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HITLIST HITLIST THE BEST BOOKS, COMICS & EVENTS THE BEST BOOKS, COMICS & EVENTS
✽ Louise Welsh
Convene at one of Edinburgh’s most
✽ The Golden Hare Book Group ✽ Louise Welsh The ever-popular Glasgow author delivers a lecture entitled ‘Robert Louis Stevenson and the Theatre of the Brain’. If that wasn’t intriguing enough, let us hit you with the event’s subtitle: ‘An Exploration of. beautiful bookshops to discuss the finest in contemporary literature. Free wine, cake and book chat – what more could you need on a The ever-popular Glasgow author delivers Monday night? The Golden Hare, Edinburgh, a lecture entitled ‘Robert Louis Stevenson and Mon 26 May. the Theatre of the Brain’. If that wasn’t intriguing enough, let us hit you with the event’s subtitle: ‘An Exploration of.
✽ Any Other Mouth Local writer Anneliese
Mackintosh’s debut book is intense, hard- hitting and glorious. Don’t miss it. See review, page 54.
PENGUIN POPULARITY Edinburgh Uni’s collection of early Penguins goes on public view
T he recent news that the blue-spined Pelican imprint of non-fiction books is to be relaunched this month has helped return the spotlight to the early 20th century’s in mass-market paperback revolution impact availability, parent of company Penguin. As part of the nationwide Festival of Museums this month, an event at the University of Edinburgh will open up the institution’s collection of early Penguins – in keeping with the festival’s thematic focus on the era surrounding the 1940s – to public view.
‘We have a more or less complete set of Penguins published during the 1930s and 40s,’ says Joe Marshall, rare books and manuscripts librarian at the University of Edinburgh. ‘These are very wide-ranging: biographies, war survival books, books about the political situation in Europe. They kept going right the way through the war, which
is why some of them appear to have been printed on toilet paper.’ Although the paperback is such a ubiquitous mass-market product these days, it’s hard to overstate the effect that the emergence of these books had at the time, making this event a kind of mini social history as much as a bit of fun for bibliophiles. ‘Penguin really helped the spread of popular education and inspired people to read for pleasure and self-improvement,’ says Marshall. ‘Before Penguin, if you wanted to read about history or the latest research, you had to go to a library or pay a lot of money for a big hardback, but when these little portable books came along they really sank into the popular consciousness. Even now, a Penguin book is instantly recognisable.’ (David Pollock)
University of Edinburgh Main Library, Edinburgh, Fri 16 May.
✽ Penguin Popularity How did post-war austerity affect the book world? When food
was rationed, how important were books? Come along to the University of Edinburgh and find out . . . See preview, left. Main Library, University of Edinburgh, Fri 16 May.
✽ The RTP Downsized – Live
Award-winning Scottish actors read selections from the graphic novel version of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell’s classic political novel first published in 1914. The Bungo, Glasgow, Sun 18 May; The Glad Café, Glasgow, Wed 21 May.
✽ The Dead Beat Doug Johnstone’s sixth novel is set in Edinburgh – it’s fantastically
fast-paced and full of 90s nostalgia, so it’s sure to satisfy while you look for local landmarks. See interview, page 56.
✽ The Business A panel of award-winning writers, performance poets, publishers, and
general bookish types (all of them favourites at The List) help guide you through the murky waters of becoming a professional writer. The Pleasance, Edinburgh, Thu 15 May.
15 May–12 Jun 2014 THE LIST 53