Friday, June 1, 2012

Jubilee Book Recommendations

So, now that you've caught up a bit on your pre-Jubilee viewing... what to read in those few spare hours between the onslaught of Jubilee celebrations being broadcast on television? Again, Anglophile that I am, here are a few fun suggestions.

"The Uncommon Reader" by Alan Bennett
First off, this is a totally quick novella, so easy to fit in during the Jubilee celebrations. Also, it's all about the Queen! Alan Bennett has written this sweet story about what would happen if the Queen one day wandered into a bookmobile and felt obliged to check out a book, and then became so in love with reading that it worked it's way into every aspect of her life. Not only does it celebrate reading but, even though it's fictional, it gives you a feeling that you are privileged enough to be given some insight into the Queen. My full review from a few years ago can be found here.

"Baby Cakes" by Armistead Maupin
Barbary Lane goes Burberry. This is easily my favorite book in the "Tales of the City" series. What I love about it is that this story is about all things San Franciscan becoming all things Royal. Between February 26th and March 6th, 1983, the Queen did a royal visit of the west coast of the United States. Maupin wrote the first four books of the series serialized in regular installments in the San Francisco Chronicle, this being the fourth. Therefore the books usually had an immediacy to what was going on at the time. What was going on in 1983 was Royal fever! The character of Mary Ann, as a reporter, follows the daily happenings of the "Royal Watch." Always wearing ever increasing ludicrous hats, or fascinators as we now call them, while at the same time having a to-do with a member of the Queen's entourage. While this is going on in the United States, my favorite character, Michael Mouse Tolliver is over in jolly old England connecting with a long lost friend. A must read for Anglophiles!

"The Queen and I" by Sue Townsend
This book, written by the author most known for her Adrian Mole series, imagines a Britain where a newly elected Republican Party decides that the entire Royal Family must learn to live like other Britons, lower-class Britons on a hideous housing estate in a provincial city. Written as a farce with the Queen's corgi running wild with mongrels, the Queen herself buckles down sturdily, mindful of stiff-upper-lip duty. Written before the death of Diana and Margaret, it's a humorous look at the Royal family coping in trying times.


ahaha, this is an amazing post idea! Thanks for sharing these recommendations...I hadn't heard of any of these before. I think I'm most excited to try out 'the queen and I' since one does wonder what would happen to the royals if they weren't...well...royal anymore.

Oh, do check it out Scarlett! Also, if you rent the DVD, the extra is a movie staring Richard E Grant called 'A Royal Scandal.' It's about the Prince of Wales (as in George III's foppish son) marrying his cousin, Caroline of Brunswick, which, in itself, is worth checking out.

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