Despite the weather (we're looking at a very rainy grey sky today), Scotland is a fabulous place to visit, and great to explore if you live here too. In this month's issue we take a look at books that celebrate our wonderful landscape, history and culture, with the best in memoir, travel writing and guides, folk tales, fiction and more. There's so much to enjoy on our doorstep, so we hope you take some inspiration for when summer does arrive . . .

Val McDermid is one of Scotland’s brightest literary stars with fans around the world captivated by her brilliant crime thrillers. Her latest book, My Scotland, sees her take a trip down memory lane, travelling around Scotland sharing the places that have meant a lot to her in life, and as inspiration for her books, all accompanied with beautiful photography by Alan McCredie.


My Scotland By Val McDermid, with photographs by Alan McCredie Published by Sphere


BooksfromScotland went to see both Val and Alan at the Bloody Scotland launch event in Stirling, and here, she reads from her chapter on Edinburgh, answers questions from the audience, and tells us more about the My Scotland project.





David Robinson welcomes back fan favourite Jackson Brodie and a writer on top of her game.


Big Sky By Kate Atkinson Published by Doubleday


When it comes to crime fiction, I’m with WH Auden.  In his 1948 essay “The Guilty Vicarage”, he described how, once he started reading a crime novel he was unable to write anything until he had finished it. And yet when he had done so, he forgot the book’s plot immediately and never had the slightest urge to re-read it.  “If, as sometimes happens,” he added, “I start reading and find after a few pages that I have read it before, I cannot go on.”

I never knowingly re-read crime fiction either. Granted, I hardly re-read at all, what with life being so short and everything, but I just can’t see the point of picking up a puzzle whose answer I already know. There is only one crime novelist whose work I can ever imagine myself read...



Just Another Mountain click

Just Another Mountain

‘I felt consumed by an enormous sense of joy, and it seemed no time before we’d reached the col between the two Munro tops – only to have to begin another steep climb upwards.’


Carla Sassi Reviews: The Burning Glass – The Life of Naomi Mitchison click

Carla Sassi Reviews: The Burning Glass – The Life of Naomi Mitchison

‘She was a remarkable woman whose impact on Britain’s social and cultural scene was considerable. She is a striking example of the way an individual with courage and determination can use privilege fo …


The Honours of Scotland click

The Honours of Scotland

‘Hidden, stolen, mended, remade – these precious objects, along with the Stone of Destiny, now take pride of place in Edinburgh Castle.’


Kristian Kerr Reviews: My Name is Monster by Katie Hale click

Kristian Kerr Reviews: My Name is Monster by Katie Hale

‘After everyone else was dead, I sat by a window for three days watching the glacier creak and break.’


Aspects of Edinburgh click

Aspects of Edinburgh

‘Strange to contemplate this spot, gouged cleanly out, as going back millions of years’


The Fife Pilgrim Way click

The Fife Pilgrim Way

‘In the last three or four decades something remarkable has happened. There has been a widespread and striking revival of interest in the practice of pilgrimage across Europe.’


An Illustrated Treasury of Scottish Castle Legends click

An Illustrated Treasury of Scottish Castle Legends

‘Fear not the Dark Dragon of Dunvegan. If it should ever awake from sleep.’


Rediscovering: Dorothy Dunnett click

Rediscovering: Dorothy Dunnett

‘Her brilliance lies in her combining of literary skill with the integrity and passion that underlay her depictions of human lives, histories and societies.’


Wild and Majestic: Romantic Visions of Scotland click

Wild and Majestic: Romantic Visions of Scotland

‘From the late 18th century, visitors were drawn to Scotland in increasing numbers, attracted to locations depicted in romantic paintings, prints and literature. Many artists, writers and musicians vi …


Walking Scotland’s Lost Railways click

Walking Scotland’s Lost Railways

‘Scotland still has hundreds of miles of “dismantled railways” (so termed by the Ordnance Survey). Some track beds have been saved as Tarmacadam walkways or cycleways while others have become well-tro …


Where the Bridge Lies click

Where the Bridge Lies

‘Day faded into dusk. The river glittered red in the remnants of a sunset that, further to the west, silhouetted the dome of Dumbarton Rock and painted reds, pinks, blues and mauves in the western sky …


Hutton’s Arse: Extraordinary Geology click

Hutton’s Arse: Extraordinary Geology

‘The excitement that each split may reveal beautiful shiny black scales and the first look at a curious ancient fish is rapidly lost. But with experience and some knowledge of collected specimens, the …


West click


‘Go and hear the water in the wood as it splays downhill cold as Greenland.’


The Pubs of Perth and Kinross click

The Pubs of Perth and Kinross

‘Although the King James Pub (formerly Christie’s Bar) is modern, there is a possibility that the remains of the medieval Blackfriars Monastery lie beneath it. If so, keep a weather eye open for a roy …


Auntie Robbo click

Auntie Robbo

‘‘I’d like to get out of this bog before I sink to my knees,’ said Merlissa Benck with some asperity.’