Monday, 26 August 2013

It ain't over yet

The day we’ve all been dreading – the final day of the 2013 Book Festival – has finally arrived. 

But suspend your sadness for a while. There is still plenty of time to…


...relax in the Gardens (the sun is shining today)...

...see one more stupendous Storyshop reading - it's FREE at 4pm in the Guardian Spiegeltent...

...peruse our FREE exhibition of artwork from our Stripped programme..


 ..and author portraits by Chris Close...

...take one final browse around our bookshops...


...and see one last FREE Jura Unbound, tonight, from 9pm in the Guardian Spiegeltent.


There’s still time to see a live author event too. How about one of these wee gems?

Rutu Modan and Leanne Shapton share their beautifully illustrated stories of relationships and love at 2pm. £7 (£5)

Costa Award-winning Simon Sebag Montefiore launches his unforgettable new novel One Night in Winter at 3pm. £10 (£8)

Illustrators Rob Davis and Martin Rowson bring a graphic twist to classic tales at 3.30pm. £7 (£5)

Graphic novelists Glyn Dillon and Jon McNaught do fascinating things with words and pictures at 7pm. £10 (£8)

Crime writer Denise Mina and artist Andrea Mutti offer a graphic transformation of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy at 8.30pm. £10 (£8)

Smoking hot authors Stuart Evers and Paul Harding present their latest works of fiction at 8.30pm. £7 (£5)

We hope to see you soon...

Saturday, 24 August 2013

So little time, so much to do

The final weekend is here. But don’t be sad – there are still 3 days of bookish fun to be had. 

Our Stripped programme of events celebrating comics, graphic novels and the people who create them is well and truly underway. Catch up with what happened on Stripped Friday with this handy Storify.

If you're coming to Charlotte Square Gardens this weekend pop in to our Mini Comic Fair in 5 Charlotte Square. You'll find many of Scotland's finest comics creators promoting their work. See the full line up on the Stripped blog.


There are still tickets available for lots of Book Festival events. Among the many marvellous authors appearing this weekend are…

Saturday 24 August

Classic comic strip creator Posy Simmonds presents her collection Mrs Weber’s Omnibus at 4:30pm. £10 (£8)

Sally Magnusson reveals the winners of this year’s prestigious James Tait Black Prizes at 6.30pm. £10 (£8)

In a double bill of fine fiction Eleanor Catton presents her Man Booker Prize shortlisted novel The Luminaries while Hannah Kent brings her stunning debut set in Iceland at 7pm. £7 (£5)

Hannah Berry and Gareth Brookes present their graphic novels with a gothic twist at 8.30pm. £7 (£5)

Sunday 25 August
Paula Byrne sheds new light on Jane Austen at 10.30am £10 (£8)

Paul McMahon and Andrew Rugasira take an optimistic look at feeding the world’s growing population at 2pm. £10 (£8)

We’re celebrating a generation of comic genius when our panel of industry experts traces the success of 2000 AD at 3pm. £10 (£8)

Margaret Atwood shares the joy of playing with literary forms with fellow genre-bending authors Naomi Alderman and Valerie Martin at 4.30pm. £10 (£8)

Poet Amin Haddad and musicians Eskenderella bring musical poetry from the heart of the Egyptian revolution at 8.30pm. £10 (£8)

There will be crime writing with a twist courtesy of Niall Leonard and Russ Litten at 8.30pm. £7 (£5)

Ceri Levy shares the stories behind the exotically drawn Extinct Boids at 8.30pm. £7 (£5)

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Listen again, first books and photographs

As day 12 draws to a close we look back on the last couple of days (and then look forward too) ...

Have a listen! 
We've now published audio recordings of a handful of this year’s events in the Media Gallery our website including Baroness Susan Greenfield in conversation with Kirsty Wark. There will be many more recordings to come in over the following days and weeks. 

