Book Around You: Our Edinburgh Book Festival Highlights

Feature | 25 Jun 2015

Tickets for the 2015 Edinburgh International Book Festival went on sale this week, ahead of this year's festival which runs from 15-31 August.

Hot tickets from this year's programme include Ian Rankin's Guest Selector events – the Rebus author's in-person chat with Alan Cumming is already sold out – while all tickets to see political heavyweights Gordon Brown and the Reverend Jesse Jackson have also been snapped up.

Our Books Editor Alan Bett has picked out five events to add to the diary ahead of this year's festival at Charlotte Square Gardens, and don't forget the Unbound strand of free late-night events which returns this year – we'll have the full line-up and interviews with some of the key players in this year's Unbound in our July issue, out next week.

Alan's top 5 from this year's Edinburgh International Book Festival:

Kate Tempest with Don Paterson (18 Aug, 8.15pm)
This poet is a young, talented game changer. We must have seen something of ourselves in these attributes (possibly with some added narcissism), because it’s this year’s The Skinny Event at the Book Festival.

Yuri Herrera & Julia Rochester: Crossing Borders (19 Aug, 5pm)
An opportunity to be an early adopter of one of Mexico’s most exciting new literary voices, sharing a border – and, in Edinburgh, a stage – with US novelist Julia Rochester.

Ryan Gattis and Marlon James: From Burning Riots to Close Shaves (27 Aug, 8.45pm)
There seems (quite rightly) to be a legal requirement for every reviewer of Gattis's LA riots-set novel All Involved to use the word 'visceral' at some point, while Marlon James' recent writing combines ghosts, beauty queens and stories of Keith Richards' drug dealer. Enough said.

Michel Faber: A Love Torn Apart (27 Aug, 8.45pm)
While his earlier novel Under The Skin was being made into a Scarlett Johansson-starring cinematic masterpiece, he was quietly working on an even greater creation – The Book of Strange New Things, which he will discuss this year at Book Festival.

Andrzej Klimowski & Danusia Schejbal on The Master & Margerita (28 Aug, 2pm)
Although the last person to use the words 'fun' and 'learning' together was your old sandal-wearing substitute teacher, here the combination is entirely valid. EIBF Reading Workshops are something of a revelation, tackling in this instance Bulgakov’s dense and magical Soviet fable.