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12 Books in 12 Months

writing books and blogging about it

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st andrews

May Reads

Could it really be June already? Yes, obviously it is. So here’s my thoroughly exciting roundup of what went on at 12 Books Towers during May. Hang on to your hats.

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Scotland’s Favourite Book

The Scottish Book Trust and BBC Scotland recently conducted a poll to determine Scotland’s Favourite Book. Scotland, I do not agree with the choice we made. So much so that I felt compelled to blog about it. Blogging effects change, right? This is basically the National Collective all over again.

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End of Year Review: The Plots

My festive stay in Perthshire sans graphics tablet has been prolonged, so the comic isn’t finished.  However, it’s a year to the day since I registered the 12 books in 12 months domain name, so it seems like a good time to reflect on how it’s gone.

With that in mind, American novelist Alison Walkley came across 12 books in November, and asked if there was a post explaining the plots of each book.

There is now.

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The Nephrop

Short story the first.  On Sunday I went to St Andrews to convene with my family on the grounds that birthdays were had by my dad and my brother and it was a good middle ground on which to meet.  After lunch we went for a drink at the Whey Pat, whereon I was entranced by the mad design skills of the Real Ale Society (there’s a university society for everything you can imagine at St Andrews because it’s not the most happening of places, so one’s own entertainment must be made).  This story was inspired by their poster.  Oh, and the word ‘nephrop’ means lobster in Latin.

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James Yorkston at Edinburgh Book Festival

There is a copy of singer James Yorkston’s book, It’s Lovely To Be Here: The Touring Diaries of a Scottish Gent, in our house.  I know because I bought it as a birthday present for my flat mate, who says it’s very good. Unfortunately I haven’t borrowed it yet, mainly because my mighty pyramid of to-read books is so enormous it hurts my brain.  Still, that didn’t stop me going to see Mr Yorkston talking about it with Ian Rankin at the book festival over the weekend.

It was a great event, the atmosphere was very friendly and there was cheery banter aplenty.  After a brief overview of his new guitar (made from Tazmanian blackwood, spruce and Brazilian Rosewood), Rankin began by asking about Yorkston’s background.

He grew up in Fife and attended Madras college in St Andrews, a few years below Kenny (King Creosote) Anderson and amongst such luminaries as KT Tunstall and Steve Mason from The Beta Band.  Listening to him describe his early years “dancing with my across the road neighbour, Vic Galloway (a BBC Scotland presenter and DJ) like dafties on the lawn,” it strikes me the East Neuk is overdue an Almost Famous style look at the music scene – there are so many artists compressed into that area it’s a bit ridiculous.

Apparently Yorkston wrote his first song at the age of 8, him on electric guitar and Galloway on banjo. “It went, baa baa goes the cow, moo moo goes the sheep, woof woof goes the hippopotamus and they all went to sleep.”

I felt exactly like Cameron Crowe as I typed that up, seriously.  This could work.

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36 Hours of Poetry and Literature

It’s all go in the Forest Cafe over the next 36 hours as 3 Bristo Place hosts a pair of epic marathons in performance and writing.

I had hoped to join in with the latter, ominously titled They Shoot Writers, Don’t They? But unfortunately prior engagements (work today and a mega exciting interview on Friday, more on which after it happens) got in the way and I can’t make it.  Still, I’m planning to pop in and out of the forest for the latter part of the event, and hopefully I will be blogging about it in a live stylee.

Here’s the background, courtesy of Rachel from Inky Fingers:

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