Watch now – Edward Ross – Gamish: A Graphic History of Gaming @edward_ross

Saturday 3rd October – 2pm
Click the YouTube Link below to watch this event

Local graphic novelist Edward Ross gives an illustrated reading from his forthcoming graphic novel Gamish: A Graphic History of Gaming. From Pac-Man to Minecraft, the book covers the fascinating history of this enormously popular pastime, and delves into what makes video games such a powerful artform. Edward has been making comics for over ten years. His first graphic novel, Filmish: A Graphic Journey Through Film won a YASLA award as a Great Graphic Novel for Teens.

Books by all our participating authors are available to order from our local bookshop. Click the link to visit the page.
The Portobello Bookshop

Watch now – The Secret Life of Books with Professor Tom Mole @ProfTomMole

Saturday 3rd October – 11am
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Join Tom Mole in conversation with Paul Hudson of Portobello Library as they discuss The Secret Life of Books.

We love books.  We take them to bed with us.  We display them on our bookshelves.  We write our names in them.  They weigh down our suitcases when we go on holiday.  We take them for granted.  But there’s much more to them than meets the eye.  From how books feel and smell, to burned books, banned books, and books that create nations, The Secret Life of Book is about everything beyond the words on the page.  It’s about how books – and readers – have evolved over time.  And it’s about how books still have the power to change our lives.

Tom Mole is Professor of English Literature and Book History at the University of Edinburgh, where he runs the Centre for the History of the Book.  He is the author of What the Victorians Made of Romanticism, which won the Saltire Prize for best research book in 2018.  He is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society and lives in Edinburgh with his wife and daughter.

Books by all our participating authors are available to order from our local bookshop. Click the link to visit the page.
The Portobello Bookshop

Watch now – Finding Fulfilment – meet author Anne Stormont – @writeanne

Friday 2nd October – 8pm
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Anne Stormont is the author of four contemporary romantic novels – one is a standalone and the other three make up the Skye series. The books are all second-chance romances where the main characters may be older but are certainly no wiser. She has also published one children’s novel. Anne’s books are set in Scotland – where she lives – and in some of the other places she’s visited.

She began making up stories as a child to entertain her four wee sisters. But as an adult with a busy life as a mother and teacher, it took her a long time and a wake-up call for her to get that first book written. When she’s not writing Anne enjoys yoga, walking and gardening. She can be a bit of a subversive old bat, but she tries to maintain a kind heart. She also loves tea, penguins and being with her grandchildren.

Books by all our participating authors are available to order from our local bookshop. Click the link to visit the page.
The Portobello Bookshop

Watch now – More Footprints in the Sand with Archie Foley

Friday 2nd October – 7pm
Click the YouTube link below to watch this event

Forty years of publication for a community newspaper deserves to be celebrated, the more so if that paper has always been produced entirely by local volunteers and financed solely by advertisements placed by local businesses. That is why Archie Foley and Peter E Ross decided to draw attention to this achievement by compiling another selection of articles from the history pages of the Portobello Reporter. The articles chosen span the years from 1980 to 2020 and record “Portobello’s history and reminiscences” thus fulfilling one of the key aims of the paper’s founders.

Archie Foley will take you on a tour of Portobello to see some of the places featured in the book. You will be seeing them as they are today but Archie will be able to show how they feature in the Portobello story and that Portobello is not just Edinburgh’s seaside suburb.

Through Travellers’ Eyes edited by Leonie Charlton and Peter E Ross @charltonleonie

Sunday 4th October – 5pm – online podcast

Through Travellers’ Eyes is the product of two years of collecting stories, poems and snippets of conversation shared by people from Scotland’s Gypsy/Traveller communities. A series of workshops and personal interactions in Perth & Kinross, Edinburgh and the Lothians and North & Mid Argyll organised by MECOPP Gypsy/Traveller Carers’ Project led to the publication of this book.

Some of the contributors are regular writers of poems and stories whilst others had never considered that their storytelling skills could be of any interest outside of their own community. Katrina, who has been writing poems for many years, says: “I feel proud that I’ve had some of my poems published. I’ve not achieved much in life but this is one thing I’ve really achieved and I’m proud of. It’s something that my grandkids can look at when I’m no longer here and hopefully they’ll be proud to say that their granny had poems published.”

The book is full of personal stories and reflections of times gone by and of life in contemporary Scotland in an ever changing landscape of social and economic change. 

In its pages you will find gems that will touch you, make you laugh and give you a greater understanding of the traditions, lives and rich culture of Gypsy/Traveller communities in Scotland.

