Category Archives: Books

James Oswald book signing at The Avenue

James Oswald Book Signing


Best-selling crime writer James Oswald will be at The Avenue Shopping Centre in Newton Mearns to discuss and sign copies of The Hangman’s Song in a free event organised by Waterstone’s at Primavera on Tuesday 4th March 7pm till 8.30pm.

The Hangman’s Song is the third novel in Oswald’s Inspector McLean series which is set in Edinburgh. The plot starts with a young man found hanging by a rope in his Edinburgh home. A simple, sad suicide, yet Detective Inspector Tony McLean is puzzled by the curious suicide note.

A second hanged man and another strange note hint at a sinister pattern. Investigating a brutal prostitution and human trafficking ring, McLean struggles to find time to link the two suicides. But the discovery of a third convinces him of malicious intent.

Digging deeper, McLean finds answers much closer to home than he expects. Something terrifying stalks the city streets, and bringing it to justice may destroy all he holds dear.

Oswald’s first two Detective Inspector McLean books have been massive bestsellers – reaching the top of national charts – and the first was a Richard and Judy book club pick. He has also written an epic fantasy series, as well as comic scripts and short stories.

In his spare time Oswald runs a 350-acre livestock farm in North East Fife, where he raises pedigree Highland cattle and New Zealand Romney sheep.

To book a space at this free event contact Waterstone’s or Primavera Bistro at The Avenue.
The Avenue Shopping Centre, managed by commercial property consultancy BTWShiells, offers shoppers a warm and welcoming shopping experience conveniently located on the outskirts of Glasgow city centre.

For further information about The Avenue log onto the website.

Peter May book signing at The Avenue

Ave Peter May Book Signing-OFFSITE

BEST-selling author Peter May returns to The Avenue Shopping Centre in Newton Mearns to discuss his latest book, Entry Island, in a free event organised by Waterstones at Primavera Bistro on Tuesday 14 January 2014 between 7pm and 8.30pm.

The event comes exactly a year since a sell-out crowd of book-lovers flocked to hear the award-winning Scottish television screenwriter, novelist and crime writer read from the final book in his popular Lewis Trilogy.

May’s latest novel is split between the Hebrides at the time of the Clearances and modern day Quebec.

Michelle McCabe, Centre Manager at The Avenue, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Peter May back to The Avenue. Last year a capacity crowd of 170 fans flocked to hear him read from his most recent publication and we’re anticipating a similar number of enthusiastic fans this year.”

To book a space at this free event contact Waterstones or Primavera Bistro in the Avenue.

The Avenue Shopping Centre, managed by commercial property consultancy BTWShiells, offers shoppers a warm and welcoming shopping experience conveniently located on the outskirts of Glasgow city centre.

For further information about The Avenue log onto

Study to consider UK impact on Scottish literature since 1707

In the week of the launch of the Independence White Paper, a new study will consider what impact the Union of the Kingdoms of Scotland and England had on Scottish literature over the course of the last 300 years.

The project will look at literature from Scotland and England dating from before 1707 right through to the present day in an attempt to define how the idea of a United Kingdom has influenced literary culture. It will also show how Scottish writers helped to actively shape a shared British identity both before and after the Union of the Crowns.

The project, involves a series of workshops running from now until 2015, is a collaboration between the universities of Glasgow and St Andrews. It is one of the first large studies to trace the development of literature after the Acts of Union that joined the Kingdom of England together with the Kingdom of Scotland.

Traditionally, literary historians have assumed that Scottish writers adopted a heightened nationalism and defensive tendencies in their works as a reaction to the Union. It is commonly accepted that this shift in national mindset was behind an increased interest in writers such as Robert Burns who reinvoked the Scots dialect.

Researchers will question whether this movement was indeed evidence of which induced an eighteenth-century Scottish crisis of identity and examine the counter-theories that suggest Scottish writers helped to broaden English culture and identity.

The Carnegie Trust funded project also aims to investigate the theory that Scottish writing helped to pave the way for unionism and was a forerunner of a shared British identity even before 1707.

Gerry Carruthers, Professor of Scottish Literature at the University of Glasgow, said: “Literary historians have always thought that Scottish writers became more nationalistic and defensive after the Union of 1707. It has been argued that the dissolution of the Kingdom of Scotland was the catalyst for a new vernacular renaissance of the Scots language, championed by figures such as Allan Ramsay, Robert Fergusson and, perhaps above all, Robert Burns.

“This project will look at giving legitimacy to the idea that, rather than railing against the Union by reinforcing ideas of nationhood, Scottish writers played a much more complex role, shaping the idea of unionism before 1707 and, afterwards, proceeding to influence English culture and identity.”

