Friday, December 5, 2014

The Uncommon Reader - Alan Bennett

The Uncommon Reader
Two of my favorite things come together: reading and British royalty. Alan Bennett must have written this book for me.

It's a fun concept: Queen Elizabeth II finds herself in a traveling library outside of Buckingham Palace when her corgis run inside. In an attempt to avoid rudeness, she checks out a book. And, thus begins the monarch's obsession with reading and literature.

Of course, the story isn't true. We don't know what, if anything, QEII likes to read. Bennett has her all over the spectrum, diving ever deeper into more challenging works as her obsession grows.

As the novella progresses, she loses sight of running the country or, really, much of anything beyond books. Her advisors scramble to keep her on track and her family doesn't quite understand. She just keeps reading.

Ultimately, she moves from a love of reading to a desire to write and to share her own story and experiences. 

The story is fun and light heartened. Respectful to the monarch, but still a bit cheeky at points. As really only a novella, it's a short read and easy to accomplish in one day, as I did. I definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a short, playful adventure over the holidays, especially if you enjoy behind-the-scenes looks at royalty (imagined or not) as I do. 

Pages: 120
Date Completed: November 14, 2014

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