Susan Greenfield talks to Kirsty Wark


Fabulous first books
Once again our First Book Award is shining a light on the outstanding calibre of debut fiction in our programme. There is still time to vote for your favourite to win, just complete a voting slip and post it in the Big Voting Box in the entrance tent of the Festival, or vote on our website where you can also find the full list of shortlisted authors and books. If you’re in town why not come along and show your support for one of these new authors by seeing them in an event

The Big Voting Box


The science of superheroes 
Superheroes bring the fun Scientist and consultant to Hollywood James Kakalios brought physics to life through the antics of superheroes.

James was here as part of Stripped, our exciting programme of events and activities uncovering the wonderful world of comics, graphic novels and the people who create them. Find out more about Stripped on our website and on the special Stripped blog

James Kakalios brings science to life



Turning the tables on the photographers
During a photo shoot this afternoon political stalward Tam Dalyell gave the photographers a taste of their own medicine. Both perspectives below. The first picture shows the photo shoot in action. The second photo, taken by Tam Dalyell, shows what it looks like to be at the mercy of the photogrpahers (don't worry, we can assure you they are a lovely bunch!). 



Coming up in the next couple of days…

Thursday 22 August

Meet leading novelists from Germany and Argentina, Patricio Pron and Eugen Ruge at 2pm on Thursday 22 August. Tickets cost £7 (£5)

Editor of the Guardian Alan Rusbridger brings tales of musical triumph during a time of journalistic turmoil at 3pm on Thursday 22 August. Tickets cost £10 (£8)

Charlotte Higgins, chief arts writer of the Guardian, explores what Roman Britain means to the British now at 3.30pm on Thursday 22 August. Tickets cost £10 (£8)

King of crime Quintin Jardine celebrates 20 years of DCC Bob Skinner at 4.30pm on Thursday 22 August. Tickets cost £10 (£8)

Man Booker Prize-winner DBC Pierre presents his first collection of short stories featuring phantasmagorical prose, a heady cocktail of illustrations and photographic ‘evidence’ at 7pm on Thurs 22 Aug. Tickets cost £10 (£8)

For a fascinating insight into the art of translating texts come and see our Translation Duel featuring acclaimed authors and translators at 8.30pm on Thurs 22 Aug. Tickets cost £10 (£8)

Friday 23 August

One of Scotland’s finest authors James Robertson discusses his work with Ruth Wishart at 12 noon. Tickets cost £10 (£8)

William Sutcliffe discusses his book based in a fictional settlement with acclaimed Palestinian author and lawyer Raja Shehadeh at 2pm. Tickets cost £10 (£8)

Join two up-and-coming Scotland-based comics guys, Will Morris & Edward Ross, for some serious graphic chat at 3.30pm. Tickets cost £7 (£5). Part of our Stripped programme.

A Genius of comics art Melinda Gebbie discusses her fascinating and sometimes controversial career as a graphic artist at 4pm. Tickets cost £10 (£8). Part of our Stripped programme.

Take a whistle-stop tour of the world of comics with the masterful Paul Gravett, author of 1001 Comics You Must Read Before You Die at 5pm. Tickets cost £10 (£8). Part of our Stripped programme.

Mark Billingham presents his latest crime thriller, Dying Hours at 7pm. Tickets cost £10 (£8)

We’re celebrating 50 years of Dr Who with three authors connected to the books and the their televisual incarnations at 8.30pm. Tickets cost £10 (£8)

We hope to see you soon.

Monday, 19 August 2013

An actor's life, monsters in the Gardens and some very important poetry news

In the last few days we’ve seen…

Rupert Everett revealing quite a lot including his thoughts on the Russian winter Olympics and his exciting movie plans for next year.


The announcement of a major new poetry competition for young people – the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award.

Interviews with two of our Stripped authors – Chris Ware and Joe Sacco – available to watch online. There will be more interviews and event recordings to follow so watch this space. 



