Category Scotland

For the last month, Saturday nights have meant one thing, and one thing only: Strictly Come Dancing. Specifically, Susan Calman on Strictly.

From the moment it was confirmed that the trained lawyer, stand-up comedienne and best-selling author would be adding ballroom dancer to her repertoire, Susan and her dance partner Kevin have captivated audiences. There have been Viennese waltzes and furious foxtrots, cancelled planes and more than a few tears (of joy and of pain).

Here are a few of Susan and Kevin’s best bits so far:

When Susan met Kevin
And Susan couldn’t have been more thrilled with her partner.

Mad About the Boy, week one
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05h1sz9 

If You Knew Susie, week two
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05hppzs

Wonder Woman, week three*
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05jbh00
*not all heroes wear capes, true, but Susan does

Bring Me Sunshine, week four
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05jyym7

Each week we’ll be running a competition, offering you the chance to win a signed copy

of Susan Calman’s Cheer Up, Love.

Check our Twitter for the how, the why and the when.And check back here for weekly updates #TeamCalman #StrictlySusan

T&C below …

continue reading »

Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland awardsHuge congratulations to Sally Magnusson who last night won the Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Writing Award for her bestselling memoir Where Memories Go: why dementia changes everything

Sally couldn’t attend the ceremony so we don’t have any glamorous pics to share, but you can find out more here: http://bit.ly/glenfiddichawards

Piles of books waiting to be signed

Nothing better than an author visit on a Friday morning! Armed with pens and Honey & Co. cake, the always delightful Kirsty Wark came in the office today to sign copies of the paperback edition of THE LEGACY OF ELIZABETH PRINGLE, her debut novel.

Look out for the book, published on 9th October, and stay tuned for more news: who knows, we might even give away a few signed copies very soon…

For more information on Kirsty and her writing, visit our book page here.

 

The Two Roads team and Kirsty, acting all shy (as if!)

We know it’s you, Kirsty!

Happy author with beautiful book

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edinburgh International Book Festival Sally Magnusson Where Memories Go dementiaLisa is travelling around Scotland this week, and paid a visit to the Edinburgh International Book Festival to attend Sally Magnusson‘s event. Here’s her take:

Last night I attended Sally Magnusson‘s event at the Edinburgh Book Festival. Although I have read Sally’s book countless times and been to many many events, there was a particular magic to this one. Was it the rain drumming on the tent roof, the rapt attention of almost six hundred people, the expressive interpretation of the signer standing alongside or the magic of Sally’s words as she conducted us through her experience? All of the above of course.

As Sally spoke to each and every person in the quiet and patient signing queue for over an hour afterwards, the magic continued. Every person had something personal to share, something unique and yet universal. Where Memories Go has touched so many lives because dementia touches so many. As Sally says ‘ this is my story but it could be anybody’s’.

But last night, as Jim Naughtie and the Edinburgh Festival sound director said, ‘Wow, that was something …’

See a few pictures taken by Lisa below. Well done, Sally!

Find out more about Where Memories Go: why dementia changes everything here.

Edinburgh International Book Festival Sally Magnusson Where Memories Go dementia

Edinburgh International Book Festival Sally Magnusson Where Memories Go dementia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edinburgh International Book Festival Sally Magnusson Where Memories Go dementia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…yes, authors are just like us: they too look forward to the summer to finally read the books that have been sitting on their bedside table for weeks.

Now Two Roads has an exclusive (!) look at what some of our writers are reading this summer

Bret Anthony Johnston, author of Remember Me Like This (out now)

Bret Anthony Johnston’s summer reading pile

 

I tend to read in the morning before starting a day’s work and then again in the evening before bed, and I tend to read from a different book in each session. Fiction usually comes first, and I’m excited about the fiction I’m reading now or soon to read. Rene Steinke’s forthcoming novel Friendswood, Lea Carpenter’s novel Eleven Days (find out more here), some Chekhov stories, and a collection of strange and beautiful fiction called Nature Stories by Jules Renard. The Renard book might serve as something as bridge between my current fiction and nonfiction tastes, as I’m reading a lot about animals right now. One of the things I’m currently working on is a weird, nonlinear short story involving horses, and this book on horse psychology continues to prove invaluable to me in countless ways. Future projects may include the mythical (or is it?) chupacbra and the siege in Waco, Texas in 1993. This summer I’ve also been spending time with Emily Rapp’s heart-rending memoir The Still Point of the Turning World (find out more here). As for the book on iPhones, well, let’s just say I’ve recently gotten my first one and the transition hasn’t been easy or smooth. That book will probably be the most helpful, and it’s the one I’m looking forward to the least. Maybe there’s a lesson in there somewhere.

