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Book Week Scotland is an annual celebration of books and reading that takes place across the country. It runs nationally from the 16th to the 22nd of November 2020. This year West Dunbartonshire Libraries have a great line-up of online author events to celebrate this national festival of reading.

Viewing Events

Events will be broadcast and available to view between Monday 16th and Saturday 21st of November. They will also remain available beyond the Book Week Scotland dates for future viewing, so don’t worry if you can’t make the date or time an author talk is advertised as you can watch it at a time of your choosing later.

All of our events are absolutely 'FREE of Charge' and available exclusively on our YouTube channel  from 7pm Monday 16th November 2020. (no booking required).

Not sure how to view or access our YouTube videos?

View our 'How to' guide.

Book Week Scotland 2020 List of Events

Denise Mina presents
The Less Dead

Denise Semi 200

Monday 16th November at 7.00pm

Denise Mina is one of Scotland’s greatest contemporary crime writers and a favourite of our audiences.  Her debut Garnethill was published to great acclaim and she has published 14 novels and also writes short stories, plays and graphic novels.  We are delighted to announce that she will be taking part in our digital Book Week Scotland programme discussing her latest novel, The Less Dead.

 When Margo goes in search of her birth mother for the first time, she meets her aunt, Nikki, instead. Margo learns that her mother, Susan, was a sex worker murdered soon after Margo's adoption. To this day, Susan's killer has never been found.

Nikki asks Margo for help. She has received threatening and haunting letters from the murderer, for decades. She is determined to find him, but she can't do it alone...

Join Denise for this video presentation of her fantastic new novel The Less Dead.  

Graeme Armstrong presents
The Young Team

Graeme Semi 200

Tuesday 17th November at 7.00pm

Graeme Armstrong’s debut novel The Young Team was published to huge acclaim with comparisons made to Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting.  The Young Team shows the seductive power of belonging to a gang and the destructive impact of violence and drug  and alcohol addiction.  It follows the path of Azzy from the age of 14 when he first joins the gang, his descent into drug addiction, to his eventual rehabilitation and escape at the age of 21.  The Young Team has an extraordinary energy and humour that gives an authentic insight into lives that rarely feature in fiction.

Graeme Armstrong is originally from Airdrie. His own teenage years were spent within North Lanarkshire’s gang culture. He was inspired to study English Literature after reading Irvine Welsh’s TRAINSPOTTING at just sixteen.   He defied expectations and studied English at Stirling University after overcoming his own struggles with violence and drug abuse. Graeme visits schools and prisons and promotes an anti-violence message as well as abstinence-based recovery. 

This is a great opportunity to hear from a wonderful new voice who genuinely is in touch with the harsh realities of life for many young people.

Mandy Haggith presents
Reading from her poetry

Mandy Semi 200

Wednesday 18th November at 7.00pm

Mandy Haggith is a writer based in Assynt, in the north-west highlands of Scotland. Her work includes poetry, fiction and non-fiction and is mostly concerned with trees, bears and the sea. She is also fascinated by people – “Yet people intrigue me, the way our minds work, how our relationships shape us and how we express ourselves in words, music and images.” Her work is full of her wonder at the natural world and she will be focussing on readings from her collections of poetry - letting light in, Castings, A-B-Tree and Why the Sky is Far Away and letting us know what inspires her.

Her first novel, The Last Bear, was published in 2008 and won the Robin Jenkins Literary Award in 2009. Her second novel, Bear Witness, was published in 2013. Her third, The Walrus Mutterer, fourth, The Amber Seeker, and fifth, The Lyre Dancers, are a historical trilogy, set in the Iron Age. She is a passionate lover and defender of forests and in the mid 1990s she left academia to write, carry out research and campaign for the world’s forests. 

This will be a treat for all lovers of poetry and the natural world. 

