Alumni Bookshelf

Alumni Bookshelf

Welcome to our alumni bookshelf, showcasing the work of just a few of our alumni authors!

Find out more about the works of fiction, non-fiction and poetry our alumni have created. Have you written a book that you'd like to see included? Email us at

Featured Author

Shane Strachan

Shane Strachan graduated with an MA in English Language & Linguistics in 2010 and earned his PHD in English in 2015. He is a writer and performer based in Aberdeen. Much of his work is inspired by the Northeast of Scotland and its relationship with the wider world. 

Shane was awarded Scots Champion at the 2023 Scots Language Awards following his year as the National Library of Scotland’s Scots Scriever writer-in-residence. His previous works include the  ‘The Shelter’ staged with the National Theatre of Scotland, and multiple poems and stories in Gutter, New Writing Scotland, Northwords NowStand and various anthologies. His poetry has also appeared on BBC Radio 4 and in Aberdeen Art Gallery and V&A Dundee. He now lectures in Creative Writing at the University of Aberdeen.

In April 2024 he published his eagerly awaited first collection of poetry titled, 'DWAMS'.


In a spectrum of voices across Scots and English, the poems in DWAMS concern themselves with the climate emergency and just transition, rising xenophobia, and with queer romance and sex, in a groundbreaking debut collection from North East Scottish writer and poet Shane Strachan. The collection looks anew at the city of Aberdeen and the wider North East region’s industrial heritage, moving across time and place, from mountains and farmland to city and sea.

You can purchase DWAMS here.


Julie Adams - 'Into the Woods'

Julie Adams was born and brought up on the East Coast of Scotland, educated at Wick High School and she attended the University of Aberdeen from 1975-78, returning to do her MEd online from 2003-2006. A former Features Editor of Gaudie, she taught English for almost 40 years and during the Covid-19 lockdown, fulfilled a lifelong ambition to write not one, but three novels. 

Into the Woods

Into The Woods, inspired by the woodland at Hospitalfields House where Julie is a volunteer, is a family saga set in Perthshire. When Norma McAllister makes a terrible discovery in the woods of Culrennick House, she realises her husband's aristocratic family have hidden some cruel secrets. 

Buy Into the Woods here.

Graham Cooper - 'Two Summers in Rannoch'

Graham Cooper spent his childhood in the Northeast of Scotland. He graduated from the University of Aberdeen in 1976 (MB ChB) and 1988 (MD) and worked as a surgeon, mainly in Scotland although he also spent time in Northern Ireland, England and Nepal. 

After retiring, he learnt Scottish Gaelic at local night classes and through distance learning at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig and he now writes Gaelic fiction. His first historical novel, ‘Dà Shamhradh ann an Raineach’ (‘Two Summers in Rannoch’), followed the life story of Dugald Buchanan, the Rannoch Bard, in 18th century Scotland. The book was shortlisted for the Gaelic Literature Awards 2020. Graham’s second novel, ‘An Ròs a Leigheas’, set in the months before the Battle of Flodden, was published in 2021. At present, he is posting bilingual short stories as blogs on his own website. You can visit Graham's website here.

Graham’s novels are available to purchase from the Gaelic Books Council here.

Two Summers in Rannoch (Dà Shamhradh ann an Raineach)

‘Dà Shamhradh ann an Raineach’ (‘Two Summers in Rannoch’) was published in 2019 by Luath Press. It is a historical novel set in eighteenth century Scotland based on the life of Dugald Buchanan, poet, teacher and New Testament translator. The novel was shortlisted in the Gaelic Literature Awards 2020.

You can buy Two Summers in Rannoch (Dà Shamhradh ann an Raineach) here.

Jeremy Cowan - 'The Tin Soldiers'

The Tin Soldiers - J. J. Cowan - book coverJeremy Cowan (MA Politics and International Relations, 1982) is the Editorial Director and Publisher of IoT Now magazine and Co-Founder in 2010 of WKM Ltd, its parent company based in the UK and with offices in Krakow, Cape Town and Mumbai.

A widely experienced journalist and editor, he has been covering voice and data communications worldwide since 1994. In 1998 he founded Prestige Media Ltd (PML), publishers of the market-leading global telecoms business title, VanillaPlus, now in its 20th year of publication. 

The Tin Soldiers

Raphael Undu is 13 years old, a farmer’s son in Congo’s rebellious, mineral-rich east. When war scatters his family, he must protect his little sister, Keisha, and try to reunite them. He is a tough and resourceful boy, but ranged against him are rebels and a renegade army, vying for control of mineral wealth beyond imagination.

Buy The Tin Soldiers here.

Nick Edmunds - 'Miles Away'

Nick Edmunds grew up in Fife, and attended the University of Aberdeen from 1976-82, graduating MBChB. After four years of hospital posts, he qualified as a GP. Initially a partner in Gilbert Road Medical Group, Bucksburn for ten years, he then moved south to complete another 22 years as a GP partner in Tillicoultry,

Clackmannanshire. There he was a GP Student Tutor and a Medical Director of the local out-of-hours GP service.


In his long career in medicine Nick encountered such an array of human experiences that when he retired his head was full of stories. These helped inspire him when it came to writing fiction. An initial short story started as a casual hobby, but soon grew arms and legs until a full-length novel emerged. Miles Away, his debut crime thriller, was published by Bear Press in July 2022. Nick’s interest in people and their minds means psychology has a heavy influence on his writing, and like our brains, Miles Away is full of twists and turns. A sequel is in process.


Miles Away


Set in 1970’s Scotland, Miles Away is the story of a young man starting out at university in Aberdeen. In his early life he has learned to live with disturbing neuroses, but now they threaten his first relationship.

He searches for the cause of his phobias, but the loss of a friend who found it all too much makes Dacre understand the risks he is taking by exhuming his own memories. Shocking family secrets emerge, but even worse are the repressed details of gruesome murders. Why does he know secrets about crimes that remain unsolved and apparently unconnected?


Buy Miles Away here.

James Findlay - 'An English Dystopia'

An English Dystopia book coverJames Findlay graduated from the University of Aberdeen with a degree in Medicine in 1959. James’s career as a surgeon led him to Canada, where he spent many happy years with his family.

After further specialist training in England, James returned to Scotland and pursued a Consultant Practice. When the opportunity arose for James to take a sabbatical to work on specialist medical cases in Bihar, India, he rose to the challenge. Upon returning home, James took early retirement and finally had the time to write his debut novel.

An English Dystopia

A government in turmoil. An underground resistance. What happens when democracy falls - An English Dystopia. "That England that was wont to conquer others / Hath made a shameful conquest of itself."

Buy An English Dystopia here.

Ian Green - 'The Gauntlet and the Fist Beneath'

Ian Green is a science-fiction and fantasy writer born and raised in Aberdeenshire. He studied Biomedical Science at the University of Aberdeen and he also has a PhD in clinical epigenetics from Imperial College. His short fiction has been widely broadcast and performed, including winning the BBC Radio 4 Opening Lines competition and winning the Futurebook Future Fiction prize. He is the author of THE ROTSTORM, an epic fantasy trilogy inspired by the rugged landscapes of Scotland, beginning with The Gauntlet and the Fist Beneath (2021) and The Gauntlet and the Burning Blade (2022).  He was shortlisted for the British Fantasy Society Best Newcomer Award 2022.

The Gauntlet and the Fist Beneath

The endless rotstorm rages over the ruins of the Ferron Empire. Floré would never let the slavers of the Empire rise again. As a warrior of the Stormguard Commandos, she wrought horrors in the rotstorm to protect her people. She did her duty and left the bloodshed behind. Floré’s peace is shattered when blazing orbs of light cut through the night sky and descend on her village. Her daughter is abducted and Floré is forced into a chase across a land of twisted monsters and ancient gods. She must pursue the mysterious orbs, whose presence could herald the return of the Empire she spent her entire life fighting. Now, Floré must take up the role she had sworn to put aside and become the weapon the Stormguard trained her to be, to save not only her daughter, but her people...

Buy The Gauntlet and the Fist Beneath here.


The Gauntlet and the Burning Blade

Break the chains. Hold your strength. Burn your foes.

Once a warrior of the Stormguard Commandos, Flore wrought horrors in the rotstorm to protect her people. She did her duty and swore to leave the bloodshed behind. But when her daughter, Marta, was kidnapped, Flore was forced to once again raise her gauntlet against the devils of Ferron to bring her home.

Now Marta is dying from the skein-magic she inherited from her father, and the Protectorate is weakened by the absence of the whitestaffs. The mystical order of healers and sages fled to their island citadel of Riven when strange orbs cut through the night.

Flore and her comrades must race to find a cure for Marta, to find the truth of the whitestaffs' betrayal, and to fight back against the encroaching children of the storm.

Flore has taken up her gauntlets and her sword to keep her people safe - but steel alone might not be enough...

Buy The Gauntlet and the Burning Blade here.

Lynn Hurry - 'Abygale Aardvark and her Wildlife Friends'

Lynn Hurry has a Master’s degree in Ecology and a Doctoral degree in Environmental Education. 

As an award-winning writer in the linked fields of Geography, Ecotourism and Sustainability Education his writings for both young and older readers are driven by a passion for environmental  sustainability and the encouragement of people of all ages to rethink the ways in which they relate to the world around them.

Abygale Aardvark and her Wildlife Friends

Abygale Aardvark and her Wildlife Friends is a carefully researched and beautifully presented book for readers of all ages by Dr Lynn Hurry , an inspirational author dedicated to the understanding of our urgent need to protect and enrich the
wonderful wildlife of Africa and the habitats that they call home. While each of the 20 accounts of fascinating facts is
introduced and commented on by fictional character Abygale Aardvark she leaves the actual story-telling to the real wildlife characters themselves so that Aardvarks, Aardwolfs, Giraffes, Hornbills, Baboons, White-eyes, Impala, Red-billed Oxpeckers, Cape Buffalo, Red-chested Cuckoos and even Honey-Bees and Termites have a chance to tell their stories – of who theyare ‘friends’ with and how they work together with ‘for a better life’.

Buy Abygale Aardvark and her Wildlife Friends here.


Kirstin Innes - 'Fishnet'

Book cover: Fishnet, Kirstin Innes

Kirstin Innes graduated with an MA in English in 2002.

