Alan Bennett's slight novel, The Uncommon Reader, is delightful and entertaining. Anyone who loves books should appreciate this enchanting story of the unnamed current Queen of England, who discovers the world of books.
Following her dogs, the queen finds the City of Westminster travelling library. When she goes on it to apologize, she feels it's her duty to check out one book. The following week, she returns with the book, looking for something else. Along with the librarian, a young man from the palace kitchen, Norman, suggests some books. Within a short time, the queen is hooked on books, and Norman has been moved into the library.
How can anyone resist a queen who realizes, "What she was finding also was how one book led to another, doors kept opening wherever she turned and the days weren't long enough for the reading she wanted to do"? Or there's the time she tells Norman she would excel at the pub quiz because she's been everywhere and seen everything. She totally disrupts her household, and the routine, by stopping to ask her subjects what they are reading.
The queen is truly "The Uncommon Reader," in this enjoyable book with a twist at the end.
The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, ©2007. ISBN 978-0-374-28096-3 (hardcover), p. 120.