Bad Boy Nick Brooks Coming to the Reading Room

Nick_Brooks9lowThere may be some steam rising from Edinbane Community Hall on Tuesday, July 26, when our guest reader takes the floor.

Nick Brooks is a novelist and poet who lives and works in Glasgow. He has twice won a Scottish Arts Council (now Creative Scotland) Writer’s Award and most recently, was awarded a grant by the Royal Literary Fund. His first two novels, My Name Is Denise Forrester (2005) and The Good Death (2007), were both published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson.

His third novel, Indecent Acts (Freight 2014), is reported entirely by the protagonist, Grace, a semi-illiterate 40-something mother from Drumchapel, one of Glasgow’s most notorious schemes. It is written in Grace’s inimitable misspelt patois, with hilarious and moving effect. 

Brooks’ latest works include a collection of erotic haiku, called Sexy Haiku (2016 Freight).  Dubbed ‘Zen porno’, there is reason we (hope!) to expect some rakish…voluptuous…oh!…that is to say, perhaps riggish material, if not behaviour, from our guest.

A first collection of poetry, The Dog in the Disco, through Dive Buki in Slovakia, is due ‘sometime’. Currently, he is writing a screenplay and more poems.

When not more gainfully employed, Nick is a full-time stalker with a pronounced limp. (Be still our beating…)

Our evening begins at 7 p.m. for 7:30. Non-members, £5. Memberships are always available.  Be sure to check out our book table for interesting reads at bargain prices. Copies of our Anthology 2, A Stillness of Mind, may be purchased for £8.50.

Refreshments will be served. Everyone is welcome. For more information, contact us at skyereadingroom@yahoo.co.uk or message us on Facebook.

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Claire Macdonald Loves What She Does

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There’s no doubt about it – if you want a party, invite (famous cook, hospitality wizard and author) Lady Claire Macdonald. We had a ball at Edinbane Hall last night and if you want to hear Claire’s (tellable) cache of stories about running Kinloch House Lodge with her husband, Macdonald clan chief Godfrey Macdonald, and her family, you’ll have to buy her autobio, Lifting the Lid. We can’t wait for the sequel so we can have her entertain us again. (Big smiley face :))

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Authors Richard Neath and Liz Shaw meet up.

GE DIGITAL CAMERAGodfrey (far R)  takes a back seat to his wife  and checks the dogs in the car.

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GE DIGITAL CAMERAIs writer Francis Mitchell telling dog jokes to Godfrey Macdonald?

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Kitchen crew and everything else: Irene, Ann and Debbie.

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She did sit down for five minutes!

Claire Macdonald to Tell All – we hope!

If you have ever been within the energy field of Lady Claire Macdonald, her stories about her life at Kinloch Lodge won’t surprise you. Neither will the fact that she is the author of almost twenty best-selling cookery books, including Seasonal Cooking, The Harrods Book of Entertaining, The Claire Macdonald Cookbook and Entertaining Solo.ClaireMacDonald

In 2012, Birlinn published her autobiography, Lifting the Lid, and in 2014, the paperback was released. The famous, self-taught cook and writer will be sharing stories from her book at the June meeting of the Reading Room.

In Lifting the Lid, Claire looks back over four eventful decades to tell the story of how she, her husband, clan chief Godfrey Macdonald of Macdonald, and their family built up Kinloch House Lodge, from insignificant beginnings in a remote but spectacularly beautiful corner of Skye, to the great culinary institution it is today. Full of anecdLifting the Lid3otes and humour, it also reveals how hard it was to achieve their dream.

Cited as one of the world’s top 25 small hotels in Conde Nast Traveller magazine, Kinloch’s restaurant is one of only 16 restaurants in Scotland to have been awarded a coveted Michelin star in 2011.

Claire Macdonald is one of the best known figures in the culinary world today. A hugely successful and critically acclaimed cookery writer for over thirty years, she has garnered numerous awards and has appeared regularly on TV and at cookery demonstrations and courses all over the globe.

She is also Patron of Scottish Food Fortnight and The Association of Scottish Farmers’ Markets. In recognition of her contribution to Scottish food, Claire was presented a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland.

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Kinloch House Lodge

Lady Claire was awarded the OBE in the 2014 New Years Honours List for her services to the hospitality industry and for her services to charity in Scotland, most notably for her work with Marie Curie Cancer Care.

Claire Macdonald is a vibrant presence and a captivating speaker, and we are feeling quite privileged to have her spend the evening with us at Edinbane Community Hall, on Tuesday, June 28. The meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m., and everyone is invited. Members are free; non-members £3.

Refreshments will be served. Great deals will be found in our book corner and you can pick up our latest Anthology, ‘A Stillness of Mind’, for £8.50. Memberships are always available. For further information, email to skyereadingroom@yahoo.co.uk, or message us on Facebook.

 

 

How far would you go to avoid death?

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Frozen to Life is the true account of futuristic writer D.J. MacLennan’s extraordinary answer to this question: If he cannot escape the constraints of a ‘natural’ lifespan, he will, upon his death, have his severed head preserved in a vat of liquid nitrogen in the Arizona desert.

This book illuminates the astonishing science behind his decision, and the transformative power of the patternist thinking that carried him to it. From the initial confusion and isolation of his upbringing on the Scottish islands of Benbecula and Skye, comes a curious inkling that collides with dominant religious dogmas and alters relationships: What am I? What is a ‘self’? Must selves die?

Neuroscience – including the latest theories about the way mind emerges from the architecture of the brain – interweaves with philosophy, Buddhism and personal testimony, to create a fascinating and emotionally-charged insight into the psyche of a ‘cryonaut’ in waiting.

