What Moves Us
2022 is the Year of Stories, a year dedicated to Scotland's stories through the themes of Iconic Stories and Storytellers, New Stories, Scotland's People and Places, Local Tales and Legends and Inspired by Nature. In this month's issue of BooksfromScotland, Sweet Inspiration, we highlight books - both fiction and non-fiction, and for adults and children - that celebrate those moments in life - love, friendship, health, art, beauty - that inspire everlasting memories.
Companion Piece By Ali Smith Published by Hamish Hamilton
The book as . . . memory. What is your first memory of books and reading?
When I was very small, 3, maybe 4 years old, we were on holiday somewhere and we visited a model village in a place called Bourton on the Water. You walked about in what resembled a real village, trees and bridges and buildings and streets, but you were a giant, even if you were 3 or 4 years old. They sold books there in a little kiosk shop about a place visited by a giant called Gulliver, and they sold it in two forms, one for children and one for adults. I could already read, had older siblings and aspired to them. I demanded the one for adults. The lady in the kiosk laughed. ‘...
Extract taken from The Arena of the Unwell By Liam Konemann Published by 404 Ink
Am I paranoid, or are they really after me? I feel like we’re being hunted in here. This song has the staticky hum of violence at its edges.
Mairead and I are held together by the centrifugal force of the crowd. People swirl around us, long-haired boys and short-haired girls, in vintage t-shirts and high-waisted jeans, all bouncing off each other in time to the beat.
Me and Mairead bounce off each other too, only slightly less ...
‘Despite the hardships and horror, the fear and danger present in the novel, Stuart has captured what it is to love, in all its complex glory – and more importantly, what it is to hope.’
‘It was 1930, the year of the election in which the Nazis, having polled just 2.6 per cent of the vote two years earlier, gained more than six million votes and became the second-largest political par …
‘I don’t want to be taught how to be a mother. I want to be told what it means, and how it feels’
‘A hairst sun was dipping in the west, casting a final evening glow through the schoolhouse at Happyhansel, high on the slope above the Loch o Kurkigart’
‘In speaking candidly about our bodies, we feel less alone and isolated. It enables us to ask for help when necessary and not be stifled by shame’
‘I borrowed some money and booked an hour in a studio where I recorded twelve songs straight, one after another, just voice and guitar’
‘I think one of Edinburgh’s strengths is its creativity and eclectic spirit.’
‘The same school that told him he shouldn’t even sing in a chorus gave the careers advice that he was too intelligent to be a journalist and he should set his sights on becoming an engineer. Fortunate …
‘When theatre and football combine, the results are extraordinary’
‘The fact that the Corncrake is such an unobtrusive, retiring species is both its attraction and its potential undoing’
‘Fishing is an escape, a blessed antidote and retreat into another world where all you can think about is what you are engaged in’
‘It’s very exciting to bring real scientific facts to inspire a sweet children’s story’
‘Bears are our omens, the symbol of my mother’s family and the guardians of women. Thousands of years ago some girl wore this as an amulet’
‘Thi sma snaw o the lambs is later than iver this year, / thi Mey’s near oot, daffies are droonin in rattlestanes’