Books – Author Helen FitzGerald brings her new book to The Avenue

POPULAR author Helen FitzGerald will be at the Avenue Shopping Centre in Newton Mearns to discuss her work and introduce her new book, The Cry, at Primavera Bistro on Wednesday 13th November from 7pm – 8pm.


In The Cry, a baby goes missing on a lonely roadside in Australia, setting off a police investigation that will become a media sensation. Lies, rumours and guilt snowball, causing the parents, Joanna and Alistair, to slowly turn against each other.


Finally Joanna starts thinking the unthinkable: could the truth be even more terrible than she suspected? And what will it take to make things right?

Michelle McCabe, Centre Manager at The Avenue, said: “The Cry is a dark psychological thriller with a gripping moral dilemma at its heart and characters who will keep you guessing on every page.”


Helen FitzGerald is one of thirteen children and grew up in Victoria, Australia. She now lives in Glasgow with her husband and two children.


To book a space at this free event contact Waterstones or Primavera Bistro in the Avenue.


The Avenue Shopping Centre, managed by commercial property consultancy BTWShiells, offers shoppers a warm and welcoming shopping experience conveniently located on the outskirts of Glasgow city centre.


For further information about The Avenue log onto


The 2010 Royal Mail Awards for Scottish Children’s Books

Glasgow’s Tramway Theatre underwent a transformation yesterday. The metamorphosis saw the state-of-the-art venue in the city’s South side become a virtual circus, complete with clowns, fire-eaters, stiltwalking butterflies, and acrobats. What better environment to celebrate the 2010 Royal Mail Awards for Scottish Children’s Books?

Ringmaster Janice Forsyth, charged with overseeing the proceedings, spoke of fulfilling her dream of running off to join the circus, which was met with an applause that seemed to imply it was a dream that was shared by many of the 500 young people in attendance.

Record numbers were involved this year, which saw over 16,000 children from all over the country voting for their favourite books, an increase of 1,000 over last year, and 11,000 since the awards began.

“I think that is an absolutely tremendous achievement” said, Minister for Skills and Lifelong Learning, Angela Constance, “I really do think that The Scottish Book Trust has to be congratulated for the growth and success of these awards.”

In the Early years category (0-7) – named the Bookbug Readers Category after the new identity created for The Scottish Book Trust by nominee Debi Gliori – Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson won the award for her picture book What the Ladybird Heard, illustrated by Lydia Monks. Unfortunately Donaldson was unable to attend the ceremony, however she did send a video message and said she was this time “saved from despair”. Previously she was shortlisted three times and went home empty handed.

MSP Angela Constance commented on The Scottish Government’s “very strong relationship with the Scottish Book Trust”, explaining that the government had invested one million pounds to allow for the Bookbug reading project to continue.

Barry Hutchison picked up the award in the Younger Readers category (8-11) for his debut novel: Invisible Fiends – Mr Mumbles. The novel’s plot details had some of the adults in attendance squirming in their seats as the terrifying Mr Mumbles – who from all accounts sounds like Freddy Krueger’s little brother, and just as frightening – was introduced to the audience by a selection of pupils from various schools in a pre-produced video.

In his acceptance speech Hutchison, whose reputation amongst the younger members of the audience was obvious from the rapturous applause he received simply upon entering the theatre, remarked: “Anyone who has ever been to one of my events before will probably have heard me talking about my phobia of clowns. So you can imagine my delight when I was told that today’s ceremony was going to have a circus theme.”

Previous winner, Catherine MacPhail, collected the award for the Older Readers category (12-16) for Grass, another obvious favourite judging by the audience’s response. “To win this wonderful award once was exciting enough,” said the author, “but to win it twice, I still can’t quite believe it’s true”.

The ceremony may have been theatrical, and the award announcements, as Forsyth acknowledged, may have had more than a little of the pomp and grandeur that will surely accompany this Sunday’s Oscars. But, as Angela Constance pointed out, the underlying focus of events like these is to improve child literacy and get young people excited about reading:-“We are incredibly fortunate to have so many excellent authors and illustrators from across the country to inspire our future writers. The development of literacy skills is, of course, a key focus of the Curriculum for Excellence and these awards play an important role in encouraging reading and writing in the younger generation.”

And with that, the 2010 Royal Mail Awards for Scottish Children’s Books was brought to an end. Big tops packed up, make up wiped off, and clown shoes stowed away for next year, but most importantly, the 16,000 young people involved in this year’s awards have in the process been enthused about reading.

