BookMark Book Festival

Charity number: SCO45599

BookMark Book Festival

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Over for another year!

19th Oct 2016

BOOKMARK book festival, celebrated its fourth birthday in style by moving to a new and larger venue at Blairgowrie Community Campus and selling more than double the number of tickets than in previous years

BOOKMARK 2016’s programme offered an impressive line-up of top literary names beginning on Friday, 7th with Maggie O’Farrell talking about her latest gripping novel, ‘This Must Be The Place’ and former ‘Today’ presenter, James Naughtie who as well as introducing the audience to his latest spy thriller ‘Paris Spring’, entertained his audience with his take on the Trump versus Clinton story. Friday evening’s entertainment continued with a Civic Reception hosted by the Provost of Perth & Kinross who congratulated the festival on having established itself as a key cultural event in Perthshire.

Saturday kicked off with a fascinating discussion about religion, its past history and its influence in today’s society. Jim Naughtie talked with Richard Holloway about his recently published ‘A Little History of Religion’. Internationally acclaimed and Sunday Times Best Seller author, Stuart MacBride, delighted fans old and new with his tenth Logan McRae novel, ‘In the Cold, Dark Ground’. From crime to cookery and Sue Lawrence, best known as a food writer but at the festival to promote her most recent novel, ‘The Night He Left’. She chatted to BOOKMARK Patron and television journalist, Fiona Armstrong, about her journey from cookery writing to fiction as well as her interesting use of parallel time zones in her writing.

Sir John Lister-Kaye is one of Scotland’s best-known naturalists and conservationists who introduced his audience to his latest book ‘Gods of the Morning’ which draws on a lifetime of observation and celebration of the Highland countryside. He read one or two amusing extracts from the book, then took questions on a wide range of issues, including the controversial move to rewild wolves. Sally Magnusson brought Saturday’s programme to a close, firstly with a session in which she read extracts from her moving account of her mother’s dementia in ‘Where Memories Go: Why Dementia Changes Everything’ and thereafter as BOOKMARK’s guest author at a Members’ Only Supper event in The Red House Hotel, Coupar Angus.

This year’s programme featured a new collaboration between BOOKMARK and The Blairgowrie Players who offered a Sunday (9th) afternoon of hilarious entertainment in the form of a production of ‘Whisky Galore – The Radio Play’ based on the famous novel by Compton Mackenzie.

Festival Art Exhibition by Blairgowrie High School pupils

This was BOOKMARK’s third year of collaboration with Blairgowrie High School’s Art Department. Over the festival weekend, staff and pupils mounted an exhibition entitled ‘SPACE’ in the main festival venue at Blairgowrie Community Campus. So as well as a wonderful collection of books to browse and buy, there were images to amaze!

This year’s programme has been made possible by funding and sponsorship contributions from the following bodies:

Funder: PKC Events Fund

Sponsorship: The Rotary Club of Blairgowrie (sponsoring all of Saturday’s events)

McCarthy & Stone

The A. Proctor Group Ltd


I really enjoyed the event on Friday, and I am glad the audience did too.  It‘s been an absolute pleasure. It went really well, with a very warm audience - laughter from the start put me immediately at ease.

Off to Canada in the morning with Mark Billingham. Hope they‘re as appreciative as in Blairgowrie.

Chris Brookmyre

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