Book Week Scotland 2017 #AuthorSpotlight @HelenMacKinven @BookWeekScot @scottishbktrust


Book Week Scotland 2017 is taking place from Monday 27 November – Sunday 3 December.

Welcome to our Book Week Scotland 2017 special. Every day we are featuring guest posts from various Authors with a variety of genres to suit every reader.

Book Week Scotland is a week-long celebration of books and reading that takes place every November.

During Book Week, people of all ages and walks of life will come together in libraries, schools, community venues and workplaces to share and enjoy books and reading. They will be joined in this celebration by Scotland’s authors, poets, playwrights, storytellers and illustrators to bring a packed programme of events and projects to life.

book-week-scotland-logo-2015Follow Book Week Scotland on Twitter or like them on Facebook for the latest updates.

Today Helen MacKinven is popping onto Love Books Group blog to share with us a guest post, especially for our readers.

You Are What You Read By Helen MacKinven


“I cannot remember the books I’ve read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

In the same way, as you are what you eat, it’s also true that you are what you read. I’ve been a voracious reader since I was a child. I’d visit my local library weekly to satisfy my hunger for books and would devour them. I was lucky to have access to a library within walking distance of my home and it never failed to impress me that I could borrow books for free, it still does. I’m a passionate supporter of libraries as I would’ve starved as a child reader without them feeding me knowledge and ideas.

On my visits to the library as a toddler, I would perch on a low stool to rake through the wooden boxes of picture books.  Eventually, I graduated to reading actual novels, real books, not just my school reading scheme. At bedtime in my council house bedroom in central Scotland, Enid Blyton could transport me to a Cornish boarding school for girls to enjoy a midnight feast in Malory Towers. This was proof of the power of books!



It wasn’t just fiction books that I enjoyed as a young reader. Back in the day, a common task set by teachers was to pick a country and research it as project work. Nowadays, children would immediately google to find out more about their chosen country. But the only place for me to discover what it was like in somewhere like Japan was to visit my library. I’d copy pictures of national costumes and traditional food and I often wonder if these activities prompted my love of travel as an adult.

As a teenage reader, desperately trying to be more street wise, I discovered risqué (for its time!) novels like Flowers in the Attic and entered the world of Judy Blume. I bet it would be cringeworthy to reread these books now as a middle-aged woman. It’s also amusing how the names of characters like Fanny, from The Magic Faraway Tree, haven’t stood the test of time and needed repackaged for contemporary readers. She’s now renamed as Frannie to spare blushes!

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From reading Enid Blyton to Roddy Doyle, I’ve consumed books daily and their diverse ingredients have made me the reader and writer I am today.

It’s why I love Book Week Scotland, the annual campaign run by the Scottish Book Trust for people of all ages and walks of life to come together in libraries, schools, community venues and workplaces to share and enjoy books and reading. This year’s theme is Nourish as stories are the food of life. I hope that as an author and through my work as a literacy consultant delivering training for teachers in the Reflective Reading programme, I can encourage others to feast on books.

Helen’s Books 

Talk of the Toun 



“She was greetin’ again. But there’s no need for Lorraine to be feart, since the first day of primary school, Angela has always been there to mop up her tears and snotters.”

An uplifting black comedy of love, family life and friendship, Talk of the Toun is a bittersweet coming-of-age tale set in the summer of 1985, in working class, central belt Scotland.

Lifelong friends Angela and Lorraine are two very different girls, with a growing divide in their aspirations and ambitions putting their friendship under increasing strain.

Artistically gifted Angela has her sights set on art school, but lassies like Angela, from a small town council scheme, are expected to settle for a nice wee secretarial job at the local factory. Her only ally is her gallus gran, Senga, the pet psychic, who firmly believes that her granddaughter can be whatever she wants.

Though Lorraine’s ambitions are focused closer to home Angela has plans for her too, and a caravan holiday to Filey with Angela’s family tests the dynamics of their relationship and has lifelong consequences for them both.

Effortlessly capturing the religious and social intricacies of 1980s Scotland, Talk of the Toun is the perfect mix of pathos and humour as the two girls wrestle with the complications of growing up and exploring who they really are.

Order Link

Buy Buy Baby


What price tag would you put on a baby?

Set in and around Glasgow, Buy Buy Baby is a moving and funny story of life, loss and longing.
Packed full of bitchy banter, it follows the bittersweet quest of two very different women united by the same desire – they desperately want a baby.
Carol talks to her dog, has an expensive eBay habit and relies on wine to forget she’s no longer a mum following the death of her young son.
Cheeky besom Julia is career-driven and appears to have it all. But after disastrous attempts at internet dating, she feels there is a baby-shaped hole in her life.
In steps Dan, a total charmer with a solution to their problems.
But only if they are willing to pay the price, on every level…

Order Link  ~


Check out our MEGA Christmas Giveaway over on Twitter!

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