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Joan Kyler

I don't remember how I heard about this book, but I agree: it's a keeper. I thought it was funny and charming and that the premise was unusual. That's a queen I'd like to chat with!

The first volume of Lauren Bacall's autobiography, By Myself, is a ripping good read. What a lot of personality and attitude. - Fay


Joan Kyler--I started seeing it show up on blogs and added it to my list, but never seemed to get around to reading it. It was a great idea and well done, too. I wonder if the Queen read it?
Fay--I thought the Bacall bio sounded like an interesting choice, now I see why that was one the Queen might have chosen. Maybe I should look for it, too?! :)


You have just solved a Christmas gift problem for me.....The Uncommon Reader is a perfect gift for the final person on my list! Thank you, Danielle!


This is one of those books I liked and read so fast that I forgot all about it by now. But I remember I enjoyed it a lot.

Joan Hunter Dunn

I received this as a Christmas gift and it now sits in our loo with a selection of other books one can dip in and out of.


Lovely review! I thoroughly enjoyed this, too, and thought it was very funny about the Queen and very true about reading. And what a great combination those two unexpectedly make!


I think I'll have to get this one out and read it again as I've forgotten most of it. Glad you enjoyed it, I did too.


I thought it was a really lovely read. You've captured it perfectly.


I remember loving this when I read it but have forgotten the details. And there's just something about quirky little well-written books that fit nicely in your hand isn't there?


Wasn't this a fun one? It tickled my funnybone. I wonder if the Queen has read it and if so, what she thought?


I love this book. It lives on the bookshelf at the top of the stairs in my house, and more than once I've picked it up, perched myself on the top stair and read it from cover to cover.

Margaret Powling

This book should be sub-titled (just for me), "The one that got away" as I was given this one Christmas and thought, uh-ho, I don't think I will like this, and I actually sent it to a charity shop or sold it to a bookseller, I can't remember which ... and now I think I might like it!
By the way, Danielle, there is a new Katharine McMahon book coming out within the next week or so, a novel based on the French Revolution. I just thought you might like notice of that as I think you enjoyed The Crimson Rooms and The Rose of Sebastopol (and perhaps others by this excellent novelist?)


I enjoyed this one a lot more than I expected to. The subversiveness in particular took me by surprise.

Les in NE

I don't know why I haven't read this one yet, but you've convinced me with, "I think it will sit comfortably on the shelf alongside Helene Hanff's books, particularly 84, Charing Cross Road, one of my all-time favorites." Loved 84, Charing Cross Road!


Cathy--Good idea--it would make a great holiday gift! I think I will have to keep it in mind as well. :)
Caroline--Yes, this is one that is easily and quickly devoured. I hope that by writing a little something about it I can keep it in mind longer (though sadly books fade from memory all too soon).
Joan Hunter Dunn--It certainly is one that can be dipped into in short sittings! ;)
Litlove--He did hit the nail on the head when it comes to how a reader develops and what she feels. It was very clever and very enjoyable.
Cath--I can see myself rereading this sometime, too. It's definitely a keeper.
Bibliolathas--Thanks. It was surprisingly funny and even had a few shocking moments--very nicely done all in all!
Darlene--It is quirky--good word for it. And I love slim little books that you can slip into your pocket. But there is lots to it despite the thinness of the book.
Stefanie--I wondered that, too. I hope she had a laugh out of it as well, and didn't think it too irreverent.
Joanne--I have a shelf of books about books where my copy is nestled. It is certainly unique amongst its compatriots.
Margaret--Oh well, that happens sometimes! I have a feeling it probably found a new home easily enough! :) Thanks so much for the heads up on the new Katharine McMahon book. I knew there was one forthcoming but didn't realize it was out so soon! I've read the two you mentioned and listened to The Alchemists Daughter. Loved them all. This is going to the top of my wishlist.
Teresa--I was a little surprised, too, by some of the things in the book, but in a good way. I think I really must be almost the last person to read it! :)
Les--I seem to have waited quite a while, too. It is different than any of the other books about books/reading that I have read, but very enjoyable. It's very charming but surprising in ways, too. I hope you like it as much as I did!

Liz F

You are not remotely the last person to read this as I haven't read it.
I do like Alan Bennett and of course he comes from my neck of the woods, but I have a bit of a backlog of his books to read as yet, including two very fat volumes, so I'm not sure when I will get around to reading this.

I will however definitely look out for Katherine McMahon's new book though. As The Crimson Rooms was one of my top ten reads of 2010, and Revolutionary France is one of my new favourite topics (bought some books to help junior daughter in her studies and then she dropped History so I am reading them instead!), then it sounds as though it will be a must-read!


Love this book! So happy to see that you enjoyed it ;) Such a gem of a read, eh? Definitely one of my favorites. Reading your post makes me want to re-read it soon. Cheers!

Margaret Powling

Danielle and Liz F, I've looked up the K Mcmahon book on and it's called Season of Light. (Not sure whether it will have the same title in the USA - they are sometimes changed, as you know.) Yes, The Crimson Rooms was wonderful, wasn't it?
Just read The Help by Kathryn Stockett as we're off to see the movie later this month and I wanted to read the book first. I absolutely loved it.


I actually just read Smut, his newest book, recently. It was... interesting... I liked this book better, but they were actually rather different from each other.


Liz--I have not read any other of Bennett's books--don't even own a single one, but I did love this one! I should really check him out as I wonder if his other books are as good and clever?
Crimson Rooms was also one of my own top ten books. It is my favorite book by her and I could happily reread it. Your daughters are studying such interesting things--at least the history books won't go to waste!
Nadia--It is a fun read. I'm always happy to find stories like this--surely authors must know readers are suckers for a good "books" story!
Margaret--I suspect she is not yet listed in Amazon over here. I think I will have to splurge and see if I can get it from The Book Depository. Crimson Rooms is also my favorite--can she possibly top that one? And I have heard good things about The Help--have it on my own TBR pile, but haven't had a chance yet to read it.
Kailana--I will have to look up Smut and see what it is about. Somehow the titles do sound very different! :) This one is so charming--how do you top it?

Margaret Powling

I would be interested to know, from those who lived or who now live in Jackson, Mississippi, whether it was like or might still be like it is described in the book, The Help. I loved this book but it certainly brought to mind the dreadful plight of the blacks and coloureds during the 1960s and before. But the book is very witty, too, and for a first novel, I thought extremely well written. I absolutely loved it and I hope that seeing the film won't in any way spoil it for me.


Margaret--I've yet to read the book or see the movie, and I've not been to MS, so I'm not sure I can answer your question adequately. I think much has changed since the 60s--lots of obvious things with the Civil Rights movement, but I think that certain attitudes persist even if they are not outwardly demonstrated. I really do need to read the book--I have it on my pile. I only have an idea of what the book is about, but hate to make assumptions. It has been a huge bestseller here--and I bet if you googled for reviews you might get more answers or perspectives.

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