And today we had some unusual visitors to the gardens…


Coming up in the next couple of days…


Mark Buchanan and Tony Juniper explore the impact of nature on our financial markets at 2pm.Tickets cost £10 (£8)

Our Guest Selector Kate Mosse leads a discussion on the changing face of feminism over the last 30 years at 3pm. Tickets cost £10 (£8)

Mark Cocker and David Tipling share the stories behind their gorgeous book about Birds and People at 3.30pm. Tickets cost £10 (£8)

Journalist Laurie Penny sheds a thoughtful light on the ordinary people affected by the Greek financial crisis at 4pm. Tickets cost £10 (£8)

Vic Galloway takes a journey to the centre of the musical universe that is Fife at 8.30pm. Tickets cost £10 (£8)

James Fergusson and Ben Rawlence recount tales from troubled spots in Africa at 2pm. Tickets cost £10 (£8)

An expert panel let by Lin Anderson explores the art of being a writer in the digital age at 6.45pm. Tickets cost £10 (£8)

Daniel Rachel recounts interviews with some of the biggest names in music at 8.30pm. Tickets cost £10 (£8)
Tony Ryan ponders the possibility of life on earth powered entirely by the sun at 8.30pm. Tickets cost £10 (£8)

Saturday, 17 August 2013

One week in...

We’re one week into the Festival already!

The last few days have seen...

Jonathan ‘Aggers’ Agnew told us he would love to see Charlotte Green presenting the cricket.

(photo by Guillem Lopez)


Andrew Marr took to the Book Festival stage to present the brand new updated version of his book The Battle For Scotland and in the process he made quite a few headlines including this one in The Independent.
Kirsty Logan was announced as the inaugural recipient of the Dr Gavin Wallace Fellowship. Gavin, who was a great friend and supporter of the Book Festival, spent his career passionately championing Scottish literature so we’re delighted that this prestigious fellowship has been awarded to one of the country’s brightest new literary talents.

Smiles were raised and hearts set aflutter as The Mysterious Book Sculptor struck again and several stunning sculptures of birds appeared, as if by magic, in our bookshop.


The Big Issue vendors have been doing a roaring trade at the Festival. We’ve heard that this week’s mags are selling like hot cakes so get in fast and get your copy the next time you visit. As well as getting your hands on a great read you’ll be helping the vendor on their journey away from homelessness. You can find them next to our front gates.

Our roving photographers have been working overtime capturing the finest Book Festival moments. We regularly add new pictures to our Flickr account and to our Facebook page so be sure to pay a regular visit to see the latest snaps. 


Still to come

As always, there are still tickets available for lots of fantastic events. A full list can be found on our website but here is a selection of what’s to come today and tomorrow (scroll down for events for children).

Today – Saturday 17 August
Journalist Damian Barr remembers growing up and coming out in the 80s at 7pm. Tickets cost £10 (£8)

There’s gripping fiction aplenty tonight. Fayette Fox and Charlotte Mendelson capture the joy and pain of growing up at 7pm, while at 8.30pm Gillian Galbraith & Antti Tuomainen offer crime and intrigue. Tickets cost £7 (£5)

Tomorrow – Sunday 18 August
Poet Robin Robertson presents his most powerful collection yetHill of Doors. At 10:15am. Tickets cost £10 (£8)

Our Guest Selector Gavin Esler and his esteemed panel ask ‘Can we trust the government’? at 11.30am. Tickets cost £10 (£8)

Amit Chaudhuri offers a personal tribute to Calcutta at 3.30pm. Tickets cost £10 (£8)

One of the finest pop memoirs of recent time is brought to us thanks to Everything and the Girl singer Tracey Thorn, at 8pm. Tickets cost £10 (£8)

Comedian and novelist Robert Newman presents his story set in the early days of capitalism at 9.30pm. Tickets cost £10 (£8).

For children

Tomorrow – Sunday 18 August

Pippa Goodhart and Nick Sharratt present Just Imagine – the book that lets you be different creatures at the turn of a page. At 12noon, age 5 – 7, tickets cost £4.50.

Meet the master of horror, Darren Shan, with his flesh-eating new series, Zom-B. At 1.30pm, age 12+, tickets cost £4.50.

