CHRISTMAS SPECIAL BOOKS
Mrs Thatcher, then Education Secretary, pictured in June 1971, just after she earned her ‘milk snatcher’ soubriquet for barring local councils from supplying free school milk on the rates.
Everything is easy with the benefit of hindsight, and this picture illustrates just one little stone being laid in the foundations of Thatcherism. To make hindsight into an art, you’ll almost certainly need the newly revised Chronicle of the 20th Century. This devotes a page (on average) to each month from January 1900 to June 1993, with a day-by-day timeline of newsworthy national and international events. It can be fascinating to trace how major upheavals such as the two
World Wars arose from a succession of small happenings across the globe. Thankfully hindsight has been applied by the publishers, in a small way, by using paper from a managed forest. The combined weight of all copies of the book sold in the UK to date adds up to approximately 6,750,000 lbs, or the equivalent weight
1 of 408,000 African elephants. 0ne : suspects that equals rather a lot of
. trees. (Gavin Inglis) 3 Chronicle of the 20th Century i (Updated edition) is published by
Chronicle Communications at £39.95. See the Competitions page of the list next issue (out 2 Dec) for the chance
to win one of two free copies.
I Muhammad Ali Fri 19. 12.30pm. Waterstone‘s. 132 Union Street. 221 0890. Free. Your chance to meet the great boxing legend as he signs copies of his new book A Thirty Year Journey (Robson £19.99).
I llobert Jordan Fri 19. lptn. Dillons. 174—176 Argyle Street. 248 4814. Free. Signing session with the popular fantasy author. promoting his latest two books Fires ofHeaven (Little. Brown £15.99) and Shadow Rising (Little. Brown £5.99). I A Fortnight With Zola Sat 20 Nov—Fri 3 Dec. Delegation Culturelle Francais. 7 Bowmont Gardens. 357 3632. Two weeks of events celebrating the life and work of
of postcards. photographs and books. videos of documentaries and filmed Zola novels available for screening by appointment and a season of film screenings — see Film listings for details of these.
I Jack Webster Thurs 25. 6.30pm. John Smith & Son. 57 Vincent Street. 221 7472. Free. Reading and talk by the author of Famous Ships of the Clyde (Glasgow Royal Concert Hall £8.95).
I Castlemilk Writers’ Weekend Thurs 25—Sat 27. Castlemilk Library/ Community Centre. Castlemilk Drive. 634 2066/634 2233. All events free. Three days of readings. talks. workshops and seminars with a host of leading authors including Roger McGough. Alasdair Gray. Bernard MacLaverty. Edwin Morgan. Liz Lochhead and Dilys Rose; also a writers' forum on Scottish publishing. exhibitions and bookstalls. Phone 634 2603/631 2267 for more details.
I Muhammad All Fri 19. 5pm. Waterstone's. 128 Princes Street. 226 2666. Free. The greatest boxer off them all. signing copies of his new (auto)biography. co-written with Howard Bingham. A Thirty Year Journey (Robson £19.99).
I ltobert Jordan Sat 20. 1pm. James Thin. 53—59 South Bridge. 556 6743.
Free. Signing session with the popular fantasy author. promoting his latest two books Fires of Heaven (Little. Brown £15.99) and Shadow Rising (Little. Brown £5.99).
‘ I Michael Shea Mon 22. 7.30pm.
? Waterstone‘s. 83 George Street. 225 3436. 9 Free. Brush up your interpersonal skills
. with the Queen‘s fortner Press Secretary.
: now author of Personal Impact: The A rt
ofGood Communit'ation (Sinclair-
: Stevenson £15). : I James Spence Tue 23. 7pm. James
Thin. 53-59 South Bridge. 556 6743. Free. Poetry reading by a local writer. past
i winner of the Edinburgh Spring Fling poetry competition. from his new i collection The Great Escape (Rookbook
£2.50). With music from Rob Harris.