Her first novel, Fishnet, won The Guardian’s Not The Booker prize in 2015. She  also won a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award in 2008, and the Allen Wright Award for Excellence in Arts Journalism in 2007 and 2011.

When not writing she work as a journalist, having written for The List, The Scotsman, The Herald and The Independent.

Her second novel, Scabby Queen, was published in April 2020. 



Twenty year old Rona Leonard walks out of her sister Fiona’s flat and disappears.

Six years on, worn down by a tedious job, childcare and the aching absence in her life, Fiona’s mundane existence is blown apart by the revelation that, before she disappeared, Rona had been a sex worker. Driven to discover the truth, Fiona embarks on an obsessive quest to investigate the sex industry. Drawn into an increasingly complex world, Fiona makes discoveries that challenge everything she believed, and will ultimately change her life forever.

Bittersweet, sensual and rich, Fishnet takes a clear-eyed, meticulously researched, controversial look at the sex industry and the lives of sex workers, questioning our perception of contemporary femininity.

You can purchase Fishnet here.

Annie Lamb - 'Weaving Words'

Weaving Words book coverAnnie Lamb, originally from Boston, Massachusetts, was until recently a bookseller in Huntly. To enliven quiet moments in the trade she invented several imaginary friends and wrote about them in the Marchbank series of murder mysteries, using the pen name Liz Laighton. As a member of Huntly Writers she has been churning out short stories for some years and is now helping the Hound Holmes in the production of a casebook to be published shortly.

Weaving Words

The Huntly Writers anthology Weaving Words was one of three runners-up for the 2014 Writers’ Circle Anthology Award run by Writing Magazine.

Weaving Words showcases poetry and prose from one of the largest writing groups in North-East Scotland. The collection contains pieces from both well-established and emerging local writers, including many who have had work appear in literary magazines or released their own publications.

At times moving, funny and surreal, Weaving Words features a range of voices travelling through many different forms and experiences, while remaining rooted in the languages and communities of Huntly and the North-East of Scotland.

Weaving Words is the Huntly Writers’ second collection, following on from Spirit of the Deveron, first released in 2008.

Buy Weaving Words and Annie Lamb's other works here.

Iain Maloney - 'In the Shadow of Piper Alpha'

Iain Maloney was born and raised in Aberdeen and he currently lives in Japan. He studied English at the University of Aberdeen and he also has a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of Glasgow. Iain is the author of the critically acclaimed The Only Gaijin in the Village (Birlinn, 2020), a memoir about his life in rural Japan. He has also published three novels and a collection of poetry.  In 2013, he was shortlisted for the Dundee International Book Prize and in 2014 he was shortlisted for The Guardian ‘Not The Booker Prize’. He is a freelance editor and journalist, mainly for The Japan Times. 

In the Shadow of Piper Alpha

167 men died on the Piper Alpha oil platform in 1988. This is the first novel to explore the devastating aftermath of the disaster.

Marcus is on Piper Alpha that night. His daughter, Carrie, waits at the hospital as helicopters start bringing in survivors, never knowing if her father will be on the next one. Marcus survives, but his post-traumatic stress disorder develops into often violent alcoholism. As the story moves between Marcus and Carrie, between the past and present, their trauma grows and deepens, driving them ever further apartAfter decades living abroad, Carrie, now a respected volcanologist, returns to the University of Aberdeen to deliver a controversial academic paper with Marcus in attendance. Will a reconciliation be possible, or has too much time passed? 

Buy In the Shadow of Piper Alpha here.

Sally Lawton - 'The Nurse Who Found Herself In 1916'

Book cover: The nurse who found herself in 1916 - Sally Lawton

Sally Lawton is a long-time nurse educator with an ongoing interest in nursing during World War I. Sally got the idea for her book The Nurse Who Found Herself In 1916 after reading a case study about a soldier with a self-inflicted injury in a 1915 diary.

The story concerns a palliative care nurse who falls asleep on a train in 2001 and wakes up in the midst of the First World War with papers instructing her to report for duty at a Casualty Clearing Station in northern France, where she adapts her modern nursing skills with difficulty and encounters badly injured soldiers, all the while trying to work out how she will get home.


The Nurse Who Found Herself in 1916

Charlotte Robertson is a qualified nurse who arrives in Northern France in 1916 to report to a Casualty clearing Station as part of the Territorial Nursing Service. There are new colleagues to meet, unfamiliar patients to care for, ward routines and procedures to learn. However, Charlotte feels totally lost because she left home for a restorative holiday earlier that day in the year 2001. She has no idea how she ended up in France, what to do next or how to return home. This is the story of what happens to her.

You can purchase The Nurse Who Found Herself In 1916 here.

William Nicol - 'En Canot and the Accidental Artist'

En Canot and the Accidental Artist - Book coverWilliam Nicol went to university in his hometown of Aberdeen, graduating in 1990 with a degree in the Science of Agriculture before a spell of almost a decade working on the West Coast. Work took him south and he now lives in Hampshire with his wife and two children. He wrote his debut novel commuting on the train to and from London where he works.

Since leaving Scotland, he returns every year for a family holiday in the Highlands.

En Canot and the Accidental Artist

En Canot – an exquisite cubist painting looted by the Nazis, last seen at Hitler’s Degenerate Art Exhibition in 1937 and missing ever since, until it surfaces in Russia where a plan is hatched to smuggle the picture elsewhere. 

With a smattering of eccentric aristocrats, an overweight Chinese oligarch and  scheming Russian with a devious mind - what could possibly go wrong? Nothing, until Ranald Milngavie, a hapless Glaswegian artist stumbles into the scam and suddenly the best laid plans of mice and men... 

A cracking Scottish adventure, a rollicking good yarn!

Buy En Canot and the Accidental Artist here.

William Paul - 'Sleeping Dogs'

Sleeping Dogs - book coverBorn and brought up in the east of Scotland, William Paul (MA, 1976) is a former journalist who now earns a living in digital communications but reverts to old-fashioned reporting most weekends by covering rugby matches in both print and digital format.

He's been writing since an early age - somewhere in the attic is a picture of a fresh-faced youth with his first royalty cheque - and sees no reason to stop now.

His ideas for books come at him from all angles and sometimes he finds it difficult to get all that stuff down on the page before it fades, morphs into something entirely different or simply vanishes from his unreliable memory. Wherever and however ideas end up - on the page or in the bin - they just keep coming.

Sleeping Dogs

David Fyfe is a dog lover with a wife and mistress to support and an ambition to retire early. His present lifestyle is complicated enough before past indiscretions come back to haunt him.

Once a gung-ho investigator of murderous criminals and violent crime, Fyfe has been taken off the frontlines and reassigned to the low-profile Fraud Squad — mistakes from years earlier conspired to condemn him to dull work that he doesn’t much enjoy.

His enforced distance from solving murders bothers him particularly at the moment, as a series of seemingly drug dealing–related murders in the city is all anyone can talk about.

When Chief Constable Sir Duncan Morrison asks him to look into the several hundred thousand dollars missing from the Catholic Church’s accounts, Fyfe expects the job to be little more than soothing the Archbishop’s worries — only to discover that things are considerably more complicated than they first appear.

Sleeping Dogs is a fast-moving, wryly humorous, expertly plotted crime novel with an outrageous finale, and the first of four books featuring DCI David Fyfe.

Buy Sleeping Dogs here.

Raul Placencia - 'Nessie's Selected Stories'

Raul is a Chilean political scientist with an MA in International Relations. For sixteen years he worked in the army as a political analyst.

He published articles and papers about foreign policy, energy, and the COVID pandemic. Being a teenager from the '80s, he loves science fiction sagas of literature and cinema, especially Star Wars.

In 2021 he left Chile to travel to Scotland and fulfil his dream of writing about fantasy and science fiction. At the University of Aberdeen he freed his soul, writing poems ranging from alien space lovers to his first stories of a strange being solving crimes in post-war London.

According to Alan Warner, this character was too surreal, and he recommended a local inhabitant loved by all; Nessie.

Thus, in the meadows of the University of Aberdeen, he finished his MLITT in 2023 and decided to publish his first book, 'Nessie's Selected Stories'.

Nessie’s Selected Stories

The history of Scotland collects testimonies from many who affirm that there is a monster in Loch Ness, possibly a plesiosaur thousands of years old!

People call him "Nessie." Only a few photos remain, not very clear of his existence, as well as documentaries and books that recount the constant search for him in the lake's dark waters.

However, Nessie is not just a humble plesiosaur living in Loch Ness. He owns a secret, a high-tech secret base dedicated to protecting Earth from space threats, saving the UK in World War II, or dealing with the paranormal.

He works with "Annie", an Atlantis AI and "Bunny the George", an anthropomorphic rabbit who is his engineer. In addition, he is friends with Reggie, a local policeman with a non-traditional family: his wife and daughter are powerful Scottish witches.

Nessie is a general from the Atlantis civilization who emigrated to deep space! Also he is divorced and suffering from a deep depression, but this does not stop him from flying from the depths of Loch Ness to save his beloved Scotland and humanity. Nessie's stories combine legend with elements of science fiction and fantasy, aiming to play with the imagination and entertain the reader. 

You can buy Nessie’s Selected Stories here.

Dimas Rio - 'Who's There?'

Dimas Rio is an Indonesian-born legal counsel and fiction writer who has been treading between two worlds since his university days. He was studying law at one of the country’s most prominent universities, the University of Indonesia, when he started writing a serialized short story for a weekly teen magazine. He published his first novel, “Dinner with Saucer” in 2007 which went on to be shortlisted in 2007’s Khatulistiwa Literary Award in the Talented Young Writer category.

In the years that followed, he juggled his time between having a career as a lawyer in a prominent law firm in Jakarta, Indonesia, writing short stories in his free time, and studying for a Master’s Degree in Oil and Gas Law (LL.M) from the University of Aberdeen in 2011.  

He self-published his second book, Who's There in 2019 which was eventually acquired by and re-published by Velox Books in 2022. The book has drawn recognition from notable publications, namely Kirkus Reviews which described it as “entrancing and unnerving”.

Continuing his tread between two careers, Dimas obtained his second Master's degree, namely an MLitt in Creative Writing in 2022 from the University of Aberdeen where he graduated with distinction.

Who's there?

