Die NYT über Alan Bennetts neuestes Buch The Uncommon Reader, in dem er die Königin von England zu einer Leseratte werden lässt – was sie in Wirklichkeit nicht ist:

„She starts reading out of duty – when her corgis stray toward a mobile library parked near the palace, she feels an obligation to borrow a book – and unexpectedly finds duty turning into curiosity, and curiosity into pleasure. Though she has to plow through her first choice, a novel by Ivy Compton-Burnett, she is delighted with her next pick, The Pursuit of Love, by Nancy Mitford, and from there it’s onto a slew of other novels, memoirs and poetry.

For the first time in her life, Mr. Bennett writes, the queen “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 bite at the carrot and, slightly to her surprise, found herself envying her for it.”

She regrets all the opportunities she’s missed to get to know writers she has met, like T. S. Eliot, Philip Larkin and Ted Hughes. And she regrets that she’s come to reading so late in life and sets about making up for lost time.“