One of Britain’s most talented illustrators Tony Ross shows us how to capture humour and fun with pictures and words at 1pm, age 5 – 7, tickets cost £4.50.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Stripped kicks off and Independence is in the air

So, what’s been happening since we last posted? 


Alasdair Gray set the record straight over his ‘settlers and colonists’ comments and revealed why he turned down a knighthood.

Our Stripped programme of events got underway in fine style with two legendary creators - Chris Ware and Joe Sacco.

The day after he told us that the Yes vote for Scottish Independence had 'no chance', Nate Silver joined us to talk about the power of statistics and why we need rational thinking in our journalism.


Still to come…
Today, Thursday 15  August

The Fabulous Baker Brothers are in town to reignite our passion for Great British grub at 3:30pm. Tickets cost £10 (£8)

Today’s Blueprint Debate is all about the future of our defence systems. Do you think Scotland should become nuclear-free? Come along and have your say at 7pm. Tickets cost £10 (£8).

Lovers of the natural world will enjoy seeing Charles Rangeley-Wilson and Esther Woolfson, two writers with stunning stories of forgotten streams and open spaces, at 7pm. Tickets cost £7 (£5)

Come and hear the confessions of Charlatans front man Tim Burgess who will be in conversation with Ian Rankin at 9.30pm. Tickets cost £10 (£8). Sponsored by Edinburgh Gin.

Tomorrow, Friday 16 August
Join William McIlvanney to celebrate the brand new editions of his classics Laidlaw, Strange Loyalties and The Papers of Tony Veitch at 3pm. Tickets cost £10 (£8)

Poet Jackie Kay and her son Matthew share the stage to discuss the importance of artistic and cultural contributions in political life at 4:30pm. Tickets cost £10 (£8)

Hot on the heels of the recent Bob Servant BBC series Neil Forsyth presents further tales Bob’s anti-spamming antics. Neil will be joined by Johnny Watson who played Frank in the TV series. Join them at 7pm. Tickets cost £10 (£8)

See two emerging stars of British fiction,
Sam Byers and Angela Jackson, present their debut novels at 7pm. Tickets cost £7 (£5)

Poets Michael Pedersen and Luke Wright are currently storming the spoken word scene. Join them for some poetic entertainment at 8:30pm. Tickets cost £7 (£5)

The pictures are pouring in
Our Festival photographers have been snapping away - we’ve put a selection of their shots on our Flickr and Facebook accounts so take a look if you have a moment and keep checking back as we'll be adding more as we go. 

Don’t forget Story Shop – a free ten minute reading from Edinburgh’s brightest new literary talent brought to you by our pals at Edinburgh City of Literature. It’s in our Guardian Spiegeltent every day at 4pm and it’s FREE! No ticket required, so just drop in.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

The sound of Norway

Is it really day 4 already?
There have been plenty more Book Festival highlights in the last few days including:

Yesterday evening's Jura Unbound when the magnificent Ljodahått brought their intriguing blend of poetry and music all the way from Norway...

The moment Sandi Toksvig met the Gruffalo...



Cerys Matthews played some open air tunes...


David and Carrie Grant got their audience up and dancing...


Coming up soon we have…


He’s a master of journalism in the graphic form, Joe Sacco will be here at 8.30pm. Tickets cost £10 (£8).

Two young novelists from opposite sides of the Atlantic write about the search for humanity in dysfunctional lives. See Brian Kimberling and Allan Wilson at 8.30pm. Tickets cost £7 (£5).

Danny Dorling explores the rise and fall of the word’s population at 12noon, tickets cost £10 (£8).

Practising psychoanalyst Darian Leader takes a closer look the growth of bipolar in western societies at 2pm, tickets cost £10 (£8).

Andrew Robinson tells us about the compelling characters behind some of the greatest discoveries in science at 5pm, tickets cost £10 (£8).

See the full Festival line-up on our website.

Of course, you don’t have to go to an event. You could just come down to Charlotte Square Gardens and do a bit of this…

Sunday, 11 August 2013

The perfect beginning and plenty more to come

Wow – what a day we had yesterday!

