Book review: ‘Island of Dreams’ by Dan Boothby

At the end of August I went to the Edinburgh Book Festival to see a joint talk by two authors – Dan Boothby and Gareth Williams. Dan Boothby was talking about his new book, ‘Island of Dreams’, while Gareth Williams gave a presentation about his release of ‘A Monstrous Commotion’, which focuses on his research […]

Innerpeffray: Scotland’s oldest free lending library

By the quiet waters of the River Earn is an unexpected treasurehouse of books. Step inside and prepare to be spellbound!

Book review: ‘Scotland’s Merlin’ by Tim Clarkson

“And in the battle of Arfderydd my torc was of gold…” From ‘Yr Afallennau’ (‘The Apples’), a poem in the Black Book of Carmarthen I don’t know about you, but when somebody mentions the name ‘Merlin’, an image of a bearded sorcerer pops straight into my mind, quickly followed by King Arthur and several valiant […]

Book review: ‘The Rainforests of Britain and Ireland’ by Clifton Bain

You might remember that, back in the summer of last year, I wrote about the oak woods of Taynish in Knapdale.   These are one of the last remnants of Britain’s temperate rainforests, having flourished in the mild, moisture-laden climate of the west coast for around 7,000 years.  It’s an enchanting, invigorating place:  in spring, as […]

‘Bonnie Scotland’ by A R Hope Moncrieff and Harry Sutton Palmer

“The tartans are dyed by the blood of a hundred battlefields, as by memories of green braes and purple moors.” One of the presents that I was given for my birthday was a lovely old book called ‘Bonnie Scotland’. Published in 1905, it’s written by A R (Ascott Robert) Hope Moncrieff, an Edinburgh-born author who […]

Book review: ‘Master of Shadows’ by Neil Oliver

Bold, ambitious, gripping… set in the 15th century, ‘Master of Shadows’ sweeps you from lowland Scotland to the gates of Constantinople in a compelling story of passion and intrigue

A new treasure: ‘Trees and How They Grow’ by G Clarke Nuttall

At a show last weekend I picked up this gorgeous old book from a second-hand book stall.  Written by Gertrude Clarke Nuttall, it’s called ‘Trees And How They Grow’ and is dated 1913. Inside are 15 colour plates called ‘autochromes’ and 134 black-and-white photographs.  A total of 24 species of trees are described in detail – among them […]

Book review: ‘Strathclyde and the Anglo-Saxons in the Viking Age’ by Tim Clarkson

This fascinating new book by Tim Clarkson, an expert on early medieval Scotland, throws some light on the little-known Kingdom of Strathclyde

Book review: ‘Moonwalker – Adventures of a Midnight Mountaineer’ by Alan Rowan

Climbing Scotland’s highest mountains is a serious challenge for any walker… but would you climb them at night? Alan Rowan has, and his stories are amazing!

Book review: ‘Men of Letters’ by Duncan Barrett

A moving and well-written account of the men who served in the Post Office Rifles during the Great War, by best-selling author Duncan Barrett