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Join some of Birlinn and Polygon’s authors for this year’s Aye Write!

Aye Write! Glasgow’s Book Festival is back, starting this week and running 15-25th March 2018 and it is set to be a good one! With plenty of our amazing authors making an appearance you’re going to need some help deciding what to see…  

Peacock's Alibi

First up, musician, songwriter and novelist Stuart David will be kicking things off on Thursday 15th March at 7.45pm. His new book, Peacock’s Alibi, is a fantastic new piece of crime fiction and we can’t wait to hear more about Peacock’s brushes with the law and his new get-rich-quick scheme- an unmissable appearance at the University of Glasgow Chapel.

Memphis 68 (pbk)The following day Stuart Cosgrove takes the stage to discuss Memphis 68 The Tragedy of Southern Soul, which has recently been shortlisted for the 2018 Penderyn Music Book Prize! Don’t miss hearing all about the soundtrack to the civil rights movement on Friday 16th March 6pm at the University of Glasgow Chapel.

Moscow Calling
Writer and broadcaster Angus Roxburgh will be talking about his book Moscow Calling. The political significance of Russia is more apparent than ever and Roxburgh, with his 45 years experience, will offer a unique, insight into the quirky, crazy, exasperating, beautiful and tumultuous world that is modern Russia. You can catch this at 1.15pm on Saturday 17th March at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.

Storm in the Desert
Later that Saturday at 3pm Mark Mullar Stuart, senior mediator to the United Nations Department, will be at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall talking about his book, Storm in the Desert. Journalist Ruth Wishart will chair Stuart’s discussion of his book, which gives a unique insight into the world of diplomacy and power politics and the way they impact upon ordinary human lives.

Appointment in Arezzo 2A choice, however, will have to be made as Muriel Spark: A Centenary Celebration is also commencing at 3pm on Saturday. Head over to Mitchell Library to hear Alan Taylor, author of Appointment in Arezzo, joined by novelists Candia McWilliam, and Zoey Strachan discuss the literary legend that is Muriel Spark.

Dear AlfonsoBestselling author Mary Contini will be appearing at 1.15pm on Sunday 18th at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall to discuss her book Dear Alfonso. Nina Caplan, author of The Wandering Vine will also be discussing her book making this an unmissable celebration of the food, wine and families of Italy.

When the Clyde Ran RedAlso on at 1.15pm on Sunday 18th is Maggie Craig discussing her new book When the Clyde Ran Red, A Social History of Red Clydeside. In this book Maggie Craig puts the politics into the social context of the times when revolution was in the air on Clydeside. Head over to the Mitchell Library to catch Maggie Craig alongside Natalie Fergie, author of the novel The Sewing Machine.

Acid AttackWeek two of AyeWrite! is set to be just as jam-packed with acclaimed investigative journalist Russell Findlay starting off the week with a discussion on his new book Acid Attack, an unflinchingly realistic portrait of Scotland’s criminal underworld at CCA: Centre for Contemporary Arts 6pm Thursday 22nd March.

HebridesAlso on the Thursday 22nd will be documentary film maker Paul Murton discussing his book The Hebrides. You couldn’t ask for a better guide as Paul Murton has spent half-a lifetime exploring Scotland’s incredible rugged, six-thousand-mile coast line. Join Paul at 7.45pm at Mitchell Library.

Ghost of Helen AddisonThe Ghost of Helen Addison is the upcoming mystery novel by Charles McGarry The Ghost of Helen Addison sees private detective, avowed gourmet and wine connoisseur, Leo Moran drawn into the investigation of the ritualistic murder of a young woman in rural Argyll. McGarry will be joined at Mitchell Library by Glasgow crime authors Alan Parks and Ian Skewis on Saturday 24th March at 1.15pm

Clyde Mapping the RiverLast, but certainly not least, who better to discuss, arguably, the most evocative of Scottish rivers than John Moore? His book, Mapping the Clyde discusses how the river was mapped from its earliest depictions and includes such topics as navigation, river crossings, war and defence, tourism, sport and recreation, industry and power and urban development. Join John Moore on Saturday 24th March at Mitchell Library, 1.15pm and take a trip ‘doon the watter’.

