Books, Ideas and Discussions – Bella Caledonia

Since its creation Bella Caledonia provided a dynamic and vital platform to discuss politics, culture and ideas relevant to Scotland. During the period, it also took time to review books and publications.

As the new book publisher of Bella I would like to rely on Bella’s impressive work over the years, and provide space for profiling and reviewing books on a wide range of subjects.

First of all, this will involve reviewing the books at the heart of the domains Bella readers are interested in – politics, independence and the Scottish question. But we’re also aiming for a broader canvas: tackling other areas and issues relevant to Scotland, humanity and the planet as well as occasionally fiction and poetry.

Second, the range of voices from authors to critics will bring together both established perspectives and new perspectives – allowing diversity in so many ways possible and avoiding the old boy network and chumocracy that can sometimes spoil book reviews.

Third, a responsibility to keep in mind is the removal of serious book spaces in the mainstream press and, most importantly, The herald and Scottish lately. The rich ecology of writers in Scotland needs more space for criticism, reflection and discussion and while Bella alone can not solve this problem, we can at least make a little repair.

Fourth, we want over the next year not only to present a wider selection of books, but to regularly review earlier books on Scotland. We call this Bella Classics, and the objective is to revisit texts which have been or have been considered influential or which have been forgotten and need to reclaim.

Finally, all of the above is a moving conversation and we welcome suggestions of books to review – new and old – and writers and voices to read and review. I can be reached via my website – – as well as via the good offices of Bella.

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