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Staff Book Reviews

We asked some of our staff (and their families) to review some of our books. From cook books to Monty Python, read what they thought and let it inspire your next page turner...

Edinburgh Castle for Kids

"I really enjoyed reading this book because it answers all the questions you could think of about the Edinburgh Castle. I also love how all the facts are in short punchy statements, and that there is an activity to fill in on each page to make it more fun.

This is my favourite fact… did you know a beer drinking elephant one lived in the castle?”

Isabelle age 10, via Joy, Estate Factor.

Live Green: 52 steps for a more sustainable life

“A beautifully illustrated wee book. A common-sense approach with tips to making very basic, but little changes to your life. With chapters from cleaning your home, to eco fashion, to having a greener Christmas. There is even a receipt for Sloe Gin!”

Jane, Visitor Operations Officer.

The Mountain Cafe Cookbook: A Kiwi in the Cairngorms

“A beautifully written and photographed cookbook full of unpretentious yet delicious and inspiring recipes. If you are looking for a cookbook that you will actually use: this is it! There is something for every occasion here, from a casual snack to wholesome and filling meals for everyone, along with a wee interesting backstory of how each recipe came to be. One of my new favourite cookbooks in my collection!”

Carly, Expenditure Officer

The Honours of Scotland

“This book gives a truly inspiring account of the beginning, alterations and hiding places of the Honours of Scotland. Never would I have considered the fascinating life story some items from our past could hold and the turbulent times they faced. Chris Tabraham provides a through and thoroughly interesting account of the Honours right to present day.”

Carol, Monument Manager

Seasonal Soups

"Here’s a lovely little book from greengrocer Fraser Reid, who started selling ‘soup bags’ to showcase the range and quality of the local produce he was sourcing from around Dundee.

The 50+ fully vegetarian (and easily vegan) recipes are set out simply in monthly sections, two to a page with delicate line drawings of a main ingredient, followed by a double page featuring full colour photos of each soup. The recipes are straightforward, using easy to source ingredients, and a couple of stock cubes for the base, focusing on interesting combinations of seasonal produce to create the magic. Having made several now, I can confirm that they are really delicious, and it’s hard to pick a favourite, but I especially enjoyed the originality of Smoky Sweet Potato & Butterbean, and the Creamy Cauliflower & Coconut, as well as several variations of the everyday comfort of Lentil! I love good soup and have added several of these recipes to my repertoire.

The book is small enough to sit on the counter while you work through your chosen recipe, and as I discovered, is wipe-clean too… This is a lovely book, easy to use regardless of experience or occasion, with guaranteed results every time. Highly recommended.”

Michelle, Business Support Manager.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail Screenplay

"This book has no fancy extras, it’s just the screenplay and some photos in a handy lightweight paperback. Invaluable for those occasions when you need to mortally embarrass your teenage children with a resounding rendition of “We’re Knights of the Round Table” in an echoing castle hall or can’t quite remember the correct arming procedure for the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch. Don’t forget your coconuts, Patsy.”

Deirdre, Casework Officer.

Little Explorers Scottish Castles

"Colourful, full of hidden surprises, this book lets my imagination wander about some of Scotland’s most famous castles. Scenes and characters of history came to life right before my eyes. I loved every single page of it!”

Alexia, 6 years old, via Galatia, Network Manager.

Bloody Scotland

“A must for all crime-fiction lovers! Bloody Scotland is a thrilling collection of short stories that take you through a nail-biting tour of some of Scotland’s iconic sites. Each short story is unique, but every single one is captivating and very often downright chilling. I thoroughly enjoyed the tour!”

Ruth, Archive Officer.

"This book is a fascinating insight into lives that are at once familiar and intriguing, mundane and exotic. Reading it feels like having a good furtive rummage through the office, library and living room of the house itself. Although the house and estate are at the heart of the book, it is clear that it is the people who have made the estate what it is, for both good and ill, over the past century.  The scope of the book and the timescale it covers leave some tantalising questions unanswered but it does provide a definitive explanation for one mystery: if you have ever wondered what could possibly make anyone want to play shinty more than once, the answer is on page 179.”

Deirdre, Casework Officer.

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