A Cameronian Christmas (and other winters’ tales) S.R.Crockett
Forget Dickens this Christmas, try something new. Crockett’s selection of stories and novel excerpts will show you a different side of the ‘festive’ season. More porridge than turkey this will bring out the inner Cameronian and remind you that there’s more to winter than consumerism.
Special discount of free postage on all orders before 15th December. Use code FREEP at point of sale.
This month, as the nights draw in, we're encouraging you to explore fact and fiction old and new with a range of publications, including a couple which are currently unco exclusives!
First up is a debut Scots author. Annie Christie has been cutting her teeth writing serial stories in 2016 and we are happy to announce they have now been put into book form. Three stories of young love will transport you through space and time. ‘Castle Dare’ takes the reader on a strange journey with a tale set on Mull that mixes past with present, ‘To Die For’ is set in Galloway and pays tribute to Goethe and Freidrich through an uncomfortable tale of first love while ‘That Long Hot Summer’ travels through Europe to the heart of the Calais Jungle and beyond. Well worth a read.
You can get the ebook at Unco HERE and the paperback HERE. CURRENTLY AN UNCO EXCLUSIVE
And if you prefer truth to fiction... why not try this new edition of John Bruce Glasier's Biography of William Morris - William Morris and the early days of Socialism.
Most people think they know all about Morris, but here is a side of him often overlooked. John Bruce Glasier’s posthumous biography details Morris the Socialist and is a poignant personal reminiscence of the ‘great’ man. A must for anyone with an interest in William Morris beyond the myths or wanting to find out more about the early days of the Socialist Movement.
Currently exclusively available in paperback at unco. HERE
This month we have an interesting range of options for you on the reading front. You'll note that all the links this month are to Amazon - this is purely because we're short on time. You can probably pick all of these books up at the library - which is why, though 'unco' we don't currently stock the books - but not stocking them doesn't stop us recommending them. We care about the writer and the reader not about the 'profit.' So get reading. First up this month is
September is a special month for S.R.Crockett and this year more special than many with the re-opening of his Memorial site and the republication (in a new edition) of his literary biography. So this month two of our recommends are Crockett related.
First up is Volume 2 of Cally Phillips’ series ‘Discovering Crockett’s Galloway.’ Volume 1 dealt with ‘Crockett Country’ which is more or less the Galloway hills area. Volume 2 broadens out. Titled ‘Islands and Inland’ it covers the islands, caves and coast of the Solway in Part One and in Part Two goes inland to the Glenkens ‘heartland.’ It’s a great entry level read into Crockett’s work as well as offering a ‘guide’ to some tourist (and beyond tourist) spots in Galloway.
You can buy an advance publication copy from 1st September EXCLUSIVELY FROM UNCO HERE
First published in 1989 ‘The Life and Work of Samuel Rutherford Crockett’ by Dr Islay Murray Donaldson has been out of print for far too long. Thirty years on it is still the definitive (and only) literary biography of Crockett. This new paperback edition is published posthumously with the loss of pictures more than compensated for by the addition of a ‘lost’ chapter on Crockett’s fiction for children which didn’t make the cut into the original edition. Part historical biography, part literary critique it offers if not a comprehensive, then at least a very interesting perspective on Crockett’s life and work – does what it says on the tin – and again offers an interesting background into the man, hopefully encouraging readers to pick the original fiction up for themselves with an idea of what to look for and why they might want to be looking in the first place.
Buy your advance publication copy EXCLUSIVELY from UncoHERE
And with all those celebrations, its no surprise that our third pick features drink! Soon to be released in a new film version, ‘Whisky Galore’ by Sir Compton Mackenzie is at times funny but at times thought provoking commentary on the impact of the 2nd world war on those in the Scottish islands. If you’ve enjoyed the 'old' film we can recommend going back to source – or why not read the book before you see the 'new' film version. Here at unco we think (almost always) the book is best.
You can get a copy from Amazon from the link below (or shop around)
Are you looking for something unusual to read this summer? Let’s face it, if you are heading off for the sun and looking for the best airport read or next big bonkbuster, you’ve come to the wrong place. We’re about more out of the way reads – reads with heart, to make you think. And we’ve come up with three pretty diverse titles this month. But feel free to explore our unco writers section to find more of your own.
what's wrong with sentimentality?
First published in 1896 it is an astonishing combination of humour and depth. It has been described as Barrie’s supreme achievement in fiction, and a work that stands alongside Treasure Island and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer as one of the finest novels of childhood.
