Sunday, 21 November 2010

"Don't bring me a fat one"

Alexander McCall Smith's Precious Ramotswe would not be happy. I particularly love this quote from Botswana's President (amazingly, he's single):
"He then turned to the corpulent Botlhogile Tshireletso, a female minister, and said: "I don't want one like this one. She may fail to pass through the door, breaking furniture with her heavy weight and even break the vehicles' shock absorbers.""
Damn - it looks like I should give up those girlish dreams of being queen of Botswana, then.

Some videos have been posted by the Edinburgh Book Festival with some of the events - including ones with Louise Welsh, Denise Mina and Karen Campbell. Each one of those has a Part 2.

And, talking of Louise Welsh, here's an excellent review of THE CUTTING ROOM.

Ian Rankin on the best Scottish albums of 2010. I'm looking forward to seeing Mogwai in January. But before that, I have a second Black Rebel Motorcycle Club gig to look forward to. Oh, and while we're on the subject of gigs - Sonic Youth - next time you play a gig in the UK, please could you let me know before all the bloody tickets sell out. Thanks. Grumpy of Glasgow.

But I digress - back to Ian Rankin - he's in conversation with Phil Jupitus at the Edinburgh Bookshop on 16 December.

Supporter of the arts? Fan of Glasgow Celtic? Like William McIlvanney? Unbelievably rich? Then this is the gift for you.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Douglas Lindsay's blog - brilliant stuff.

Christopher Brookmyre talks about what makes a good title on BBC Radio 4.

Over at the excellent Psycho-Noir, Heath Lowrance has invited various crime fiction luminaries and ne'er-do-wells to come up with their Essential 20 Noirs. The lovely Nigel Bird of Sea Minor weighs in with his list, which includes several great Scots (plus several other favourites of mine - KNOCKEMSTIFF by Donald Ray Pollock, a Joe Lansdale, and Camus' L'Etranger). I've been watching this series of posts and noting down with glee the noir suggestions that I haven't read. And, by the way, Mr Lowrance, I am awaiting with some impatience a tap on the shoulder from THE BASTARD HAND.

And, finally, huge congratulations to my friend Michael Malone. Looking forward to reading BLOOD TEARS and putting your name on the roster of Scottish writers, our Michael!


  1. Oh, you'll like The Bastard Hand, Donna . Oh, yes...

  2. The Cutting Room was out some time ago now - excellent book - and it's nice to see it still getting attention.

    7.5% writer royalties doesn't look so bad when the cover price of the book is £1967. Anybody wants to buy me that one I won't complain.

    And thanks for the mention, our Donna.

  3. are you going to list your 20 over at Psycho, Donna? the only reason Old Dogs didn't get in there by the way (even though i've seen it mentioned as comic-tartan noir on your blog) is that it's way too funny!

  4. Paul - I can't wait!

    Michael - it's my favourite if hers. And I'm sure Santa is reading this blog and will take note.

    Nigel - As it happens, I've just sent Heath my list (oh, what a struggle to keep it to 20 (I didn't)). And Old Dogs is definitely not noir. I love it, but I can't write it, sadly.

  5. I quite like the precision of Mr. President's diction.

  6. Peter - it set my heart a-beating.

  7. i made my 21 and just didn't confess. i also wanted to have more by individuals, but having 2 of anyone left others out.
    and noir, like beauty is in the eye of the beholder; i think it's there in Old Dogs, it's just that you've done many things to it along the way to turn it into a rainbow that happens to include black, that's all.

  8. Awwww, thanks Nigel! And me too - I wanted every single Daniel Woodrell novel in my list. And mine ended up being 24 and as soon as I'd sent it I thought "bugger - what about James Crumley".