16 Apr 2010

Love Scottish history? Then you will love this giveaway.

“For three billion years Scotland was on a collision course with England.”

This is how Magnus Magnusson begins the first chapter in his book Scotland: Story of a Nation, a non-fiction whopper that outlines Scotland’s past from pre-historic times right up to the establishment of the Scottish Parliament in 1997.

I have had a copy of this book for about three years. Over and over I pick it up with great intentions to plough through to the end, picking up story ideas as I go. However like many good intentions in my life, some other shiny thing inevitably comes along and then I’m on to something else.

For weeks I have been struggling with what to do for a giveaway this month. This month marks the one-year anniversary of this blog, and it is my own birthday in a couple of weeks so I wanted it to be special. I thought about re-doing the tablet feast, but changed my mind. I also skimmed through Cds, books and DVDs. Nothing seemed to fit.

But I thought: It’s my birthday. What do I want?

Then it came to me: what I want is a reading partner who will read this book with me. Someone who will open to page one at the same time as me and help keep me motivated until the end.

I make it sound like this book will be one of those dry, historic timeline slogs that we remember from our school days. It is nothing like that. Each chapter begins with a quote from Sir Walter Scott’s Tales of a Grandfather, another book that is on my lengthy “to read” list.

Magnusson himself was (sadly he passed away in 2007) a wonderful storyteller, able to take historical events and bring them to life. He added character to historical figures without straying from the known facts that bind them within Scotland’s past.

Yes, there are many other books on Scotland’s history, including Michael Lynch’s popular Scotland: A New History, and the new History of Scotland from BBC presenter Neil Oliver. However I am unable to move on to other works until I finish this bountiful offering.

So, what do you think? Any takers? Keep in mind that for all its wonders, it is a hefty read at nearly 700 pages.
The rules for this giveaway:

-You must love to read
-You must be interested in history and Scottish history in particular
-You must be prepared to be my reading partner, emailing back an fourth occasionally to swap feedback about the book and encouragement if one of us (probably me) is lagging behind.
-I would like your permission to post your reactions/thoughts about the book on this blog.

Now that you know the rules here’s how to enter:

To put you hand up to win this book, please leave a comment about your favourite story or character in Scottish history, being sure that your comment links back to your blog. You can also enter by emailing me at scotland4thesenses@googlemail.com and including “Magnus Magnusson rocks my world” in the subject line.

I’m away until Tuesday, although not to Paris because the lovely volcanic ash cloud has seen to it that my holiday with my friend is cancelled. My beloved has offered to be my holiday partner instead, although we don’t have any plans yet.

The deadline to get your name in the hat will be Tuesday 20 April. I will draw the name on Wednesday and post the name of the winner.

Thank you, good people of clan blog.

*This giveaway has now finished. Congratulations Susan, who is the lucky winner of the book**

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