Surely a statistic which reinforces The Scottish Book Trust as a success.

Weegie Wednesday 8th December

Weegie Wednesday began in January 2007, inspired by Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature’s salon night (last Tuesday of every month at the Wash Bar on The Mound, upstairs). Writers, booksellers, publishers, librarians, or anyone who wishes to network and talk books is welcome. Please pass the word. The meetings take place once a month at the following venue:
Upstairs at The Universal Bar Sauchiehall Lane (directly behind Waterstones in Sauchiehall Street), Glasgow

Forthcoming meetings will take place from 7.30pm on December 8th More details on their website where they also have some photos.

Honorary degree for Ron Ferguson

An honorary Doctor of Letters has been awarded to one of Scotland’s best-known writers, a regular contributor to the Press and Journal and The Herald newspapers and the Church of Scotland’s Life and Work magazine.

Orkney-based freelance journalist, Ron Ferguson, had the honorary degree bestowed upon him by Glasgow Caledonian University at a graduation ceremony yesterday.

Ferguson is a former Church of Scotland minister in Glasgow’s Easterhouse and at St Magnus Cathedral in Orkney. Four years ago, he was named columnist of the year at the Scottish Magazine Awards. He has also won plaudits for his books, including a best-selling biography of George MacLeod, and is a successful playwright.

His one-man play, Every Blessed Thing, toured Kirkwall, Glasgow, Edinburgh, London, Toronto, New York and Connecticut. He has been a weekly columnist and book reviewer with The Herald for the past 14 years.

The Press and Journal reports today that Professor Pamela Gillies, Glasgow Caledonian University’s principal and vice-chancellor, said Ferguson had been recognised for his “remarkable record of achievement” and inspiring co

Gliterary Lunch November 25th 2010

This is a lunch with a difference which will take place on November 25th 2010 at Oran Mor, from 12pm to 3pm

The format is that you have a starter with your pre lunch refreshment, then you eat your main course followed by a reading from one of the authors, followed by some questions. Then you get your pudding, the second author speaks and then you get to have the books signed. Great format which allows for lots of chat over lunch, so take your friends!

Portrait  photograph of author Caro RamsayDark Water
by Caro Ramsay

Caro Ramsay was born in Glasgow and now lives in a village on the West Coast of Scotland.

She is widely recognised as one of the most significant new voices in the crime genre. This is her third DI Anderson and DS Costello novel.

Praise for Caro Ramsay

‘Many shivers in store for readers, followed by a shattering climax’
The Times

‘Ramsay handles her characters with aplomb, the dialogue crackles and the search for the killer has surprising twists and turns’

The Plot

A bitterly cold February in Glasgow. A body of a criminal, his face hideously disfigured, is discovered hanging from a rope in the attic of a deserted tenement…

Investigating officers DI Anderson and DS Costello believe the dead man to be a suspect, in a decade old case involving rape and attempted murder. But what has happened to the dead man’s accomplice, ‘Mr Click’?

With the discovery of another young woman who has been brutally attacked, detectives Anderson and Costello realise this terrifying psychopath has started working once more. For Mr Click has developed a taste for his bloodthirsty trade. And to satisfy his lust he will strike again and again…

Portrait photograph of author Arabella WeirThe Real Me is Thin
by Arabella Weir
Arabella Weir is the author of the best-selling Does My Bum Look Big In This? She is best known for her role in BBC2’s The Fast Show and is a frequent commentator on current issues in the Guardian. Arabella contributed regularly to the Radio 4 comedy series Smelling of Roses and most recently appeared in E4’s teen drama Skins. Arabella recently appeared in the West End show Calendar Girls. She lives in north London with her husband and two children.Praise for Arabella Weir

‘Arabella is such a funny and charming person she talks about herself and these issues in a really light-hearted and entertaining way.’
Harper Collins

The Plot

Lumped into ‘the too fat for potatoes group’ by her mother, carefree eating isn’t something Arabella Weir had much experience of growing up.

Written with startling frankness, Arabella unravels her own eating history in this humorous appraisal of our attitudes towards eating disorders and obesity. Not easy for someone who still can’t be alone unsupervised in a room with a packet of chocolate biscuits.

Recounting stories of unhinged mothers and callous doctors, mystery-meat suppers, and egg custard battles with calculating boyfriends’ mothers, this candid memoir vividly recreates a childhood and adolescence marred by the social embarrassment of being marked as different simply due to your weight.

Tickets: £50 per head / £500 per table of 10 You can book online

[googleMap name=”Oran Mor” width=”400″ height=”400″]Byres Road Glasgow G12 8QX[/googleMap]