It's hard to get going in a new year with winter storms continuing to bash us about, but when it comes to books, there is always much to get excited by! Let us ring your bell with brilliant new voices, fantastic fiction, poetry, history and children's books, delicious recipes and celebrations of our legendary literary past.

We at BooksfromScotland have been excited about the Poor Things film ever since we heard of its release, and it doesn’t disappoint. But, as ever, the novel from which it is adapted is a richer, warmer and braver experience. The fine folk at the Alasdair Gray Archive have put together a fantastic interactive guide to the novel on their website, which we urge you to visit. In the meantime, here’s an extract from this guide, written by Grace Richardson, taking a closer look at Bella Baxter.


Poor Things By Alasdair Gray Published by Bloomsbury Extract by Grace Richardson


Bella Baxter: Gorgeous Monster Part One 

Poor Things is overflowing with political debate, ethical negotiations, and discussions of social issues, all of which are overarched by the novel’s focus on gender politics. One of the poor things who is most often affected by these concerns is Bella Baxter. The novel, a satire on the politics and social dynamics of the Victorian era, foregrounds male desire that is in contention with the social and sexual liberation of women in the 19th century. It is a conflict embodied in ‘the woman question’, a debate which scrutinised the changing political and economic status of Victorian women and responded to their increasing demand for social and sexual autonomy. The novel’s multiple narratives mean that there is no singular truth presented, instead it is more important the reader understands the world of ...


David Robinson is, as ever, thoroughly impressed by Louise Welsh as she confounds genre expectations in her latest novel, To The Dogs.


To The Dogs By Louise Welsh Published by Canongate


‘It’s only January, but the bar for this year’s McIlvanney Prize is intimidatingly high already.’ That’s how I signed off my review of Louise Welsh’s The Second Cut two years ago, and as long as she keeps writing classy novels that can be vaguely categorised as crime and as long as Canongate keep bringing them out in January, there’s always going to be a danger of me repeating myself. 




Sleekit click


‘I live on, I play on the souls/ Of many from where heather grows’


The Kavya Prize – The Winning Pieces click

The Kavya Prize – The Winning Pieces

‘You are a little surprised to see her at the reading of your own book.’


The Bumblebee Garden: Q & A with Author and Illustrator click

The Bumblebee Garden: Q & A with Author and Illustrator

‘I wonder if, perhaps, humans (as mammals) naturally feel a special sense of affection for small furry creatures, like the chubby fuzzy bumblebee.’


The Salt and the Flame click

The Salt and the Flame

‘She noted his wave of black hair, the slimness of his frame, ignoring the words of other Lewismen who stood behind and in front of her, aware that, with the advent of nerves and fears at the prospect …


Clairmont: Q & A with Lesley McDowell click

Clairmont: Q & A with Lesley McDowell

‘It’s the summer that will change her life – she wrote that she had had “ten minutes of happy passion” but that that those ten minutes had discombobulated “the rest of my life”.’


Café Canna click

Café Canna

‘Everybody loves a fish pie! This is our version.’


All the Violet Tiaras: Queering the Greek Myths click

All the Violet Tiaras: Queering the Greek Myths

‘Ancient Greek myth and culture has infiltrated the way in which we talk about queer literature in the twenty- first century, particularly online.’


10 Scotland Street: Q & A with Leslie Hills click

10 Scotland Street: Q & A with Leslie Hills

‘My research started really by chance, and became an ongoing pleasure, not to say, obsession.’


Ava Anna Ada click

Ava Anna Ada

‘In the car, I decided to try her out for size. I needed to know how much like Ada she could be.’


Kevin the Orange click

Kevin the Orange

‘I have decided that from now on I want to be BLUE.’


The Kavya Prize – The Highly Commended click

The Kavya Prize – The Highly Commended

‘Night is quieter. Night times in the hospital is like living inside a robot. All kinds of beeps and wires and the whole building buzzes with a kind of sad, frantic energy.’


Who’s Aldo? click

Who’s Aldo?

‘Only then dae ah decide tae bow tae fate by steppin through the automated double doors.’


Green New Worlds click

Green New Worlds

‘Climate change is real, there is no denying that.’


The Hotel Hokusai click

The Hotel Hokusai

‘The thought that there was something about him I did not like was dangerous.’


James Clerk Maxwell: Faith, Church and Physics click

James Clerk Maxwell: Faith, Church and Physics

‘Einstein esteemed Maxwell so highly that an image of the Scottish scientist adorned the wall of his study at Princeton.’