Asian mythology and folk tales crossed with the supernatural horror of Edgar Allan Poe, Henry James, and Arthur Machen!

Drawing on local folk tales of vengeful banshees, dusk-dwelling monsters, ghouls hiding in the woods, and other forms of the undead, this collection transports listeners to the darkest abyss where demons forever reside: the human mind.

A woman goes missing a week before her wedding. A man recalls his nightmarish encounter with the devil. Letters sent from beyond the grave. A phone call from deceased loved ones. Limbs that have a mind of their own.

These ghostly tales of revenge, greed, and desperation writhe and squirm in the dark corners of modern-day Indonesia. Rich in cultural undertones that are uniquely Asian combined with classic horror. These stories are equal parts grotesque and poetic, irreverent and spiritual, unusual and universal.

Buy Who's there? here.

Gordon Smart - 'A Rendezvous with Death', 'The Deadly Shadows' & 'Death of an Angel'

Gordon Smart was born in Brisbane, Australia, but unlike the convicts of previous centuries who went the other way, he found himself transported across the world by ship to Scotland at the tender age of ten months. He then grew up in the south side of Glasgow and attended Shawlands Academy where he was inspired by his English teachers. He studied at the University of Aberdeen from 1974, edited the Gaudie, and graduated with an MA in English in 1978. He completed teacher training at Aberdeen College of Education along with a Dip Ed at Aberdeen University in 1982 and embarked on a teaching career. He taught English in secondary schools in Glasgow, Australia and Clydebank before becoming a Quality Improvement Officer in East Dunbartonshire's Education Service. He retired in 2016 and spent more time on his writing. His first novel, A Rendezvous with Death, and the other two books in the crime series, set in a fictional independent Scotland, The Deadly Shadows and Death of an Angel, were published by Red Dragon Publishing in 2022. He lives in the West End of Glasgow with his family.

A Rendezvous with Death

When a schoolteacher, Monica Porter, is brutally murdered in her Glasgow west end flat, DI Shazia Khan leads the investigation to catch her killer and uncovers a tangled web of lies. Meanwhile, journalist Fergus Mulrein becomes captivated by beautiful Russian model Olga Yevdokimova when she reaches out to him for help. The characters' lives criss-cross amidst a background of political conflict and corruption. Can DI Khan solve the mystery of who killed Monica Porter and why?

Buy 'A Rendezvous with Death' here.



The Deadly Shadows

A young drug dealer and a wealthy politician are both found dead in suspicious circumstances within a few days of each other in Glasgow, one in a fall from a tower block, the other seemingly suffocated in a luxury hotel. DI Shazia Khan’s investigation into the two apparently unrelated deaths reveals a disturbing connection.

Buy 'The Deadly Shadows' here.




Death of an Angel

DI Shazia Khan leads the murder investigation when a reclusive rock musician is found dead in his remote country home near Loch Lomond, in an apparent break-in where two valuable paintings are stolen. Was it just a burglary gone wrong or could there be more to it?

Buy 'Death of an Angel' here.

Tom Sigafoos - 'The Cursing Stone'

Tom Sigafoos studied English and History at the University of Aberdeen from 1963-64 under an exchange programme with the US Great Lakes College Association. He earned a BA in English from Ohio Wesleyan University and an MA in Media Communications from the University of Cincinnati. He served as Director of University Relations for SDRC, an engineering software firm, before retiring to north-west Ireland in 2003. He is also the author of Code Blue: A Frank Chandler Mystery.

The Cursing Stone

County Donegal, Ireland, 1884. Your island home is threatened with evictions. What would you be willing to do to stop them?

The Cursing Stone, an historical novel based on the shipwreck of the British naval gunboat HMS Wasp, follows the lives of two men Ruairi Mullan of Toraigh Island and Sub-Lieutenant William Gubby of the Royal Navy as their fates intersect in the disastrous arc of the Irish Land Wars. The tragedy of the Wasp resulted from tensions between engineering innovation, social developments, and the military establishment which remain unresolved to this day.

Readers describe the The Cursing Stone as “gripping,” “a cracking read,” and “historical fiction at its best.” 

Buy The Cursing Stone here.

Adam Steiner - 'Politics of the Asylum'

Book cover: Politics of the Asylum - Adam Steiner

Adam Steiner graduated with a BA in Mental Philosophy in 2008. He has had his poetry and fiction appear in various literary publications.

His first full-length novel, Politics of the Asylum, is a modernist novel about the NHS inspired by his time working as a hospital porter.


Politics of the Asylum

Nathan Finewax is a cleaner in a hospital steadily falling apart. He's working on a ward where staff cheat, lie and steal to get ahead, where targets, death tolls and finance overrule patient care, and every day the same mistakes are repeated in a seemingly unstoppable wave of failures. Nathan is sucked deeper into the hospital routine as he dreams of escape, trying to avoid one day becoming a patient himself in this house of horrors. Based on the author's experience working in the NHS, Politics of the Asylum is a nightmare vision of the modern healthcare system. Adam Steiner's challenging debut is a novel for our times, and an emotive and highly original story of people trying to do more than simply exist.

You can purchase Politics of the Asylum here.

Victoria Stephen - 'Trick or Treat'

Victoria Stephen, a history graduate from the University of Aberdeen, was born and raised in ‘The Granite City' in the North East of Scotland. Victoria considers her family to be extremely important and fondly remembers her childhood and wrote this book remembering homemade costumes and trick or treating with her family. As a new mum she wanted to continue to honour her families traditions and share her memories, for her readers to reminiscence on their spooky experiences.

Trick or Treat

Ghosts and goblins, witches on brooms. It's the 31st of October and everyone is getting ready for a spooky night of fun. What will they choose to dress up as? Will they trick or will they treat? A night of spooky rhymes and jokes to cherish forever.

Buy Trick or Treat here.

Katy Turton - 'Blackbird's Song'

Katy Turton is a Russian historian who teaches at the University of the Highlands and Islands. She has spent many an hour in the archives and libraries of Moscow and St Petersburg and has published widely on the role of women in the Russian Revolution, including Forgotten Lives (2007), which centres on Lenin’s sisters, and Family Networks in the Russian Revolutionary Movement (2018). She lives in the Cairngorms National Park with her husband and two sons.

Blackbird's Song is set in Tsarist Russia, 1904. It is a time of war, shortages, and popular unrest. Anna enrols at university and is befriended by twins, Rosa and Boris, who draw her into the revolutionary movement. As Anna finds new purpose to her life and falls in love, the violent struggle against the Tsar escalates. On 9 January 1905, a workers’ protest is massacred by Tsarist soldiers, with tragic results for the three friends. Now Anna must continue the revolutionary struggle, knowing that to do so will mean sacrificing everything she holds dear.

Blackbird's Song

Set against the Russian Revolution of 1905, a prelude to that of 1917, this novel explores the complexity of relationships and motivations that lead to acts of rebellion.

Tsarist Russia, 1904: a time of war, shortages, and popular unrest. Anna enrols at university and is befriended by twins, Rosa and Boris, who draw her into the revolutionary movement. As Anna finds new purpose to her life and falls in love, the violent struggle against the Tsar escalates. On 9 January 1905, a workers’ protest is massacred by Tsarist soldiers, with tragic results for the three friends. Now Anna must continue the revolutionary struggle, knowing that to do so will mean sacrificing everything she holds dear.

The novel reflects the reality of the Russian and other revolutions where women played a full part.

You can purchase Blackbird's Song here.

Penelope Wallace - 'We Do Not Kill Children'

We do not kill children - Penelope Wallace - book coverPenelope Wallace (DPLP, 1987) has lived in St Andrews, Oxford, Aberdeen and Nottingham, and is old enough to remember black and white TV. 

She is a pedantic bibliophile, a sometime lawyer, a not-completely-orthodox Christian (and churchwarden), a wishy-washy socialist, a quiet feminist and a compulsive maker of lists.

She has practised law in England and Scotland, in the fields of employment, conveyancing, and marine insurance litigation (accident claims on oil rigs or fishing boats). For some reason, she invented a world where the buildings and manners are medieval, but the sexes are equal.

In 2012 Dorac Kingsbrother walked into this world, and made her tell his story. Her favourite authors include the obligatory Jane Austen, but also Robin Hobb, Agatha Christie, Nancy Mitford, George RR Martin, JRR Tolkien, Marilynne Robinson, JK Rowling and the Anglo-Catholic Victorian Charlotte M Yonge. She feeds occasional musings onto her blog.

We Do Not Kill Children

“We do not kill children; we do not commit rape; we do not take pleasure in torment.” Dorac Kingsbrother was one of the King’s Thirty in the kingdom of Marod. That was before he was found guilty of the murder of Lord Gahran’s three children. Though Gahran was a traitor, his children were innocent. The code of the King’s Thirty leaves no room for such a barbaric act, and for this heinous crime Dorac faces a life in exile. The shame of such a sentence is something that Dorac can’t brook, and so he sets off on a journey to the Old Stones, the place where those that seek death meet their end. Followed by Gormad, a child in search of adventure, Dorac is not alone on his final journey. But not everyone believes that Dorac is guilty. Gemara Kingsister, head of the Six, investigates the murder of Gahran’s children; though there is more at stake than the life of a lone warrior in this, the first of the Tales from Ragaris.

Buy We Do Not Kill Children here.

Olga Woitas - 'Miss Blaine's Prefect and The Golden Samovar'

Miss Blaine's Prefect and the Golden Samovar - Olga WojtasOlga Wojtas (MA English, 1977) was born and brought up in Edinburgh where she attended James Gillespie's High School the model for Marcia Blaine School for Girls, which appears in Muriel Spark's The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.

She was encouraged to write by an inspirational English teacher there, Iona M. Cameron.

Olga won a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award in 2015 and has had more than 30 short stories published in magazines and anthologies.

Miss Blaine’s Prefect and the Golden Samovar

Fifty-something Shona is a proud former pupil of the Marcia Blaine School for Girls, but has a deep loathing for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, which she thinks gives her alma mater a bad name.

Impeccably educated and an accomplished martial artist, linguist and musician, Shona is thrilled when selected by Marcia Blaine herself to travel back in time for a one-week mission in 19th-century Russia: to pair up the beautiful, shy, orphaned heiress Lidia Ivanovna with Sasha, a gorgeous young man of unexplained origins.

