Meandering Em's

Passion is books, photography, running and traveling. Also passionate about environmental issues.

Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch - Sally Bedell Smith I would actually give this book 3 1/2 stars. I received an Advance Reader's Edition before publication. Thanks to Random House for sending the book to me.This history of Queen Elizabeth II is detailed; sometimes too detailed. I did not need to read for the 50th time that she greeted each guest with dignity at every function she attended. However, the book was easy to read and contained some interesting information. I was surprised at the lack of maternal skills Elizabeth had. She seemed to feel that she could not be a good queen and a good mother at the same time. I felt so sorry for Charles when he begged not to return to boarding school, but his concerns were down-played and he was sent back to the school he hated. I believe this lack of sympathy to her children, especially Charles, came back to haunt her.The author gives the reader a different view of Diana. She is portrayed as manipulative and vengeful. She accused Charles of having an affair at the same time she was being unfaithful. Queen Elizabeth has had to learn how to deal with the media. Since Diana's death, the Queen has gradually become more popular with her subjects and the media. She seems to have mellowed towards her family and is more flexible in bending the rules in order to save the monarchy. This is seen in the welcome that Catharine Middleton, a middle-class commoner, was received by the royal family.The book begins with Elizabeth at ten years of age and ends with revealing some of the plans for the upcoming Diamond Jubilee in June! In between is a listing of major events, ceremonies, state visits, etc. for the next 75 years. The author seems to believe it was necessary to name every famous person who has met Queen Elizabeth. This eventually gets tiresome. I did not care that the Queen has met Lady Gaga! I didn't care about every trip made by the Queen over the past 60 years. However, I was impressed with the respect the leaders of the Commonwealth give her and her ability to ease conflict between nations in the Commonwealth. She was even able to make the Irish love and respect her. That takes skill!

Currently reading

The Waiting Years
Fumiko Enchi
Progress: 94/208 pages
Project Puffin: The Improbable Quest to Bring a Beloved Seabird Back to Egg Rock
Derrick Z. Jackson, Stephen W. Kress
Progress: 33/376 pages