To celebrate the start of Book Week, we ask Scotland’s big names for their best reads…

FIRST Minister Nicola Sturgeon last week revealed her favourite book of the year – The Heart’s Invisible Furies, by Irish author John Boyne.

She said the novel, about an adopted boy growing up in 1940s Ireland, was more than just the story of one man.

“The novel begins in 1945, and ends just as Ireland votes to legalise gay marriage – a country making peace with its past,” she said.

“It is a beautifully written epic and will make you laugh and cry in equal measure.”
Over the past decade we’ve seen Kindle devices compete with the old-fashioned physical book.
But it’s not the only way our reading habits have changed, according to Waterstones.
Angie Crawford is the Scottish buying manager for the giant book retailer.

“Over the last decade, we’ve seen different trends – ten years ago misery memoirs were all the rage, we loved a good celeb biography and football memoir,” she explained.

“Now these may take more of a back seat as we curl up with crime fiction.

“In the Scottish market we have seen the growth of detective fiction with big names such as Ian Rankin, Peter May and Val McDermid.”

And although electronic devices were widely predicted to be the death knell for paper books, Angie reckons physical copies will continue to sell.

“Electronic reading has its place and can be a convenience for readers packing for their summer holidays but our infatuation with e-reading has plateaued,” said Angie. “Nothing can beat getting your physical book signed by the author. Our experience is that readers use a combination of both but the physical book wins!”

Tomorrow is the start of Book Week Scotland and to mark it we asked writers and celebrities to tell us their favourite novels.

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Val shortlisted for the BBC Audio Drama Awards 2018

“There’s nothing more dramatic than the end of the world as we know it”

Vals radio play ‘Resistance’ has been selected as contender for BBC Audio Drama Awards 2018
With The finalists being announced on Thursday 4 January 2018, the play centered around the dramatic consequences of anti-microbial resistance to antibiotics. The 3 part play was included in Radio Four’s ‘Dangerous Visions’ series. Sadly the play is not currently available on BBC iPlayer, but you can hear Val talking about the play here.

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Signed Harry Potter first edition to go up for auction as part of Book Week Scotland…

The online charity auction is part of Book Week Scotland, with proceeds going towards the Scottish Book Trust’s programmes.



Signed Harry Potter book (Book Week Scotland)
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets has been signed by author JK Rowling and is sure to be a popular item among fans looking for a piece of Potter magic.

Also on offer is the chance to win a portrait from illustrator Chris Riddell, who was the 2015 – 2017 UK Children’s Laureate and also a political cartoonist for the Observer.

Chris will produce a portrait illustration of the winning bidder, or someone of their choosing, creating a unique keepsake or a wonderful gift.

Other items up for grabs include the opportunity for an unpublished writer to receive advice on getting published from leading literacy agency, Jenny Brown Associates.

Read more…

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