But, despite all her accomplishments and good intentions, Shona might well have got the wrong end of the stick about her mission. As the body count rises, will she discover in time just who the real villain is?

Buy Miss Blaine’s Prefect and the Golden Samova here.


Alasdair Allan - 'Tweed rins tae the Ocean: A walk along Scotland’s border'

Alasdair Allan is best known as the Member of the Scottish Parliament for Na h-Eileanan an Iar (the Western Isles). His new book “Tweed rins tae the Ocean” (available in hardback from 29 September 2021) is about a different part of Scotland, however - the Scottish Borders. This is where Allan hails from originally, and the book is an account of a challenge he set himself both to walk along the Border line and to read through its literature.

Tweed rins tae the Ocean: A walk along Scotland’s border

The book is about the place Alasdair Allan originally comes from originally - the Scottish Borders. It follows an east to west coast walk by Allan and some friends, and gently explores the history, literature and language of what Allan contends is the oldest national land border in the world. The title of the book takes its inspiration from the Burns song, 'Such a Parcel of Rogues in a Nation'. The journey described was the product of a challenge Allan set himself, not just to walk the Border, but to read a way along it too.

This is a book that will challenge the preconceptions of many about a region reputed to have the highest per capita number of titled residents in Scotland, and which is home to the Duke of Buccleuch, one of the largest private landowner in Europe.

Buy 'Tweed rins tae the Ocean: A walk along Scotland’s border' here.

Ned Bertz - 'Diaspora and Nation in the Indian Ocean'

Diaspora and Nation in the Indian OceanNed Bertz is associate professor in the Department of History at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa. Ned was an exchange student to the University of Aberdeen from 1992-1993.

Diaspora and Nation in the Indian Ocean

The vibrant Swahili coast port city of Dar es Salaam—literally, the “Haven of Peace”—hosts a population reflecting a legacy of long relations with the Arabian Peninsula and a diaspora emanating in waves from the Indian subcontinent. By the 1960s, after decades of European imperial intrusions, Tanzanian nationalist forces had peacefully dismantled the last British colonial structures of racial segregation and put in place an official philosophy of nonracial nationalism.

Yet today, more than five decades after independence, race is still a prominent and publicly contested subject in Dar es Salaam. What makes this issue so dizzyingly elusive—for government bureaucrats and ordinary people alike—is East Africa’s location on the Indian Ocean, a historic crossroads of diverse peoples possessing varied ideas about how to reconcile human difference, social belonging, and place of origin.

Buy Diaspora and Nation in the Indian Ocean: Transnational Histories of Race and Urban Space in Tanzania here.

Sue Black - 'All That Remains' & 'Written in Bone'

Professor Dame Sue Black was born in Inverness and gained a BSc in Human Anatomy from the University of Aberdeen in 1982. She went on to complete her PhD here with a thesis on 'Identification from the Human Skeleton' in 1986. She is well known as a world expert in iden­­tifying victims of murder and natural disaster and led the UK response to war crimes investigations in Kosovo and worked in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami in Thailand.

She has advised crime writers on killers’ techniques and has made numerous appearances on radio and television, including BBC Two's History Cold Case, BBC Radio 4's The Life Scientific and even Desert Island Discs! She is also a fellow and President of the Royal Anthropological Institute and a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Royal Society of Biology as well as the lifetime professor of Anatomy for the Royal Scottish Academy. Her best-selling book All That Remains: A Life In Death gathered a huge amount of praise upon its publication in 2018, winning the Saltire Book of the Year award and receiving plaudits throughout the press.

All That RemainsAll that remains - book cover

Sue Black confronts death every day. As a professor of anatomy and forensic anthropology, she focuses on mortal remains in her lab, at burial sites, at scenes of violence, murder and criminal dismemberment, and when investigating mass fatalities due to war, accident or natural disaster. In All That Remains she reveals the many faces of death she has come to know, using key cases to explore how forensic science has developed, and examining what her life and work has taught her. 

Part memoir, part science, part meditation on death, her book is compassionate, surprisingly funny, and it will make you think about death in a new light.

Buy All That Remains here.

Written in Bone: Hidden stories in what we leave behind

From the Sunday Times Bestselling author of All That Remains, Sue Black reveals the secrets hidden deep within our bones.

Drawing upon her years of research and a wealth of remarkable experience, the world-renowned forensic anthropologist Professor Dame Sue Black takes us on a journey of revelation. From skull to feet, via the face, spine, chest, arms, hands, pelvis and legs, she shows that each part of us has a tale to tell. What we eat, where we go, everything we do leaves a trace, a message that waits patiently for months, years, sometimes centuries, until a forensic anthropologist is called upon to decipher it.

Some of this information is easily understood, some holds its secrets tight and needs scientific cajoling to be released. But by carefully piecing together the evidence, the facts of a life can be rebuilt.

Limb by limb, case by case - some criminal, some historical, some unaccountably bizarre - Sue Black reconstructs with intimate sensitivity and compassion the hidden stories in what we leave behind.

Buy 'Written in Bone' here.

Alison Bryson - 'Knitting, Tatting and Nervous Breakdowns'

Knitting, Tatting and Nervous Breakdowns book coverAlison Bryson (MA German & Politics, 1992) was born in the Scottish Borders and, after graduating, worked in administration in medical schools and universities in the UK and Australia. She was Manager of the General Medical Council’s Clinical Assessment Centre in London and has also worked in local government. Knitting, Tatting and Nervous Breakdowns is her first book. 

Knitting, Tatting and Nervous Breakdowns

How does it feel to go from being someone in full-time employment managing other people to being someone who can’t manage simple every-day tasks? What happens when you don’t recognise signs of extreme anxiety and depression and end up having a nervous breakdown?

In September 2010 Alison Bryson found out. She didn’t know what was happening to her. She didn’t know anyone who had had a breakdown. She didn’t know if she would recover to live a fulfilling and independent life again. In Knitting, Tatting and Nervous Breakdowns, Alison recounts the story of the struggles she endured, the people and experiences that helped her, and the lessons she learned as she recovered.

Knitting, Tatting and Nervous Breakdowns is being recognised as a great resource for others experiencing mental health difficulties, and for their families. Loved ones can find it difficult to know how to support someone through such experiences - being able to read how one family worked together, in combination with the structure and ongoing support of mental health services, gives hope and practical ideas about how to help.

Buy Knitting, Tatting and Nervous Breakdowns here.

Jill Bush - 'Lionel Morris and the Red Baron: Air War on the Somme'

Lionel Morris and the Red Baron Air war on the Somme - book coverJill Bush graduated in Honours History of Art in 1997 and has worked in the arts and publishing. Her first book 'Lionel Morris and the Red Baron' was published by Pen and Sword in July 2019.

Lionel Morris and the Red Baron

Nineteen-year-old Lionel Morris left the infantry for the wood and wires of the Royal Flying Corps on the Western Front in 1916, joining one of the world’s first fighter units alongside the great ace Albert Ball. Learning on the job, in dangerously unpredictable machines, Morris came of age as a combat pilot on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, as the R.F.C. was winning a bloody struggle for admiralty of the air.

As summer faded to autumn, and the skies over Bapaume filled with increasing numbers of enemy aircraft, the tide turned. On 17 September 1916, Morris’s squadron was attacked by a lethally efficient German unit, including an unknown pilot called Manfred von Richthofen. As the shock waves spread from the empty hangars of No.11 Squadron all the way to the very top of the British Army, the circumstances surrounding Morris’s death marked a pivotal shift in the aerial war, and the birth of its greatest legend.

Told through previously unpublished archive material, the words of contemporaries and official records, Lionel Morris and the Red Baron traces a short but extraordinary life; and reveals how Morris’s role in history was rediscovered one hundred years after his death.

Buy Lionel Morris and the Red Baron here.

Callum Christie - 'Goodbye Colonialism, Farewell Feudalism'

Goodbye Colonialism, Farewell Feudalism - letters from a District officerCallum Christie graduated from the University of Aberdeen in Political Economy in 1958. He then joined the Colonial Service and served for 5 years in Northern Rhodesia as a colonial district officer.

His book is based on the letters he wrote during his first three years based in a very traditional kingdom called Barotseland. All proceeds go to a Zambian charity that helps needy children and young people in Zambia.

Goodbye Colonialism, Farewell Feudalism

Callum Christie has a fascinating story to tell about the last days of Barotseland, an African kingdom which was a British protectorate for over 70 years. The rulers of Barotseland, in the remote west of Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia), had little idea of the political tsunami that was about to engulf them.

Elsewhere in the country a growing nationalist movement was soon to take power from the British Government and the white settlers, and consequently from the traditional rulers of Barotseland. Callum Christie, posted to Barotseland fresh from university in 1959 tells the story, and much besides, through his letters home to family and friends. This talk will be illustrated with a stunning series of images.

Buy Goodbye Colonialism, Farewell Feudalism here.

Andrew Erskine Dawson - 'This Far-Off Wild Land'

Book cover: This Far-Off Wild LandAndrew Erskine Dawson graduated in 1952 with a Degree in Agriculture.

Here, Andrew masterfully shares the story of his great-great uncle Andrew Dawson (1820-1872), recorded in letters his uncle sent to his family in Dalkeith, Edinburghshire (Midlothian) from Fort Berthold, Fort Clark, Fort Union, and Fort Benton, and neatly quill penned fascinating unique details of his exciting "life and time" living amongst warring Native Americans.

This Far-Off Wild Land

In the mid-1800s, Andrew Dawson, self-exiled from his home in Scotland, joined the upper Missouri River fur trade and rose through the ranks of the American Fur Company. A headstrong young man, he had come to America at the age of twenty-four after being dismissed from his second job in two years. His poignant sense of isolation is evident throughout his letters home between 1844 and 1861. In This Far-Off Wild Land, Lesley Wischmann and Andrew Erskine Dawson--a relative of this colourful figure--couple an engaging biography of Dawson with thirty-seven of his previously unpublished letters from the American frontier.

Thoughtfully annotated, Dawson's letters, discovered only recently by his relatives, provide a rare glimpse into the lonely life of a fur trader in the 1840s and 1850s. Unlike the impersonal business correspondence that makes up most fur trade writings, Dawson's letters are wonderfully human, suffused with raw emotion. Combining careful research with a compelling story, the authors flesh out the forces that shaped Dawson's personality and the historical events he recorded.