 

Jamie Kornegay, author of Soil (spring 2015)

Jamie Kornegay’s summer reading pile

As a full-time bookseller, my reading tends toward the new and upcoming – a merchant must test his wares, after all – and hence my summer stack is a blend of some of this season’s best, including startling debuts from Smith Henderson and a Mississippi friend, Lisa Howorth, as well as stories from the fiercely talented John Brandon, and what must surely be James Lee Burke’s masterpiece; and forthcoming fall titles, including one of my favorite writers, Richard Flanagan, whose new novel I’m currently loving, along with the reliably strange Michel Faber, history from Hampton Sides, and one of the U.S. South’s most popular writers, Rick Bragg, on one of the South’s most notorious rock-n-rollers. Sandwiched in the middle is something for the writer…

 

Sally Magnusson, author of Where Memories Go: why dementia changes everything (out now)

Sally Magnusson’s summer reading pile

 

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month I’ll be hosting the James Tait Black prize-giving ceremony at the Edinburgh Book Festival, so my holiday in Tuscany is a great time to devour the shortlist. The biographies were a bit large for my suitcase but the four novels are just right. Have just finished Jim Crace’s Harvest – a stunning read. The bottom two books are background reading for programmes I’m doing on the First World War.

 

 

Carrie Snyder, author of Girl Runner (spring 2015)

Carrie Snyder’s summer reading pile

 

Here’s the tour, from bottom to top, starting with the books I keep meaning to read, and do delve into on occasion, but have yet to finish: two library books, The Oxford History of Popular Print Culture, volume 1, and The Girl and the Game: A History of Women’s Sport in Canada (which I’ve already read, ages ago, but figure I should brush up on again in advance of my book coming out). Next is Karen Armstrong’s Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life. I did intend to become a better person this summer. I regret to say I’ve stalled on step two. But I did read all through Matilda, by Roald Dahl, with my two youngest (ages 6 and 8). We loved it, although did note that Dahl seems to have a strong animus for the imposing female athlete, who is the villain in the piece. I whipped through Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, kept staying up late to read, which is what summer really should be for. Yes, that’s my own Girl Runner, the American uncorrected proof, which I confess I started reading the evening it arrived and just kept on. It’s homework, though. I’ve got a lot of readings booked this fall and I need to find and rehearse sections that would make for good drama. Just above is Anita Lahey’s essay collection The Mystery Shopping Cart, only available in Canada, and a very Canadian book of literary critique. Finally, the book I’m currently marching through: A Man in Love by Karl Ove Knausgaard, the second in the series; I loved the first, but am finding this one a little less moving, with its focus so far on raising small children while trying to find time to write, which is basically my life and has been for the past 13 years. This is hardly an original observation, but I keep wondering if anyone would be interested had a woman written it instead.

 

Aylet Waldman, author of Love and Treasure (out now)

Ayelet Waldman’s summer reading pile

 

This summer is all about the French Riviera and Hollywood in the 1940s. I have begun work on

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my new novel and by far the most exciting part of that is delving into a new area of research. Research is my joy. It’s the actual writing part that kicks my ass.

 

 

 

 

 

There’s nothing better on a rainy, cold, gloomy day than running around a muddy field in Wales.

Seriously, there isn’t, especially if that field in Wales belongs to the charming little village of Hay-on-Wye. That’s where one of the two roads was, accompanying our author Kirsty Wark while she was on duty at the Hay Literary Festival. If you’ve never been, we definitely recommend it: ten days packed with author events, book signings and lots of other bookish activities (the festival is perfect for children too!)… seriously, what’s not to like?

Kirsty was in conversation with Sarah Compton of the Daily Telegraph, talking about her novel The Legacy of Elizabeth Pringle, her career at the BBC and her latest documentary about sexism, Blurred Lines. She then did a quick live interview for BBC Radio 6 with Radcliffe & Maconie (listen here) and finally chaired an author event with Philipp Meyer and Linda Spalding.

