I have never used the word “charming” in a book review before, but this one totally qualifies. Alan Benet’s The Uncommon Reader is a quick (only 128 pages) captivating read for anybody who enjoys books and the discussion around them.
The basic premise is that the Queen of England takes up reading books from a local bookmobile, with the help of a poor, but knowledgeable, servant. While the Queen’s tastes interests take her into new genre’s and authors her advisers become scared and suspicious of effects the books are causing in the Queen’s outlook on their sensible English world and political tomfoolery ensues.
It’s a great read for anyone who enjoys books, reading and the discussions that surround all of the above. This short and easy treatise serves as a reminder of the power of ideas, books and why we read.
I gave this book 3 out of 5. Also, in the spirit of full disclosure, please note that I received a copy of this book via LibraryThing’s Early Reviewer program.