If you are within reach of Edinburgh's Royal Botanic Garden this coming weekend (24th. & 25th. August) then do make a point of visiting that magical place because you'll find more than just plants to engage you.
Proof copies of Elizabeth Gilbert's forthcoming novel The Signature of All Things - which won't be out 'til October - are going to be dotted around the Botanics for anyone to pick up and read in situ or even take home with them. It's a marvellous idea to bring the book to the attention of garden-lovers, for the novel is about a botanist:
"5th. January, 1800. Alma Whittaker is born into a perfect Philadelphia winter. An independent girl with a thirst for knowledge, it is not long before Alma comes into her own within the world of botany. But as her studies of moss take her deeper into the mysteries of evolution, the man she comes to love draws her in the opposite direction.
The Signature of All Things is a big novel, about a big century. It soars across the globe from London to Peru, to Philadephia, to Tahiti, to Amsterdam. People with extraordinary characters - missionaries, abolitionists, adventurers, astronomers, sea captains, geniuses and the quite mad - most of all it has an unforgettable heroine in Alma Whittaker, a woman of the Enlightened Age who stands defiantly on the cusp of the modern."
Elizabeth Gilbert has made a lovely video trailer for the book; if her novel were not already an absolute 'must read' for me, it certainly would be after seeing this:
Edited to add: re. Barbara's comment, if you have any difficulty playing the video, please try this link.