As I briskly and excitedly ripped through the box that the FedEx delivery gentleman handed to me moments before, I wondered if my assumptions about its contents would be verified or incorrect. That’s the funny thing about making assumptions. You really could be dead on sometimes or made out to be a complete you know what. All my years as a book reviewer I have never held my breath in sheer anticipation along with the rest of world regarding a book. I also usually reserve commentary about the book until I have absorbed its contents. But this one was, is, a little different.

I finally made my way through the mailing tape and opened the box, removing its contents. There his face stared back at me. Prince Harry. Spare. I sigh a little as I held the memoir within my hands. I stare back at the face looking at me trying to comprehend the intent of his gaze. One would think that the most anticipated book of the century would not be nondescript in appearance.

I guess I was expecting a parade or some sort of reader fanfare to magically pop out of the box. I thought back to the last time I felt such anticipation for a book. Michael Jackson’s "Moonwalk" comes to mind. Before that “Dream Girls: My Life As A Supreme” by Mary Wilson was the first book I had to have. I remember my best girlfriend and I hopped the Dexter bus in Detroit all the way to Northland Mall in the dead of winter. Mary Wilson was doing a book signing at Hudsons. I had $30 in my wallet that I planned to buy some paisley jeans with that money. Yes. Paisley jeans. Well. I just had to meet Mary Wilson.

So, I plunked down $25 for the book and got back in line. As the line moved, I got a glimpse of her. Mary Wilson. Growing up in Detroit, you cannot help the sprinkling of pixy dust that settles on you about our city. The pixy dust never lets you go. Motown’s contribution to that feeling of pride and awe and magic was transformational. My mother loved everything Motown and my father grew up around the corner from two of the Miracles. Motown was played regularly in our home. To meet one of the goddesses of Motown was thrilling. I finally made it to the desk where Mary Wilson was signing copies of her book, and I had a panic attack. Right there. But I was able to move forward and slide my newly purchased book towards her. She smiled at me and “You are a Supremes fan?” Me with my hair in the spitting image of Wendy Melvoin of The Revolution, mixed match earrings, about twenty necklaces around my neck, and lace fingerless gloves answered softly, “Yes. I am.” She opened the book, signed it, and handed it back to me. “It was nice to meet you, Tracey. I hope you enjoy reading my book.” I think I almost fainted. In my memory, “Dream Girl” was the first book that I highly anticipated its release.

But there is another. How appropriate that this book would enter the chat as I feverishly gobble down the first three pages of “Spare.” The third most anticipated book that I anxiously awaited would be “Diana: Her True Story: In Her Own Words” released in 1992. At the time the book arrived from the publicist at Simon and Schuster, the world did not know that the Princess had corroborated and basically written her own definitive memoir using Andrew Morton as a channel to get her story out to the world. No one knew that hot tea. I read that book, did not leave any crumbs. I ate. I then wrote one of my first book reviews. Funny how the Universe works. Here I am again 31 years later holding Diana’s youngest son’s book in my hands and just reading the first few pages has enchanted me. Kind of like the epilogue to Princess Diana’s epic tell all. And just like his "Mum," Prince Harry is making history.

“Spare’’ has broken the Guiness Book of World Records as the fastest selling nonfiction book in history with 1.4 million in sales the very first day of release. “Spare” has also sold more copies than any other book in UK history. Now that is saying something. Despite the negativity of the UK press and tabloids regarding some of the contents of "Spare," the Brits are like me: eating it up and not leaving a crumb behind! “Spare” has surpassed the sales of Barack and Michelle Obama’s memoirs and outsold another Brit named Harry…Harry Potter. This just proves one major point and vindicates Prince Harry in a way: the British consumes a lot of royal media content. However, I wonder if “Spare” will have the power to sway the British public’s feelings regarding Prince Harry and Meghan Markle? Will it sway my own perception of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex? The book is 410 pages long including the acknowledgments page. As I flip through, there are scant pictures inside, black and whites, not a full collection of candid personal photographs like many memoirs boast. I guess Prince Harry figured there are millions upon millions pictures out here in the world of himself, his “Mum,” Prince William, and of course King Charles III, so there was no earthly need to include any in his book. Whatever the case, as I honker down with a hot pot of Twining’s tea in my favorite tea set and “Spare” on this slightly chilly January day, I am ready to indulge in some Royal family intrigue. Perhaps this will be the diversion I need from obsessing over the latest uncovered lies of George Santos.

Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard will be posthumously honored with a Lifetime

Achievement Award at the 2023 Grammys on Feb. 9 as part of The Supremes.