Adventures in Being Human: bestselling author appearing at Oakley Library

Bit of a coup for Oakley Library tomorrow, 17 March, when it hosts a talk by award winning, bestselling author Gavin Francis. Francis will be discussing his hugely successful Adventures in Human Being, recent winner of the Saltire Society Awards Non-Fiction Book of the year 2015 and described by Hilary Mantel as ‘A sober and beautiful book about the landscapes of the human body: thought-provoking and eloquent.’ A Sunday Times Bestseller, the

From ducks to peacocks: new Dunfermline book inspired by Boston trip

Dunfermline author Caroline Copeland was much struck on a trip to America by the way a children’s book about the ducks in Boston Public Gardens is used to promote the city. Make Way for Ducklings is available at every bookshop and tourist attraction in the area and its characters have been immortalised in bronze (below). Caroline thought how much more beautiful Dunfermline’s famous peacocks and Glen were than their Boston counterparts

The Trouble with Women: Jacky Fleming explodes the exceptional women myth

Cartoonist Jacky Fleming’s very funny new book, The Trouble With Women, was originally going to be about exceptional women consigned to the ‘dustbin of history’. However the more she researched these women, filling eleven notebooks with their names, she discovered that brilliant, capable woman were far too numerous throughout the centuries to be described as exceptional. The book then became about they ways in which limitations have been placed around

Vogue covers ‘upscale’ wedding and it’s nuts

Here’s a great little commentary by Em Rusciano on a real wedding that was recently featured in Vogue. The article originally appeared in news.com.au:  “YOU know when you read something that is so utterly, stupendously ridiculous on so many levels, that you inevitably come full circle, and end up sitting in quiet admiration of its very existence? Vogue Weddings provided such an experience for me when they covered the wedding

Some great writers coming to Fife for Book Week 2015

If you are bookish, hungry, thirsty or still have a thing for John Gordon Sinclair as Gregory, the following Book Week events may be for you.  On 24 November, novelists John Gordon Sinclair and Frank Muir talk about their work at Beer, Book and Burger at Rothes Halls, Glenrothes. The event will be hosted by acclaimed crime writer and critic Russel D McLean and, as the event title suggests, you can

Caravans, midges, fish and bollards

We’re delighted to bring you this new short story by up-and-coming novelist Catherine Simpson. Catherine, from Penicuik, is a previous winner of the prestigious Scottish Book Trust New Writer’s Award and her hotly anticipated novel Truestory will be published by Sandstone Press later this year.  *** The only time I ever cried with joy was when my parents bought a caravan. I was nine years old and thought we might go

JFK on art: ‘we must set the artist free’

This is an an excerpt from a great speech given by John F Kennedy on 26 October 1963 at Amherst College in Massachusetts, in honour of the poet Robert Frost. Frost had died in January of that year. In this speech, President Kennedy made clear the need for a nation to represent itself not only through its strength but also through its art and through, “full recognition of the place of

Mary Somerville – maker of Heaven’s map

In the modest seaside town of Burntisland in Fife in the early 1780s lived a girl who would become the pre-eminent thinker in science and mathematics of her day, known and feted throughout Europe. Eventually a school, an Oxford College, an island, even a crater on the moon would all be named for her. But first Mary Somerville had to negotiate her way through a society that did not expect

Christmas greetings from Darktown: Jonny Hannah’s brilliant new work

One of the finest artists ever to come out of Dunfermline, renowned illustrator Jonny Hannah has an impressive new book out. Greetings from Darktown tells of a mysterious coastal town, not found on any map, peopled by pin-up girls, jazz artists and tattooed sailors. Darktown is home to the Unquiet Grave junk emporium; the Mermaid Café where Woody Guthrie still plays each week; McVouty’s vintage clothes shop and a pier

Ian Rankin on Fife, Rebus and stealing jokes

We are delighted to bring you an exclusive interview with crime writer Ian Rankin, one of Fife’s all time most successful creatives. Turns out he is a lovely guy – and surprisingly tall! Many thanks to Ian for taking the time to chat to us… AS:  Avocado Sweet celebrates the creative talent that comes out of Fife – what creative talents do you associate with the area? IR:  Writers primarily.