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TWO ROADS’ 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

Bringing you festive, bookish cheer from our authors and the Two Roads team!

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DAY 7 – Feat. Kirsty Wark, author of Two Roads’ classic The Legacy of Elizabeth Pringle (find out more at http://bit.ly/kirstywark)

Two Roads 12 Days of Christmas Day 7There’s nowhere quite like a bookshop in the run up to Christmas.

Enticing tables of best sellers, design books, and fabulous stationery – among my purchases: The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell for Caitlin, Cicero by Robert Harris for Alan, and for James the reissued play by Gregory Burke, Blackwatch.

But my local Waterstones is too damn tempting, so I had to buy for myself too! I chose The Witches, Salem 1692 by Stacy Schiff, and I shall also be dipping into Poems by Elizabeth Bishop.

I will light the fire, put on candles (from ANTA) and immerse myself for a stolen hour on Christmas Eve.

TWO ROADS’ 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

Bringing you festive, bookish cheer from our authors and the Two Roads team!

Snowflake
DAY 3 – Feat. Sally Magnusson, author of Two Roads bestseller Where Memories Go (find out more at http://bit.ly/sallymagnusson)

Two Roads 12 Days of Christmas Day 3I only want comfy books at Christmas, so I’ve just taken delivery of these two in the consoling certainty that I’ll be able to slip into their worlds and entirely disappear.

Robert Harris is the king of historical novelists and I’ve been waiting for Dictator, the third in his Cicero trilogy, for ages.

Christmas also requires at least one new crime book. Under the Robert Galbraith pseudonym J.K. Rowling has brought such a light touch, dark plotting and clever characterisation to her Cormoran Strike novels that I have high hopes for this third one, Career of Evil.

Off to put on the slippers and fill my glass. Cheers!

Welcome to Day 6 of our #Road2Christmas campaign!

This book needs no introduction. A beautiful, inspiring, moving account of living with someone with dementia, Where Memories Go is a book we’re particularly proud of. It’s also the Waterstones Scottish Book of the Year.
Find out more here on our website.
Join the Where Memories Go community on Facebook: facebook.com/WhereMemoriesGo

Road2Christmas-Day6

Snowflake

THE ROAD TO CHRISTMAS

#Road2Christmas

Every day we’ll share a piece of festive news to keep you going in these cold, dark, often madly-busy pre-Christmas days, may that be a list of our favourite books from 2014 or authors and ideas we’re excited to be publishing in the new year; or even our authors and colleagues’ favourite holiday reads.

Visit our Facebook page (facebook.com/TwoRoadsBooks) and follow us on Twitter (Lisa as @TwoRoadsBooks, Fede as @Due_Strade) to get involved!

EXCITING NEWS!

As we announced yesterday, Sara Gruen‘s WATER FOR ELEPHANTS is one of World Book Night‘s 2015 titles.

And now we can finally reveal that Two Roads will be publishing her new novel, AT THE WATER’S EDGE, in June next year.

Here’s the beautiful cover, and you can find out more here on our website.

At the water's edge

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

Last weekend our travelling editor Lisa went on a little trip to a beautiful part of the world: Iceland. She was there with Two Roads author Sally Magnusson to attend the annual Meeting of the Magnusson Fellows at the Hannesarholt Cultural Center in Reykjavik. The fellowship, run by the Glasgow Caledonian University, has been created in honour of the late Chancellor of the University, television presenter, journalist, writer, historian and professional Icelander Magnus Magnusson, Sally’s father.

But there was another reason for the trip: on Tuesday 30th September Sally was at the official launch of the Icelandic translation of her bestselling book, Where Memories Go (find out more here). And what a success it was: not only did many of Iceland’s most prominent public figures attend the event, but the book itself made it onto the bestsellers chart after just one day in the shops. Hurrah!

And now for a few pictures from the trip…

Dr Vigdís Finnbogadóttir the (first woman) President of Iceland from 1980 to 1996

Ragnheiður Jóna Jónsdóttir, who started the Hannesarholt Cultural Centre – Sally was their first international guest

Sally signing copies of her book

Inside Reykjavik’s iconic concert hall and conference centre, Harpa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sally and her intrepid editor Lisa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Earlier this month the people behind the Baileys Prize for Women’s Fiction launched a wonderful campaign to get readers to share the one book, written by a female author, that has had the most impact on their life. Called #thisbook, the call to arms has seen many familiar faces involved, from journalist Grace Dent to author Joanna Trollope and Olympic medalist Katherine Grainger, and you can find out more on their website: thisbook.com.

