This month, it's time to puff out our chests, walk tall and look up to the spring sunshine. And we have a fantastic array of books that will help you do just that! Read on for new fiction, poetry and children's books, as well as travel writing, memoir and books on wellbeing that celebrate nature, family, ambition, and adventure.

David Robinson finds the beauty of church, art, and community in Peter Ross’s latest travelogue, Steeple Chasing.


Steeple Chasing: Around Britain by Church By Peter Ross Published by Headline


At the last four funerals I have been to, there hasn’t been a single hymn. I shouldn’t be too surprised: the growing unpopularity of Christian rituals of death is one of the signs of our times. As an example, consider this: direct cremations (no service, no mourners) used to be almost unheard of – even murderers and paupers got some sort of ceremonial send-off into the afterlife. Now they account for one in four of all funerals.

That’s how we are with death these days: increasingly, we’re giving it the cold, secular shoulder. We don’t want religious funerals in churches or chapels (none of my last four were), so the numbers have dropped by 80 per cent in the last decade. Bad news for the clergy and undertakers is good news for supermarkets and off-licences: according to the Co-op – which conducts 100,000 funerals a year – 21 per cent of us feel that the wake is more important than the funeral service.

So where does this leave Britain’s churches, those great traditional portals on the infinite?  If we have lost faith in Christianity so much that we don’t even want to use its rites at the one moment when they might offer consolation, what’s the point in keeping churches open in the first place? As congregations dwindle and roof repair bills rise, can they ever be anything more than a costly irrelevance?

Such questions are at the heart of Peter Ross’s Steeple Chasing, an ecclesiastical echo of his graveyard explorations in A Tomb With A View, which went on to win the 2021 Saltire Non-Fiction Book of the Year award. The titular pun indicates that this is to be a journalistic journey: with 16,000 Ang...


Mother Sea is an evocative fantasy-tinged novel about an island community facing extinction. BooksfromScotland got in touch with author Lorraine Wilson to ask her to tell us how she created her fictional world.


Mother Sea By Lorraine Wilson Published by Fairlight Books


Building An Island 

My new book, Mother Sea, was my first time inventing a country. It is a real world story set on a fictitious island in the Indian Ocean. I’m hardly the first author to create new land for the purposes of storytelling, in fact I am writing this just days after a friend and fellow Scotti...



Weak Teeth click

Weak Teeth

‘A tooth is a sacrifice, a charm. It is a tool for survival. It is a perfectly natural part of the human organism. It is a tusk. A hunk of bone-like substance that protrudes from the flesh. Horrifying …


The Book … According to Nadine Aisha Jassat click

The Book … According to Nadine Aisha Jassat

‘Writing the novel began with two things: wanting to write about a young, mixed girl who wanted desperately to understand herself and who she was, and wanting to write about a granddaughter and her gr …


Music in the Dark: A Q & A with Sally Magnusson click

Music in the Dark: A Q & A with Sally Magnusson

‘And yes, I wanted Jamesina Ross to be concerned with bearing witness, because that mattered to people then and it matters now, as much as ever.’


Alan Windram Reads One Button Benny and the Dinosaur Dilemma click

Alan Windram Reads One Button Benny and the Dinosaur Dilemma

‘Every Friday all of the robots would gather together for a huge party, with lots of food, lots of music, and lots of robot dancing.’


Our Hideous Progeny click

Our Hideous Progeny

‘He stretched out his hand and that was the final spark that lit the flare.’


Pages From My Passport: A Q & A with Amelia Dalton click

Pages From My Passport: A Q & A with Amelia Dalton

‘I love introducing people to places and experiences they would not have come across on their own.’


Kitchen Music click

Kitchen Music

‘bees and melons a steel bridge, the Hudson blank between the walls.’


The Ghost Cat click

The Ghost Cat

‘Why if a cat has nine lives, reserved for misadventure and poor luck, I dare say I am still on my first . . .’


Letters From Elsinore click

Letters From Elsinore

‘It was never a love affair, it was a conspiracy of sorts, a well-woven lie. He was never going to rescue me, to sweep me up with him onto his white charger and carry me off and out of Denmark and cha …


The Wild Swimmer of Kintail: An Interview with Kellan Macinnes click

The Wild Swimmer of Kintail: An Interview with Kellan Macinnes

‘My dream is that one day ticking off the hill lochs on Macrow’s list will become as popular as doing the Munros is today!’


Redeeming Our Cracks click

Redeeming Our Cracks

‘We don’t need to be healed. We need society to reconcile itself to our presence. Are you ready to be part of that change?’


Walter’s Wonky Web click

Walter’s Wonky Web

‘”I’ve spun my very first web and it’s turned out all WONKY!”‘