Bestival of the Book Festival

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Blair Cowan

Creative inspiration can come from anywhere, but for me, the best way to get inspired is by diving into a new book. Luckily, the Elastic team agrees: whether we’re cataloguing our favourite books, sharing our top picks of the year or reviewing recent reads, there’s nothing we love as much as settling down with a good book. So when we took a look at this year’s Edinburgh Book Festival lineup, we were thrilled to see so many gems on the list. Here’s what we’re most looking forward to catching at the festival, which is on now:

  • Jeanette Winterson: Author of Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit, The Passion, Christmas Days and more, I’ve been a fan of Winterson for years now and can’t wait for this rare opportunity to see her speak here in Edinburgh.
  • Colson Whitehead: Whitehead’s 2016 novel The Underground Railroad won the Pulitzer Prize, and to say I loved it would be an understatement. His newest novel, The Nickel Boys, is set in my home state of Florida and features themes that resound as much today as they did in the 1960s setting of the book.
  • Tracy Chevalier: Perhaps best known for 1999’s Girl With A Pearl Earring, still one of my top five favourite books ever, Chevalier has written prolifically since then. Her books consistently centre strong women in unique situations, and her newest novel, A Single Thread promises to do the same. She’ll be discussing the power of female-orientated art and its historic importance.

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  • Prue Leith: Fans of The Great British Bake Off, get excited! Prue Leith has released her first cookbook, entitled Prue, in more than two decades, and it’s a showstopper. Filled with no-fuss recipes with hardly a technical challenge in sight, this is a great cookbook for new cooks, or those who want to simplify their weeknight meals.
  • Sue Perkins: Fans of the OG Great British Bake Off, never fear: there’s something great in store for you, too! Sue Perkins will discuss her travels through Asia in typical hilarious style. Prepare to laugh until your abs ache!
  • Bill Hare: In the mood for something a little closer to home? How about Edinburgh’s own Bill Hare, an art historian, discussing Scottish history with poet and actor Gerda Stevenson? Hare is an expert in the way in which Scottish art is shaped by Scotland’s history, and Stevenson’s interest in unknown artists makes this a talk to be remembered.
  • Jack Monroe: Best known as the author of the blog Cooking on a Bootstrap and her debut book A Girl Called Jack, Monroe is a renowned food writer and anti-poverty campaigner whose focus is on bringing affordable, nutritious food to people of all economic backgrounds. From vegan versions of your favourite fast food to easy ways to reduce leftovers in your own kitchen, Monroe offers something for everyone when it comes to cooking sustainably, nutritiously and on a budget.

Ready to get reading? Don’t forget to check out our favourite Scottish books before you head to the festival – you never know when you might find your next favourite read!

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