For obvious reasons, shared probably with most of the blogosphere, I’m avoiding bookshops … Except when I’m at literary festivals or a chance encounter on a city highstreet. 😉 And then I’m not browsing, not book hunting. Though it might be said the books hunt me!
I spent an inordinate amount of time in the quirky Ayewrite popup bookshop during April. (I’ve written about it before.). Quirky it may be but I always find something unusual and completely new-to-me that somehow transfers from bookshelf to bookbag. This year was no different.
Let’s take it from the top.
Tartan Noir claims to be the definitive guide to Scottish Crime fiction and a quick scan of the contents page shows four sections dealing with The Detective Novel, The Police Novel, The Serial Killer Novel and The Noir Novel. Each of those sections in divided into four: a discussion of the particular sub-genre, a discussion of the Scottish variant, a roundup of the Scottish representatives and finally detailed analysis of stirling examples of such. This is going to be a fascinating and dangerous read. Fascinating as I will be able to compare Wanner’s analysis with Oxford’s Very Short Introduction to Crime Fiction which OUP very kindly sent recently. Dangerous because I’m not widely read in Tartan Noir and I suspect that I’ll be taking up Wanner’s recommendations as I go. It may take me a decade to read this cover to cover!
The book in the middle, Potter’s Field, is written by a new voice to Tartan Noir, although Chris Dolan is no beginner when it comes to crime writing. He was one of the screenwriters of Taggart, a seminal Scottish detective series. Strapline “There’s been a murder.” I desperately wanted to go to his event, which was one of four openers; 3 of which were tempting. Unlike Hermione Granger, however, I had to settle for one. So I chose to attend Andy Miller’s “Read yerself fitter.” and to buy Chris Dolan’s novel.
Finally a glossy coffee table book chronicling surprisingly glorious interiors of buildings within Glasgow. Not just the iconic buildings that simply take you breathe away (that’s Glasgow City Chambers on the front cover) but lesser known interiors that impress in their own way. Pubs, restaurants, tenements, churches, shopping malls all with stunning architectural features, knowledgably described and gloriously photographed. As spring finally springs, and dry weekends are not for staying in the house, I have a wealth of new places to visit. One thing to say though, there is no Mackintosh in these pages. A deliberate omission by the authors who state there are plenty of other publications dealing with his work. Their objective was to highlight the wealth of other architectural wonders in what was once the second city of the Empire.
So a very Scottish trio, that I’m looking forward to reading over the summer.
They’ll have to wait though because another trio and country is claiming my immediate attention. That’s because spring has sprung and I have wanderlust. Places to visit and not just for the weekend. Destinations?