One of the books I got in the excellent Ullapool Book Shop yesterday was the "Kingdom of the Isles:Scotland’s Western Seaboard, 1100–1336" by R. Andrew McDonald. I noticed that, once more, it was a book from the publishers, Birlinn. Rather appropriately, it features a birlinn on the cover, as seen on the right of the carving.
Sholto of Scheltrum Miniatures has been modelling some birlinn, and some of us at the club are talking about a "Lord of the Isles” campaign. It should be fun, and give us clansmen a bit of personal background to research.