Buy This Far-Off Wild Land here.

Neil Fachie - 'Earn Your Stripes: Gold medal insights for business and life'

Neil Fachie MBE is a multiple world champion, Paralympian, and world record holder in cycling. He graduated from the University with a BSc in Physics in 2006 and was awarded an honorary degree in 2013.

Book cover: Earn your stripes - Neil Fachie MBEEarn Your Stripes

The world’s top athletes excel when under immense pressure: years spent preparing for one event, one chance to perform, the world watching. How do some individuals rise up in these extreme situations to perform at their best while others fail to reach their full potential?

In 'Earn Your Stripes', Neil Fachie shares the insights he’s learned from over a decade at the top of his sport. His success has taken more than just hard work; it involves creating a performance-driven system. The Earn Your Stripes methodology is designed to enhance your performance both in business and in life.

Buy 'Earn Your Stripes: Gold medal insights for business and life' here.

Jim Fiddes - 'The Granite Men'

The Granite Men bok coverJim Fiddes went to Aberdeen Grammar School and received an Honours Degree in History from the University of Aberdeen in 1973.

He started his career as a librarian, and spent 29 years at The Robert Gordon University, mostly as librarian for the School of Architecture and Construction, and the School of Art.

He retired early and spent five seasons as a guide for the National Trust for Scotland at the iconic fairytale castle of Craigievar. He lives in Aberdeenshire.

The Granite Men

Granite is the most unyielding of building materials. The great granite quarries of the North East are silent now, as are virtually all of the 100 granite yards that existed in Aberdeen around the year 1900. Yet in its time, the granite industry of north-east Scotland was the engine that built civilisations.

As early as the sixteenth century, granite from Aberdeen and its vicinities was building castles. In the heyday of the mid-nineteenth century, the granite men of the North East hewed this material from the bowels of the earth and used it to fashion the iconic structures that defined the age. It paved the streets and embankments of London. It was used to build bridges over the Thames. It was carved into monuments for kings and commoners not only in Britain but all over the world.

None of it possible without the men that toiled in those quarries and yards. This is the story of those granite men and their industry.

Buy The Granite Men here.

Leslie-Ann George - 'Elevate Your Essay Writing Skills'

Leslie-Ann George graduated with an MSc in Oil And Gas Enterprise Management in 2016.

She is a STEM ambassador and a strong advocate of promoting the development of students and young adults by sharing her experiences in industry. She has run multiple workshops on academic and professional writing, employability skills, career development and pathways for students and young adults to achieve their visions.

Leslie-Ann has a background as a senior project management professional within the engineering and technology industry and her line of work has seen her engage in control account management in the engineering and technology sector, change management, strategy, business analysis and innovation through continuous improvement mechanisms on various projects.

Elevate Your Essay Writing Skills

Elevate Your Essay Writing Skills covers how to unpack essay and report questions to find keywords for research materials, how to choose research topics and undertake research, how to overcome barriers with referencing, how to adapt one’s writing skills to the type of essay or report they are working on and how to use case studies to name but a few.

This book is for students and young professionals who are looking to articulate their ideas by learning how to structure their essays, reports and general written communication to achieve outstanding results and to have their voices heard. It is also for students who want to eliminate the hassle and stress linked with learning how to write in a new environment where there is limited time to perfect writing skills from grassroots. Thus, a stress-free student and professional life when it comes to written communication.

If you want to excel with your writing skills and obtain great results with confidence, the time to start is now!

Buy Elevate Your Essay Writing Skills here.

Leo B. Hendry - 'Reframing Adolescent Research'

Reframing Adolescent Research book coverLeo B. Hendry is an Aberdeen graduate and now, after a long and varied career teaching psychology across institutions such as the Norwegian University of Science & Technology and University of South Wales. Leo now works as an Emeritus Professor here at the University of Aberdeen.

He has authored 150 research articles, 30 chapters and 22 books.

Reframing Adolescent Research

How can we ensure that adolescent research is really assisting the optimal developmental transitions of young people, now and in the near future?

Reframing Adolescent Research suggests that what is needed is a ‘paradigm-shift’, a movement towards implementing more systemic, innovative and inter-disciplinary approaches to youth research, which are more suited to resolving the real issues that young people face in the twenty-first century.

This ground-breaking volume will encourage debate and dialogue on the future of youth research. It is valuable reading for advanced students and researchers in adolescent development and developmental psychology.

Buy Reframing Adolescent Research here.

Emma Hepburn - 'A Toolkit for Modern Life'

Dr Emma Hepburn is a clinical psychologist, with expertise in neuropsychology, who has over 15 years' experience of working with and treating mental health difficulties in both the NHS and private sector.

She is passionate about bringing psychology and evidence-based mental health information beyond the clinic room to a wider audience and encouraging people to proactively look after their mental health. Her illustrative work has been used by a number of organisations including The American Association for the Prevention of Suicide, The Royal Society of Public Health and the Samaritans (India). She writes as @thepsychologymum on Instagram.

A Toolkit for Modern Life

Most of us are just trying to keep it together, most of the time ...

In a world where 'busyness' is the norm, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and stressed out. But proactively paying attention to how we feel, and understanding how to respond to our emotions, is the key to looking after our own mental health and wellbeing.

In this book, clinical psychologist Dr Emma Hepburn uses her warm and witty illustrations to introduce practical tools for your day-to-day mental wellbeing. From identifying what triggers unhappy thoughts to overcoming our fear of making mistakes, A Toolkit for Modern Life will help you to cultivate positive habits and feel more confident, happier and in turn with yourself.

Buy 'A Toolkit for Modern Life' here.

Peter Howson - 'Britain and the German Churches, 1945-1950'

Peter Howson completed his PhD at the University of Aberdeen in 2006 having been researching it part-time whilst the Methodist Minister in Inverness. Prior to that he had been an army chaplain for twenty-five years. Some of that time was spent in Germany where he spent time discussing the experiences with German the experiences of the churches in the post-war period. HIs original interest in the subject had been stimulated whilst reading Theology at Cambridge. He has written several books on army chaplaincy.

Britain and the German Churches, 1945-1950

Explores the ways in which the British Religious Affairs Branch aimed to organise religious life in post-war Germany.

It is well known that at the key allied conferences during the latter part of World War II the future victorious allies were already progressing their post-war planning. Duly, an Allied Control Commission, with the task of providing administrative functions and eventually handing them over to an elected government, was formed in post-war Germany. In the Western zones, the cornerstone of coordinated administration was a policy of denazification, demilitarisation and democratization. Almost all sectors of German life would thereafter to be administered by the Allies.

German Churches and religious affairs had, however, been promised to the defeated Germany. Of course, Nazism hadn't spared the Christian churches, and so questions of denazification and the future relationship between church and state in Germany remained significant. This book examines the British approach towards post-war German religious and ecclesiastical life by highlighting the role of the British Element of the Control Commission, more specifically the Religious Affairs Branch that was separated from the Education Branch at the end of 1945. Considering British attitudes to Catholics and Protestants, as well as the remaining Jewish and Muslim communities in Germany, this book uncovers allied differences with regards to organising future religious life in Germany.

Buy Britain and the German Churches, 1945-1950 here.

James Jauncey - 'Don Roberto'

James (Jamie) Jauncey graduated LLB in 1971. He a Scottish author who has previously written fiction for adults, young adults and children. 'Don Roberto' is his first biography (‘Wonderful’ says the Sunday Times). In it he explores the role of mythic figures in family history and considers the impact of his famous ancestor on his own life. James lives in Perthshire and served for many years as a member of the board of the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

Don Roberto: the Adventure of Being Cunninghame Graham

RB Cunninghame Graham (1852-1936, known as ‘Don Roberto’) is best known as the co-founder, with Keir Hardie, of the Scottish Labour Party, forerunner of the modern Labour Party, and later in life as the founding president of the Scottish National Party. But in a long and extraordinary life he was many other things besides. As a young man in Argentina he became an expert horseman and rode with gauchos. In middle age he went searching for Roman gold in northern Spain and was held to ransom by a warlord in the Atlas Mountains. At Westminster he advocated abolition of the House of Lords, declared himself the first ever socialist member of parliament, and was imprisoned for rioting. A champion of the oppressed, a crusader for social justice and freedom of speech, and a vehement anti-imperialist, he was fêted by his literary peers as the Scottish Maupassant. Painted by Lavery and sculpted by Epstein he was descended from King Robert II of Scotland. Almost everything he stood for rings as loudly today as ever.

Buy 'Don Roberto' here.

Peter Kamleshwar Singh - 'Knowing The Truth'

Peter Kamleshwar Singh obtained an MSc in Project Management from the University in 2010. He hails from Nepal and has enjoyed a career as a Civil Engineer however, his passion now lies in his work as a pastor and teacher. Peter has written three books based on his experiences with religion and his exploration of the myths and truths related to it, as well as meditations on various teachings. Peter's collection of work can be viewed at Waterstones here.

Knowing the Truth

Knowing the Truth has tried to answer some of the questions just to let the reader understand the attributes of God. In this book, there are different writings that shed light on different types of problems and realities in life. ‘The Enemy’ deals with the real but unseen enemy, Satan — his doings, advantages of being unseen and practical insights into overcoming the temptations. ‘The Vine and the Branches’ deals with understanding the purpose of being human, in terms of the Creator's expectations of fruitfulness. The other side of King David is to explain the weaknesses of being in the body. It helps us understand the vulnerability we face in the world. God loves us and forgives us for our sinful behaviour, to explain a few things that we face in life.  

You can buy Knowing the Truth here.

Margaret Lowman - 'The Arbornaut'

Margaret “Meg” Lowman Ph.D., known affectionately throughout the world as “Canopy Meg,” is a biologist, Director of the TREE Foundation and a global pioneer in forest canopy ecology.  She graduated from the University of Aberdeen in 1978 with an MSc in Ecology and is one of the world’s foremost “arbornauts” — someone who explores and studies the vast forest canopies that make up what Meg has termed the Earth’s “eighth continent.” A tireless educator, strong advocate for girls, women, and minorities in science, Meg has published numerous books, is a sustainability advisor, contributes to boards, and speaks widely and frequently to diverse groups, schools, and international symposiums and conferences.

