Inspired by Jolabokaflod, the Icelandic tradition of thoughtful book gifting at Christmas, we’re celebrating Nordic-Scottish literary links for Book Week Scotland 2017.

ScotBookFlood echoes the recent Arctic Circle Forum in Edinburgh, at which First Minister Nicola Sturgeon emphasised the importance of continuing to forge strong relationships between Scotland and its northern neighbours.

In this special Issue we explore the origins of Jolabokaflod, Edinburgh and Reykjavik as UNESCO literary cities, Scandinavian folklore, post-Brexit politics, and more. We also feature Nordic festive cocktail recipes to be enjoyed while a reading good book, and we're launching two fantastic giveaways.

Join in and tell us what Scottish books you're gifting to family and friends this Christmas with the hashtags #ScotBookFlood, #BookWeekScotland and @scottishbooks.

We speak to best-selling author Matt Haig about Father Christmas and Me, the third book in his highly successful Christmas series, published by Canongate Books. In Father Christmas And Me we meet unconventional heroine Amelia again, as she swaps Victorian London for new adventures in Elfhelm in the frozen north.

Father Christmas and Me is your third book in your festive series published by Canongate Books. What initially inspired you to write a children’s book about Christmas?

I had just written Reasons to Stay Alive and wanted to write about the opposite of depression. So when my son Lucas asked me what Father Christmas was like as a child, I thought a Santa origin story would be just that.

The books in the series all feature compelling young characters who are simultaneously very ordinary – Nikolas lives in poverty in rural Finland while Amelia is a chimney sweep in London – and extraordinary. How did these characters come to you?

I thought it would be a good idea to give Father Christmas – Nikolas – a tragic childhood, to give him a reason WHY he wants to do what he later does. And Amelia also. I wanted to make the happiness that comes to them later to feel earned, for them to have found the light in the darkness.

In Father Christmas and Me we meet Amelia, the heroine from the second book The Girl Who Saved Christmas, again. Can you tell us a little about her new adventures?

Most of this book is set in Elfhelm, not Victorian London. So it is about her being a fish-out-of water among the elves, about how hard it is to fit in at her new school, and what series of events occurs after she crashes a sleigh.



In this candid article Kirsty Logan, acclaimed author of books including The Gracekeepers and forthcoming The Gloaming, recalls swapping Scotland for Iceland during a month-long writing residency in rural Iceland.

Solitude, Swimming and Sheep: Ten Easy Steps For a Month-Long Writing Residency in Iceland By Kirsty Logan

Step 1. Arrive at Keflavík airport late at night. Be driven an hour through the darkness to a small town called Laugarvatn by a Russian man taxi driver who used to be a competitive handball player, and is horrified that you’ve never heard of handball, and so tries to show you YouTube videos of him playing handball on a laptop propped on the dashboard (all while driving). Miraculously don’t die.




Scotland Celebrates Jolabokaflod click

Scotland Celebrates Jolabokaflod

‘Wouldn’t it be great to bind the connections between Scotland and Iceland further by spreading the good news of Jolabokaflod this Christmas?’


Thorfinn The Nicest Viking: A Gruesome Giveaway! click

Thorfinn The Nicest Viking: A Gruesome Giveaway!

David MacPhail’s ScotBookFlood recommendations and a gruesome Viking giveaway!


Glogi (Mulled Wine) Recipe click

Glogi (Mulled Wine) Recipe

‘Anne introduced me to many fantastic Scandinavian treats. Her Glogi (Finnish mulled wine) was the best.’


Edinburgh and Reykjavik: A Tale of Two Cities of Literature click

Edinburgh and Reykjavik: A Tale of Two Cities of Literature

‘One of the most striking similarities between Edinburgh and Reykjavik is the collective spirit of the country’s passion for literature.’


What Publishers Are Gifting For Christmas click

What Publishers Are Gifting For Christmas

For ScotBookFlood Publishing Scotland’s members reveal what books they’ll be gifting this Christmas.


Northern Literary Lights click

Northern Literary Lights

A visual snapshot of some of our favourite Scottish-Nordic books for Book Week Scotland 2017.


McSmörgåsbord: Nordic Post-Brexit Learnings For Scotland click

McSmörgåsbord: Nordic Post-Brexit Learnings For Scotland

‘Reviewing this smörgåsbord of European relationships, where does a post-Brexit Scotland fit in?’


A Scottish Gin Cocktail Inspired By Iceland click

A Scottish Gin Cocktail Inspired By Iceland

‘I really wanted to encapsulate Iceland’s volcanic outdoor pools in this fun cocktail’.


David Robinson Reviews: The Passion Of Harry Bingo click

David Robinson Reviews: The Passion Of Harry Bingo

‘Where else can you find someone writing about a drag queens’ ball, the last night of Ramadan, or a man who tries to prevent people drowning in the Clyde?’