Exciting Edinburgh – Bookshops, Botanics, and Beer

When I visited Scotland in May of this year I started my visit in my favorite city in the UK and Ireland; Edinburgh. Edinburgh is cultural and architecture lover’s delight. From the old town’s medieval buildings to the new town’s Georgian splendor and the art galleries and museums there is something for every cultural taste. It also happens to be the only city I would want to live in the inner-city due to the abundance of parks, rivers, and the Botanic gardens on your doorstep.

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Beyond the Bookcase – The Edinburgh Mystery and Other Tales of Scottish Crime



On this dreich, grey, and wet, July (!) day there is nothing better than staying inside with a cosy crime novel whilst the weather turns worse outside. The recently published British Library Crime Classics ‘The Edinburgh Mysteries – And Other Tales of Scottish Crime’ compendium of short crime stories centred in Scotland or written by Scottish Authors. Authors from Arthur Conan Doyle to G.K. Chesterton and Josephine Tey to Michael Innes offer us a glimpse into how Scotland has influenced crime from the Golden Era of crime and beyond.

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Women and the Irish Home Front of World War Two

This week my blog posts will concentrate on the lives of Irish women during World War Two. This is a particular area of interest as I have a long time interest of the roles of women during World War Two; particularly the lives of ordinary women on the British or Irish Home Front. This blog post looks at what effect rationing had on the lives of Irish women and how they managed to continue as ‘normal’ despite shortages and stress over loved ones away at war.

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Beyond the Bookcase – A Booklover’s Reasoning.

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For as long as I can remember I have always loved books, reading, libraries, and all book and reading related ephemera – I have an obscene amount of bags from book shops and numerous book marks! I get my love of reading from my grand-father who was a voracious reader of many genres and types of books. He would have made an ideal English literature or history teach had his life circumstances been different.

The lack of a teaching job didn’t stop him handing down his enthusiasm to me and I have many fond memories of going to the library with him on Saturday mornings to return my books and inevitably borrowing even more. Nothing thrilled me more as a child when the librarian stamped my book which made the book mine for the next week or however long it took to read it.

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‘An ‘Un-put-downable’ book – Dear, Mrs Bird by A.J. Pearce.


The kitsch red text and bright turquoise background of the cover of Dear, Mrs Bird by A.J. Pearce piqued my interest from my local libraries ‘Recent Reads’ table. * The doubly beautiful end papers of a stylized bird holding an envelope in it’s beak drew me further in to read the first few pages** and instantly I knew that I would love reading this book as it covers several of my favourite historical topics at once; women’s magazines, women’s roles in World War Two and the struggle women faced to get themselves recognized in jobs in the early to mid-twentieth century.

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