The Arbornaut

Meg Lowman points out that a scientist learning about a tree by studying its trunk makes as much sense as a doctor examining a patient by examining the big toe. But that’s how it was done for centuries. Just as scuba gear inspired more advanced ocean research during the 1950s, ropes and harnesses opened up treetops in the 1980s. Calling forest canopies the eighth continent is no exaggeration. “Upward of half of all terrestrial creatures,” writes Lowman, “live about one hundred feet or more above our heads….Across more than sixty thousand species of trees, nearly every one hosts unique communities.” The author excelled in a discipline in which she was often the only woman and succeeded despite encounters with discouragement and harassment. Obtaining an undergraduate degree in the U.S., a masters in Scotland, and a doctorate in Australia, Lowman plunged into field research, teaching, speaking, and becoming the “mother of canopy research.” Her obsession became foliage—not a gripping subject except in her hands. Part of a complex architecture, leaves in a single tree differ dramatically. Larger and darker lower leaves efficiently use tiny amounts of light that filter down. Top foliage is smaller, thicker, and bright green: a high-powered chlorophyll factory suited to hot, sunny conditions. Eventually, Lowman turned her attention to the universe of largely unknown insects that feed off the leaves. While some publications cite about 5% to 8% annual defoliation, the author discovered that canopies routinely suffer up to 25% damage. Lowman ends her chronological account halfway through, devoting the remainder to lively descriptions of her discoveries, educational activities, and conservation advocacy. With more than 15 billion trees cut down each year and climate change accelerating insect losses, she urges advocates of protecting endangered animals to pay more attention to the destruction of the forests they inhabit. Solid science combined with a pleasing writing style make for a winning book.

Buy The Arbornaut here.

William K Malcolm - 'Lewis Grassic Gibbon'

Bill Malcolm graduated with MA Honours in English in 1977 and gained his PhD on the life and works of James Leslie Mitchell (Lewis Grassic Gibbon) in 1982, published by AUP in 1984, and he has proceeded to write and broadcast about him for 40 years, including editing Sunset Song for Penguin Classics in 2007. He was instrumental in establishing the Grassic Gibbon Centre at Arbuthnott in 1992 and acted as the Centre's Literary Director until 2021. Since retiring from 26 years spent as Head of English at Keith Grammar School, he's returned to his academic studies, with two books (again on Gibbon) published in 2016. He was privileged to win recognition for his work when he was made an Honorary Fellow of the Association for Scottish Literary Studies in 2017 and appointed joint administrator of the literary estate of James Leslie Mitchell (real name of Lewis Grassic Gibbon) by the author's family in 2019. He's now engaged in writing the full biography of Mitchell/Gibbon authorised by the Mitchell family.

Lewis Grassic Gibbon

Lewis Grassic Gibbon, published on 30 November 2020, marks a significant step in the furthering of Gibbon's international reputation as part of a 400-strong series, ‘Writers and their Work’, featuring writers from across the world and from all eras, published by Liverpool University Press and backed by the British Council. Gibbon’s achievement is too often devalued by his representation as a great Scottish writer, and this study promotes him as a truly great writer by any objective criteria, in terms of his timeless ideas and outlook, his humanitarianism, his passionate championing of the underdog, his feminist sympathies, and his understanding of the profound importance of the natural world. He’s now recognised globally as a writer of the very highest order, and he’s acclaimed here as a leading figure in the modernist movement in fiction, alongside James Joyce, Virginia Woolf and William Faulkner, and as one of the foremost writers of ecofiction. Most importantly, as reader polls repeatedly indicate, Gibbon is hailed as an author who reaches ordinary people with the sheer power of his writing, which gives his work a unique resonance.

Buy Lewis Grassic Gibbon here.

Ian Maxwell - 'Ernest John Moeran: His Life and Music'

Dr Ian Maxwell graduated in 1979 with a degree in Music. He pursued a career in Financial IT before returning to academia in 2005. After obtaining his PhD he spent four years as a research fellow in the Faculty of Music at the University of Cambridge and currently holds the position of Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Sheffield. Ernest John Moeran was the subject of Ian's doctoral thesis and he has now developed this work into a full length biography.

Ernest John Moeran: His Life and Music

This long-awaited study of the life and music of Anglo-Irish composer Ernest John Moeran (1894-1950) finally provides a full biography of the last senior figure in early twentieth-century British Music to have been without one. Although Moeran's work was widely performed during his lifetime, he suffered neglect in the years following his death. It was not until a re-awakening of appreciation for the music of the folksong-inspired English pastoralism in the latter part of the twentieth century that Moeran's tuneful, well-crafted and approachable music began to attract a new audience. However, widely accepted misconceptions about his life and character have obscured a clear understanding of both man and composer. Written with the benefit of access to previously unknown or unresearched archives, Ernest John Moeran: His Life and Music strips away a hitherto unchallenged mythological framework, and replaces it by a thorough-going examination and analysis of the life and work of a musician that may reasonably be asserted as having been unique in British music history.

Buy Ernest John Moeran: His Life and Music here.

Tony Millard - 'Long Distance: Life of a Successful Failure'

Book cover: Long distance: Life of a Successful Failure - Tony Millard

Tony Millard graduated with an MA in Geography in 1975.

In his autobiographical memoir, Long Distance: Life of a Successful Failure, Tony explores the myths surrounding the issues regarding the concepts of success and failure, winning and losing, as well as his personal experiences in racial and social integration in newly enfranchised societies. His experiences are portrayed through his work as a volunteer, teacher and athlete, in Scotland, Fiji and Zimbabwe in the 1970s and 1980s.

In this book Tony describes how, at certain times in his life, he set course in a direction which opposed the norms of the parochial middle-class society into which he was born. His search for utopia has led him through some dark times but has also shown him the best of humanity in the most unlikely places.

You can purchase Long Distance: Life of a Successful Failure here.

Lesley Morrison - 'Wellbeing Toolkit for Doctors'

Dr Lesley Morrison was a GP for 25 years. She believes that the role of a doctor is to promote holistic healthcare and to engage with the wider issues which affect health. She is co-editor of Tools of the Trade, a book of poetry gifted to all Scottish medical graduates with the aim of offering support and nurturing creativity. She strongly believes that, in order to care for others, doctors need to care for themselves.

The Wellbeing Toolkit for Doctors

Doctors can often experience a loss of sense of purpose, of not being the kind of doctor that they wanted to be. Feeling so caught up in protocols and guidelines can lead to losing a sense of self, of who you are and what you can contribute. The Doctor's Wellbeing Toolkit offers ways in which doctors can enjoy their work and be themselves. The coronavirus pandemic has required new levels of dedication, commitment and hard work, and the impact on health professionals working through it has been huge. A sense of powerlessness is a major contributor to low mood and poor self-esteem, but there are always ways in which you can reclaim control, take initiative, do something to make yourself, and anyone fortunate enough to be your patient, feel better. This book will show us how.

You can purchase The Wellbeing Toolkit for Doctors here.

Judith Ross Napier - 'The Assynt Crofter: Allan MacRae, A Life'

The Assynt Crofter - Allan Macrae, A LifeJudith Napier Ross graduated from the University of Aberdeen in 1982 with a Degree in English, and worked thereafter as a news reporter in the Highlands for local and regional press.

She covered the Assynt Crofters buy-out and remained friends with Allan MacRae until his death in 2013. His family asked her to write the biography, which was launched in front of 100+ guests at the Assynt Crofters Trust's 25th anniversary celebrations.

The Assynt Crofter: Allan MacRae, A Life

Some names are so closely linked with historical events that they almost become one and the same. One such is Allan MacRae, who, along with a small group of fellow crofters, led to victory the ground-breaking Assynt Crofters Trust land buy-out.

Judith Napier’s biography explores the life of a remarkable man – stonemason, orator, athlete, campaigning writer, but above all a crofter who cared deeply for his beloved Assynt.

The Assynt Crofter is now short-listed for the Highland Book Prize 2018.

Buy The Assynt Crofter: Allan MacRae, A Life here.

James Naughtie - 'On the Road'

Book cover: On the road - James Naughtie

James Naughtie was on BBC Radio 4 for 21 years, and a prize-winning writer, he has written about politics in London and Washington for many years.  

In 2015 James stepped down as presenter of Today to become Radio 4's special correspondent and the BBC's books editor. His first novel, The Madness of July, was released in 2014.

He has three children and lives with his wife in Edinburgh and London.

On the Road

Drawing on his travels and encounters over forty years in the ‘Land of the Free’, On The Road is filled with anecdotes, memories, tears and laughter reflecting Naughtie’s characteristic warmth and enthusiasm in encountering the America of Washington, of Broadway, of the small town and the plains. As a student, Naughtie watched the fall of President Richard Nixon in 1974, and subsequently as a journalist followed the story of the country – its politicians, artists, wheeler-dealers and the people who make it what it is, in the New York melting pot or the western deserts. This is a story filled with encounters, for example with the people he has watched on every presidential campaign from the late 1970s to the victory of Donald Trump in 2016.

As the 2020 presidential elections are well underway, Jim sees for himself how the main contenders are campaigning. He sees, also, how POTUS himself is dealing with impeachment proceedings, and what the ordinary citizen thinks of it all. 

You can browse James’s collection of work here.

Ed Patrick - 'Catch Your Breath: The Secret Life of a Sleepless Anaesthetist'

Ed Patrick graduated from the University of Aberdeen School of Medicine in 2013. After beginning his career as a student of parasitology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, one of Ed's professors suggested that he might be suited to a career as a medical doctor. Taking this advice Ed became an Anaesthetist and spent most of 2020 on the frontline, helping save the lives of people suffering from Covid-19.  Having always had a love of comedy, Ed has also spent years performing stand up and hosted a podcast and Radio 2 show called Infectious Personalities. He has now written his first book, detailing the highs and lows of his medical career so far.

Catch Your Breath: The Secret Life of a Sleepless Anaesthetist

A gut punch of a memoir by a doctor - and comedian - whose job is to keep people alive by putting them to sleep.

Ed Patrick is an anaesthetist.

