Books Events


Events are listed by date, then city. Submit listings at least ten days before publication to Listings are compiled by Suzanne Black.

Thursday 22

Glasgow ✽✽ Alasdair Gray Oran Mor, 731–735 Great Western Road, 357 6200. 7pm. £10. Launch of A Gray Play Book, an anthology of short plays, an unused opera libretto, a film script and excerpts from the pictorial storyboard of the novel Lanark. Profits from the event will go to Enable Scotland.

Edinburgh FREE Gordon Smith: Why Do Bad Things Happen? Borders Books, Fort Kinnaird Retail Park, 01292 262600. 6.30pm. Psychic Gordon Smith discusses his new book Why Do Bad Things Happen? Learning That There is Nothing to Fear But Fear Itself, an exploration of the relationship between life and death, and talks about his work as a medium.

Biggar ✽✽ An Evening With Ian Rankin Atkinson-Pryce Bookshop, 27 High

Street, 07990 901663. 7.30pm. £12 (£10). A chance to meet award-winning author Ian Rankin and ask him about his writing. Rankin has recently published his first novel since the demise of his immensely popular detective character, Rebus. Part of Biggar Little Festival.

Friday 23

Glasgow Doug Beattie Waterstone’s, 153–157 Sauchiehall Street, 332 9105. 6.30pm. £2 (redeemable against purchase). The recipient of the Military Cross for his exploits in Afghanistan talks about his new book, Task Force Helmand. FREE Gordon Smith: Why Do Bad Things Happen? Borders Books, Fort Retail Park, 390 Provan Walk, 01292 262600. 7pm. See Thu 22. Edinburgh FREE Katie Price Waterstone’s, 98/9 Ocean Terminal, Ocean Drive, Leith, 554 7732. 5pm. One of the most prolific authors never to pick up a pen, Katie Price has another go at the book market with Standing Out.

Scotland-Wide ✽✽ Scottish International Storytelling Festival Various

venues, 556 9579. Until Sun 1 Nov. Times vary. Prices vary. The festival is Scotland’s annual celebration and showcase of storytelling as a contemporary art form and a rich part of Scotland’s cultural heritage. Performance, workshops, talks and children’s events will follow the theme of ‘Homelands’.

Saturday 24 Edinburgh FREE Navigating Concrete Scottish Poetry Library, 5 Crichton’s Close, Canongate, 557 2876. 11am–noon. A guided tour of the current A Model of Order Concrete Poetry exhibition with Julie Johnstone.

Sunday 25

Edinburgh FREE Book Group Waterstone’s, Cameron Toll Shopping Centre, 6 Lady Road, 666 1866. 5pm. A regular book group meeting on the last Sunday of every month. This month’s required reading is The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Swedish author Stieg Larsson. Contact the branch for more information. 38 THE LIST 22 Oct–5 Nov 2009

they have brought with them from their homes and the ones they have picked up along the way. Part of the Scottish International Storytelling Festival 2009. Monday 2

Glasgow Creative Writing Programme Borders Books, 98 Buchanan Street, 222 7700. 6pm. £6.50 (£30 for six sessions). See Mon 26. Edinburgh FREE Getting Started at NLS National Library of Scotland, George IV Bridge, 623 3918. 6–7.30pm. Find out how to register, seek out specific books and peek inside the Reading Rooms, then enjoy a lifetime of reading books for free. Reading Group: New Books Scottish Poetry Library, 5 Crichton’s Close, Canongate, 557 2876. 6.30–8pm. £5 (£3). Librarian Julie Johnstone will select the pick of the library’s new poetry for discussion at this monthly group. For booking and more details please phone or email

Dunfermline Barbara Dickson Carnegie Hall, East Port, 01383 602302. 7.30pm. £5 (£3). Dunfermline’s own Barbara Dickson in

conversation and signing copies of her brand new autobiography, which deals extensively with her relationships with Elaine Page, Benny Andersson, Billy Connolly and the Two Ronnies among others. Tuesday 3

Edinburgh FREE Office Hours Scottish Poetry Library, 5 Crichton’s Close, Canongate, 557 2876. 4–6pm. The Reader in Residence’s door is open for a chat and a cuppa.

