Books in brief
"The Queen: Her Life" by Andrew Morton; Grand Central (375 pages, $30)
Nobody picks up an Andrew Morton book for the writing — he's clunky, overwrought, loves cliches. But for an inside look at the royals, he's got the scoop. In this biography of Queen Elizabeth II, he beguiles us with anecdotes from her youth, takes us through the stoic war years and marriage (it was love at first sight for Elizabeth), and the disasters we know so well: Diana, Camilla, Meghan, Prince Andrew, the "annus horribilis."
There are no blockbuster reveals here, but if you, like me, struggle between real life and episodes of "The Crown," this book might keep you honest. The queen comes off as steady, reliable, occasionally humorous and an all-round good egg. She weathered tragedies and she learned to adapt, and it's hard to come away from this book without feeling some affection for her — regardless of your views on the monarchy.
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Rushed into print months early after the queen's death, the book will be updated with that news in later editions.