Strong drugs for his patients, strong coffee for him. But it's not just sleep-giving for this anaesthetist, as he navigates emergencies, patients not breathing for themselves and living with a terrifying sense of responsibility. It's enough to leave anyone feeling numb.

But don't worry, there's plenty of laughing gas to be had.

Buy Catch Your Breath: The Secret Life of a Sleepless Anaesthetist here.

Angus Robertson - 'Vienna: The International Capital'

After studying at the University of Aberdeen, Angus Robertson began his journalistic career with the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF) and also reported from Vienna for the BBC, US National Public Radio, Ireland’s RTÉ and other leading broadcasters. In 2016 he was awarded the Decoration of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria, the country’s highest national honour. From 2001 to 2017 he was a member of the UK House of Commons and in 2021 was elected as Member of the Scottish Parliament for Edinburgh Central. He is currently Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution, External Affairs and Culture in the Scottish government.

Vienna: The International Capital

Vienna is unique amongst world capitals in its consistent international importance over the centuries. From the ascent of the Habsburgs as Europe's leading dynasty to the Congress of Vienna, which reordered Europe after Napoleon, to bridge- building summits during the Cold War, it is the Austrian capital that has been the scene of key moments in European and world affairs.

History has been shaped by scores of figures influenced by their time in Vienna, including: Empress Maria Theresa, Count Metternich, Bertha von Suttner, Theodore Herzl, Gustav Mahler, Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, John F. Kennedy and many others. In a city of great composers and thinkers it is here that both the most positive and destructive ideas of recent history have developed.

From its time as the capital of an imperial superpower, through war, dissolution, dictatorship to democracy Vienna has reinvented itself and its relevance to the rest of the world.

Buy Vienna: The International Capital here.


The Crossroads of Civilization: A History of Vienna

A rich and illuminating history of the world capital that has transformed art, culture, and politics.

Vienna is unique amongst world capitals in its consistent international importance over the centuries. From the ascent of the Habsburgs as Europe's leading dynasty to the Congress of Vienna, which reordered Europe in the wake of Napoleon's downfall, to bridge-building summits during the Cold War, Vienna has been the scene of key moments in world history.

Scores of pivotal figures were influenced by their time in Vienna, including: Empress Maria Theresa, Count Metternich, Bertha von Suttner, Theodore Herzl, Gustav Mahler, Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, John F. Kennedy, and many others. In a city of great composers, artists, and thinkers, it is here that both the most positive and destructive ideas of recent history have developed.

From its time as the capital of an imperial superpower, through war, dissolution, dictatorship to democracy Vienna has reinvented itself and its relevance to the rest of the world.

Buy The Crossroads of Civilization: A History of Vienna here.

Brian Robertson - 'A Gordon For Me'

A Gordon for Me - Brian RobertsonBrian Robertson was born in Aberdeen, Scotland in 1936 but was raised and schooled in rural Aberdeenshire when his father bought a small farm at Rothienorman.

He left school as soon as possible to work on the farm. Conscripted to the 1st Battalion Gordon Highlanders he served for two years mostly in Cyprus and then returned to farming.

Brian married Marjorie in 1959 and returned to schooling and education, graduating with a BSc in Botany from the University of Aberdeen in 1970.

He taught secondary school science in Scotland before taking the family to Papua New Guinea in 1978 where he worked in curriculum development and subsequently worked in Australia and the Solomon Islands.

Since retiring Brian has written a number of books, including textbooks for South Pacific schools.

A Gordon For Me

An honest and brave account of National Service in the 1950s. Brian Robertson spares no detail in his story, from simple farmer’s son to a Gordon Highlander. A Gordon For Me is an entertaining and compelling story of one man’s experiences of the Armed Forces, and the true nature of international conflict. 60 years ago, Brian Roberston left his family farm to undergo two years of National Service.

From Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Dundee to Cyprus, Brian experienced much, much more than the average farm-hand ever would. What starts off as an exploration of the eclectic nature of the army, takes an unexpected twist down the obedience, ruthlessness, and brutality of training and war. This book is not a celebration of war.

Buy A Gordon For Me and Brian's other books here.

David Sawyer - 'Reset: How to Restart Your Life and Get F.U. Money'

RESET - How to Restart Your Life and Get F.U. MoneyDavid Sawyer (MA History & Politics, 1995) is a United Nations award-winning PR man and 2:40 marathoner. RESET: How to Restart Your Life and Get F.U. Money is his first book.

Sawyer is not a guru, he’s a middle-aged family guy who woke up one day wondering “is there another way?”

Six years later, the result is RESET – “the unconventional early retirement guide for midlife professionals who want to be happy” that will wipe the windscreen of life so you can see again.

RESET: How to Restart Your Life and Get F.U. Money

Are you happy? Is there more to life than this? What if there is another way? Hidden in plain sight within the 300 or so pages of RESET is an elegant synthesis of the latest thinking in financial independence, lifestyle design, and age-old philosophical wisdom – cunningly disguised as a breezy pep talk from your witty mate down the pub. In a world that's forever racing past us on a screen, it's a reminder of the potentially life-changing power of a book.

What if that way doesn’t involve jacking in your job, leaving your partner, having a midlife crisis, uprooting your existence? What if that way just involves small actions, taken every day? With no more effort than you now spend tending your social media flock, superglued to a screen.

Best of all, what if that way costs you little? In fact, what if that way saves you a tonne of money and lets you retire a few years earlier?

Buy RESET: How to Restart Your Life and Get F.U. Money here.

Nigel Scotland - 'George Whitefield: The First Transatlantic Revivalist'

George Whitefield - The First Translantic RevivalistNigel Scotland (PhD University of Aberdeen 1975) is Field Chair in the School of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Gloucestershire.

His most recent publications include Sectarian Religion in Contemporary Britain (2000), Good and Proper Men: Lord Palmerston and the Bench of Bishops (2000), and Charismatics and the New Millennium (2000).

George Whitefield: The First Transatlantic Revivalist

George Whitefield proclaimed the Christian message to more people in history than anyone else, before or since, who spoke with an unaided voice. A preacher of revival almost form his childhood, when he prophesied his own destiny, he had a profound impact on the social, religious and political life of both Britain and America.

He crossed the Atlantic thirteen times, and merged as a celebrity figure, whose message captivated both rich and poor alike. Whitefield heralded a new kind of revival that was both spiritually powerful and entertaining at the same time.

He was also a man of contradictions. He loved the Anglican liturgy but would happily break canon law. He was a devoted Puritan yet he was also able to befriend those with more liberal morals, Above all, Whitefield was a driven man, and his overwhelming passion was to preach New Birth in Christ - the theme he was to speak on over a thousand times.

He valued education, opposed slavery, cared for orphan children and changed the course of both British and American history.

Buy George Whitefield: The First Transatlantic Revivalist here.

Penny Spinks - 'Clinical Psychology in Action'

Clinical Psychology in ActionPenny Spinks (MA Psychology, 1969) is a clinical psychologist from Berkshire. 

Clinical Psychology in Action: A Collection of Case Studies

Clinical Psychology in Action: A Collection of Case Studies illustrates the range and diversity of modern clinical psychology practice, gives discussion material for students and practitioners of psychological therapy, and provides case materials for students of abnormal psychology.

The book is composed of 5 sections.

Part 1 deals in the field of adult mental health, particularly the elderly.

Part 2 contains cases of children and adolescents and their families.

The third part describes work with the mentally handicapped.

Part 4 presents work by clinical psychologists in medical settings such as neurological, orthopaedic, rehabilitation, surgical, medical and primary care settings.

The last part describes developments in clinical psychology practice in the area of service development and organizational planning. 

The book will be of value to clinical psychologists, students, and teachers of psychology.

Buy Clinical Psychology in Action here.

Laura Wyness - 'Eating Well for Menopause'

Dr Laura Wyness graduated with a PhD in Public Health 2006; MSc Health Science & Public Health Research, 2003 and a BSc Health Sciences, 2000.

Following her studies, Laura started her career in public health research, before moving to nutrition research and communications.  She set up her nutrition consultancy business in 2016 and in recent years her main focus has been supporting peri-menopausal women.

Along with fellow Registered Nutritionist Lynn Burns, Laura has published online courses and a book on Eating Well for Menopause.

Eating Well for Menopause

The book is an informational and empowering guide written to help women navigate the complex world of eating well during menopause and beyond.

Many of my clients were asking what foods they should be eating more or less of to help manage various menopausal symptoms and maintain their health. It’s their questions and concerns that have led to the writing of this book.

From managing menopause symptoms such as hot flushes, weight changes and poor sleep to supporting bone, heart and mental health, this book covers it all. The book also shares practical advice and nutritious recipes that have been tailored to support women through this transformative phase of life.

BuyEating Well for Menopause’ here.

George Youngson - Bringing Life to Aberdeen: A History of Maternity and Neonatal Services

This fascinating book was co-edited by Professor George Youngson, a graduate from the School of Medicine, Medical Science and Nutrition, and three of his colleagues. Professor Youngson is an Emeritus of Paediatric Surgery at the University of Aberdeen and Royal Aberdeen Children's Hospital. 


Lesley G Dunbar is a founding member of the Aberdeen Women’s Alliance women’s history group.

Alison T McCall is a gender historian and former convener of Women’sHistory Scotland and is involved in the Mapping Memorials to Women project.

Fiona J Rennie is a member of the Aberdeen Women’s Alliance, one of the history detectives who researched the history of the women of Aberdeen and their pioneering accolades.

Bringing Life to Aberdeen: A History of Maternity and Neonatal

From the medieval to the modern, this book chronicles the development of midwifery and maternity services since their inception in Aberdeen, preserving the living legacy of the individuals and institutions that have served generations of mothers and babies. Drawing on manuscripts, journals and maps, accounts of pivotal places, people and services feature alongside the personal and touching recollections of both staff and patients. There have been many important contributions made to obstetrics and midwifery by individuals working in Aberdeen in bygone days. Some have been underserved by the recognition and acclaim afforded them, and this book redresses such shortfalls, often for the first time; others are renowned for their influence, and we continue to celebrate this global impact. Chief amongst the latter is Professor Sir Dugald Baird, who gives his name to a new hospital dedicated to the care of women and their babies in North East Scotland: the Baird Family Hospital, built to replace the long-serving Aberdeen Maternity Hospital. Looking to the future as well as celebrating the past, all royalties earned from sales of Bringing Life to Aberdeen will be donated to the new neonatal unit in the Baird Family Hospital.