If you prefer the ebook version, there are again a plethora of choices from free (Project Guthenberg and others – but we can’t guarantee the quality) Unco recommends that you put your hand in your pocket to the tune of less than a fiver and purchase The Complete J.M.Barrie. LinkHERE
TO BE BRUTALLY HONEST
This time It’s Personal with Mr McStoryteller. ‘This Time It’s Personal’ is quite a different proposition. Sentimental it ain’t. Heart it has aplenty. Brendan Gisby has republished some of his short stories in this collection to mark the first anniversary of the death of his wife and muse Alison. I’m sure you’ll agree he’s done her proud. Paperback is less than a fiver and ebook a mere 99p.
Shows and Showfolk by James Leatham is republished on August 1st. Selling exclusively on unco it offers an insight into a world gone by. All the fun of the fair doesn’t begin to encompass this social and political commentary. If you’re interested in searching beyond the margins of 19th century and early 20th century society – from the North East of Scotland to the Moulin Rouge, this is well worth £3.99 as a paperback or £1.99 for the ebook edition.
Buy the paperback HERE or the ebook HERE
Wherever you are and whatever you read - and however you choose to do it - we wish you happy reading this month.
Time to get digital for books on the move. It's not just the latest fiction you can get to read on your ereader - classic books fact and fiction are also avaialable. One problem with the 'unco' books from the past is that in the digitising process they have just been scanned and as a consequence are hard, or impossible, to read. At 'unco' we root out newly edited copies of unco texts so that you can guarantee you won't be wasting your time downloading, or get frustrated with illegible text. So... why not have an explore.
First up is 'A Cameronian Apostle.' This is a biography of John Macmillan of Balmaghie first published in 1896 by Rev H.M.B.Reid. John MacMillan was, undoubtedly, a man of unusual force and determination. For many years he fought the battle of the Covenants alone, and he fought it on lines of policy and wisdom. He is called him ‘a Cameronian Apostle’; for, during the long period of thirty-six years, he was the sole ordained minister among the scattered congregations of the ‘Society’ people. Download from Unco HERE
And if it's fiction you prefer, why not try the paperback fictional version of the story of John Macmillan by S.R.Crockett. Crockett takes Reid's biography and gives it the historical adventure romance makeover. Set in Balmaghie, it's a must for anyone living in, or a lover of The Glenkens. (You are eligible for a free ebook version if you purchase the paperback, so you can easily take it with you on the move) Buy the book direct from Unco HERE
And for a paltry 99p (or FREE) if you remember to put in code FREESUMMER at the point of sale, you can download Cally Phillips' first short story collection in Scots 'Voices in Ma Heid.' It's hard-hitting stuff, but well worth adding to your digital collection. DOWNLOAD IT HERE
So don't say we never give you anything at unco! Once you've downloaded your freebies, why not explore the site more widely and see what other books, both real and virtual, we have on offer at 'unco.' We try to give buying links off site where we don't have the book for sale ourselves. And there are always libraries! We'd love you to buy from us, but most of all we love people READING unco Scots books how and wherever they find them.
books you won't want to miss.. 100%
Get your paperback copy direct from unco HERE for £4.99 or order the ebook from Amazon below...
It's the time for hot summer reads... and they don't come hotter than the new novel by Brendan Gisby. The Percentages Men opens the door on the shady world of market research - showing that there's no such thing as small in the world of corporate greed. Dan MacKay is up against the unholy trinity of Neville Brown, Jack Lamb and Jimbo... These are guys you're gonna love to hate!
Never mind recently published, how about getting hold of a book pre-publicationa. 'Fisherfolk of the North East' will be launched (appropriately) in June at the Portsoy Traditional Boat Festival, but you can get your hands on a pre-publication copy exclusively from unco NOW. It's James' Leatham's 1920's personal retrospective on the herring fishing and communities of the North East of Scotland.
Please note - if you live in or within driving distance of Turriff, why not come and get your books LIVE at the unco pop up bookshop to be held on Saturday 4th June at Turriff Town House, High Street Turriff - from 10.30am till 3.30pm. Books, authors, publishers, chat... browse and buy... recommendations galore from beyond the bestsellers!
SELECTION OF BOOKS AVAILABLE
On Saturday June 4th from 10.30-3.30pm unco books is sponsoring a 'pop up' bookshop in Turriff Town House (High Street Turriff) where you can browse and buy and chat with authors and publishers. Why not broaden your mind with some hot summer reads!
We will have books by Scots authors old and new, living and dead and our eclectic mix of books covers the length of Scotland from Shetland to Galloway.