Written with empathy, searing insight, and dark humour, Frozen to Life is both cutting edge and bleeding heart: a postmodern experiment in falling in love with life while preparing for death, in ways we can change ourselves radically without losing our treasured humanity, and iFrozen toLifeauthorphoton coming to understand that neither life nor death is what we think it is. How far would you go to avoid death?

Author D.J. MacLennan was born in 1971, in an old schoolhouse on the almost-drowned Scottish island of Benbecula. Since 1975, he has lived on the Isle of Skye in Scotland.

The Alcor cryonics facility currently houses some 115 liquid-nitrogen-vitrified ‘patients’ – of whom over two-thirds are head-only ‘neuropatients’. Dr. Max More, CEO of Alcor, in Scottsdale, Arizona, says that cryonics is ‘simply an extension of emergency medicine’, suggesting that cryonics is saving a patient by buying them time for science to catch up. Of around 980 members worldwide, MacLennan became one of only a handful that have allowed their names to be made public.

On Tuesday, March 22, please join the Reading Room for an enlightening discussion with D.J. MacLennan. We meet at Tigh na Sgire, Park Lane, Portree, Isle of Skye, next to the Community Center, from 7:00 p.m. Refreshments will be served. £3 for non-members.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Evening with Poet Mark O. Goodwin

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Our February guest for the Skye Reading Room is poet Mark O. Goodwin. He will be reading a selection of his work written over the last fifteen years. 

His standout publication is Dà Thaobh a’ Bhealaich / The Two Sides of the Pass (Ravens Press, 2009), a collaboration with poet Maoilios Caimbeul. This unique book is a bilingual poetic conversation that takes place from the two sides of Skye’s Trotternish peninsula, with an exchange between two cultures, English-speaking and Gaelic-speaking. It is about the places to which you belong, families and kinship, and ties to the land.

In a 2009 interview, Goodwin stated that one thing that struck him was the great sadness in the Skye landscape and he wanted to find out why. This is interesting, because the poem selected by the Scottish Poetry Library from this book to be included as one of the best of Scottish poetry in 2009, is a delightful, humorous and ironic poem, titled Skye. In it, the narrator is having a relationship with the Isle of Skye: 

Skye, are we falling out or is it

that we are spending too much time

in each other’s company…

Tha thu gam chur às no chiall. You’re driving me nuts.

 

The poet said he tried to make (Skye) ‘a lived and loved place with all the confusions that an incomer might have, especially when feeling a Gaelic word or two in the mouth for the first time’.

 Mark O. Goodwin’s poems have appeared in various anthologies, including the Reading Room’s first anthology, Words from an Island. His work has been published in Northwords Now; Literal World Magazine; The Eildon Tree; and Nerve Magazine. He has received numerous special awards and performed at StAnza festivals and others  throughout Scotland.

Our Tuesday, February 23rd meeting will convene from 7:00 p.m., at Tigh na Sgire, on Park Lane, in Portree, next to the Community Center.

All are welcome. Entry is free for members; £5 for non-members. Teas and coffees will be available and our Book Stall will offer a variety of good reads for sale.

Mark O. Goodwin’s appearance is partly funded by Live Literature via Scottish Book Trust.

 

New Poetry Collection by Kenneth Steven

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 We’ve been waiting for Kenneth Steven’s new book of Iona-inspired poems and here it is.

 

The poet told us that all of the poems in this collection are Haiku-esque, but they don’t intend to be paying formal homage to the genre: ‘These are intended to be little meditations on the island and its story.’ 

 

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It is a little book, so the price is pretty little too.  A single copy, with postage, is £8. Two copies, again with postage, will be £15, and three £20. This lovely gem would be a special gift for yourself and/or friends.

Correspondence and payment  may be mailed to Kenneth Steven at the address below or go to his web page. Let him know dedications you might like him to write and please include your home address to make things easier and swifter for him.

Little Narnia
Spoutwells
Dunkeld
PH8 0AZ
Scotland

www.kennethsteven.co.uk

 

LOUISE WELSH: Everything I Know About Crime Writing in Two Hours!

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Photo credit: Steve Lindbridge

Six successful crime novels – the seventh, Death is a Welcome Guest just launched, musical collaborations, plays and non-fiction radio features, recipient of numerous awards and fellowships…the Reading Room is excited to present author Louise Welsh for afternoon and evening events, on Tuesday, July 28, at Skeabost Hotel.

Welsh will hold a Crime Writing Workshop from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., where she will impart ‘all I know about crime writing in two hours’. The author has an impish sense of humor and admits to enjoying messing with people’s heads in her fiction, tweaking the reader’s trust in a character. With what appears to be a ceaseless and almost impossible schedule of writing and projects, she may really be capable of zapping our brains in those two hours.

There is a £5 per head fee for the two-hour workshop. Please book online at – skyereadingroom@yahoo.co.uk or via Reading Room Facebook page.

An Evening with Louise Welsh begins at 7.30 p.m. There is no entry fee and all are welcomeR:  138 G:  255 B:  154 X:54188 Y:    0 S:    0 Z:  143 F:  130.

The Skeabost Hotel offers fine dining and a casual menu is also available, serving afternoon teas and light bites throughout the day, plus an interesting and varied wine list, and large range of Malt whiskies and vast selection of Scottish Gins; there is something to suit all tastes. Be sure to visit the cozy pub while enjoying the ambiance of this historic hotel. 

Directions: Once on the outskirts of the village of Portree, take the Dunvegan Road A 850 and travel about seven miles to Skeabost, remembering to fork left at the junction for Dunvegan/Uig.   Skeabost is two miles from this junction, situated on the right hand side of the road beside the sea. Travelling from the west, the hotel is 18 miles east of Dunvegan on the A850.