Books

2,599 articles

Sorted by popularity / date

International line-up of poets set to attend 2014 Stanza poetry festival

21 Jan 2014

Carol Ann Duffy, Louis de Bernieres and Paul Muldoon among highlights of St Andrews festival

Dip your toe - or better still, take a swim - into the pool of words that makes up the 2014 Stanza poetry Festival in St Andrews from 5-9 March. This year, as ever, there is a great line-up of international and national poets reading their work…

Hot 100 2013: 100-90

11 Dec 2013

Kieran Hurley, Fern Brady and Peter Doig among Scotland's hottest cultural contributors in 2013

The Hot 100 is our list of Scotland’s 100 hottest individuals and groups who’ve made a splash this year, from comic book writers to comedians, artists to actors. If they've contributed to Scotland's cultural landscape in 2013, you'll find them here.

Hot 100 2013: 79-70

11 Dec 2013

Peggy Hughes, Freya Mavor and Dominic Hill among Scotland's hottest cultural contributors in 2013

The Hot 100 is our list of Scotland’s 100 hottest individuals and groups who’ve made a splash this year, from comic book writers to comedians, artists to actors. If they've contributed to Scotland's cultural landscape in 2013, you'll find them here.

Hot 100 2013: 29-20

11 Dec 2013

Electric Frog, Peter Capaldi and Summerhall among Scotland's hottest cultural contributors in 2013

The Hot 100 is our list of Scotland’s 100 hottest individuals and groups who’ve made a splash this year, from comic book writers to comedians, artists to actors. If they've contributed to Scotland's cultural landscape in 2013, you'll find them here.

Alain De Botton - The News: A User’s Manual

13 Jan 20143 stars

Engaging and thoughtful exploration of an often manipulative medium

In this engaging and thoughtful book, the popular philosopher and co-founder of London’s School of Life, Alain de Botton, turns his attention to the news in its various forms. Specifically, he seeks to question the generally accepted positions of…

back to top

Sara Maitland - How to be Alone

13 Jan 20143 stars

Outlines first steps to enjoying solitude

‘Loner' has become a dirty word, serving as polite code for loser, weirdo and even potential serial killer (‘I'm not surprised they found all those bones in his back garden, he was always a loner … ’). But at the same time, we revere the solitary…

Celebrate the legacy of Robert Burns, Scotland's national poet, on Burns Night

7 Jan 2014

Find an event or create your own with our handy guide to Burns Suppers

It’s important, during the winter months, to keep in contact with close friends and loved ones. The cold weather and dark nights are best combatted with a mixture of food, drink and merriment, and while Christmas and Hogmanay go some way to making sure…

Preview of 2014: 10 cultural events you won't want to miss

17 Dec 2013

Featuring the Commonwealth Games, Drake, Dark Behaviour and Only Lovers Left Alive

The big hitters Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Even if you were the ‘forget your PE kit’ sort when you were at school, there’s little chance you’ll be able to avoid getting swept up by Commonwealth fever when it hits Glasgow at the height of…

Bethany Ruth Anderson - Swings And Roundabouts

17 Dec 20133 stars

Anderson tackles the stigma of mental illness with a bravery rarely seen from a first novel

Boy meets girl. Manic-depressive meets body dysmorphic. Despite their personal struggles, Matt and Sarah seem perfect together. However, as they try to navigate their relationship, the odds seem against them; Matt is slowly losing his grip on…

Fiona McFarlane - The Night Guest

12 Dec 20133 stars

A combination of suspenseful whodunit and tender portrait of an ageing relative

As widower Ruth hears the padding footsteps of a tiger prowling her living room at night, the reader is being wrong-footed. The opening pages of this début novel from Sydney’s Fiona McFarlane are full of magical realist promise; the imagined jungle…

back to top

Flash Fiction: 'Lad' by Laura Lam (after Jamaica Kincaid’s ‘Girl’)

12 Dec 2013

The newest instalment in our series of ultra-short stories

Dinnae look weak; pit ithers doon afore they can pit ye doon; jis cause yer a lad disnae mean ye cannae help yer ma; dee the dishes if the wifey cooks; be cooler than a-biddy else; fitba is the proper sport; only toffs like golf; ye can nivver find a…

Hamish Hamilton - Five Dials, Issue 29

12 Dec 20133 stars

A dedication to quality writing and clean design is let down by a self-consciously highbrow attitude

Offered free from London publisher Hamish Hamilton’s website, Five Dials is fashioned in the McSweeney’s mould – substantial, writerly content, clean and simple design – and is marked by quality writing that gives credibility to its tag-line: ‘Do you…

Jonathan Lethem - Dissident Gardens

12 Dec 20135 stars

Lethem's wonderful novel makes a bittersweet attempt to reclaim political faith in a cynical age

