What a bumper issue we have for you this festive month! We have gift giving recommendations from every kind of book genre, from fiction to cookery to illustrated books, biographies, crafts, poetry and so much more, so there's really no excuse not to get yourselves to your nearest bookshop to kick start your Christmas gift shopping. We also take a look at the Icelandic festive tradition of Jólabókaflóðið which sees the country giving the gift of books each year to be read on Christmas Eve. Something to adopt here in Scotland? Yes, please! Whatever you read over these dark winter months, BooksfromScotland would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. x

Most countries have their own Christmas traditions. Here, Christopher Norris tells us about the Icelandic tradition of Jólabókaflóðið, a tradition book lovers from across the world should surely adopt at this time of year.



Christmas is a time for giving, all over the world, often featuring a mash-up of custom with origins in different countries. People in many cultures celebrate by exchanging presents with family and friends, and these gifts often include books. Scotland and Iceland share many national traits, including genetic heritage (60% of Icelandic women are of Scots’ descent) and a common love of literature and the sharing of books at Christmas. A Book Week Scotland poll conducted in November 2017 found that a whopping 69% of Scots said they would purchase books or book tokens to give to family and friends at Christmas.

In one sense, this is no surprise: books always make for great presents. Books are cheap, portable and easy to wrap; they come ready to use (no batteries needed); they come in all shapes, sizes, genres and flavours, to suit everyone’s interests and enthusiasms; they can teach, entertain and expand our imaginations; they are robust, stack easily, and have no breakable moving parts; you can never have too many of them and they can last a lifetime. Books have features that can knock more expensive, faddish and exotic gifts into a cocked hat.

There are plenty of books to choose from, not least by Scottish authors or about topics of interest to Scots. In 2017, the International Publishers Association released a report showing that the UK published more books per head than anywhere else in the world (2,710 titles per million people, in...


Books for kids always go down a treat on Christmas day, especially as there is always such a bounty to choose from. Our friends at Floris have an excellent range of books that celebrate the festive season and Ali Begg, their Sales & Marketing Assistant, writes for BooksfromScotland on his favourite selection.


The nights keep drawing in, there’s a nip to the air, and it’s hard to believe that December has arrived. At this time of year, nothing feels better than a cosy evening spent snuggled up with a great book, and the great Icelandic tradition of Jolabokaflod feels like the distillation of all that is wonderful about books and reading in the winter months.

We’re big fans of this season of book-gifting here at Floris Books, not least because it gives us the opportunity to wax lyrical about the work of some of our wonderful Nordic authors and illustrators. So, in the spirit of the season, please enjoy this round-up of some of our favourite b...



Christmas in the Bookshop click

Christmas in the Bookshop

‘Shortly before closing time on Christmas Eve there is, without fail, a surge of panicked farmers desperate to buy something for their wives, who inevitably show up on the 27th to return whatever thei …




‘It’s about taking something you love then making it happen.’


Keep Calm and Coorie In! click

Keep Calm and Coorie In!

‘We live in a world where we are always pushed for time, so it’s lovely to set aside time to do something fun and thoughtful for others.’


Drinks for Christmas? 101 Champagnes! click

Drinks for Christmas? 101 Champagnes!

‘The UK is historically one of the largest markets for champagne and sparkling wine in the world.  We love bubbles.’


Dear Mr Murray: Letters to a Gentleman Publisher click

Dear Mr Murray: Letters to a Gentleman Publisher

‘What in the world is become of that unlucky perverse callan Lord Byron?’


David Robinson Reviews: Hummingbirds Between the Pages click

David Robinson Reviews: Hummingbirds Between the Pages

‘all of them have stopped me in my tracks, glinting with the suggestion of meanings beyond the commonplace’


Elma the Elf and the Tinsel-Tastic Sled Zeppelin click

Elma the Elf and the Tinsel-Tastic Sled Zeppelin

‘We are all-natural, all-organic reindeer,’ said Donner. ‘Local lichen, moss, and wild mushrooms are all that pass these luscious lips, funky fungi!’


Christmas in Shetland click

Christmas in Shetland

‘More stovies because stovies are wonderful. And the reason stovies were so much a part of Yule is because they are made from leftovers. Imagine all the aspects of a roast dinner, chopped and mushed t …


Laura Waddell Reviews: The Little Snake click

Laura Waddell Reviews: The Little Snake

‘Any sensible and observant visitor would then see that they were in a friendly city filled with good things and happiness.’


Beerjacket’s Silver Cords click

Beerjacket’s Silver Cords

‘Picture us like paper dolls. Vulnerable but in it together.’


I Ran With The Gang: Alan Longmuir Remembers click

I Ran With The Gang: Alan Longmuir Remembers

‘I knew straight away that it was a hit, possibly a number one. For me, it had everything: a buoyant, fun pop song with a great beat and chorus that people couldn’t help but hum or whistle.’


The Dog That Saved Christmas click

The Dog That Saved Christmas

‘At last he knew what Christmas was for. It wasn’t for blow-up snowman or fairy lights or school performances. It was for this – this feeling, this moment, this warmth that filled him up.’


Embroidered Stories click

Embroidered Stories

‘I feel like this genealogical research gives a second life to people who lived uncelebrated lives.’


Local Hero: Richard Hannay Returns! click

Local Hero: Richard Hannay Returns!

‘Whatever had brought him to Scotland, it was clearly a secret venture unsanctioned by conventional channels of diplomacy. I sensed a game being played for high stakes, and against all odds fate had p …


Vladimir Kramnik: The Inside Story of a Chess Genius click

Vladimir Kramnik: The Inside Story of a Chess Genius

‘Vladimir’s style is linked to enjoying the game. He likes to play beautiful chess.’