Edinburgh's Radical Bookshop

Lighthouse Book Subscriptions | August 2023


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Did you know Lighthouse runs a monthly book subscription..?

Connecting readers with books is what we do best, and our subscription service is all about finding the best new books we're excited about and winging them straight to your home. It's a little bit of dopamine at your doorstep each month!

In addition to your bookish treat, our booksellers put together thoughtful reading lists, and there's often extra content from authors and publishers exclusively for our subscribers to enjoy. What's more, because we love what we do so much, we don't just offer one subscription, we have t h r e e.

smol, beacon and hope

  • BEACON – nonfiction about current issues close to our hearts
  • HOPE IS THE THING – radical, subversive, hopeful poetry collections
  • SMOL (Small Mighty Original Loud) – new books from indie publishers

Intrigued by our book subscription offerings? Beacon, Hope is the Thing and SMOL are all available either on a monthly rolling basis or can be purchased as a gift. Find out all about our subscriptions and how they work here.

Now you've got the lowdown on our subscriptions, here's what we posted out to subscribers in August and why our booksellers chose them...

books for august subscriptions


Narcissus in Bloom by Matt Colquhoun

Selected by Christina

As human interaction becomes increasingly mediated by digital technologies, the concept of the self-image (or “selfie”) reaches paramount significance. With Narcissus in Bloom, Matt Colquhoun is certainly interested in exploring our contemporary obsession with selfies, but also looks to trace a history of them stretching from Renaissance portraiture to tabloid photography…and beyond. Colquhoun grapples with the ways in which our self-images are shaped and distorted by the forces of late capitalism, and how people’s understanding of self-image could in fact become - in some ways - liberatory.
We think you’ll love this book, both because of its insightful analysis and the way in which it blends art history, cultural studies and philosophy in an enlightening yet accessible stew.

In addition to a copy of the book, all our Beacon subscribers also received a curated reading list selected by peach and access to an exclusive video of Matt Colquhoun introducing Narcissus in Bloom!

Hope is the Thing

Bandit Country by James Conor Patterson

Selected by peach

I was struck by bandit country upon first picking it up. I had the lovely pleasure of finding it the way one usually finds a book, running my fingers along spines and thumbing pages in a bookshop. The joy! Most struck by the linguistics, I found the mix of Newry street, Scots and Irish-inflected English dialects to be electrifying. A gorgeous transparency and sincerity came forward; the vernacular narration allowing you to transpose yourself into these wild and raw spaces, seeing them from within their own beauty. The photographs are a gorgeous surprise too!
Some favourites of mine are ‘hare—‘, ’mug’ and ‘london poem’.

In addition to a copy of the book, all our Hope is the Thing subscribers also received a curated reading list selected by peach and access to an exclusive video of James Conor Patterson introducing Bandit Country!


Red Dust, White Snow by Pan Huiting

Selected by Jules

What if you preferred dreams to your real life? This is the premise of Pan Huiting’s debut novel, set in a near-futuristic Singapore, in which a lonely, downcast office worker finds a mysterious device offering to take her to a parallel universe. Dreams are usually such a private, intimate part of being human, so I found their role in this novel fascinating – if you liked early seasons of Black Mirror, this is for you. I loved how tenderly the author handles how tempting the appeal of a new life, even an artificial one, can be. It deftly explores classic dystopian themes and what it means to be isolated in a world of constant connection.

In addition to a copy of the book, all our SMOL subscribers also received a curated reading list selected by Jules and access to an exclusive video of Pan Huiting reading from her novel Red Dust, White Snow!


We hope you've enjoyed finding out more about our book subscription and August picks – if you have any questions about the service then pop into the shop or get in touch. We hope to share more about what we're posting in coming months!

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