"The Uncommon Reader," by Alan Bennett
'Oh Norman,' said the Queen, 'the prime minister doesn't seem to have read any Hardy. Perhaps you could find him one of our old paperbacks on his way out.' Had the dogs not taken exception to the strange van parked in the royal grounds, the Queen might never have learnt of the Westminster travelling library's weekly visits to the palace. But finding herself at its steps, she goes up to apologise for all the yapping and ends up taking out a novel by Ivy Compton-Burnett, last borrowed in 1989. Duff read though it proves to be, upbringing demands she finish it and, so as not to appear rude, she withdraws another. This second, more fortunate choice of book awakens in Her Majesty a passion for reading so great that her public duties begin to suffer. And so, as she devours work by everyone from Hardy to Brookner to Proust to Samuel Beckett, her equerries conspire to bring the Queen's literary odyssey to a close. Subversive and highly enjoyable, The Uncommon Reader offers the perfect argument for reading, written by one of its great champions, Alan Bennett.
This is our book club choice for January. If you have an afternoon free and want to read a short book (121 pages) then this is the book for you. Short, sweet and interesting. This wouldn't happen in real life with the Queen, but in our and the author's imagination this would and could be quite possible.
He brings to life the palace and all it's little quirks. I am quite sure there are a lot of the parts that are actually quite true in the way the palace lives and moves on from day to day. I hope the Queen read this as I think she would get quite a kick out of it,
Stars out of 5 : 4.5 Wish I were a more established reader and as lot of the author references were of people I had not heard of.