It's good to spoil yourself at any time of the year, but especially so when the weather turns. So, we will say these magic words: treat yourself to this marvellous selection of memoir, film, cookery, children's books and fiction of every kind, all from brilliant storytellers . . .

Graeme Macrae Burnet’s Case Study has been one of the most anticipated novels of the year, and with good reason – we thoroughly recommend you get a copy as soon as possible! We caught up with Graeme to talk about the books that have inspired him and his work.


Case Study By Graeme Macrae Burnet Published by Saraband


The book as . . . memory. What is your first memory of books and reading?

I think it’s of a picture book, Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Wildlife or something like. On one page was a full colour photograph of the wide open mouth of a snake. This terrified me and I remember throwing the book across the room. But I kept sneaking back to take another peek.


The book as . . . your work. Tell us about your latest book Case Study. What did you want to explore in writing this book?

Well, the only things I set out to explore when I’m writing a novel are the characters and the milieu. In the case of Case Study the central character is a rather unworldly young woman who believes that a radical psychotherapist named Collins Braithwaite has driven her sister to suicide, so she presents herself as a client to Braithwaite under an assumed identity. Collins Braithwaite is a charismatic, somewhat monstrous figure, who inhabits the London counter-cultural scene of 1960s London.


The book as . . . inspiration. What is your favourite book that has informed how you see yourself?

In preparation for writing Case Study, I re-read R.D. Laing’s The Divided Self. It’s a book that I find tremendously insightful, in particular in relation to the way we present different personas (or false selves as he would have it) to the world. I recognise a lot of myself in ...


Deep Wheel Orcadia by Harry Josephine Giles is a magical first: a science-fiction verse-novel written in the Orkney dialect – packed full of treats, and beautiful on the page. Here, we introduce two of its characters: Astrid, uneasy about coming home, and Darling, a martian who wants to discover more about place and people.


Extracts taken from Deep Wheel Orcadia By Harry Josephine Giles Published by Picador


Astrid an Darling settle in

Astrid aets wi her fock. “Thoo’ll wirk?” speirs Inga ower the protein soup. “A’m here tae draa,” says Astrid. “Tae work at me art. A’m needan ideas fae haem.”

“Yass,” says Inga, “grand that. Thoo’ll tak a job or twa fae the rotas forbye.” Øyvind touches Astrid’s airm. “Hid’s grand thoo’re haem. Thir plenty time.”

Halfweys roond the ...



Blood and Gold click

Blood and Gold

‘She heard of talking chickens, eagles with sparkling, vibrant feathers and a magic needle to whom the rainbow willingly surrendered her colours.’


Hag Storm click

Hag Storm

‘But it was ‘Tam o’ Shanter’ that really captured my imagination, and I found the story of witches at Halloween both spellbinding and spine-chilling all at the same time.’


Voodoo Daze click

Voodoo Daze

‘Did we kerry oan ravin jist tae challenge authority? Nahhh. We never saw oorsels as rebels. We wur young. Daein the hings thit ye dae whin yur young. It wis 1990. Our Summer a Love.’


Tenement Kid click

Tenement Kid

‘She’s a hell raiser, star chaser, trail blazer Natural born raver, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah’


The Spellbinding Adventures of Avery Buckle click

The Spellbinding Adventures of Avery Buckle

‘She leapt into the night sky, an arched silhouette against the white full moon.’


The Girl, The Crow, The Writer and the Fighter click

The Girl, The Crow, The Writer and the Fighter

‘The paper, turned up and dry around the edges, felt fragile, as if it was not long for this realm.’


Phases of the Moon click

Phases of the Moon

‘There is a prevailing idea that the werewolf is thematically limiting, something of a one-note monster that solely functions as a manifestation of the ‘beast within’ (or the id run rampant).’


A Taste of the Highlands click

A Taste of the Highlands

‘The aromas and flavours, the company and location, can all add to the dreams and storytelling; it is, after all, a drink of friendship and hospitality.’


The Broken Pane click

The Broken Pane

‘I revisit myself sat playing with a rosy-cheeked infant. I paint it in my mind as a warm and happy time, all together.’


The Stone Mirror click

The Stone Mirror

‘For several years I conducted these experiments, increasing their sophistication.’


American Goddess click

American Goddess

‘”We need a better story.” Suddenly all eyes were on Peter, and he looked at Babs defiantly.’


The Shanter Legacy click

The Shanter Legacy

‘”Our world is about to change, my dears. We will have to survive as best we can.”’