Thursday 5

Glasgow ✽✽ FREE James Ellroy Borders Books, 98 Buchanan Street, 222

7700. 12.30pm. The so-called ‘Demon Dog’ of American crime fiction launches the final part of his Underworld USA trilogy, Blood’s a Rover.

Edinburgh FREE Kenneth McKay Central Library, George IV Bridge, 242 8000. 6.30pm. Ticketed. Kenneth McKay launches his new novel, The Master and the Messenger. Booking essential via

Shore Poets The Lot, 4–6 Grassmarket, 225 9922. 7.45pm. £4 (£3). Monthly poetry and music club, with performances from Robert Alan Jamieson, Nancy Somerville and Aiko Harman.

Monday 26

Glasgow Iain Anderson in Conversation Royal Concert Hall, 2 Sauchiehall Street, 353 8000. 1pm. £6 (£5 in advance). Angus Konstam is a former naval officer, underwater archaeologist, museum curator and pirate expert, and now the author of many books drawing on his experiences. He will be talking about his life, works and latest book There Was a Soldier, a collection of texts telling the stories of eight different soldiers who fought in conflicts between 1707 and the present day. Creative Writing Programme Borders Books, 98 Buchanan Street, 222 7700. 6pm. £6.50 (£30 for six sessions). Alistair Paterson leads a weekly class to inspire, guide and shape your literary outpourings.

Tuesday 27

Edinburgh FREE Reading Concrete Poetry Scottish Poetry Library, 5 Crichton’s Close, Canongate, 557 2876. 6.30–8.30pm. Julie Johnstone leads a one- off reading group session looking at concrete poems. Email to book. Wednesday 28

Edinburgh FREE Walter Stephen Blackwell, 53–59 South Bridge, 622 8222. 6.30pm. Join local author Walter Stephen for the launch of his new book, Evolution of Evolution. Please RSVP to Australian Voices: Alison Croggan & Emily Ballou Scottish Poetry Library, 5 Crichton’s Close, Canongate, 557 2876. 7.30pm. £5 (£3). Two poets from Down Under share their wares.

✽✽ FREE Edinburgh Independent Radical Book Fair Out of the

Blue Drill Hall, 30–36 Dalmeny Street, Leith, 555 7101. Until Sun 1 Nov. Times vary. Returning for its 13th year, the Radical Book Fair features exhibitions, talks and film screenings.

Thursday 29 Edinburgh A Night in Tuscany With Alistair Moffat Signet Library, Parliament Square, 655 1515. 6.30pm. £8. Alistair Moffat talks about his new book, Tuscany: a History, a modern history of the region. FREE Tom Gallagher Blackwell, 53–59 South Bridge, 622 8222. 6.30pm. Hard-hitting analysis of the SNP in The Illusion of Freedom: Scotland under Nationalism.

Saturday 31

Glasgow ✽✽ FREE Helen Fitzgerald Borders Books, 98 Buchanan Street, 222

7700. 1pm. The Glasgow-based Aussie with a line of bleakly humorous thrillers to her name signs copies of her latest, Bloody Women.

Edinburgh A Poem in my Pocket Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43–45 High Street, 473 2000. 2–3.30pm. £3 (£2). An informal talk with Robyn Marsack, the Scottish Poetry Library’s Director and Ryan Van Winkle, Reader in Residence for the Scottish Poetry Library and Edinburgh City Libraries, about their respective journeys to Scotland from their native lands, and as readers. The two will also explore the influence of the poems

They have been off our screens The Pocket Book of Boosh this year but fret not, Howard Moon and Vince Noir (along with the Hitcher, Bob Fossil, Naboo, Bollo and Ol’ Gregg) are back in book form. Designed and compiled by Dave Brown, The Pocket Book of Boosh (Canongate) is a compendium of stories, pictures and assorted oddities, smaller than The Mighty Book of Boosh released last year but similar in content. The real draw is that it’s being launched by Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt in person with a book signing/mass fan hysteria. Check out for the duo’s musings on the value of pockets. Borders Books, 98 Buchanan Street, Glasgow, Sat 31 Oct.