There was dancing and drumming.

Books being browsed...

...and books being signed.

Jeremy Strong made the audience laugh their socks off...

and Salman Rushdie told us that ‘You cannot be a novelist unless you are fully engaged in life’.

And that was only day one!

There is so much more in store this evening and tomorrow, including many events with tickets available. Below is a hand picked selection of things you might like to see. For the full programme of events see our website.

Later today…

Rome-born Niccolò Ammaniti unveils his new novel, Let the Games Begin at 7pm, tickets cost £7 (£5).

Alice Rawsthorn shows how design is not just about the glamorous worlds of fashion and the Bauhaus, it is also a vital agent of change. At 8:30pm, tickets cost £10 (£8)

Harriet Tuckey tells the forgotten story of her father Griffith Pugh, the mountaineer whose scientific breakthroughs made the first ascent of Everest possible. At 8:30pm, tickets cost £10 (£8).

And tomorrow (Monday 12 August)...
Journey through Alexandria and Colombia with Michael Jacobs & Peter Stothard at 11am, tickets cost £10 (£8).

This year’s Carnegie Medal winner, Sally Gardner, presents her fairy detective Emily Vole at 12 noon, tickets cost £4.50 (Age range 7-10).

Brigadier David Allfrey from the Edinburgh Tattoo presents his enchanting story for youngsters, The Tattoo Fox, which was inspired by a real vixen on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle. At 2pm, tickets cost £4.50 (Families and 7+).

There will be literary Chinese whispers when Adam Thirlwell presents his magnificent feat of translation - The Multiples project at 3:30pm, tickets cost £10 (£8).

Three of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists 2003 – Rachel Cusk, A L Kennedy and Toby Litt – share the stage at 5pm, tickets cost £10 (£8).

Our Blueprint Debate for the day examines Justice – come and have your say at 7pm, tickets cost £10 (£8).

Val McDermid presents her brand new thriller, Cross and Burn at 8pm, tickets cost £10 (£8).

Not able to join us?  

If you’re not able to come and join us we’re live tweeting from selected events – follow #edbookfest for the latest.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

The 2013 Book Festival is here!

The 2013 Edinburgh International Book Festival is well and truly up and running! The first visitors to Charlotte Square Gardens this morning were greeted by the rousing rhythms of The Edinburgh Samba School kicking of the day – and the Festival – to a glorious start in the sunshine. 

First up was Julia Donaldson who brought an entire team to enthral and entertain young and old in the packed Baillie Gifford Main Theatre. We caught a glimpse of one of the team chilling out backstage just before curtain up.


There are plenty more great events later on today and tickets are still available for many, so if you’re in the area and looking for some top-quality entertainment of a bookish kind why not drop by and see one of these fantastic events…

Novelists Patrick Flanery & Philipp Meyer explore the darker side of the American Dream with their latest books, one a tense literary thriller, the other an epic depiction of an ambitious family in the American West.
At 6.45, tickets cost £10 (£8)

For families and children there’s a chance to get Hooked on Drawing with author Vivian French and illustrator Cat Rayner, as they explore the process of drawing pictures for words and offer tips for budding picture book artists.
At 6pm, tickets cost £4.50.

Harold Davis went from plucky young Scot facing bullets in the Korean War to celebrated professional footballer. He shares his astonishing life story at 7pm, tickets cost £10 (£8).

The importance of Gaelic fiction to the 21st century will be explored when novelist and poet Angus Peter Campbell joins German-Gaelic author Michael Klevenhaus and Màiri E MacLeod. At 8.30pm. Tickets cost £7 (£5)

This is just a mere handful of the events we have on offer. See a full list of what’s lined-up for, today and the rest of the Book Festival, on our website. 

