Alumni Services

November 2020

Compelling fiction and thought-provoking research make up the last Alumni Bookshelf of 2020.



Dorothy Cottrell

Degree Maths and Science

In a Class of Her Own

Dorothy says: "I have been writing books for years about my experiences while teaching abroad. This book is a true account of what I experienced while teaching in two countries in the Middle East and in Singapore. However, I not only gave myself a different name, I also changed all of the names and sometimes the genders of the other characters. As well as other references to the university, included in the part about Singapore are descriptions of the two occasions when I attended gatherings there of the alumni of the University of Edinburgh."

Dorothy's website


Author Ian Godden

Chemical Engineering 


Scotland 2070 - Healthy, Wealthy and Wise. An Ambitious Vision for Scotland Without the Politics

What kind of Scotland do we imagine for our children and grandchildren? Where can we find inspiration? Certainly not in today’s punch-bag politics!

In a world reeling from a global pandemic, facing an inevitable climate crisis and a host of social and financial troubles, it’s easy to feel discouraged. Yet, plenty of interesting and exciting opportunities lie ahead, if only one knows where to look. This accessibly-written book intrigues and inspires, blending story-telling with factual writing to describe six big opportunities: the Arctic Sea Ice Melting; planting 5 billion trees in Scotland; becoming a major renewable energy exporter; investing in healthcare, marine and AI; tripling R&D; treating Scotland as a virtual mid-sized world city. Three visionary themes: looking North, not South; stewarding the Land, Air and Sea much more effectively; and becoming again one of the world’s most innovative nations.

Scotland can succeed in the new world if it acts decisively and ambitiously to focus on new opportunities that we can see emerging. These opportunities are there whatever our political choices. Success requires a 50-year view. Co-authored by Hillary Sillitto and Dorothy Godden.

Scotland 2070



Cathy Gunn

Degree Business Administration

Felix Unbound

Did you ever wonder what might happen if your cat turned human? When feisty Tiffany loses her temper with boyfriend Anthony, and accidentally topples a set of inherited Egyptian figurines, ancient forces take their mischievous revenge...and grant her careless wish that men were more like her tabby cat Felix.

It’s fun at first, as Tiffany and Felix gleefully launch him into her social circle, but it soon becomes clear that charismatic Felix spells trouble. As he wins lightning-fast success as a talented artist, Tiffany and her friends’ relationships begin to flex and recalibrate – not always for the better.

There’s something more afoot here; and Tiffany realises that whatever’s got into her cat and his art, has appeared before in her curious family.

Suspicious elders, Ozzy and Iris, circle as ‘Felix’ and his artworks peak and spiral into trouble. Tiffany meets a promising new love and, in this tightly-woven dark comedy of manners, develops a conscience about some - but not all - of Felix’s effects on her friends’ lives. Torn between helping fast-deteriorating Felix evade Ozzy and Iris’s sinister grasp, or just washing her hands of him, she finally chooses. But none see coming the bizarre opportunity seized by fading but predatory and cunning Felix.

Felix Unbound



Neil Kitching

Degree Geography

Carbon Choices

Carbon Choices tells the most remarkable story on planet Earth. How one group of sociable animals came to emit 40 billion tonnes (40,000,000,000) of an invisible gas each year, changing the chemistry of the atmosphere and the oceans, and steadily destroying the environment and life support systems that we depend on. We have unwittingly driven the world into a climate and wildlife crisis by the endless extraction of raw materials and our excessive consumerism - primarily by wealthier people and countries.

Carbon Choices



Sean Michael Wilson

Degree Social Anthropology

Manga Yokai Stories: Ghostly Tales from Japan

This thrilling collection of seven Japanese ghost stories will captivate lovers of yokai stories! Manga Yokai Stories includes: Nuke-kubi: A masterless samurai is trapped in a house haunted by headless goblins The Screen Maiden: A young man develops an obsession with a woman in a painting that almost kills him Corpse Rider: A woman's unburied corpse cannot rest until she has taken her revenge on the man who divorced her A Dead Secret: A young mother terrifies her family when she returns as a ghost, unable to find peace until she puts to rest a shocking secret she has left behind These classic Japanese ghost stories are based on those written by famed author Lafcadio Hearn between 1890 and 1904. Here, they are retold by award-winning comic book writer Sean Michael Wilson, who has garnered a worldwide fan base for his manga adaptations of works of Japanese literature, including such classics as The Book of Five Rings and The Demon's Sermon on the Martial Arts. Wilson's skillful adaptation of Hearn's ghostly tales-along with superb manga illustrations from UK-based Japanese artist Inko Ai Takita-make these fascinating stories come to life. This book is in traditional Japanese reading order-from back to front-so that fans and manga lovers can enjoy an authentic reading experience.

Manga Yokai Stories: Ghostly Tales from Japan


Submit your book

If you are a member of the alumni community and have recently published a book, we would be delighted to include it in the Alumni Bookshelf.  Email the editor, Brian Campbell, with the following information:

  • your name
  • degree details
  • book  details, including a link for further information

Email Brian Campbell

Please note

Books are added to the bookshelf in order of submission. All of the further information links listed are the external websites of the book publisher, the author, or the bookseller. The University of Edinburgh is not responsible for the content and functionality of these sites. We reserve the right to not publish all submissions we receive.