Take a look below…

Welcome to Hay!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kirsty with Sarah Compton 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Signing copies of THE LEGACY OF ELIZABETH PRINGLE

 

 

Kirsty with Radcliffe & Maconie of BBC 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy birthday Robert Louis Stevenson

On November 13th, 1850, Scottish novelist, poet, essayist, and travel writer Robert Louis Stevenson was born at 8 Howard Place, Edinburgh.

A literary celebrity during his lifetime, Stevenson now ranks among the 26 most translated authors in the world, thanks to classics like Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
His works have been admired by many other writers, including Jorge Luis Borges, Bertolt Brecht, Arthur Conan Doyle, Cesare Pavese, Ernest Hemingway, Rudyard Kipling, Jack London, Vladimir Nabokov, J. M. Barrie, and G. K. Chesterton.

Stevenson with his wife Fanny, second from right, and family, outside their property on the island of Samoa, where he spent the last few years of his life.

Stevenson with his wife Fanny, second from right, and family, outside their property on the island of Samoa, where he spent the last few years of his life.

Robert Louis Stevenson holds a special place in our Two Roads hearts: in January 2014 we are publishing Under the Wide and Starry Sky by Nancy Horan, the passionate and turbulent story of Stevenson and his tempestuous American wife, Fanny.To celebrate his birthday we have a range of activities going on on

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our social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Do take a look! We also have an exclusive guest blog post by Nancy Horan herself, sharing how Stevenson gave away his birthday: it’s a touching story, and you can find out more by visiting Hodder’s History Lives blog.

And don’t forget to join in on the celebration: download your RLS moustache here and post a picture of yourself proudly saying ‘Happy birthday RLS!’. We did (and had lots of fun)…

RLS tache group 1

Where Memories Go Sally Magnusson Magnus Magnusson dementia Alzheimer'sWhere Memories Go, the brilliant and moving account of how Scottish broadcaster and author Sally Magnusson and her family cared for her mother Mamie during her long struggle with dementia, comes out in February 2014.

With Sally’s help we have created a Facebook page for the book. Our aim is to make it the place to find out more about Sally, her mother and the book; but also a forum for people who are affected, directly or indirectly, by dementia. The page is already up and running and we would be very grateful if you could take a look, like it and share it with your friends: Facebook.com/WhereMemoriesGo

A little more info on the book…

Where Memories Go Sally Magnusson Magnus Magnusson dementia Alzheimer'sRegarded as one of the finest journalists of her generation, Mamie Baird Magnusson‘s whole life was a celebration of words – words that she fought to retain in the grip of a disease which

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is fast becoming the scourge of the 21st century. Married to writer and broadcaster Magnus Magnusson, they had five children of whom Sally is the eldest. As well as chronicling the anguish, the frustrations and the unexpected laughs and joys that she and her sisters experienced while accompanying their beloved mother on the long dementia road for eight years until her death in 2012, Sally Magnusson seeks understanding from a range of experts and asks penetrating questions about how we treat older people, how we can face one of the greatest social, medical, economic and moral challenges of our times, and what it means to be human.

 

Oct2

500! 0

We have come very close to a big Facebook milestone: our 500th Like. To celebrate this achievement and spread the word even further, we are giving away a proof of Nancy Horan’s new novel UNDER THE WIDE AND STARRY SKY (publishing next January). All you need to do is visit our Facebook page and follow

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Good luck and a big thank you!

Under the Wide and Starry Sky Facebook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…the cover for UNDER THE WIDE AND STARRY SKY, the new book by Nancy Horan (and our first 2014 title!)

Under the wide and starry sky Robert Louis Stevenson Nancy HoranThe novel, Nancy’s second after Loving Frank (New York Times bestseller and Richard & Judy Bookclub pick), tells the passionate and turbulent story of Robert Louis Stevenson and his tempestuous American wife, Fanny, a fierce love affair-marked by intense joy and harrowing darkness that spans decades as they travel the world for the sake of his health following their art and dreams.

 

Nancy was in London this weekend and we gave her the very first proof of the book. She looks quite pleased, don’t you think?

 

Nancy Horan author of Loving frank and Under the Wide and Starry Sky Robert Louis Stevenson and Fanny

We publish in January 2014 and you can find out more here on the website and on Facebook.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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