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  • Alistair Braidwood

That Was The Year That Was: It’s The Best Of 2017 Podcasts – Part 3 (Books)…


This year we are recording three separate Best Of 2017 podcasts, one each for film and music, (which you can still hear), and this, Part III, concentrating on the best books of the year and all things literary.

Catching up at the fabulous Lighthouse Bookshop in Edinburgh, Ali chats with Birlinn Ltd and Polygon Books‘ very own Vikki Reilly (see right) about the highs-and lows of the year in Scottish publishing, as well as offering their own recommendations and suggestions as to the best books of 2017 (some of which are pictured at the top of the page).

The talk touches upon many, many things, including the welcome emergence of

404 Ink, the recent Saltire Literary Awards (where the aforementioned 404 Ink were named Emerging Publisher of the Year, & Birlinn were awarded Scottish Publisher of the Year), the positive influence of recent podcast guest Graeme Macrae Burnet‘s Booker short-listing, the continuing revival of the printed word, the importance of publishing writers from outside of the Central Belt, the sad and strange demise of Freight Books, the titles Vikki wishes she had been involved with, and how the next 12 months look as though they will be dominated by the centenary of the birth of Muriel Spark and all the events, (and Birlinn’s re-publishing of her novels), which will accompany it.

If you like what you hear, Vikki hosts the excellent

The Hitchhiker’s Guide To Scottish Literature with fellow Birlinner, Kristian Kerr, which has quickly become essential listening for anyone with an interest in Scottish books and writing. Their podcasts have covered writers as diverse as Nan Shepherd, John Buchan, Ian Rankin, Irvine Welsh, Emma Tennant, and many more, so, “like and subscribe”, as someone once said, and you’ll never miss it.

Before we get to the technical stuff, I would like to thank the Lighthouse Bookshop for their hospitality and point you in the direction of the Street Reads Project which they are involved in, and which Vikki mentions in the podcast. You can also follow Street Reads on Twitter, and Facebook, so please take a look.

That’s a lot of clickable links, but before you rush off to check out all of the above don’t forget to listen to this podcast first. If you are new round these parts there is quite a substantial back catalogue for you to discover. If you aren’t yet a subscriber you can do so, (or simply listen) at iTunes or by RSS (but you’ll need to have an RSS reader to do so). You can also download the podcast by clicking on the relevant link to the right of this post, or, if you want it right here, right now, you can listen on SoundCloud

…or on YouTube:

That’s all the new podcasts for 2017, It’s been arguably our best year yet with a fantastic array of guests and subjects. We are already lining up the next few for 2018, so come back then to hear who we end up talking to…


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