February 18, 2017

Alexander McCall Smith hits two highs in one week

Twelve years ago, Edinburgh based author Alexander McCall Smith agreed to write a serial novel for The Scotsman newspaper—much as Dickens, Thackeray, Hardy, Eliot and Trollope had all done back in the day. These writers had tackled the serial novel in weekly instalments but The Scotsman challenged...

February 16, 2017

Edinburgh bookshop seeks new owner

Word Power is looking for a new owner after founder Elaine Henry takes the decision to step away from the business.

February 15, 2017

Subtle Sextology

Philip Pullman has announced three new books that will expand the multi-dimensional world created...

February 15, 2017

Crichton’s Close

'After my operation, blitzed on ketamine and morphine, I was examined by a young-looking doctor...

February 7, 2017


The last letter of Mary Queen of Scots, written just six hours before her execution, is being...

Current Edition

November 18, 2016

Volume 12 Issue 1 Editorial

We have reached that point in the calendar when the book trade is at its most buoyant. Over the coming month or so more books will be bought than in the rest of the year put together. Or so the theory goes.  Booksellers, publishers and authors all look to Christmas and the shopping frenzy it encourages...

November 18, 2016

The Return of The Cheviot

November 18, 2016

The worst of times

November 18, 2016

SRB Diary: In Orkney

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From The Vaults

May 30, 2015

A Bridge Too Far

In the last few years I have visited Queensferry several times to see how the new road bridge is coming along. On one occasion I ran into a grizzled, middle-aged American from Ohio. Over drinks in a nearby hotel he said he had been working on the bridge and was on his way home. What he told me took...

October 29, 2009

Volume 2 – Issue 4 – New Poems – Liz Lochhead

Twenty One Year Old On our first night at Jura Lodge you say: ‘here’s a bottle of the Twenty One Year Old, hey Lizzie, let’s taste…’ and we toast – once we’ve managed to track two nip glasses down – ‘oh there they are,Tom – of course, my deah, on the decanter tray, mayhap, in the...

August 12, 2011

An Orcadian’s Conversion

Why did George Mackay Brown become a Catholic? Religious conversion has always been a thorny theological issue. Christians have reached many different conclusions about how it should be secured: is coercion legitimate or is freely-given faith the only kind that counts? And then there’s sincerity:...

March 21, 2016

Growing Up with Glasgow

MY grandmother, Mary McGrath (née Dunn), lived much of her life on Saracen Street in Possilpark, Glasgow. She was married to John McGrath, a biscuit salesman, and they had a daughter and two sons. John’s parents were wed in the Catholic Chapel in Moy, County Tyrone and the marriage certificate describes...