Non-Fiction Book of the Year  


Al-Britannia My Country: A Journey Through Muslim Britain by James Fergusson 


Shortlisted for the British Academy Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize for Global Cultural Understanding 2018, Al-Britannia My Country, explores what it means to be Muslim in an increasingly segregated nation. Despite the growing population in Britain, our Muslim communities are often misunderstood amid the rise of nationalist movements and the out of touch political elite. Travelling the length of Britain, Fergusson explores what life is like on both sides of this growing religious divide in a call to action, filled with real-life experience, hard truths and important suggestions for our future amid the rise of nationalist movements and the out of touch political elite. 


James Fergusson is a British Journalist and author from Edinburgh who has written for many publications focusing on current affairs, especially Central Asia and Afghanistan. His debut, Kandahar Cockney (2004), was a Radio 4 Book of the Week,  his second book, The Vitamin Murders (2007) was shortlisted for the Andrè Simon Award for gastronomic literature. In 2008 he published, A Million Bullets, which was the British Army’s Military Book of the Year, and, The World’s Most Dangerous Place, was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize and Paddy Power Political Book Awards International Affairs Book of the Year. 


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The Passion of Harry Bingo: Further Dispatches From Unreported Scotland by Peter Ross. 


Peter Ross shares his sideways looks at life in Scotland and beyond; from Orkney to the Sussex coast, Ross enters the lives of some of Britain’s most least known yet quirky characters: the Sikh Pipe band and Wall of Death riders, herring queens and drag queens, and Harry himself, still following Partick Thistle in his nineties. This is a funny, engaging and often moving reflection of the nation’s spirit told with fondness and respect. 


Peter Ross is a freelance journalist based in Glasgow who has written for many titles, from The Guardian to The Big Issue. He is an eight-time winner at the Scottish Press Awards and was a shortlisted nominee for the Orwell Prize in 2015. His debut, Daunderlust: Dispatches From Unreported Scotland (2014) is a collection of his best weekly articles which focus on people from in and around Scotland.  


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Love of Country: A Hebridean Journey by Madeleine Bunting 


Shortlisted for the Wainwright Prize, Madeleine Bunting explores the landscape and turbulent history of the iconic Hebridean Islands, Europe’s boundary that has influenced and shaped the British nation. Because of their unique position in the Atlantic archipelago, they were the centre of a network of ancient shipping routes which has led to a remarkable history of cultures colliding and merging. The Hebrides hold a remarkable place in the imaginations of Scotland and England and Bunting considers the extent of the islands’ influence beyond their shores.  


Madeleine Bunting is a journalist and writer of non-fiction and fiction. Formerly an associate editor and columnist with the Guardian, she has won several One World Media Awards for her journalism on global justice. Her accolades include the Portico Prize for, The Plot, in 2010, which was also shortlisted for the Royal Society of Literature’s Ondaatje Prize. Her first novel, Island Son, won the Waterton Good Read Award in 2020 and she is currently working on her second novel, Ceremony of Innocence, as well as a book exploring England’s sea resorts. 


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Waypoints: Seascapes and Stories of Scotland’s West Coast by Ian Stephen 


Ian Stephen reveals a lifetime’s love affair with sailing in this adventure, memoir and storytelling celebration of all things maritime. His writing is enchanting and lyrical, gentle but searching, and is accompanied by beautiful illustrations of each vessel, drawn by his wife, artist Christine Morrison. Waypoints is the first part of a proposed trilogy linking seascapes and stories. 


Ian Stephen is a Scottish writer, artist and storyteller from the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. After becoming the inaugural winner of the Christian Salvesen/Robert Louis Stevenson award in 1995, he left the coast guard where he had worked for 15 years and began working in the arts full time. He is author of Maritime (Saraband, 2016), a selection of poetry made from his observations of seaways and shorelines, and A Book of Death and Fish (Saraband, 2014) his first novel which builds on his experience of the short story form. 


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Scotland: Mapping The Islands by Christopher Fleet, Margaret Wilkes and Charles W. J. Withers 


Stimulating and informative, Scotland: Mapping the Islands, reproduces some of the most beautiful and historically significant maps from the National Library of Scotland’s collection in order to explore the dimensions of island life and how this has changed over time. Thematically arranged, and covering topics such as population, place-names and defence, among others, we are presented with the rich and diverse history of the Scottish Islands in a unique and imaginative way. 


Christopher Fleet, Margert Wilkes and Charles J. W. Withers are co-authors of, Scotland: Mapping the Nation (Birlinn, 2012). Christopher Fleet studied Geography at the University of Durham, he is Senior Map Curator in the National Library of Scotland, and he was awarded the Fellowship of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society. Margaret Wilkes is a member of the Steering Committee of the Scottish Maps Forum, a Director of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society and Joint Chair of the Edinburgh Centre of the RSGS. Charles J. W. Withers is Professor of Historical Geography and the former Ogilvie Chair of Geography and at the University of Edinburgh.   


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