Books

Review: Scotia Extremis,  Poems from the Extremes of Scotland’s Psyche Edited by Andy Jackson and Brian Johnstone Rating 90%

Review: Scotia Extremis, Poems from the Extremes of Scotland’s Psyche Edited by Andy Jackson and Brian Johnstone

Edited by poets Andy Jackson and Brian Johnstone, Scotia Extremis is a poetry anthology, which seeks to explore the ‘soul of Scotland’ through a selection of poems specially commissioned from poets from all around the country. The anthology’s title is inspired, in part, by the following line from Hugh MacDiarmid’s great early poem, A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle:

Read More
Review: I Choose Elena by Lucia Osborne-Crowley Rating 88%

Review: I Choose Elena by Lucia Osborne-Crowley

A significant essay, published by The Indigo Press, is Lucia Osborne-Crowley’s I Choose Elena, which was mostly about the insidious effect that trauma can have on the physical make-up of the body. Aged 15 and on track to be an Olympic gymnast, she was violently raped on a night out. The injuries she sustained that evening ended her gymnastics career, and eventually manifested in life-long chronic illnesses, which medical professionals now believe can be caused by untreated trauma.

Read More
Review: The Paper Lovers by Gerard Woodward Rating 90%

Review: The Paper Lovers by Gerard Woodward

At a first glance, reading the blurb and looking at the cover, The Paper Lovers does not jump straight out at a reader for it seems somewhat mundane and restraint. It is a story that revolves a handful of characters set in a somewhat unremarkable city with people living stereotypical suburban lives. And yet, if given the chance, the book really grips you with such intensity that it becomes a page-turner that you will not want to close until you are done.

Read More
Review: Catherine Simpson, EIBF 2019 Rating 89%

Review: Catherine Simpson, EIBF 2019

When I first read Catherine Simpson’s memoir, I found myself wanting to send her direct messages on twitter, saying ‘I loved this bit,’ or ‘that is so true,’ or ‘this is just as I remembered!’ Being close in age, I totally ‘got’ the experiences being described in the book. Which is to say, not only is this story universal but also, it’s historically relatable.

Read More
Review: Frankissstein by Jeanette Winterson Rating 77%

Review: Frankissstein by Jeanette Winterson

If the premise for Frankissstein, combine the story of Frankenstein with AI, was not enough to hook your interest in to Jeanette Winterson’s most recent offereing, then her Edinburgh Book Festival was a sure fire winner, dynamic and theatrical in its precision. Addressing Artificial Intelligence in Brexit Britain, Winterson’s newest work feels fresh and sees her retain her post as a gifted writer with enthusiasm and flair. An affecting read, it will be difficult to explore this novel without notions, feelings, laughter and thoughts of your own.

Read More
Review: Colson Whitehead with Kirsty Wark, EIBF 2019 Rating 77%

Review: Colson Whitehead with Kirsty Wark, EIBF 2019

Another understandably sold-out Edinburgh International Book Festival event was one of the last of the final weekend, the hotly-anticipated, Kirsty Wark, in conversation with award-winning author, Colson Whitehead. Renowned for his successful with The Underground Railroad, which not only saw him win the 2016 National Book Award for Fiction, and if thats not enough, the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. And then on top of that, it was named by Barack Obama as one of the most important books of his presidency. So are we really surprised to witness Colson in packed-out room with his most latest offering, The Nickel Boys.

Read More
Review: Jeanette Winterson – Modern Monsters and Mad Genius, EIBF 2019 Rating 88%

Review: Jeanette Winterson – Modern Monsters and Mad Genius, EIBF 2019

Jeanette Winterson is well-considered in the literary world, becoming renowned with her first, yes her first, book, Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit. Having won several awards for her writing and gained a CBE, it was hardly surprising to realise her event at the Edinburgh International Book Festival this year was a sell-out, and after her delivery, well, even more so.

Read More
Review: Jackie Kay – National Treasures, EIBF 2019 Rating 78%

Review: Jackie Kay – National Treasures, EIBF 2019

While I dislike the expression ‘National Treasure’ I think it probably applies to Jackie Kay. As Scottish Makar, she is officially honoured – at least, if you treasure poetry. In keeping with this year’s Book Festival theme – ‘We Need New Stories’ – Jackie Kay’s story is very much out there, with her 2010 memoir, Red Dust Road, having been adapted for the stage and currently showing at The Lyceum as part of the International Festival.

Read More
Loading

Donate

If you value our reviews, interviews and content, please consider supporting the site with a donation of your choosing.