Say hello to the Open University
This weekend we're delighted to welcome The Open University who are hosting two Open Days in our Bookshop. They're here to spread the word about their wonderful range of study options - including courses on creative writing - so if the Book Festival has inspired you to put pen to paper, or you're curious to find out more about their other courses, pop in and say hello - they'd love to see you.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Grab yourself a red hot ticket

August is upon us and there’s just 7 days to go before we open so we've created a hand-picked selection of some of the hottest names in publishing – all coming to the Book Festival and all with tickets still available…

(listed in event date order)

Roddy Doyle presents his follow up to The Commitments.
Sat 10 Aug at 8pm, £10 (£8)

George Monbiot gets back to nature with Feral.
Sun 11 Aug, 3pm at 8pm, £10 (£8)

Former Design Museum director AliceRawsthorn offers a life affirming exploration of design as an agent for change.
Sun 11 Aug at 8:30pm, 8pm, £10 (£8)

Much-loved novelist A L Kennedy describes the courage and the crises behind the writing process.
Mon 12 Aug at 11:30am, £10 (£8)

Master Irish writer John Banville returns with his latest novel, Ancient Light.
Mon 12 Aug at 1:30pm, £10 (£8)

Scottish crime writing legend ValMcDermid presents her brand new thriller, Cross and Burn. Mon 12 Aug at 8pm, £10 (£8)
Statistician and political forecaster Nate Silver reveals the art and science of prediction.
Tue 13 Aug at 10, £10 (£8)

Famed neuroscientist Baroness SusanGreenfield shares the story of her remarkable career with Kirsty Wark.
Tue 13 Aug at 6:30pm, £10 (£8)

Joe Sacco casts a light on the power of comic journalism to grasp at the truth.
Tue 13 Aug at 8.30pm, £10 (£8)

Award-winning novelist Jane Gardam presents the final instalment of her bestselling ‘Old Filth’ trilogy.
Wed 14 Aug at 11:30am, £10 (£8)

The popular foodie duo TheFabulous Baker Brothers come to town.
Thu 15 Aug at 3:30pm, £10 (£8)

William McIlvanney presents the gorgeous new editions of Laidlaw, Strange Loyalties and The Papers of Tony Veitch.
Fri 16 Aug at 3pm £10 (£8)

Andrew Wilson explores the intriguing life of Sylvia Plath before she met Ted Hughes.
Fri 16 Aug at 5pm, £10 (£8)

Stand-up funny man Mark Watson brings a tragicomedy in novel form.
Fri 16 Aug at 9:30pm, £10 (£8)

Scotland’s finest, Ali Smith, displays her non-fiction talents.
Sat 17 Aug at 12pm, £10 (£8)

Former US Poet Laureate Kay Ryan presents her Pulitzer Prize-winning poetry.
Sun 18 Aug at 5pm, £10 (£8)

Liz Lochhead, Scotland’s Makar talks about 30 years of Scottish culture.
Mon 19 Aug at 3pm, £10 (£8)

Daniel Rachel takes a look behind the art of songwriting with Idelwild frontman Roddy Woomble.
Wed 21 Aug at 8:30pm, £10 (£8)

Celebrate 20 brilliant years of DCC Bob Skinner with Quintin Jardine
Thu 22 Aug at 4:30pm, £10 (£8)

Get the inside story on the world’s favourite superheroes with Grant Morrison.
Fri 23 Aug at 8pm, £10 (£8)

Paula Byrne presents her brand new biography of Jane Austen.
Sun 25 Aug at 10:30am, £10 (£8)

Poetry and music straight from the heart of the Egyptian revolution.
Sun 25 Aug at 8:30pm, £10 (£8)

Of course the above is but a selection of the programme, there are many more events besides along with some great children's writers andillustrators - you can find them all on the website, searchable by subject, theme, author, age range.... Enjoy!

See the 2013 Man Booker Prize nominees at the Book Festival

So we now know who has been longlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize and many of the authors will be appearing in events at this year’s Book Festival. Which will be the winner? We don’t know but we think this lot are in with a good chance…

Tash Aw, Five Star Billionaire
Tash Aw’s Five Star Billionaire follows five extraordinary characters, all of them Malaysian migrants, as they forge new lives for themselves in the dazzling streets of Shanghai.

