Local Books


If you’re interested in reading more about the East Neuk of Fife and St Andrews, Scotland, I would recommend these books, all of which we have copies of in Rose Cottage:


St Andrews - Portrait of a City

St Andrews – Portrait of a City

Portrait of the East Neuk

Portrait of the East Neuk

Take a photo tour of the East Neuk and St Andrews from the comfort of your living room with “Portrait of the East Neuk” 2nd edition (2008, Alvie Publications, hardback £25 – profits donated to Save the Children) and “St Andrews – Portrait of a City” 4th edition(2008, Alvie Publications, hardback £27) both by Lorn Macintyre and Peter Adamson.


Return to One Man's Island - Keith Brockie on The Isle of May

Return to One Man’s Island – Keith Brockie on The Isle of May

Discover the wildlife of the magical Isle of May (which you can see from the East Neuk and visit on boat trips from Anstruther) in beautiful paintings from a leading wildlife artist: “Return to One Man’s Island – Paintings and Sketches from the Isle of May” by Keith Brockie(2012, Birlinn Limited, hardback £25). The original paintings are also available for sale via Keith’s website (www.keithbrockie.co.uk).


Along the Fife Coastal Path

Along the Fife Coastal Path

Walks in Fife

Walks in Fife

Plan your walks with two practical books: (1) a book about walking the Fife Coastal Path, including lots of historical insights: “Along the Fife Coastal Path“, 2nd edition by Hamish Brown (2008, Mercat Press, £12.99); (2) a handy pocket-sized book containing 14 walks in North Fife and the East Neuk (including the Sands of St Andrews, Tentsmuir, Cambo, Largo Law and the Elie Chain Walk) as well as a chapter of Fife Coastal Path highlights: “Kingdom of Fife – 40 Coast and Country Walks” by Dan Bailey (2009, pocket mountains ltd, £6.99).


Relish Scotland - Second Helping

Relish Scotland – Second Helping

If you’re a bit of a foodie you’ll love the recipes from some of the finest local chefs and restaurants in “Relish Scotland – Second Helping“. The photography is gorgeous and it includes an intro from famous Edinburgh chef Tom Kitchin. Featured local restaurants include The Seafood Restaurant in St Andrews and Craig Millar @ 16 West End in the East Neuk’s St Monans.


Songs in The Key of Fife - a musical revolution in the East Neuk

Songs in The Key of Fife – a musical revolution in the East Neuk

The East Neuk of Fife may seem like an unusual place for a musical revolution. However, in amongst the sleepy fishing villages and rolling fields, a small community of gifted musicians has quitely crept up on the world…To find out more about the intertwining lives of The Beta Band, King Creosote, KT Tunstall, James Yorkston and the Fence Collective read Songs in the Key of Fife” by national DJ Vic Galloway (2013, Polygon An Imprint of Birlinn Limited, £14.99). Vic hails from Kingsbarns and launched the book at the Cambo Estate. It’s a lively and personal account of the intertwining lives of these local musicians as they tried to achieve musical fame and fortune, with varying degrees of success. It’s also a celebration of the East Neuk and St Andrews area. I didn’t realise just how musical the area was until I came across these artists and this book!


Life advice from a Victorian East Neuk lady

Life advice from a Victorian East Neuk lady

For local fiction why not try one of the books written by acclaimed East Neuk author Christopher Rush: “Will” which is a novel about the life of William Shakespeare (2007, Beautiful Books, hardback £14.99) or a book he edited of A-Z life advice, taken from notes written by a Victorian lady, his great-great aunt: “Aunt Epp’s Guide for Life” by Elspeth Marr (2008, Michael O’Mara Books, hardback £10). Topics like garlic, knicker elastic, old age and many more are covered in a very no-nonsence way – we were particularly entertained by her none-too-positive views on Golfers! Thanks to Chris to giving us copies!


A Kettle of Fish by Ali Bacon

A Kettle of Fish by Ali Bacon

For more local fiction you could also read “A Kettle of Fish” by Ali Bacon (2012) – the story of a teenage girl called Ailsa and her rollercoaster family dramas, which moves from the East Coast of Fife to Edinburgh’s art galleries.


The Weem Witch

The Weem Witch

For the true story of witch hunts in days of old right here in the East Neuk read “The Weem Witch” by Leonard Low. In 1704, Patrick Morton, a 16-year-old smith in Fife, accused local women of tormenting him by witchcraft, setting off a witch-hunt and dragging innocent women and men into a snare of repression and death. This book tells the story of the Pittenweem witches, bringing a horrifying episode in Scotland’s past under the spotlight. (Available from Amazon, £9.95).


Hamish McHamish - celebrity St Andrews cat

Hamish McHamish – celebrity St Andrews cat

And finally, just for fun, meet the coolest cat in town – Hamish McHamish – in this new book about a famous cat who roamed free on the streets of St Andrews, living life exactly as he chooses and who even had his own Facebook page and own statue: “Hamish McHamish of St Andrews – Cool Cat About Town” by Susan McMullan (2012, Black and White Publishing, hardback £8.99). Sadly Hamish is now in cat heaven and I miss bumping into him on the streets of St Andrews.

Happy reading!