click

Light On Dumyat

‘It must have been a shooting star. Or his imagination. Then the light appeared again’


If I Could Tell You Just One Thing… click

If I Could Tell You Just One Thing…

‘Good advice is like a nutrient-rich broth, made from boiling down the bones of life’


The Story of Cardross Seminary click

The Story of Cardross Seminary

‘The decaying ruin of the former seminary itself sat patiently awaiting its fate throughout’


The Bogeyman Chronicles click

The Bogeyman Chronicles

‘Blood will fill the scribe’s inkpot and pen’


A History of Diabetes click

A History of Diabetes

‘Reports about insulin from Toronto were greeted with scepticism, especially in Europe’


Banais na Bliadhna click

Banais na Bliadhna

Welcome to the wedding of the year


George McCluskey: Playing For The Hoops click

George McCluskey: Playing For The Hoops

‘I was indeed a fan who got lucky and played in the Hoops’