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.
Today Jackie Baldwin is here with a guest post for you to enjoy. Jackie’s book Dead Man’s Prayer is currently on offer in eBook form for only 99p. The link is below.
The Meaning of Books
My love affair with books started as a small child. I do remember being read to but the excitement for me kicked in when I could read on my own. Despite being an only child I was never lonely because reading peopled my world. Looking back, life was fairly humdrum back then but adventure and new experiences were only a flick of a page away. Some might dismiss reading as a passive experience but that certainly wasn’t true for me. I remember walking along the Whitesands in Dumfries, oblivious to traffic, tears streaming at the plight of Aslan in ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,’ by C.S.Lewis. As for ‘Little Women’, by Louisa May Alcott? Well, I have to say that was my first experience of grief. I was desolate.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom though. I remember reading ‘It shouldn’t happen to a vet’ by James Heriot in late primary school. It was so involving and hilarious that I completely forgot I was sitting in class and erupted in a loud belly laugh, frightening everyone half to death. Yes, I was that weirdo!
When I read the junior library dry at the age of 12 I was let loose in the adult section. I developed a fascination with books such as those by John Harris, ‘The Fledglings,’ ‘The Professionals’ and ‘The Victors,’ which focused on the young aviators of WW1. In my imagination, I would sit beside them as they flew on dangerous sorties, muscles tight with tension, scarcely daring to breathe.
Inevitably my reading age rushed ahead of my emotional age and I picked up a historical novel called ‘Brother Surgeons,’ by Garet Rogers. My father was not best pleased to be asked what Gonorrhea was by a twelve year old and flapped about like a hen faced with a fox until I realised I was not going to get an answer and it must be something dodgy.
Who of my generation doesn’t remember being scared silly by Denis Wheatley? ‘The Devil Rides Out’ filled me with terror, particularly, as I attended the local Convent school so the concept was very real to me. I have also long had a fear of being buried alive after reading ‘The Ka of Gifford Hillary.’ ‘Really,’ I continue to insist to my husband, ‘if I find out you’ve allowed a single screw in the lid of my coffin, I’m coming back to haunt you.’ I also read a book featuring spontaneous combustion, which I have been unable to trace. Afterwards, I was terrified to get angry or lose my temper in case it triggered such a state. There, you have the evidence. Who can possibly say books are dull?
My reading habit has continued into adulthood and I am now writing books of my own trying to take readers on a journey for which, this time, I have provided the roadmap. I read crime, science fiction, commercial fiction and basically anything that takes my fancy. I can still lose chunks of time in book shops and get ridiculously excited if someone buys me a book token.
For the lonely and desolate, books offer companionship and hope. A feeling that they are not alone in this vast universe. They are teachers as well as friends, instilling empathy, tolerance and understanding for those who are different. They allow us to walk a little way in someone else’s shoes. Books can teleport those leading restricted lives into a whole new world even to a different planet. They can dial up the colour in a monochrome life. Even if the body is a prisoner the mind can take flight and soar beyond those limitations experiencing everything the world has to offer through the portal of literature. For me, they have provided entertainment, solace and inspiration. They have given me a more rounded notion of what it means to be human than I could possibly have obtained from my life experience alone.
Ex-priest DI Frank Farrell has returned to his roots in Dumfries, only to be landed with a disturbing murder case. Even worse, Farrell knows the victim: Father Boyd, the man who forced him out of the priesthood eighteen years earlier.
With no leads, Farrell must delve into the old priest’s past, one that is inexorably linked with his own. But his attention is diverted when a pair of twin boys go missing. The Dumfries police force recover one in an abandoned church, unharmed. But where is his brother?
As Farrell investigates the two cases, he can’t help but feel targeted. Is someone playing a sinister game, or is he seeing patterns that don’t exist? Either way, it’s a game Farrell needs to win before he loses his grip on his sanity, or someone else turns up dead.
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