Books

Review: Standing Up For Equality, EIBF 2018 Rating 87%

Review: Standing Up For Equality, EIBF 2018

With the theme Freedom this year, there was something very appropriate about walking into an event with Laura Bates, who is the founder of the Everyday Sexism Project, which importantly pressured the government to make relationships and sex education compulsory, and pushed for guidelines for schools to stop children having to be placed with pupils who assaulted them. She was here to talk about her book Misogynation, which advocates that things like gender pay gap, wolf whistling, and more terrorising acts of racism are systemic.

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Review: A Grim State of Affairs, EIBF 2018 Rating 80%

Review: A Grim State of Affairs, EIBF 2018

Ada Palmer and Cory Doctorow are something of an intellectual dream team. Approaching issues of information control, technology, surveillance and free speech from seemingly opposite perspectives, their work often seems to be in dialogue with each other. Palmer, a historian who spends much of her time looking at historical documents to extract information about the time period, wrote her Terra Ignota series with a view to using science fiction to ask philosophical questions.

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Review: Freedom to Write, EIBF 2018 Rating 80%

Review: Freedom to Write, EIBF 2018

The theme of freedom kicked off on Saturday with a discussion of the issues faced by today’s writers and publishers. Author and Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award judge Raman Mundair, board-member at Publishing Scotland, Moira Forsyth and Chair of Literature Alliance Scotland, Peggy Hughes, were joined by author Jan Carson, who was on the National Centre of Literature’s showcase last year.

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Denise Mina: It’s a good time to be talking about positive things in politics, being hopeful

The Edinburgh International Book Festival has opened it’s doors today for two weeks of thought-provoking, stimulating discussion, readings, cabaret, music, theatre and much more, all lingering behind this thematic thread of Freedom. Unfortunately this “Freedom” has been constrained as the Home Office have rejected a dozen or so author visas that were scheduled for the festival but this will not dampen spirits. There is still a great deal to look forward to in a culturally rich programme, including an event combining Glasgow-based crime writer Denise Mina alongside Liam McIlvanney, discussing their crime novels.
Denise spoke with The Fountain about the theme of the Book Festival, and how crime fits within this thread, as well as what we can expect from her in the near future.

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Vic Galloway: Doing something like this feels like a watershed moment

There is no getting away from Scottish pop this summer, and to be honest why would you want to?! Whether it’s the Rip It Up exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland or the radio series on BBC Scotland, there is a vast amount of material out there and in several formats and structures, all bridging stories about Scotland’s music scene. And for those that are here for the Fringe this month and are wondering what else to do in Edinburgh, it is on our recommends list. For a mere ten pounds you can be guided through the history of Scottish pop music from the fifties through to the present day, a total bargain.
Vic Galloway, BBC Scotland presenter, was commissioned to write the book which accompanies the exhibition and was more than glad to be asked to speak about this with The Fountain.

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Adele Patrick: I grew up with virtually nothing in libraries and bookstores about women

Adele Patrick, the Glasgow Women’s Library’s Lifelong Learning & Creative Development Manager, is Guest Selector at the 2018 Edinburgh International Book Festival and has thereby curated a series of panel discussions for the ‘Revolting Women’ programming strand, as well as a GWL Herland special, and the three day Take Over Tent for Revolting Women.
Adele spoke with The Fountain about what we can expect from her curation as well as offering her own personal preferences for what to see at the Book Festival.

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Henry Bell: We’re really delighted to have been able to work with EIBF to produce The Freedom Papers

The Edinburgh International Book Festival and Gutter Magazine have newly launched The Freedom Papers, a 164 page supplement available alongside the August issue of Gutter, featuring specially commissioned writing from 51 authors from around the world each exploring their own unique interpretation of Freedom.
Henry Bell from Gutter spoke with The Fountain about the collaborative project whilst also suggesting how first-time goers should approach the Book Festival.

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Review: Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig Rating 80%

Review: Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig

Let’s get the aesthetics over with first: the jacket cover is cool, a space-sky with planets in a rainbow orbit. The hard cover, under said jacket, is beautiful, a blended prism of rainbow colours. This is not a severe lesson in womanning up and getting over oneself, Lord knows there’s enough of that about. Instead, Matt Haig’s Notes on a Nervous Planet (Notes from here on in) offers gentle guidance on how to keep your head when the world around you seems to be losing it’s.

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Review: Animals with Tiny Cat by Viviane Schwarz Rating 79%

Review: Animals with Tiny Cat by Viviane Schwarz

Animals with Tiny Cat has a great premise, a fancy dress cat who likes to dress up as other animals. From the innovative and fabulously playful Viviane Schwarz comes a theatrical animal book for the very youngest of readers, but can Tiny Cat live up to the expectations that come with these animals it chooses to dress up as? She rolls up in a rug to become a snake and gets you to hiss! And with booties on her paws, she becomes a horse, and urges a neigh! But does Tiny Cat have what it takes to be a fearless lion, king of the jungle? There is only one way to find out.

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Review: Shake the Tree by Silvia Borando, Chiara Vignocchi & Paolo Chiarinotti Rating 82%

Review: Shake the Tree by Silvia Borando, Chiara Vignocchi & Paolo Chiarinotti

This unusual children’s picture book is about the strife of trying to reach the tasty nut, which a little mouse is looking at longingly. Bright and vivid with a very classic story, this is clearly for pre-school readers but with the humour, aimed at three and up. The goal is precisely as the title informs us, to Shake the Tree, and of course then move the tasty nut from it’s position to the ground. However, it is not as easy as you would reckon it should be, with the introduction of a fox and many other characters throughout the book.

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