To celebrate the Baileys Prize, awarded later tonight, we’ve asked some of our Two Roads authors to share their favourite book written by a female author. See their picks below…

I read To Kill A Mockingbird in school, like most of us. Emotionally, it struck chords, even as its larger themes – racism, justice, courage – were likely lost on me, as larger themes often are when we encounter them via assignment, not experience. Years later, when my father died, a federal judge gave a eulogy comparing him to Atticus Finch. I’d never made that connection, though the links were there: my father fought for social justice. He wasn’t afraid to do the right thing, even courting controversy. He took a role in civil rights. That judge ended that eulogy by riffing on a line from Lee’s novel: “Stand up; a great man is passing.” It’s what’s said to Jean Louise (Scout) as her father exits the courtroom. “Stand up; your father is passing”. And so she stands. She probably stands for reasons it will take her a long time to understand, though the reader knows immediately: that day will be one of the most meaningful of that little girl’s life.

We may not choose our experiences. In a way, though, we play a critical editorial role in our memories. We may not choose what we read the first time we read something but once a book becomes part of our sense of ourselves, click: a match is struck; something’s illuminated. I had that experience with To Kill A Mockingbird. I had that experience with Scout.

Lea Carpenter graduated from Princeton and has an MBA from Harvard. She was one of the original editors at Francis Ford Coppola’s literary magazine, Zoetrope, and later served as Deputy Publisher for The Paris Review. Her debut novel, Eleven Days, was longlisted for the Baileys Prize for Fiction 2014. She lives in New York with her husband and their two sons.

Not long ago, an Advanced Readers Copy of a novel called Half the Kingdom by Lore Segal arrived at my door. Over my morning cup of Earl Grey, I somewhat lackadaisically opened it. My expectations were not high. I’d never heard of this “Lore,” and the publisher was not one of the major houses. I assumed the novelist was yet another young graduate of an MFA program. And then I read the first two sentences:

‘The doctors, nurses, and patients in the overcrowded, too-brightly lit Emergency Room turned toward the commotion. It was the very old woman, thrashing about her with improbably strength and agility. “You do not,” she shouted, “you do not tell me to relax. I will not relax.” ‘

Two hours later, as I turned the last page (it’s a short book and I’m a fast reader), I lay back, stunned. The novel was masterful. Concise and incisive. The prose assured and confident. The subject matter complex, transcendent of genre. Mordant and wise, and terribly sad without being maudlin. There was no way this book was written by a twenty-three year old.

A quick Google search revealed the depth of my ignorance and my hubris in imagining I knew anything at all about who really matters in contemporary American fiction. Lore Segal is not 23. She is 86 years old. Her previous novel, Shakespeare’s Kitchen, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Within a week I had not only read that book, but two others, Her First American, and Other People’s Houses. How could it be that I had missed the work of Lore Segal until now? Please, I beseech you, if you suffer from the same literary deficit as I, do yourself the favor of remedying it right now.

Ayelet Waldman is the author of Love and TreasureRed Hook Road and the New York Times bestseller Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities and Occasional Moments of Grace. Her novel Love and Other Impossible Pursuits was made into a film starring Natalie Portman. Her personal essays have been published in a wide variety of newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times, Vogue, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal. She and her husband, the novelist Michael Chabon, live in Berkeley, California, with their four children.

Any book by a woman about a woman’s fight with life compels me to dive into the story. For years I believed I was bad at it, this living of life, because each day felt like a big bruiser out to knock me down. Mudbound by Hillary Jordan tells of a woman following her husband into the wilderness, trusting and loyal, strong and determined to make good. Just like me.  Gradually the work load and the loneliness and the deprivations take their toll, until something breaks. Just like me. And, in reading how she rises from the depths of despair into a new light, I also found strength. Without books like Mudbound, I’m not sure I would have found that strength. I read and read, to realise I was not alone, yes, but more, to feed my own hungry soul and to find the guts to keep going.  Mudbound, and other great stories, were and are my daily bread.

Judy Fairbairns has lived on her Scottish island with her husband since 1978. Married now for 40 years, she has five children, all grown up – one of whom runs the whale watching business she and her husband started. Island Wife, a memoir about living on a remote Scottish island, is her first book. She paints, takes wild walks and is working on a novel.

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