April 23 is the 450th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth, as well as World Book Night, so it seemed fitting that this Friday Five should show the fascination that Shakespeare and his work still holds for the world today.
While the DC Public Library certainly has all of Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets in the collection, I wanted to feature more recent non-fiction and fiction books that showcase Shakespeare and his work.
|Will in the World
by Stephen Greenblatt
Greenblatt turns a fairly simple biography of an actor and writer into something far more by vividly showing the world and culture that shaped Shakespeare’s life and how his work in turn shaped the world and culture in which he lived.
|How Shakespeare Changed Everything
by Stephen Marche
Shakespeare influenced a great deal of the English language but Marche shows that the playwright’s reach goes far beyond words in the dictionary to every corner of culture. The book is not without controversy given some of the topics, and the presentation by Marche of those topics, can be offensive.
|The Book of William: How Shakespeare’s First Folio Conquered the World
by Paul Colllins
Collins travels around the world and across the centuries to explore where and how Shakespeare’s First Folio, the most sought after book in history, moved from Fleet Street in 1623 London to modern day Japan and all the places and eras in between, including D.C.’s very own Folger Shakespeare Library just a few blocks from the Southeast Neighborhood Library.
by Anne Fortier
A fictional tale in which a modern day woman begins an investigation into her Italian ancestors, the inspiration for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Was the real couple more tragic than the play? Did they find and hide a great treasure that is still being sought today? Did Shakespeare get it right or is the real story of this famous couple even better than the most famous play?
|Interred with their Bones
and Haunt Me Still (Kate Stanley series)
by Jennifer Lee Carrell
A great suspense series featuring Shakespeare scholar Kate Stanley and a great deal of interesting Shakespeare history, the first book Interred with their Bones features some scenes in D.C. and keeps readers guessing all the way to the end about whether the murderer will be caught before Kate Stanley is killed.