You can buy Bringing Life to Aberdeen: A History of Maternity and Neonatal here


Ian Crockatt - 'Skald – Sword & Sea-Cloud'

Book cover: Skald - Sword & Sea Cloud - Ian Crockatt

Ian Crockatt graduated with an MLitt in Creative Writing in 2010.

Ian is a Scottish poet and translator. He was born in Perth, Scotland and now lives in Aberdeenshire. He has published several volumes of poetry including Flood Alert, Original Myths (shortlisted for the Scottish Book of the Year Award), and The Lyrical Beast.

As a translator, Ian won the Schlegel-Tieck Prize for his translation of Rainer Maria Rilke's poetry, published in 2012 under the title Pure Contradiction. He is pursuing a PhD at the University of Aberdeen’s Centre for Scandinavian Studies and his doctoral thesis is on translating skaldic verse from the Orkneyinga Saga.

His recent work Skald – Sword & Sea-Cloud explores the forms of Old Norse skaldic poetry.

Skald – Sword & Sea-Cloud

Ian Crockatt has published two superb translations of Viking poetry with Arc- Crimsoning the Eagle's Claw: the Viking Poems of Rognvaldr Kali Kolsson, Earl of Orkney and The Song Weigher: the Complete Poems of Egill Skallagrimsson, Tenth Century Viking & Skald - and in this chapbook he uses the same highly-wrought form developed by the Skalds (the professional poets employed by the kings and earls of the Viking courts of the 9th to 13th centuries) to tell a quasi-Viking tale set in the landscapes and seascapes once under Viking control - the West Coast of Scotland where he used to live, and the north-east corner of Scotland where he now lives.

You can purchase Skald – Sword & Sea-Cloud here.

Lesley Harrison - 'Disappearance: North Sea Poems'

Book cover: Life of a Successful Failure

Lesley Harrison graduated with an MLitt in Creative Writing in 2012.

Lesley grew up in Dundee, lived for a while in Orkney, and has now settled again on the north east coast. She has worked and travelled in some of the world’s more remote places, and through her poems explores how it is to live in these environments. A year spent in Mongolia and China influenced her second poetry pamphlet, One Bird Flying.

Disappearance is Lesley Harrison’s first full-length collection, bringing together new work which examines the coastline and our uneasy, unresolved relationship with the waters that surround us.


Disappearance: North Sea Poems

Around the northern North Sea rim, the coastal margin is constantly being made and unmade by vast weather systems and currents that begin thousands of miles away. Drawing from archives, folk myth and cultural memory, these poems make real our sense of living at the edge of an older, sub-polar world, and the ongoing human process of negotiation with, of giving meaning and scale to, this unstable and ultimately unknowable space.


You can buy Disappearance: North Sea Poems here.

Tom Hubbard - 'The Devil and Michael Scot: A Gallimaufry of Fife and Beyond'

Tom Hubbard was born in Kirkcaldy, the grandson of the Kirkcaldy Member of Parliament, Thomas Hubbard. After obtaining first class honours (MA, PhD) from the University of Aberdeen and a Diploma in Librarianship from Strathclyde University, Dr Hubbard worked at the Scottish Poetry Library  from 1984–1992  and as a visiting lecturer at the universities of Grenoble, Connecticut, Budapest (ELTE), and North Carolina.

The Devil and Michael Scot: A Gallimaufry of Fife and Beyond

This book offers you a virtual tour of much of Fife, mainly of its ‘fringe of gold’. It starts just west of Newburgh at the border with Perthshire and ends at the Kincardine Bridge, with substantial forays inland. The county’s international bearings are highlighted, with poetry and prose invoking ancestral ‘Fifers’ such as the Russian poet Mikhaïl Lermontov and the American novelist Herman Melville of 'Moby-Dick'. Goethe’s 'Faust' finds a Scottish accent of sorts (as also the Shakespeare of 'Macbeth' and 'The Tempest'), and Alexander Pushkin unknowingly borrows a tale from Dunfermline’s Robert Henrysoun. The centre-piece, which provides the title of our gallimaufry, is a play based on the vicissitudes of Michael Scot of Balwearie, the medieval polymath famous in both legend and history, and centering on his pact with the devil. More recent local heroes are celebrated, not least Joe Corrie of 'In Time o’ Strife'.

You can purchase The Devil and Michael Scot: A Gallimaufry of Fife and Beyond here.

Steve Lang - 'Cuarentena'

Steve Lang graduated from the University of Aberdeen in 1990 with MA (Hons) in English Literature and Language and Scottish Literature. He is a teacher of English Literature and, for the past 7 years, a school administrator. From Scotland originally, Steve has travelled widely, especially in sub-Saharan Africa and is now Director of the Academia Britanica Cuscatleca in El Salvador, where he lives with his wife and three children. “Cuarentena” is his second collection of poetry, following on from “Heavenly Hurt”, published in 2016.

Cuarentena: A Collection of Forty Poems

The forty poems in Cuarentena explore orchids and archangels, saints and serpents, walruses and watchmen; they are uncompromisingly honest yet carefully crafted. Throughout the series, a clear, resonant voice accompanies us on a journey from biblical Babylon to the bowels of an overrun COVID hospital in El Salvador. This is ambitious poetry—challenging, lyrical, and poignant—that lays bare our human frailty but ultimately celebrates our resilience.

You can buy Cuarentena here.

Ian A. Olson - 'Facing The Persians'

Facing the PersiansIan Olson (MBChB 1962, MD 1969, DHC 2006) is a long-retired doctor, trained at the University of Aberdeen's medical school, whose career largely in medical science and education took him to England and the Middle East.

He has a parallel career in Scottish traditional culture, especially its history and balladry, writing in both popular and academic journals, and singing before the Edinburgh International Festival.

He is currently an Honorary Research Fellow, University of Aberdeen.

Facing the Persians

Ian Olson has distilled sixty years of writing and publishing both poetry and song into this book, calling on Greek, Scottish and French history, employing also at times Scottish and Irish Gaelic, modern and classical Greek, Latin and French.

Buy Facing The Persians here.

Shane Strachan - 'Nevertheless' & 'DWAMS'

Shane Strachan graduated with an MA in English Language & Linguistics in 2010 and earned his PHD in English in 2015. Shane is a writer and performer based in Aberdeen. Much of his work is inspired by the Northeast of Scotland and its relationship with the wider world. 

Shane was awarded Scots Champion at the 2023 Scots Language Awards following his year as the National Library of Scotland’s Scots Scriever writer-in-residence. His previous works include the  ‘The Shelter’ staged with the National Theatre of Scotland, and multiple poems and stories in Gutter, New Writing Scotland, Northwords NowStand and various anthologies. His poetry has also appeared on BBC Radio 4 and in Aberdeen Art Gallery and V&A Dundee. He now lectures in Creative Writing at the University of Aberdeen.

In April 2024 he published his eagerly awaited first collection of poetry titled, 'DWAMS'.



In a spectrum of voices across Scots and English, the poems in DWAMS concern themselves with the climate emergency and just transition, rising xenophobia, and with queer romance and sex, in a groundbreaking debut collection from North East Scottish writer and poet Shane Strachan. The collection looks anew at the city of Aberdeen and the wider North East region’s industrial heritage, moving across time and place, from mountains and farmland to city and sea.

You can purchase DWAMS here.



August 1937: Nineteen-year-old Muriel Spark is making her way from Edinburgh to Southern Rhodesia in search of a new life with her husband-to-be. What she discovers is a country of divides, the sharpest between husband and wife. When the world goes to war around her, she must find and follow her literary destiny to survive.

November 2016: Duncan, a young Scottish doctor from Aberdeen, unknowingly traces Spark’s steps in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe and similarly faces up to the reality of life in the edge.

Nevertheless is a series of short fictions published in celebration of Muriel Spark’s centenary in 2018, with support from Creative Scotland. Best known as the author of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Dame Muriel Spark was a poet, writer of fiction, criticism and literary biography, and was at the top of her profession, internationally, for more than half a century.

You can purchase Nevertheless here.

Marcas Mac an Tuairneir (Mark Spencer Turner) - 'Deò '

Deo - Marcas Mac an TuairneirMarcas Mac an Tuairneir (Mark Spencer Turner) (MA Gaelic Studies & Hispanic Studies, 2008) writes poetry, prose, drama and journalism, in Gaelic and English, and splits his time between Edinburgh and his hometown of York. 

He has two full collections in print: Deò (2013, Grace Note Publications) and Lus na Tùise (Lavender) (2016, Bradan Press), as well as beul-fo-bhonn (heelster-gowdie), a pamphlet co-written with Stuart A. Paterson (2017, Tapsalteerie).
Marcas’ poetry has been published in various journals and short-listed for several poetry prizes including Duais Filíochta Dhúbhglas de hÍde and Comórtas Filíochta an Chornéil Eoghain Uí Néill. In 2017 he won the Wigtown Book Festival prize for Gaelic Poetry.


In Deò, Marcas Mac an Tuairneir, an up and coming young poet, released his first collection of poems in Scottish Gaelic. This book is fully bilingual Gaelic – English.

Buy Deò here.

Ginna Wilkerson - 'Odd Remains'

Book cover: Odd Remains - Ginna Wilkerson

Ginna Wilkerson earned a PHD in Creative Writing in 2013.

Ginna’s full poetry collection, Odd Remains, was released in August of 2013 and she has had many journal publications both in Scotland and in the US. Her style of poetry is surrealist, both narrative and lyric, and she writes and teaches both traditional forms and contemporary free verse. Ginna’s work tends to be fantasy or horror focused and she has had academic journal publications in the area of cultural myth and fantasy literature.

She currently teaches at Ringling College of Art and Design and spends most of her time working on writing, photography, and mixed media art.


Odd Remains

Odd Remains is a collection of surreally dark and introspective poems.

Themes of hiding, despair and violence reflect the underside of the human experience told in the language of contemporary poetry. Both lyric and narrative poems often incorporate a ‘slipstream’ style, focusing on a strange element inserted into ordinary events. This collection will surprise, occasionally shock, and always intrigue the thoughtful, reflective reader.


You can view Ginna's available work here.