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I’ve decided to bring back an old staple to the Gaz, the book review! A friend of mine, a British expatriate living in Houston, keeps me supplied with British book recommendations that I might otherwise miss. His latest recommendation is by Alan Bennett, the author, playwright and Tony Award-winning actor.

Alan Bennett’s recent work includes the play “The History Boys” (made into the movie of the same name, DVD5238) and the novella I just read “The Uncommon Reader”. In the opening scene, Queen Elizabeth II is retrieving her wayward corgis from a bookmobile parked in front of Buckingham palace. Feeling obligated to check out a book, she begins a journey down a new path that creates consternation and conflict for not only her staff but also her subjects who must find a way to respond to the Queen’s new favorite question “And what are you reading?”

For a complete review of this work, see The Guardian Online.