On the Bookshelf Escape winter ... get lost in a book

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It’s about this time of year that we start to get adverts for holidays but a great escape from the cold winter weather is a good book.

If the recent cinema release of ‘The Hobbit’ has made you want to learn more about Middle Earth then I would suggest diving into the books by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Another series which has a world where you can escape to is the ‘Wheel of Time’ series, created by the late Robert Jordan and completed by Brandon Sanderson, with the eagerly awaited finale ‘A Memory of Light’ due out in the New Year.

If you wish to journey within Scotland, January sees the release of two highly anticipated crime novels in January. The first sees the conclusion to the Lewis trilogy by Peter May, the first two being the excellent ‘The Blackhouse’ and ‘The Lewis Man’. ‘The Chessmen’ begins with a disappearing loch which uncovers more than just the waterbed.

The second will please fans of Stuart MacBride’s ‘Logan MacRae’ because his new book ‘Close to the Bone’ will feature newly promoted Logan McRae and D.I. Steel and are set in Aberdeen.

If you wish to escape to sunnier climes, Quintin Jardine’s new crime novel may be your cup of tea. Primavera Blackstone (ex wife/widow of Oz Blackstone) features in her fourth book as the main character. These Spanish based novels are proving very popular but fans of Jardine’s Edinburgh-based D.I. Skinner will have to wait until June when he returns in ‘Pray for the Dying’.

If you have enjoyed the ‘Wonders of the Solar System and the Universe’ with Brian Cox, you may want to join him on his journey to discover the ‘Wonders of Life’. The book to accompany the series is out on January 17 and will surely be as colourful and informative as his previous books.

On the subject of life, the second book by Jennifer Worth about her experiences in East London ‘Shadows of the Workhouse’ will be shown on TV in the New Year. After the success of the first in the series, ‘Call the Midwife’, this will surely be another hit.

A book can take you on a journey to many places and repeated visits may allow you to see things that you may have missed before.

Just remember – it is easy to get lost in a good book, which may be why some have maps in them.