Welcome to the inaugural Great Monthly Book Giveaway post, known forthwith as GMBG. This month the lovely and lucky couple are Lanny by Max Porter and Betsy Bee. The above photo is of my book. Betsy’s edition has a beautiful copper leaf on the front. It made me a little bit jealous. I suppose I could have swapped them over in the hope she believed it had been well-thumbed in the bookshop. Unfortunately my conscience reflex is far too strong. Heyho, you may imagine a beautiful embossed leaf, if you wish.
I first read this book because of a recommendation. Not of this particular book, but another by the same author. The advice came from either Chris Packham or Simon King, I don’t remember which, but I am certain it was a wildlife presenter. I scribbled “Max Porter” on a piece of paper but not who to blame/thank and filed it in “big pile on desk”. Then Lanny came along and with it a twinkle of recognition. And I was very pleased for that scribble.
Lanny is a book of Nature, both mother and human. It is not cutesy Disney nature, but tough, vengeful, own rules nature. At first it is delightful, gradually becoming more shadowy, hints of something I didn’t want to acknowledge. Oh dear, I thought, I didn’t sign up for this, please don’t let it be true. I was irritated by this particular diversion, a bit sulky, Mr Porter wasn’t playing the game how I wanted it played. Of course, and quite rightly, he did what he wanted. Not only are the words beautiful to say and hear and read, they are beautiful to see and they scamper or trail or lounge around the pages. I’ll tell you no more.
I have sent this book to my friend Betsy, known to me as Betsy Bee. She keeps bees. She lives between sea and moor, is open-minded, receptive to new ideas and very clever. They are well-suited.
Betsy was not my first choice. I bought the book for Div on a whim and when I tentatively investigated she had just started reading it. At the time I didn’t tell her as I thought she might feel bad, but there would be no need. These things often work out for the best. Betsy is presently engulfed in tax office torture and she is longing for distraction. I hope this proves to be a good one.
As for Div, she won’t miss out, I have something else planned for her.