Edinburgh Events and Reading Groups

We're delighted to bring our all-year-round Literary Festival to our new bookshop in Edinburgh. We have a packed calendar which ranges from readings in the bookshop to evenings with literary stars.

Taking the Plunge: Anna Deacon and Vicky Allan

Thursday 23rd January, 8pm

*Please note the new, larger venue. If you are on the waiting list, we will be in touch!* Wild swimming changes lives. The thrill of plunging – or dipping a toe – into open water brings joy, confidence, adventure and friendship. It can wash away stress and sadness, pain and grief. Here water is a […] See more »

Salley Vickers

Monday 27th January, 8pm

*This is rescheduled from December 2019. If you have already booked a place, it is still valid.* The new novel from Salley Vickers, Grandmothers is the story of three very different women and their relationship with the younger generation: fiercely independent Nan, who leads a secret life as an award-winning poet when she is not […] See more »

Doug Johnstone with Val McDermid

Thursday 30th January, 8pm

Meet the Skelfs: well-known Edinburgh family, proprietors of a long-established funeral-home business, and private investigators… When patriarch Jim dies, it’s left to his wife Dorothy, daughter Jenny and granddaughter Hannah to take charge of both businesses, kicking off an unexpected series of events. Dorothy discovers mysterious payments to another woman, suggesting that Jim wasn’t the […] See more »

Ray Perman: ‘When the City Went Bust, from 300 Years of Edinburgh Finance’

Wednesday 5th February, 8pm

It started and ended with a financial catastrophe. The Darien disaster of 1700 drove Scotland into union with England, but spawned the institutions which transformed Edinburgh into a global financial centre. The crash of 2008 wrecked the city’s two largest and oldest banks – and its reputation. In the three intervening centuries, Edinburgh became a […] See more »

Debut fiction: Molly Aitken

Monday 10th February, 8pm

Twenty years ago, Oona left the island of Inis for the very first time. A wind-blasted rock of fishing boats and turf fires, where girls stayed in their homes until they became mothers themselves, the island was a gift for some, a prison for others. Oona was barely more than a girl, but promised herself […] See more »

Bettany Hughes

Tuesday 11th February, 8pm

Through ancient art, evocative myth, exciting archaeological revelations and philosophical explorations Bettany Hughes’s Venus and Aphrodite shows why the Goddess of Love endures through to the twenty-first century, and what her journey through time reveals about what matters to us as humans. Charting Venus’s origins in powerful ancient deities, Bettany demonstrates that Venus is far […] See more »

Children’s Event: Ross MacKenzie with Evernight

Sunday 16th February, 10.30am

An exciting and mysterious event for our younger readers! Orphan Larabelle Fox stumbles across a strange wooden box while treasure-hunting in the sewers of King’s Haven. Little does she realise she is about to be catapulted into an adventure, facing wild magic and mortal danger – and a man who casts no shadow… Prepare for […] See more »

Kate Spicer: Eight Things That Only Dog Owners Know

Monday 17th February, 8pm

Writer and journalist Kate Spicer is a middle-aged woman trying to steer some order into a life that is going off the rails. When she adopts a lurcher called Wolfy, the shabby rescue dog saves her from herself. A brilliant, life-affirming tragicomic memoir, Lost Dog is a love story, a myth of modern womanhood, and […] See more »

Olga Wojtas Book Launch

Tuesday 18th February, 8pm

The intrepid librarian Shona McMonagle, erstwhile Marcia Blaine Academy prefect and an accomplished linguist and martial artist, finds herself in an isolated French mountain village, Sans-Soleil, which has no sunlight because of its topography. It’s reeling from a spate of unexplained deaths, and Shona has once again travelled back in time to help out. Forging […] See more »

T F Muir and James Oswald

Thursday 20th February, 8pm

Join us for an event with two much-loved Scottish crime writers: James Oswald and T F Muir. T F Muir continues his Andy Gilchrist series with Dead Still. With another murder for St Andrews CID, Muir (as the Daily Record said) ‘might just be the bloke to put St Andrews on the crime fiction map’. […] See more »

