Stop what you are doing right now, I’ll wait, and go buy The Uncommon Reader, by Alan Bennett.
One has just finished this wonderful bagatelle in about an hour or so, and one must say that it’s an exhilarating little romp through the meaning of reading, writing, and life.
The Queen, unnamed, but one knows who is meant, is led by her ill-bred pack of Corgis to a bookmobile at the edge of the gardens, and having blundered into it, checks out a book out of sheer politeness.
There was a sadness to her reading, too, and for the first time in her life she felt there was a good deal she had missed. She had been reading one of the several lives of Sylvia Plath and was actually quite happy to have missed most of that, but reading the memoirs of Lauren Bacall she could not help feeling that Ms Bacall had had a much better bit at the carrot and, slightly to her surprise, found herself envying her for it.
The Others do not know quite how to take Her Majesty. There are difficulties. Growth occurs; changes are made. And there’s a killer ending that is breathtaking in its cheekiness, and Mr Bennett is as cheeky as they come.