Every festival has to have a New Lads' event involving Nick Hornby and an all-male line-up, and this time round the Feverpitch boy is patting backs with Jonathan What a Carve Up Coe and Mark Lawson. "Greatest Living Art Critic" David Sylvester is delivering a lecture, as is Marina Warner (the first Angela Carter Memorial Lecture). Much praised and prized McVitie Scottish Writer of the Year Janice Galloway is in conversation with Hunter Davies. There are over 400 events,200 of which are free, and all tickets are under a fiver. Of the 250 participating authors, Iain Banks, Anne Fine, Candia McWilliam, Brendan Kennelly, Rosamunde Pilcher, Rose Tremain, Joan Smith, Colm Toibin, Germaine Greer, Hilary Mantel, Ben Okri and Edna O'Brien are but a small selection. Much fun will no doubt be had in Beck's Famous Spiegeltent, a chill-out area sponsored by Beck's beer.
Pick of the lot? Well, it's got to be Difficult Women, a cabaret show about Sylvia Plath, Virginia Woolf and other female authors with attitude. Music composed by, er, Joe Dolce.
8 Tickets are available from the Book Festival Box Office at James Thin, 57 George St, or during the festival at the site in Charlotte Square Gardens. For a programme, ring 0131 228 5444.