Vulpes Libris

A collective of bibliophiles talking about books. Book Fox (vulpes libris): small bibliovorous mammal of overactive imagination and uncommonly large bookshop expenses. Habitat: anywhere the rustle of pages can be heard.

Timeless or Topical? by Margaret Kirk

It happened a few weeks ago. After a long period submerged in various sorts of book-related tasks (my debut novel, Shadow Man, will be published on 2nd November) I’d met … Continue reading

September 18, 2017 · 4 Comments

Group Post:What We Read on Our Summer Break

Though the Foxes were recently on Summer Break, that didn’t mean we took a break from reading. Goodness gracious, no. Some of us did take some fun trips to exotic … Continue reading

August 28, 2017 · Leave a comment

316 Years Without Us – a Vulpes Libris Random

For many years I have been a trustee of the oldest (probably) public lending library in England. Founded in 1701 as the Reigate Publick Library, it is now known (after … Continue reading

February 24, 2017 · 2 Comments

The Isabel Dalhousie mysteries by Alexander McCall Smith.

Though the author is better known for his “No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency” line and deservedly so, he has a number of other series, one of which features Isabel Dalhousie, … Continue reading

February 8, 2017 · 3 Comments

Frank Fraser Darling’s Island Years, Island Farm

I bought this book at The Ceilidh Place bookshop in Ullapool last week. I’d just taken a blowy boat trip to the Summer Isles, and wanted to read Frank Fraser … Continue reading

September 6, 2016 · Leave a comment

Nan Shepherd’s The Quarry Wood

Nan Shepherd’s three novels – The Quarry Wood (1928), The Weatherhouse (1930 and A Pass in the Grampians (1933) – were reprinted by Canongate in the 1990s with her memoir … Continue reading

August 14, 2015 · 1 Comment

Jim Carruth’s Killochries

This is a poem to be read in an evening, a novella in half-lines of sparse words, of how a young man’s life gets changed because his mum Lizzie sends him … Continue reading

May 11, 2015 · 3 Comments

Sea Room, by Adam Nicolson

The Shiants, pronounced Shants, are three little tiny specks of islands. Two of them Eilean Garbh (Rough Island) and Eilean an Tighe (the Isle of the House) are joined by … Continue reading

October 3, 2014 · 4 Comments

The Wee Mad Road by Jack and Barbara Maloney

“The region to the south of Assynt, bounded on the east by by the main A835 road from Ullapool to Ledmore Junction, is known as  Coigach. A lone, single track … Continue reading

January 17, 2014 · 4 Comments

Stonemouth by Iain Banks

Stonemouth is the most recent of Iain Banks’ non-Culture novels. His new book, The Quarry, also non-Culture, is due for publication this month and it will be the last. This … Continue reading

June 18, 2013 · 3 Comments

Native Stranger by Alastair Scott

A Journey in Familiar and Foreign Scotland Scotland. The word is not so much weighed down by luggage as by the entire contents of the cargo hold of an Airbus. … Continue reading

May 9, 2013 · 4 Comments

Maxwell’s Ghost. An Epilogue to Gavin Maxwell’s Camusfearna, by Richard Frere

When I was a child, about 11 years old, I remember exactly where I was and how I felt when I first read Gavin Maxwell’s Ring Of Bright Water. I … Continue reading

February 1, 2013 · 31 Comments

The Curiosity Cabinet, by Catherine Czerkawska

Perhaps we need to consult more in the den – I had no idea that the Island in Anne’s choice yesterday would be so close to the island setting of … Continue reading

June 29, 2012 · 14 Comments

The Lives of Ghosts by Megan Taylor: surrendering to the poetry of the dark

After her parents are killed in a car accident, twelve-year-old Liberty Fuller is left in the care of her young pregnant stepmother, Marie. Bewildered and grief stricken, Marie and Liberty … Continue reading

May 3, 2012 · 5 Comments



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  • (The header image is from Aesop's Fables, illustrated by Francis Barlow (1666), and appears courtesy of the Digital and Multimedia Center at the Michigan State University Libraries.)