This week, columnist Ruth Wishart looks back at her visit to this year's Edinburgh International Book Festival – and looks forward to Cove and Kilcreggan's own literary celebration later this year.

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“All art is political, but not all politics are art.”

So said the wonderfully accomplished writer Ali Smith in her one-to-one with the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

She meant politics with a small 'p' of course, but there has been no shortage of the hard core variety in Edinburgh this summer.

I had the daunting task of chairing a session with the former Greek Finance Minister Yannis Varoufakis which, given my legendary innumeracy, didn’t much look like a marriage made in book festival heaven. But as it turned out this international academic and economist is a complete charmer who was not in the business of making anyone else look daft. Phew.

As the chat and Q&A with the audience was to be preceded by a short lecture, I was able to watch his preparations for the latter. They consisted of a small piece of paper roughly the same size as his palm, on which were jotted three or four headings.

I didn’t see him refer to it at any juncture. By the end of the hour, the audience (and the chair) were also in the palm of his hand.

The previous day he had done another event, and it took him just over two hours to finish signing books for the queue, as a result of which there was a shortage for our evening. A run on book supplies? A lot more encouraging than a run on the pound.

The next morning I popped in to see a woman who is not (yet) a politician but the daughter of that high profile US political dynasty, Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Chelsea, their only child, is now a mature thirty-something mother of two, and was there to chat to Sally Magnusson about her children’s book featuring women from around the world who have made a real difference to their own country – usually in the face of daunting challenges.

To be honest, my hopes were not high of an interesting exchange; she’s been the subject of so much personal abuse in the media that I expected her to be very guarded. She’s certainly very careful in her rare print interviews.

As it turned out, she was a delight. Frank and thoughtful in her responses. And when a mum was about to take her noisy tot out of the venue, Chelsea told her to stay put, since the event was all about children getting interested in books. She made a lot of new friends in Edinburgh.

We can’t deliver Chelsea Clinton for the Cove and Kilcreggan Book Festival this November. But we do have Sally Magnusson talking about her new novel. And a host of other literary glitterati.

If you don’t come round to the Peninsula on November 24 and 25, I’ll expect a signed note.