After launching The Reading Room earlier this year, Camilla has announced her third season with a range of new books to explore.
The Duchess of Cornwall started the initiative to be a ‘celebration of literature in all its forms’ and to be ‘a hub for literary communities around the world’. Camilla dedicated the second season to her late father-in-law, Prince Philip, with books and topics he enjoyed.
“To me, reading is a great adventure,” she previously commented on the launch of the book club. “I’ve loved it since I was very small and I’d love everybody else to enjoy it as much as I do.
“You can escape and you can travel and you can laugh and you can cry. There’s every kind of emotion that humans experience in a book.”
Since releasing her previous reading lists, the Duchess noted that she’s heard from people ‘all over the world’, discussing her recommendations, which has been ‘a lovely way of communicating’.
This season the books include:
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
In the summer of 1956, Stevens, a long-serving butler at Darlington Hall, decides to take a motoring trip through the West Country. The six-day excursion becomes a journey into the past of Stevens and England, a past that takes in fascism, two world wars, and an unrealised love between the butler and his housekeeper.
The Various Haunts of Men by Susan Hill
A woman vanishes in the fog up on the Hill in Lafferton. The police have one lead – a pair of expensive cuff-links found in her flat, with a mysterious note attached to them. Then a young girl, an old man and even a dog disappear in quick succession in exactly the same place. Young policewoman Freya Graffham and Chief Inspector Simon Serrailler are given the task of unravelling the mystery. But can they find the Hill killer before he strikes again?
The Light Years by Elizabeth Jane Howard
Every summer, the Cazalet brothers return to the family home in the heart of the Sussex countryside with their wives and children. They are joined by their parents and unmarried sister Rachel to enjoy two blissful months of picnics, games, and excursions to the coast.
Despite the idyllic setting, nothing can be done to soothe the siblings’ heartache: Hugh is haunted by the ravages of the Great War, Edward is torn between his wife and his latest infidelity, and Rupert is in turmoil over his inability to please his demanding wife. Meanwhile, Rachel risks losing her only chance at happiness because of her unflinching loyalty to the family. The book is the first in The Cazalet Chronicles series.
War Horse by Michael Morpurgo
In the deadly chaos of the First World War, one horse witnesses the reality of battle from both sides of the trenches. Bombarded by artillery, with bullets knocking riders from his back, Joey the horse tells a powerful story of the truest friendships surviving in terrible times. He has the seen the best and the worst of humanity. The power of war and the beauty of peace. This is his story.
As an avid reader herself, Camilla is patron of a number of literary charities, including the National Literacy Trust, BookTrust, The Royal Society of Literature, First Story, the Wicked Young Writer Awards and Beanstalk. She is also involved in the 500 Words BBC Radio 2 competition each year, as well as the Booker Prize.
To mark World Book Day 2021, The Duchess of Cornwall was asked about the importance of books and World Book Day, to which she replied: “I think it’s lovely that we have a special day to celebrate books. After all we have special days to celebrate everything else and books are very important things in our lives.
“A world without books is completely unimaginable. Because all you kind authors are giving out these books on World Book Day is something very, very special because so many of these children have no books or probably never read a book before.”
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