Gill Hornby on Miss Austen

Thursday 27th February, 8pm

Based on a literary mystery that has long puzzled biographers and academics, Gill Hornby’s wonderfully original, emotionally complex novel delves into why Cassandra burned a treasure trove of letters written by her sister, Jane Austen. 1840: twenty three years after the death of her famous sister Jane, Cassandra Austen returns to the village of Kintbury, […] See more »

Giovanna Fletcher

Sunday 1st March, 8pm

From the author of number one bestselling Happy Mum, Happy Baby and the chart-topping podcast of the same name, comes a beautiful collection of heartfelt and deeply personal letters written to her three young sons Buzz, Buddy and Max, husband, Tom, and the family and friends who have inspired and supported her to become the mother that […] See more »

Annie Gray

Monday 2nd March, 8pm

There are around 1000 biographies of Winston Churchill, lauding his character and his deeds. Very few point out that it is much easier to be a leading statesman if you have someone behind you, picking up your pants. But up til now Winston’s servants have been largely invisible, including the crucial figure of his favourite […] See more »

Kenny MacAskill on ‘Radical Scotland’

Thursday 5th March, 8pm

The Political Martyrs memorial in Edinburgh looms large on the city’s skyline but its history is relatively unknown – and that is not by accident. As Edinburgh’s New Town was constructed, a narrative of kilts and loyalty was created for Scotland, with its radical history deliberately excluded. The French Revolution lit a spark in Scotland, […] See more »

Sally Magnusson

Monday 23rd March, 8pm

Long a familiar face on our TV screens, broadcaster and journalist Sally Magnusson published her debut novel, The Sealwoman’s Gift, to great acclaim in 2018. Now we are delighted to welcome her to Edinburgh to celebrate a new and absorbing tale. The Ninth Child blends fact with fiction, folklore with historical realism in a spellbinding […] See more »

Tim Anderson on ‘Vegan Japaneasy’

Thursday 26th March, 8pm

Believe it or not, Japanese cuisine in general is actually quite vegan-friendly, and many dishes can be made vegan with just a simple substitution or two. You can enjoy the same big, bold, salty-sweet-spicy-rich-umami recipes of modern Japanese soul food without so much as glancing down the meat and dairy aisles. And best of all, […] See more »

Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley: ‘Falastin’

Monday 30th March, 8pm

Falastin is a love letter to Palestine, the land and its people; an evocative collection of over 110 unforgettable recipes and stories from the co-authors of Jerusalem and Ottolenghi: The Cookbook, and Ottolenghi SIMPLE. Travelling through Bethlehem, East Jerusalem, Nablus, Haifa, Akka, Nazareth, Galilee and the West Bank, Sami and Tara invite you to experience […] See more »

John Carey on ‘A Little History of Poetry’

Tuesday 31st March, 8pm

Professor John Carey is one of our greatest champions of literature, sharing his passionate learning and reading over a long and distinguished career. In his latest book, A Little History of Poetry, he asks what is poetry? If music is sound organised in a particular way, poetry is then a way of organising language. It […] See more »

Frances Leviston’s Fiction Debut

Thursday 9th April, 8pm

The first work of fiction from award-winning poet Frances Leviston offers a startling and powerful insight into contemporary womanhood. Ten women, all called Claire, are tangled up in complex power dynamics with their families, friends, and lovers. Though all are different ages, and leading different lives, each is haunted by the difficulty of living on […] See more »

James Naughtie

Thursday 23rd April, 8pm

James Naughtie, the acclaimed author and BBC broadcaster, now brings his unique and inquisitive eye to the country that has fascinated him and drawn him across the Atlantic for half a century. In looking at America, from Presidents Nixon through to Trump, he tells the story of a country that is grappling with a dream. […] See more »

Maggie O’Farrell

Thursday 7th May, 8pm

Award-winning novelist Maggie O’Farrell celebrates her new novel based on the death of Shakespeare’s son, Hamnet, and the writing of the play that bore his name.  In a beautiful imagining of the short life of the boy and the untold story of his wife “Agnes” Hathaway, O’Farrell has written a profound exploration of the healing […] See more »

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