Sunday, December 29, 2013

Enjoying Non-Fiction

It’s been super, super quiet around here since we got home from vacation.

I actually don’t know what to blog about.

Oh! I’ll tell you what book I’ve been reading!

I’m not usually into non-fiction, but I have a friend here who’s going through a list of books that everyone needs to read. One that was on the list that she had completed is called Elizabeth The Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch by Sally Bedell Smith.

I was at first daunted by the 672 page (including the blank last pages) book, but after I started reading it I was hooked.

I’m only 142 pages through, but it’s possibly the best non-fiction book I’ve ever read. I’ve never known much about the Queen. She’s been something of an enigma to me. It’s great to hear through personal accounts of what she is like both professionally and personally.

I had no idea how much work she had to do. She works every day but Christmas and Easter. Every. Single. Day. If nothing else she reads the news papers and her confidential papers. Those two things never go undone. It’s so amazing.

Another thing that has struck me is how sad it must have been to grow up as one of her children. It was not uncommon for the Queen and her husband (whose title has changed over the years, he hasn’t always been Prince Philip) to be gone for months at a time. Also, protocol always had to be observed. When she arrived home after a very long visit, she would have to greet officials before her children. There were no smiling, running, hugging greetings that her sensitive Prince Charles would have loved. Though after the official greetings were done, there was private family time, it was damaging for Prince Charles to be told “No, not you dear.” Poor kid.

It makes me wonder if it will be different in more modern generations. If, for instance, William is King while he has young children. Will they stick to such antiquated policies? I hope not. He and his wife seem to be of a different breed, so far.

When I enjoy a book, I become quite a voracious reader. Usually it’s what I’ve started calling “fluffy crap” but I’ve really enjoyed this. And it’s non-fiction. That’s a big deal to me.

Maybe next I’ll read her biography on Princess Diana. I’ve always loved Princess Di.

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