This wonderful novel revolves around the relationship between Rose Zimmer, a communist of the pre- and post-war years who is angry that the 20th century has ‘ripped her off’, and her daughter Miriam, who feels like she has ‘older-sistered’ the 1960s…

Michèle Forbes - Ghost Moth

12 Dec 20133 stars

It is in the carefully drawn details, rather than plotting, that this debut novel comes alive

This Belfast-set novel, the debut of Irish actress-turned-writer Michèle Forbes, is initially underwhelming: its story of Katherine, a wife and mother in 1969, struck by memories of a defining romantic encounter 20 years earlier, is beautifully written…

Natalie Young - Season to Taste; or How to Eat Your Husband

12 Dec 20133 stars

A macabre tale with a gruesome sense of humour but lack of pace

Natalie Young reveals an appetite for the grotesque in her new novel, a darkly comic tale about a disillusioned fiftysomething who kills her husband – then gradually cooks and eats him to hide the evidence. The murdering wife, Lizzie Prain, isn’t the…

back to top

Sarah Pinborough - The Language of Dying

12 Dec 20132 stars

This story of bereavement is by turns emotionally charged and irritatingly pretentious

As a man slowly dies in a bed upstairs, his daughter must deal with her grief, her dysfunctional family and years of traumatic memories. The Language of Dying depicts the minutiae of her father’s final few days, revealing their shared past through the…

Top 13 books of 2013

12 Dec 2013

The best books of the year, featuring Donna Tartt, Shaun Usher, Rodge Glass, Kate Atkinson and more

It’s been a great year for books – we’d pick 2,013 of our favourites if we could… Life After Life – Kate Atkinson A woman relives her life, again and again, until she gets it right – but what is ‘right’? The Hat-Stand Union – Caroline…

Top 5 winter reads, featuring Philip Pullman, Peter Høeg and Brian Selznick

12 Dec 2013

Craig Thompson's Blankets and the complete Calvin and Hobbes round out our winter reading selection

Ray Robinson’s new novel, Jawbone Lake, is ideal reading for the dark nights: a gripping, thought-provoking tale opening on the frozen landscape of its title. Here are five more recommendations for the season of ice and wonder. The Invention of Hugo…

Hot 100 2013: 89-80

11 Dec 2013

Anna Meredith, Neil Forsyth and Greg McHugh among Scotland's hottest cultural contributors in 2013

The Hot 100 is our list of Scotland’s 100 hottest individuals and groups who’ve made a splash this year, from comic book writers to comedians, artists to actors. If they've contributed to Scotland's cultural landscape in 2013, you'll find them here.

Hot 100 2013: 59-50

11 Dec 2013

Young Fathers, LuckyMe and Rally & Broad among Scotland's hottest cultural contributors in 2013

The Hot 100 is our list of Scotland’s 100 hottest individuals and groups who’ve made a splash this year, from comic book writers to comedians, artists to actors. If they've contributed to Scotland's cultural landscape in 2013, you'll find them here.

back to top

Hot 100 2013: 39-30

11 Dec 2013

Blythe Duff, Mark Millar and Numbers among Scotland's hottest cultural contributors in 2013

The Hot 100 is our list of Scotland’s 100 hottest individuals and groups who’ve made a splash this year, from comic book writers to comedians, artists to actors. If they've contributed to Scotland's cultural landscape in 2013, you'll find them here.

Hot 100 2013: 19-11

11 Dec 2013

Armando Iannucci and Boards of Canada among Scotland's hottest cultural contributors in 2013

The Hot 100 is our list of Scotland’s 100 hottest individuals and groups who’ve made a splash this year, from comic book writers to comedians, artists to actors. If they've contributed to Scotland's cultural landscape in 2013, you'll find them here.

Hot 100 2013: 10-2

11 Dec 2013

Andy Murray, Chvrches and James McAvoy among Scotland's top 10 cultural contributors in 2013

The Hot 100 is our list of Scotland’s 100 hottest individuals and groups who’ve made a splash this year, from comic book writers to comedians, artists to actors. If they've contributed to Scotland's cultural landscape in 2013, you'll find them here.

5 reasons to attend James Morton's Stollen Christmas

9 Dec 2013

The Great British Bake-Off champ is hosting a baking masterclass this Christmas

1. He’s ‘The One That Bakes’. So his website tells us. Which, given it was The Great British Bake Off that brought him to national attention, doesn’t exactly set him apart from his peers. But hold on … 2. He knows a lot about bread. He sure does…

A Dickens Christmas and Forgotten Carols ensure a very literary Christmas

9 Dec 2013

Both events celebrate the history of the holiday via lesser known folk songs and A Christmas Carol

Cast your imagination back to London at the beginning of the 19th century: it’s smelly, it’s dirty, it’s smoggy, and there’s a begging urchin on every street. No wonder the world of Charles Dickens’ 1843 novel A Christmas Carol was so appealing. It…