The Uncommon reader by Alan Bennett

I read this book in one sitting (or to be more precise, lying). Funny and quirky the book explores the transformational power of reading by imagining The Queen as a new convert to the activity. HRH’s discovery that the Mobile Library is visiting the palace is the catalyst for her journey into the world of books. We learn a little about the books she reads but more about the impact they have on her inner thoughts, her outlook on life, even her relationships with her subjects. Her minders and the policitians grow increasingly concerned about what is happening to HRH – the dangers of reading! – and there is a subplot about their various attempts to thwart her reading habit. Reassuringly none of these work and it all comes to an appropriate climax with a surprise ending. All in all a superb little book. Highly recommended.

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