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...

June 27, 2013

Where Mary Met Muriel

Sometimes you meet an author who takes you by the hand, and engages some hitherto untapped corner of the mind. Mary Shelley was such for Muriel Spark, and Spark must have been for countless others. I would count myself one. My first conception of Scottish Literature (apart from Burns, omnipresent in...

October 28, 2009

The SRB Interview: Candia McWilliam

CANDIA MCWILLIAM WAS BORN in Edinburgh in 1955. Her father, Colin McWilliam, was Assistant Secretary for the National Trust for Scotland and editor of The Buildings Of Scotland series. In 1971, she won a Vogue writing competition, going on to work for the magazine between 1976 and 1979 after graduating...

November 10, 2009

A Half-Wit Hero

IT IS ALMOST thirty years since William Boyd published A Good Man in Africa. An immediate success, it won the Whitbread prize for the best first novel and the Somerset Maugham Award. Boyd had already caught one’s attention with elegant stories published in London Magazine, and his second novel, An...