With so many amazing authors you really are spoilt for choice, but don’t spend too long deciding! Get your tickets and find out more at the Aye Write! website now!

Peter Pan Give-away Competition!

It’s Edinburgh International Book Festival this month (in case you hadn’t noticed), and we’ve been celebrating our wonderful authors’ appearances with fun and games and, more importantly, FREE BOOK GIVEAWAYS. Today it’s no different. At EIBF today (Monday 24th) Stephen ‘Stref’ White, illustrator, and Fin Cramb, colourist, will be talking about their latest project – the recently published, first ever Peter Pan graphic novel, based on J.M. Barrie’s original text. Earlier this month, Tom Pow appeared at the Festival to discuss his own take on Peter Pan – his book tells the story of Barrie’s childhood, and the inspirations derived from it which led to the creation of Peter, Wendy, the Lost Boys, Hook, and Neverland.

SO, we decided we’d put together a short quiz, the winner of which will receive these two stunning new books.

All you have to do to be in with a chance is to answer the multiple choice questions below, in a tweet sent to @BirlinnBooks or @BCKidsBooks, and we’ll announce the winner tomorrow morning!

Question 1: What was J.M. Barrie’s childhood nickname?
A) Sixteen String Jack
B) Yellow-Bellied Jim
C) Dare Devil Dick

Question 2: What happens to the Lost Boys when they grow too old?
A) They join the pirates
B) They’re forced to leave Neverland
C) Peter thins them out

Question 3: How does Captain Hook originally plan to kill Peter and the Lost Boys?
A) In a surprise attack whilst the boys are sleeping
B) Poisoning their water supply
C) By luring the crocodile into their den
D) Tricking them into eating cake before swimming

Question 4: What was the name of J.M. Barrie’s inspirational childhood home?
A) Mount Brae
B) Moat Braille
C) Moat Brae
D) Mount Braille

Get answering, get tweeting, and you might just get winning!

BC Logo Master Maroon

Sixty Degrees North (Extract 5 – Norway)

To correspond with BBC Radio 4′s ‘Book of the Week’ shows – featuring of course our very own Sixty Degrees North by Malachy Tallack – we will be releasing short extracts from the book each day this week!

Today, in episode five of ‘Book of the Week’, Malachy reaches the last point of land on his journey along the sixtieth parallel – a small island just off the west coast of Norway. In this extract, Malachy sits by the ocean and reflects on his journey, home, and where he now finds himself:

“My destination was the island of Stolmen, a little further south along the coast. It was the last point of land on the sixtieth parallel before it dropped back into the North Sea and then returned to Shetland, and it seemed the most appropriate place to complete my journey before going home.

[…]

Sitting there beside the sea, two hundred miles from home, I thought back to the traffic that had ventured west from this coast towards my own shores. To the Vikings who had sailed in the eighth and ninth century, and who had made their way ultimately to Greenland and beyond. To the refugees of the Second World War, who were carried in fishing boats and other vessels, in what became known as the ‘Shetland Bus’. And then to the oil tanker Braer, which left the refinery just north of Bergen in January 1993, carrying 85,000 tonnes of crude oil. She was bound for Quebec in Canada, but made it only as far as Quendale on the south east coast of Shetland, where she hit the rocks and spilled her cargo. It was a few years after my family moved to the islands, and a few miles from the spot where, later, I would find the parallel.

I’d come to Stolmen by following that line around the world. Once there, I had nowhere else to go but home. I’d known all along, of course, that this was a journey with only one possible destination. But faced with that last stretch of water that separated beginning from end, I felt nervous and uncertain. Would the place I was going back to be the same place that I had left? And did I even want it to be? Perhaps I’d expected answers, but I hadn’t found any. I’d been left with only questions. Ahead, the sky was like a welt, blue and purple ringed with pink. A crack in the clouds brought sharp fingers of light down onto the blackening waves, and the cold chafed against my face. I sat for ten minutes more, perhaps fifteen, and then it was time to go. I stood and flung a stone into the water, towards Mousa, as though to reach as far as I could towards home, and then I walked away.”