Books by all our participating authors are available to order from our local bookshop. Click the link to visit the page.
The Portobello Bookshop

History: Why Bother? With Donald Bloxham

Sunday 4th October – 4pm – online

History matters, we know that. Evidence of its importance is all around us, in our films, bookshops, days of remembrance, political discourse and, as has recently been underlined, statues. But why does it matter? Why do people write it and read it? Here there is less consensus. My talk, like my book Why History? A History, begins at the earliest days of the western historical tradition, in ancient Greece, and charts the range of justifications that existed at that time for studying the past. It then considers changes and important continuities in these justifications across time, up to the present. Not only do many different rationales for history exist alongside each other today, some of these rationales are in tension with one another, and some of the most important tensions are considered in the conclusion of the talk.

Donald Bloxham is Richard Pares Professor of History at the University of Edinburgh

Books by all our participating authors are available to order from our local bookshop. Click the link to visit the page.
The Portobello Bookshop

“Resolving the climate emergency: Why societal and environmental sustainability are interdependent” with Dr Keith Skene @keith_skene

Sunday 4th October – 3pmonline

Dr Keith Skene is an ecologist and the author of five books and over  forty scientific papers, focused on sustainability and our place on  the planet. Born in the historic city of Armagh in Ireland, Keith  spent thirteen years as a principal investigator and lecturer at the University of Dundee before becoming director of the Biosphere Research Institute (www.biosri.org). The Biosphere Research Institute produces cutting-edge research on environmental, economic and societal sustainability, focusing on a fundamental dialogue around our place in the Earth system. Keith has carried out field research across the planet, from Kenya to the Carpathian mountains, from the Scottish Highlands to Southwest Australia and from Vietnam to Trinidad. His latest book, Artificial Intelligence and the Environmental Crisis: Can technology Really Save the World (Routledge), sets out a radical new approach, addressing the existential crisis facing humanity, beginning with a social revolution, where societal and environmental  sustainability are approached as inseparable issues.

Books by all our participating authors are available to order from our local bookshop. Click the link to visit the page.
The Portobello Bookshop

Letters from Lockdown

Sunday 4th October – 2pm – online

Six go scripting through creative writing

Letters from Lockdown has been written by a group of people in recovery from alcohol and drug addiction. The group came together through an online creative writing course facilitated by ERA during the great pandemic of 2020. Through the Making Connections course the group quickly made connections with each other and the wider world as well as on paper.

You can read the stories featured by downloading from the link below.

ERA – Edinburgh Recovery Activities is a community project which provides activities, groups and social events for people in recovery from alcohol and drug addiction.

Please note, the views expressed in each of these written pieces is that of the author and not of ERA.

If you would like to contact the group, please do so via jemma.eveleigh@evoc.org.uk 

Leonie Charlton discusses Marram with Peter E Ross – @charltonleonie

Sunday 4th October – 1pm – online

Leonie Charlton lives on the west coast of Scotland in Glen Lonan, Argyll. She writes creative non-fiction, poetry and fiction. Her work has appeared widely in publications such as Causeway, Northwords Now and The Blue Nib. Her prizewinning poetry pamphlet ‘Ten Minutes of Weather Away’ will be published by Cinnamon Press early 2021. Her first full-length book was published by Sandstone Press in March 2020. Marram is the story of her journey through the Outer Hebrides with Highland ponies; the travelogue is intercut with intimate memoir as she leaves behind beads in memory of her mother. Marram has been described as ‘a love letter to the natural world and a clear appraisal of complicated relationships – gentle, raw and honest.’ Much of her writing is based on a sense of place and our relationship with other species and the natural world. http://www.leoniecharlton.co.uk.

Books by all our participating authors are available to order from our local bookshop. Click the link to visit the page.
The Portobello Bookshop

A Tomb with a View – Peter Ross in conversation with Alistair Heather @PeterAlanRoss @Historic_Ally

Sunday 4th October – 12noon – online

In A Tomb With A View, award-winning Glasgow author and journalist Peter Ross invites you to explore a grave new world of fascination and delight as he uncovers the stories and glories of graveyards. Who are London’s outcast dead and why is David Bowie their guardian angel? What is the remarkable truth about Phoebe Hessel, who disguised herself as a man to fight alongside her sweetheart, and went on to live in the reigns of five monarchs? Why is a Bristol cemetery the perfect wedding venue for goths? This is a book that shines a light on how we remember the ones we have lost, brimming with life, compassion and love. So push open the rusting gate, sweep aside the ivy, and take a look inside …

Alistair Heather is a writer and presenter from Angus. Most recently he wrote and presented a BBC documentary on the Scots Language, Rebel Tongue. He is a columnist at The National newspaper and is a regular contributor to BBC radio and television programmes.

Books by all our participating authors are available to order from our local bookshop. Click the link to visit the page.
The Portobello Bookshop