Tom Palmer presents
From Flying to Football – the wonderful worlds of Tom Palmer 

Tom Semi 200

Thursday 19th of November at 2.00pm

This year we are delighted (and excited) to offer our schools a virtual author visit for Book Week Scotland with the wonderfully talented and inspiring Tom Palmer. Tom is the hugely popular author of many books featuring war, spies, history, the RAF, ghosts, detectives, rugby and football.  In fact it was a love of reading about football in newspapers and magazines when younger that eventually turned Tom into a book lover too. He is well known for his involvement in reader development, with his books often engaging ‘reluctant readers’, and has written several books for publisher Barrington Stoke. His latest book, ‘After the War’, is based on the real life events around the child concentration camp survivors who came to the Lake District nearly 75 years ago, known as the 'Windermere Boys'.

With probing questions provided by our school pupils, we can’t wait to hear Tom talk about his books, writing, and of course football!

Sarah Jane Douglas presents
Just Another Mountain

Sarahjane Semi 200

Thursday 19th November at 7.00pm

In 1997, at the age of 24, Sarah lost her mother to breast cancer. Alone and adrift in the world, she very nearly gave up hope- but she’d made a promise to her mother that she would keep going no matter what.  So she turned to the beautiful, dangerous, forbidding mountains of her native Scotland.   By walking in her mother’s footsteps, she learns to accept her own troubled past, finding the strength to overcome her grief – and ultimately, to carry on in the face of her own diagnosis twenty years later.

Searingly honest and utterly relatable, bringing the exhilarating triumphs and challenges of mountain walking to life with wit, charm and raw candour, Just Another Mountain is a story of hope and redemption, and of how we can learn to live and to love.  An award-winning artist, Sarah Jane Douglas is also a mother, a mountain lover and a survivor. She is a former primary school teacher and is currently a self-employed gardener and artist. 

Join Sarah on her extraordinary personal odyssey.

Chris McQueer presents
Writing, performing  and other Hings

Chris Semi 200

Friday 20th November at 2.00pm

Joining West Dunbartonshire Libraries and our associated secondary schools, for another of our digital events is Glaswegian writer and spoken art performer Chris McQueer. Chris began his writing career creating short stories on twitter, which later led to the publication of his hugely successful books ‘Hings’ and ‘HWFG’. With a dark humour, intimate an use of the Scots language, and relatable subject matter he’s become a huge hit with teenagers and book group aficionados alike. 

Discussing his writing influences, his books, and more, this is sure to be a pure magic event with a gallus performer.​

Peter May presents

Peter Semi 200I

Friday 20th November at 7.00pm

Lockdown is Peter May’s  crime thriller that predicted a world in quarantine: London, the epicentre of a global pandemic, is a city in lockdown. Violence and civil disorder simmer. Martial law has been imposed. No-one is safe from the deadly virus. The Prime Minister himself is dead. Health and emergency services are overwhelmed. At a building site for a temporary hospital, construction workers find a bag containing the rendered bones of a murdered child. D.I. Jack MacNeil, counting down the hours on his final day with the Met, is sent to investigate. As a bizarre mosaic of evidence appears to link the murdered child to the pandemic itself, the virus claims the life of his son. Jack has been directly exposed. But sinister forces are tracking his every move, prepared to kill again to conceal the truth. Which one will stop him first – the virus or the killers?

Peter is the author of the highly acclaimed and best-selling Lewis Trilogy and has sold more than 4 million copies of his books worldwide.  He has won Crime Novel of the Year awards in France, Scotland, the UK, and the United States. 

He resides in France and we are absolutely delighted and honoured that he is doing this video talk for our Book Week Scotland programme.

Martin Stepek presents
Mindfulness as a means of dealing with Anxiety and Stress during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Martin Semi 200

Saturday 21st November at 7.00pm

The coronavirus pandemic has had a profound impact on all of us and many people are experiencing anxiety and stress.  Martin Stepek explores how you can use Mindfulness to help cope with this very challenging and stressful time.  Martin is one of Scotland's foremost teachers in Mindfulness and a published author in the field. He has been practicing Mindfulness for over 20 years ago and teaching it since 2004. Martin serves on the Choose Life group, the pan-Lanarkshire suicide prevention body and is founder of Ten for Zen, which aims to bring Mindfulness into the lives of individuals across the UK and beyond. Out-with his commercial work, Martin strives to bring Mindfulness to as many groups, as he can, and has given his time to speak in schools, prisons and various community groups over the years.

Join Martin for this fantastic and insightful session.

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