At 11am Helen Dean will chat with Cally Wight about the books by James and Bjarnhild Tulloch. Ordinary people who published their own extraordinary stories. James’ ‘The Heogan Story: A Link with the past’ tells of the history of the Heogan Fish Factory on Shetland while his wife Bjarnhild’s book ‘Terror in the Arctic’ tells of her childhood in Nazi occupied Norway. With modern digital technology it is easier to publish than ever before and the opportunity to share social history offers the reader a whole new range of reading matter which doesn’t make it to the ‘bestsellers’ list. Come and find out what it’s all about.
At 12.45pm Cally will take you on a journey to the other end of Galloway. From the 19th century works of ‘Scotland’s forgotten bestseller’ S.R.Crockett, to the newest writing from ‘Wag Tongues’ the Dumfries & Galloway Writers Collective, she will talk about and read excerpts from work set in this beautiful part of the country. It will be like going on your holidays without ever leaving home! But may inspire you to take a trip south this summer. There are young adult books, poetry and stories for adults and children, as well as some great non-fiction.
At 2.30pm In a ‘meet the author’ special, Cally will chat with Hanna Pennig author of ‘Vollig Irre.’ It’s a book in German which is a collection of stories, with talking water bottles, snow monsters that get driving lessons, frogs that take a mobile phone for a Mars frog.. and the key features is the linguistic ‘play’ which might well be lost in a translation to English. Cally and Hanna will chat about how language affects our understanding of the world around us.
And all day you can drop in to browse and buy a selection of new and second hand books – including a whole section of books on mountains/climbing/the great outdoors as well as new books from the McStorytellers Collection and more locally The Deveron Press.
You can be among the first to buy the newly published 'The Percentages Men' by Brendan Gisby and even buy a pre-publication copy of 'Fisherfolk of the North East' by James Leatham.
Fact or fiction, there really is something for everyone at the ‘pop up’ bookshop. But it’s only on for one day – so don’t miss the chance to pick up some hot summer reads at bargain prices. If you love books and reading – this is the place to be on Saturday 4th June.
We've been having a wee bit of an overhaul here at 'unco' in the bookstore and on the pages. Sorry for any technical glitches and that progress has slowed a bit recently - so many books to read - so many writers to talk about... so little time. And like spring this year, we've been slow to come out of hibernation. But we've got a good selection of books for you to read this May - 'unco' choices that you can pick up here, secondhand or from Amazon. The Message for May is:
Keep Calm and Read a Book!
Keep Calm and Read a Book!
Our first book of the Month is actually the Press and Journal's Book of the Week - the new autobiography by James Leatham '60 Years of World-Mending' which is published for the first time, 70 years after his death. It's a book you can really get your teeth into. You can buy it from Unco HERE. Leatham's biography by Robert Duncan is also republished this month. You can get it HERE
Next up, adopted Scot Mark Frankland. Despite being a born Lancastrian, he's an 'unco' writer and much of his writing is set in Scotland. He's also a Hillsborough survivor and with recent events uppermost in our mind we wanted to give out a shout for a man who has made the most of the life he's had since 'that day' in 1989. The Cull is his second novel, set in Dumfries in 2001 against the backdrop of Foot and Mouth and a more insidious drugs crisis that will not go away. Buy THE CULL from Unco HERE.
You can find all of Mark's books on Kindle HERE
You can find all of Mark's books on Kindle HERE
And far from making up the numbers, this month why not read some Nan Shepherd. She's recently been made 'the face' of the new Scottish Fiver and you can pick up The Grampian Quartet for less than that as an ebook. Or go for the paperback version - slightly more expensive but still well worth it for a feast of fiction and non-fiction set in the Grampians.
A new season. Longer days, light returns and lots of things threaten to take away one's reading time. Here are a few unco reads for spring which just might keep you on track with your reading challenge.
First up a George Mackay Brown novel. His first in fact. GREENVOE. Whether it's your first GMB or simply one you've never read, the beginning is surely as good a place as any to start! Readily available in paperback, first or second hand, or from libraries - there's no excuse really!
Peter the Renegade is exclusively available from unco books just by clicking HERE
Our next April unco recommendation is both a first and a last. It is published on April 16th for the first time as a book, but was serialised in 1914-15 posthumously and thus may be credited as the last (or one of the last) things that S.R.Crockett wrote. A boys' own adventure set in Spain during the Peninsular War it is interesting on so many levels and well worth a read - it might even get you in the mood for a trip to Spain this summer...