See Tash Aw on Mon 19 Aug at 8.30pm, £10 (£8)

Eleanor Catton,
The Luminaries
The Luminaries is a richly evocative historical mystery set in the goldmines of New Zealand. When one man goes there to make his fortune he finds himself in the midst of a series of unsolved crimes and a complex network of fate and fortunes.

See Eleanor Catton on Sat 24 Aug at 7pm, £7 (£5)

Richard House,
The Kills
The Kills is an epic novel of crime and conspiracy which moves across continents, characters and genres. Beginning with a man on the run and ending with a burned body, it’s an astonishing political thriller that began life as a sequence of four digital books with accompanying multimedia content that’s well worth a look.

See Richard House on Sun 18 Aug at 8:30pm £7 (£5)

Charlotte Mendelson,
Almost English
Almost English is a heart-warmingly funny story following the troubled16 year-old Marina as she struggles to fit into life in a new school and find her identity in a land that isn’t home.

See Charlotte Mendelson on Sat 17 Aug at 7pm, £7 (£5)

Colm Tóibín,
The Testament of Mary
The Testament of Mary is a short and immensely powerful novel which sheds new light on this well known figure.

See Colm Tóibín on Tue 20 Aug at 4:30pm, £10 (£8)

New event announced: Another chance to see James Robertson

James Robertson is one of Scotland’s foremost literary talents so it came as no surprise when tickets to his Book Festival event on 18 August were snapped up.

Due to the huge demand for tickets we’ve scheduled another event and you can now seeJames on Friday 23 August at 12 noon.

James’ novels are known for tackling the sometimes difficult territory between real and imagined lives and his work has been inspired by topics such as the Lockerbie bombing and post-war Scottish politics. In this new event James will read from his work and discuss his writing with Ruth Wishart.

Youcan buy tickets to see James in this new event on our website or by calling the Book Festival Box Office on 0845 373 5888

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Record ticket sales on opening day

After much anticipation, our tickets went on sale on Friday 28 June and we have been thrilled with the response to our 2013 programme. Thousands of people booked by phone, on the website and at our Box Office counter at the Roxburghe Hotel in Edinburgh - in fact we sold more tickets this year on our opening day of sales than we have ever done - proving that literature has Wembley Stadium-sized rock-star status in the hearts and minds of anyone who loves a good read, doesn't mind dipping their toes into the unknown and enjoys being part of a great discussion - whether serious or not.

Competition for tickets was fierce: the first customers in the queue for the Box Office at the Roxburghe Hotel arrived at 3.10am and by the time we opened at 8.30am there were already 286 people waiting.

Our new strand of Reading Workshops across both the adult and children’s programmes has proved popular (although they aren’t all sold out yet so have a look at availability) as have talks featuring Caitlin Moran, Andrew Marr, Robert Peston, Kate Atkinson and Rupert Everett, which all sold out quickly. The Independence Debate with Kirsty Walk, the Celebration of Iain Banks and The Phoenix Comic Workshop in the Stripped programme also sold out.

There are literally hundreds of events which haven’t sold-out though – as you would expect with a programme of over 700 events and 800 authorsso plenty of tickets still available for all sorts of wonderful authors, poets, illustrators and graphic novelists.

Here’s a link which you can use to check what’s sold out:

This is an active link which updates automatically so you can use it from now until the end of the Book Festival.

A few tips for browsing online:

Have a look at the themes pages – they are a great guide to broad subject areas and give you a good idea of the shape of the overall programme.  

If you just want to know whether we have any events with a focus on a particular subject, for instance ‘Russia’, ‘birds’ or ‘classic novel’, simply type it into the keyword search box.

And use the drop-down category search menu for finding events on a whole variety of subjects such as music, health, science, education, politics, European Fiction, Free events, debates and so on.

And of course you can always just search for a particular author too by using the Author A-Z.

We hope you enjoy browsing the programme – if you prefer to flick through a paper version of the brochure we’d be happy to send one to you, simply email

Or you can browse the digital edition of the brochure on screen instead.