. , . , I Ken llom Tue 23. 7.30pm. Waterstone's. the great French author. With an exhibition 3
83 George Street. 225 3436. £1. Talk and demonstration (in collaboration with Valvona & Crolla) with the leading TV chef. using recipes from his new book Ken Horn 's Illustrated Chinese Cookery
(BBC Books £15.99). - I Tall Tales and long lies: American I Folktales Wed 24. 2pm. Craigmillar ' Library. Niddrie Marischall Gardens. 669 ' 4095. Free. Talk by Beth Ross. part of the
Edinburgh Libraries‘ 'Redwoods & Skyscrapers‘ festival of US culture. Full details/programme from 225 5584.
I Children’s llour Sun 28. noon.
: Waterstone‘s. 83 George Street. 225 3436.
Free. Children's writer and illustrator Nancy Leah will be visiting to mark the
publication of the Independent/.32'olastie ; Story ofthe Year Anthology (Scolastic
' I Michael Ignatieff Thurs 25. 7.30pm.
Waterstone‘s. 128 Princes Street. 226
g 2666. Free. The writer. columnist and all- : round culture pundit will be talking about i
his new book (and TV series) Blood and
. Belonging: Journeys Into the New i Nationalism (Chalto & Windus/B BC £16.99).
i l |
I WIP Christmas Party Thurs 2. 8.15pm. Filmhouse. Lothian Road. info Alison Jones 557 4571/343 2050. £3.50 (includes food and wine). Join the Women in Publishing group for a spot of festive eating. drinking and being merry in the Filmhouse bar; attractions include a rafﬂe with ‘stacks‘ of prizes.
And the winner is . . . The Pet Shop Boys, of course, conquering the United States with a stiff upper lip and a world-weary bon mot, trying all the while to pretend they’re not enjoying every minute of it. Chris lleath, author of the biography The Pet Shop Boys, literally, attached himself limpet-like to lleil Tennant and Chris lowe on their lavish, theatrical US tour, he and his notebook a permanent feature of dressing rooms, hideously banal industry ‘meet’n’greets’, excruciating radio interviews and encounters with such diverse showbiz souls as liza
i Minelli and Guns ll’ lioses’ Axl Rose (a
huge fan, bizarrely enough).
All bands develop mechanisms to survive the tedium of touring, whether it’s playing practical jokes, smashing up hotel rooms or switching on a stream of awful banter to keep a hold on their sanity. Tennant and lowe
5 hone their downbeat double-act,
5 usually pitched several feet above the ; heads of the 0Js, industry executives i and journalists (and fans, it has to be
said) who cross their path. Occasionally, they chide themselves for their cynicism, but they know it’s
5 making good copy.
like the duo themselves, Heath’s fly-
I on-the-wall technique makes tedium : seem quite an alluring prospect, and he captures some quintessential Pet
Shop Boys moments. In one airport, witnessing troops being warmly
welcomed back from the Gulf, Tennant can’t help but remark, with true British propriety: ‘If I’d been at war for five years, and in the jungle, my father would meet me at the airport and shake my hand, and we’d drive home probably more or less in silence’. The ‘Waiting For Codot’ of rock books. (Alastair Mabbott)
The Pet Shop Boys Versus America is published by Viking at £15.99.
DREAM STATE The New Scottish Poets
This volume presents the new generation of young poets from Scotland. 25 poets are featured with established names such as Carol Ann Duffy,
Robert Crawford, John Burnside, and Jackie Kay alongside up-and-coming writers like
Graham Fulton, W.N. Herbert, and Don Paterson.
Paperback 24()pages £9.95
THE NEW COMPANION TO SCOTTISH CULTURE
(Ed) David Daiches
A compendium of information on Scottish culture. Over 400 articles ranging from pop music
to portrait painting, from football to the Scottish Enlightenment make this
an essential reference book. Paperback 4()()pages £16.95
Order from bookshops or direct from Polygon,
Tel: 031 650 6207
Sunday Times Small Publisher of the Year 1993
BOOKS FOR CHRISTMAS
The List 19 November—2 December 1993 79