IT HAS BEEN a bumper year for books.

Fiction fans rejoiced as Margaret Atwood followed up The Handmaid’s Tale with more thrilling, incisive and terrifying tales from Gilead in The Testaments (Chatto) and Kate Atkinson published Big Sky (Penguin), the first mystery featuring her detective Jackson Brodie since 2010.

Non-fiction lovers relished celebrity memoirs from the likes of Julie Andrews, Elton John and Debbie Harry; and children and young adults were spoiled for choice with new books by Malorie Blackman and Philip Pullman.

Wondering what you missed?

Here’s our pick of the paperbacks and more from 2019.


The Way of All Flesh, Ambrose Parry (Canongate) The first book from husband/wife duo Ambrose Parry (aka Christopher Brookymre and Marisa Haetzman), set in the medical world of 1880s Edinburgh. Gory in places, gripping throughout.

Bloody January, Alan Parks (Canongate) Another debut, this time set against the gritty backdrop of 1970s Glasgow. It received rave reviews from most of Scotland’s leading crime writers.

The Hunting Party, Lucy Foley (HarperCollins) Top nail-biter. When a group of thirtysomething friends holiday together at an exclusive hunting lodge in the Scottish Highlands, things quickly begin to unravel as it seems everyone has something to hide.

Glasgow Times:

Worst Case Scenario, Helen Fitzgerald (Orenda) Remember the Jenna Coleman thriller The Cry? Glasgow author Fitzgerald has written another fantastic and savage tale, this time about a Glasgow probation officer battling career burnout and the menopause.

The Flower Girls, Alice Clark-Platts (Raven) Clever, twisty book about an act of unparalleled horror which tears a family apart. Chilling and will consume you to the very end…


Invisible Women, Caroline Criado Perez (Chatto & Windus) Interesting book about women and the systemic discrimination caused by a data gap affecting half the population. Should be compulsory reading for women and men.

Another Planet, Tracey Thorn (Canongate) Before she became a musician (one half of Everything But the Girl) Tracey was a typical teenager – bored, cynical and despairing of her parents. Her story of growing up in post-war Green Belt Britain is funny, moving and easy to love.

Glasgow Times:

Between The Stops, Sandi Toksvig (LittleBrown) Delightfully eccentric memoir from one of the funniest women in the land. Between the Stops follows QI and Great British Bake Off host Sandi Toksvig as she recounts her life via the medium of the Number 12 bus route. Deliciously witty and charmingly discursive, this is a feel-good treat for all comedy fans.


Fantastically Great Women Who Worked Wonders, Kate Pankhurst (Bloomsbury) Discover the stories of trailblazers who have pioneered careers in a kaleidoscope of different industries featuring Junko Tabei, Sophie Blanchard and more.

Crossfire, Malorie Blackman (Penguin) Blackman returns to the world of Noughts & Crosses in this powerful new tale.

Glasgow Times:

The Secret Commonwealth, Philip Pullman (Penguin) It feels wrong to slot this into the ‘young people’ section, as Pullman’s story of Lyra – currently wowing audiences of all ages on telly in His Dark Materials – is one for all generations. This sequel catches up with Lyra a decade on from the end of The Amber Spyglass.

Brain-Fizzing Facts, Dr Emily Grossman (Bloomsbury) The weirdest, mind-fizzingly awesome and funny science questions answered.