15 February 2019

Vlog: Lanny by Max Porter + 15K GIVEAWAY

Will explains why he might have read his favourite book of 2019 on New Year's Day plus it's our 15k giveaway with a tote bag literally bursting at the seams with ...

Hi everyone its Will here, welcome to the Waterstones vlog. If you are one of our

new subscribers, you may have seen my shout out on Instagram stories - welcome! This is our YouTube channel. There are all sorts of bookish delights here there is the Waterstones vlog which happens every Friday, we also have our Shelfie series in which you can hear authors recommending books that have inspired them as a writer. There's the Waterstones interview where we get to speak to some of the biggest authors around about their latest books and also miscellaneous video content. There's all sorts of lovely stuff here, so thank you for subscribing, tell your friends, bring more to the party. We have hit 15,000 subscribers which is fantastic and that means that there will be a giveaway. I will tell you more about the giveaway later but before we get to that I want to talk to you about the most extraordinary book. Now first of all. over Christmas I took a load of books home as I often do with the hope of just sitting there and reading. And of course that never happens because Christmas is very busy with family and all that sort of stuff and so in fact after Christmas had been and gone I had barely read anything. So on New Year's Day I sat down in a chair and I picked up this book determined to get to read some of it but what actually happened was I sat there and I read the whole thing in one go. I did get up to go to the toilet I think, maybe once, I think I might have had something to eat. But I was completely entranced by this book and I read it in one sitting, quite literally, apart from just towards the very end I had to go and cook dinner and so I went into the kitchen. And it's just as well I did go into the kitchen to finish reading this book because that was the point at which I started completely blubbing. This is a rare occurrence, I can think of probably maybe two occasions when I read a book and it's made me cry in my lifetime, it's a very rare thing, but this book absolutely got me. And it got me good and proper like I was proper snot-crying, it was not pretty sight. That is an indication of a) how compelling this book was and b) how emotionally involving this book was. What is this book you ask? It's this one here. This is Lanny by Max Porter. So Max Porter of course wrote Grief is the Thing with Feathers which was a huge hit. This is his new book. I really

enjoyed Grief as the Thing with Feathers but this one I think is something else. It's a book about family, it's a book about English myth, it's about what it's like to live in a small village in the countryside. We have a boy called Lanny, we have his parents, we have a busybody neighbour, we have another neighbour in the village who's an artist, various other people and this cacophony of voices throughout the book. I say cacophony and I mean that because I'll see if I can show you a page here, the text literally dances all over the page this sort of like you're overhearing conversations going on in various houses in this village. And that's because this sort of overseeing spirit, Dead Papa Toothwort, that's what he is hearing. These various voices picking them out and seeing what people are getting up to in their lives. And in that way it reminded me of a book called Darkmans by Nicola Barker which is an incredible book, it's really massive, but it has a similar feeling to it of that sort of... that there's this spirit or this sort of myth-like quality to what's going on that there are overseeing spirits or something, it's a hard thing to describe but it gives you, the reader, the feeling of being a person who's in this country sort of temporarily, that you're being watched, your life comes and goes and you're being watched by somebody or something. I really, really, really do not want to go into too much detail about the plot of this book, I don't really want to tell you what happens because I don't want to ruin anything but suffice to say that it is about sort of family and friendship and that you will come to care of course very much about Lanny and the way in which all of these characters and indeed Dead Papa Toothwort the sort of almost narrating character will come to be connected is so brilliantly done that if you are not a blubbering wreck by the end of this book then you are made of stronger stuff than I am. I think it's an incredible, incredible book. Because I've read millions of books, all right hundreds of thousands, alright thousands. I've read a lot of books. And after you've read a lot of books, yes there are great books out there, they've got great

stories, but actually after a while you need something a bit more than that. This has got great characters and it's got a great narrative but it does something else, it does something where it literally sort of reaches into your chest and grabs hold of your heart and it just twists it and it does something special. It connects with what is going on in the world today, but it also connects with something universal which is to do with how we behave with each other and what I suppose the bonds of family are. So I could literally talk about this book all day, but I won't, but I would just implore you to please pick it up. If you're in a Waterstones book shop pick it up and just read the first few pages and you will see what I mean. The language is extraordinary, the craftsmanship is incredible, it's the kind of book that you will want to have to hold in your hand because they've done this incredible typesetting work that you're really only going to get to feel and understand and enjoy if you're holding the paper in your hand - because this book is also about touch and art, it's about the physical. So please get into a book shop, pick it up, it's a gorgeous beast. And it's possibly already the best book I'll read this year because if I read a book that's better than this in 2019 then that will be the equivalent of sort of literary lightning striking twice because this book is incredible. So please, Lanny by Max Porter, get it. Now because I'm so lovely I'm going to put this in the giveaway. This is an advance copy, the book is not out yet but you could win this. But it's not just that. I've been on a little shopping spree and picked up all sorts of goodies and I've gone a bit mad so it's quite a disparate bunch of things but I think you will like it. So included with Lanny in this 15k giveaway... You Know You Want This, which is the new story collection from Kristen Roupenian, who wrote Cat Person. Kill The Black One First which is an incredible memoir by Michael Fuller who was the first black British Chief Constable it's all about his life growing up and care. I interviewed him just recently and that video will be going out in fact later on today so keep an eye on our channels for that. The Familiars by Stacey Halls which is this

absolutely gorgeous book. This is one of the blue sprayed edge editions which are becoming quite rare now. This notebook and a set of bookish pencils. Book pin which says bibliophile. This set of Faber stories. So there are 10 story collections here, there's everything from Sylvia Plath and Samuel Beckett all the way up to Sally Rooney. They're all absolutely gorgeous, beautifully designed and they'll look absolutely lovely on your shelf. And finally. I've got a little Hedwig. Who's pretty cute I think you'll agree. And in fact to put all of these goodies in we have of course a tote bag. This one says 'designated reader'. So there you go, a cornucopia of bookish goodness for one lucky person to win. What do you have to do to win this, Will? Well it's quite simple you need to leave a comment on YouTube and then I will pick a winner at random from all the people who leave comments in a week's time. So next Friday I will pick a winner, please make sure you leave the comment on YouTube because that's the only way that I will be able to reply to you and say that you have won. That winner will be picked at random. The bad news is, this is to do with competition laws. You have to be in Great Britain to enter, so England, Scotland, Wales. I'm afraid Northern Ireland not allowed to enter because of a difference in competition rules over there. So I hope that makes sense. Full terms and conditions will be in this video's description as well as a list of all the things that you could win and links to Lanny because I want you to read that book because it's absolutely incredible. So there we go. Thank you for watching. Come back next week and you'll see another bookseller waxing lyrical (and hopefully a little bit quicker than I have) about one of their favourite books. But until then, take care.