Courtesy of Clarence House
Following the success of the two recommended playlists she published during the pandemic, the Duchess of Cornwall has launched a new literary project designed to celebrate books and their creators. With “The Duchess of Cornwall’s Reading Room” Camilla will be releasing new selections of books in groups of four on a regular basis, and a new batch has just been announced for summer reading.
“For me, reading is a great adventure. I have loved it since I was little and I would like everyone to enjoy it as much as I do, ”she explained. “You can escape and you can travel and you can laugh and you can cry. There are all kinds of emotions that humans feel in a book. Since publishing her previous playlists, the Duchess has noted that she had heard people “all over the world” talking about books and reading – something she said was “a great way to communicate.”
Below is every book that has so far received the Duchess Reading Room Seal of Approval, including her latest picks for “season three.“
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The leftovers of the day
“The beautiful book by Kazuo Ishiguro explores several different themes: dignity, love, social constraints, the passage of time, the importance of jokes”, Camilla noted. “This book is a brilliant portrait of an aging English butler and his discolored island world in post-war Britain. A beautiful and evocative story of the life and love lost in one of the greatest country houses of the interwar period.
The Book of Dust: The Commonwealth Secret (Book of Dust, Volume 2)
This is the second opus by Philip Pullman The Book of Dust trilogy. Located in the same world as Pullman’s Its Dark Matter, the fantasy series YA finds the heroine Lyra unraveling the mysteries. “I enjoyed every book that Philip Pullman wrote and followed Lyra through all of her trials,” Camille said. “This book is no exception, as we immerse ourselves in the mystical adventures of this fantasy. Storytelling at its best …”
Girl: A novel
Girl tells the poignant story of young women kidnapped by the terrorist organization Boko Haram in northeast Nigeria, and although Camilla has yet to publicly share her thoughts on the book, Girlthe author of, Edna O’Brien, has been called “one of the greatest living writers in the English language“by Michael Schaub of NPR.
A gentleman in Moscow: a novel
“A wonderful book that gives the reader an understanding of life in post-revolution Moscow, through the eyes of a Russian aristocrat sentenced to life in the Metropol Hotel in Moscow”, said the duchess of A gentleman in Moscow. Set in the 1920s, this novel centers on a man sentenced to house arrest by the Kremlin. Author Amor Towles details the inner journey his protagonist faces as he spends his days in the hotel attic and struggles with what it means to live with purpose.
The red notebook
The boy, the mole, the fox and the horse
To kick off the initiative at the end of December 2020, the Duchess has decided to highlight Charlie Mackesy’s film The boy, the mole, the fox and the horse. “Warm, funny, deeply moving and beautifully illustrated, this charming book makes you feel better about the world,” she wrote in his approval.
The mirror and the light
“Worth waiting for the astonishing conclusion of his brilliant Wolf Hall trilogy, depicting the final stages of the dramatic rise and fall of Thomas Cromwell to the court of Henry VIII”, Camilla writing.
Where the crayfish sing
Camilla also selected the bestseller Where the crayfish sing– a book about a lonely young woman living on the coast of North Carolina, who finds herself at the center of a murder investigation – in her first choice series. The royal is in good company: Reese Witherspoon also selected the novel for her book club and is currently working on its adaptation for the big screen.
The previously highlighted Duchess Restless in its very first list of reading recommendations, published last April during the UK’s first COVID-19 lockdown. “A war thriller featuring a resourceful woman in great danger … a great read,” she said of Boyd’s novel.
The apprentice architect
Another novel that Camilla had previously included in her “Lockdown Reading List”, The apprentice architect takes place in Istanbul at the height of the Ottoman Empire. The Duchess calls it “a magical and colorful tale”.
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