There is a distinctly Scottish feel to our first bookshelf of 2016 with true stories from Scots in the Great War, a look at the poems of the same period, as well as a comic set in Edinburgh and real and imagined lives in Scotland and beyond.
|Author||Arthur D. Bethune (edited by David R. Bethune)|
|Degree||MBChB (BSc Physics)|
|Book||A Doctor Remembers - a lifetime in rural practice|
Do you want to read about the amputated leg stolen by a stray dog, or about footplate rides to Riccarton Junction, or adventures on rural roads in the snow? Dr Arthur Bethune describes his career as a rural GP, from his student days in Edinburgh during the war, through short spells in SW Scotland, the Outer Hebrides and Leicestershire, to his lifetime work in “Copshawholm” (Newcastleton). Amusing incidents from the ups and downs of being a country doctor are interwoven with reflection on the faith which motivated him throughout his life, in this fascinating illustrated autobiography.
The book is dedicated to the Newcastleton Community First Responders, and to “the superb team of Social Work carers in Newcastleton”, with all the profit going to support the First Responders in the village. As Dr Bethune says, “they do so much of the ‘out-of-hours’ work that we old doctors used to do”.
|Author||W Elliot Bulmer|
|Degree||Arabic and Politics|
A Constitution for the Common Good
Picking up where he left off in his book A Model Constitution, Bulmer argues that democracy, good governance, human rights and public values in Scotland are central to the constitutional future of Scotland. Providing a recent history of the Scottish Government’s Constitutional Policy since 2011, Bulmer asks what exactly is the ‘common good’ and what type of constitution would serve it, while also addressing questions of poverty, wealth, inequality and democracy.
In this revised edition, Bulmer considers the results of the referendum and suggests some intermediate positions between devolution and independence following the No vote in September 2014.
|Author||Alexander McCall Smith|
|Book||Chance Developments: Unexpected Love Stories|
It is said that a picture may be worth a thousand words but an old photograph can inspire many more. In this beguiling book, Alexander McCall Smith casts his eye over five chanced-upon photographs from the era of black-and-white photography and imagines the stories behind them. Who were those people, what were their stories, why are they smiling, what made them sad?
What emerges are surprising and poignant tales of love and friendship in a variety of settings an estate in the Highlands of Scotland, a travelling circus in Canada, an Australian gold-mining town, a village in Ireland, and the Scottish capital, Edinburgh. Some will find joy and fulfilment others would prefer happier endings. Each of them, though, will find love, and that is ultimately what matters.
|Book||A Dirty Swindle: True Stories of Scots in the Great War|
Walter Stephen provides an uninhibited look at the misery and toil of World War I through a collection of twelve stories. Providing a Scottish perspective, he takes a look at reports from home and abroad with scepticism, delving deeper to unveil the unencumbered truth. Recalling Siegfried Sassoon’s words, Stephen reveals the failures of those in command as the Great War became known as A Dirty Swindle.
The varied accounts chronicle the progress of troops from recruitment to training to the frontline, as well as revealing a side of Field Marshal Haig never seen before.
|Author||Commentraries by Yvonne McEwen|
|Book||Beneath Troubled Skies: Poems of Scotland at War, 1914–1918|
The story of Scotland at war in the poetry of the time, in English, Gaelic and Scots, by servicemen, volunteers, and those on the home front. Wellknown soldier poets like E.A. Mackintosh, Dòmhnall Ruadh Chorùna and Joseph Lee are joined by others who fought with their pens to chronicle and comment on the war, among them Mary Symon, Neil Munro and Margaret Sackville.
The book is in chronological order, following the war as it develops, with introductions to each year by Yvonne McEwen. From the very first ‘Sough o’ War’ sweeping through the land to conflicting attitudes to volunteering; from the despair of the trenches to the anguish of the bereaved; from unexpected humour to hatred to comradeship; from women at work to men shattered by conflict; from the appalling tragedies of Gretna and the Iolaire to sorrow for a generation cast into the fire, and a last angry condemnation of the human race. This anthology traces the progress of Scotland’s war through poetry written by serving soldiers and those on the home front. Includes Charles Hamilton Sorley, E.A. Mackintosh, R.Watson Kerr, Joseph Lee, Charles Murray, May Wedderburn Cannan, Mary Symon.
|Author||Sean Michael Wilson|
The Story of Lee: Volume 2
The second installment in the popular series is a cross-cultural partnership melding East and West.
Finally Lee’s dream comes true, as she moves from her native Hong Kong to her dream location of the United Kingdom and with her dream guy, the handsome Matt. But of course, then comes the reality of being in a new country and actually living together, which might not be so easy, especially as Matt’s best friend, Richard, seems more than a little jealous. This second installment in the Story of Lee series beautifully showcases the complications of romance in a graphic novel format.
From Sean Michael Wilson:
It is set in Edinburgh, Scotland - my hometown, and features many real places there, just as volume 1 had many real Hong Kong places. There is an appendix at the back explaining more about those real Edinburgh places.
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