Please sit down for this. I’m not proud of myself right now. Quite the opposite. I come to you, hat in hand, begging forgiveness. I’ve smashed the 11th Commandment to smithereens: I’ve committed blogdultery. I’m not sure how long I’ll be in Scotland, but for the time I’m here I’ve done some work… Read More I’ve been cheating on you with another blog.
Not currently employed outside freelancing – not outside the home, I mean – how I spend my time is at my own discretion. A rabid reader, it’s not a stretch guessing what I’ve been doing with my free time these past seven or eight weeks. You betcha! Cups of coffee and toast crumbs… Read More Mrs Gaskell & Me by Nell Stevens
I first met Ian Rankin in 2006 on his Chicago tour stop. I’d been a fan of his John Rebus detective series a short while, as much for the familiar Edinburgh setting as the writing. I fell all over myself talking to Rankin, stuttering and turning red. His accent and rugged good looks made my… Read More An evening with Ian Rankin: Music and Murder
I’m blaming dismal cold and wet weather on my grumpy reading mood. I have never suffered mediocre books gladly. I do not hesitate to throw dull books aside with such force they dent the walls. The older I grow, the less latitude I’m willing to give as time grows shorter. Reviewing books more… Read More Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey
“When you steal from the library, you are preventing anyone else from reading that book, and the very notion makes me want to drop you in the Void.” Piers Anthony Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It’s been, oh, a week since my last confession. The sin’s the same, which should make… Read More New books!: a Confessional
Life’s been challenging for Chris and me this past week. Outside forces have been exerting a lot of negative energy, leaving us two anxiety-ridden insomniacs walking around like yawning zombies. The onset of autumn hasn’t helped. Shortening days coupled with cold winds and driving rain don’t improve the mood. But then it’s Scotland,… Read More Daily Scotland: Excursions to Haddington, East Lothian and Dean Village, Edinburgh
The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell is published by Profile Books (£14.99). Monday, 3 March Online orders: 9 Books found: 8 Another beautiful day, marred at an early stage by a customer wearing shorts and knee-length woollen socks who knocked over a pile of books and left them lying on the floor.… Read More The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell
Assimilation into Scottish life and culture has been hampered by the obviousness of my American accent. It’s not obnoxiously regional (sorry, fellow countrymen), more News Anchor American. Still. American. I hope it’s my imagination all noise around me stops when I open my mouth, like a space alien has just spoken, causing jaws… Read More Daily Scotland: Accent(uate) the positive.
Lest you forget this is, at heart, a book blog, I’d like to interrupt the lovely Scotland talk to briefly address my annual love-hate rant about the Man Bookers. The shortlist’s just come out, tripping the switch for my traditional snarky comments outlining all the reasons it’s utterly ridiculous. I bitch and moan first, puffing… Read More That time again: The Man Booker Shortlist.
The familiarity gained from last year’s three-month stay in Scotland’s shortened the re-acquaintance process with life here. It already feels familiar walking to the market to pick up simple things like milk and bread. There’s a small shop, a mini-mart we’d call it in the States, five minutes away. The nearest supermarket’s further than… Read More Daily Scotland: Settling In