Reading Challenge month 8 ~ A book based on a true story

Elizabeth, uncirculated

Here it is the 14th and I’m supposed to be writing my thoughts about this month’s book (which, truthfully, I haven’t finished, though I am enjoying it), but I find myself distracted and impatient—and now days late.

You know how it goes.

I started with thoughts of Queen Elizabeth II, who last week passed Victoria’s record for longest reigning British head of state, but my thoughts are scattering like tadpoles.

For instance.

What did the Queen have for breakfast this morning? I had a slice of apple cake and a cup of “Tardis Tea” while I checked my morning work email. If I were having breakfast with the Queen, I think I might have tried to slip the corgis a chunk of apple. After all, they sit there so quietly, begging so sweetly with their golden eyes. Does the Queen ever slip a bit of roast beef under the dinner table to their waiting, gentle jaws?

I don’t really approve of feeding table scraps to pets, and yet it’s nearly irresistible because it’s such a joy to give that much pleasure to another creature. Last week I made some camelid cookies (I know!) for our neighbors’ new trio of alpacas. We visited them on Saturday and held the treats out on open, flat palms. The least-shy of the alpacas slowly came forward to sniff the offering, then gently glided away.

Oh well. We ate the offered cookies ourselves.

Would the Queen eat an Alpaca-sniffed cookie? I like to think so. The book I’m reading contains great details about palace furnishings, ladies’ evening attire, crown jewels, order of accession, personality quirks, alliances and and antagonisms, but not nearly enough about their pets.

Edward VII (Elizabeth’s great grandfather) loved a little fox terrier named Caesar. I’ve seen a photo of Caesar walking at the head of his master’s funeral procession (reportedly incensing Kaiser Wilhelm II, who was not accorded such honor).

Queen Mary (Elizabeth’s grandmother, and the subject of the book I’m still reading) doesn’t seem like the type to love a dog. She barely seemed to love her own children. It was a different time, I know, but I find it hard imagining her proffering a cookie to an alpaca or kissing a goat on the lips.

But she was only human. She did all the things a human being can and must do. The book doesn’t need to tell me that she had afternoon cravings for something crunchy and salty. That she looking around the house some days and thought, “What a mess.” That she had to trim her fingernails, rub her sore feet, or be surprised by a new grey hair. That she woke up on a Monday morning with a sigh and a sense of heaviness, but was restored by that first cup of tea and slice of apple cake. That she looked at that book she hadn’t finished yet and thought, “Well, maybe I’ll just skim the middle chapters.”


Our books for month 8:

Did you read (or attempt to read!) a true story this month? Please leave a comment telling us about it!

The category for the coming month is:


We’ll see you back here on October 11!

This post is part of our multi-year reading challenge. We’d love to have you join us for the whole challenge or any portion. Take a look at the checklist to see the current category (in green). We’ll announce the next category on the 11th of each month.