Measure for Measure

Literature Reviews

Kathryn Harkup: Death by Shakespeare

Hmmm.  After having read and liked — though not loved — Harkup’s book on Agatha Christie’s use of poisons in her mysteries (A Is for Arsenic), it took the Shakespeare fan in me about a millisecond to snatch up this third book of hers when I came across it earlier this year … only to […]

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Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Halloween Bingo 2020: The Second Week (+1 Day)

Posting this on Monday instead of Sunday again … oh well. I guess after a near-phenomenal first bingo week it was only to be expected that the second week would not be quite as fabulous. Mind you, I’m not complaining — my card is coming together nicely, and none of the books I read this […]

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An “Out of My Reach” Book Wishlist to St. Nick

24 Festive Tasks: Door 14 – St. Nicholas’ Day / Sinterklaas, Task 1: Write a book wish list to St. Nick / Santa Claus for books that you’ve been eyeing but can’t justify the expense of purchasing.  (E.g., art books? Collector’s editions? Boxed sets?)   Dear Saint Nick, it would be really nice if one […]

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Royalty Moonlighting as Commoners in Fiction

24 Festive Tasks: Door 10 – Russian Mothers’ Day, Task 2: Towards the end of the 17th century, there was a Russian apprentice carpenter and shipwright going by the name Peter Mikhailov in the Dutch town of Zaandam (and later in Amsterdam), who eventually turned out to be none other than Tsar Peter the Great, […]

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Ross Are Red, Violets Are Blue: Shakespeare, Much Ado

24 Festive Tasks: Door 3 – Melbourne Cup Day, Task 2: Write your own “Roses are Red, Violets are Blue” poem for one of your favorite or most hated books of all time.   Roses are red, violets are blue; Shakespeare nailed it without Much Ado. (Well, OK, this is more of a tribute to […]

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My Personal Literary Canon, Part 2: “Veteran” Readership

24 Festive Tasks, Door 5, Task 3: Tell us: What author’s books would you consider yourself a veteran of (i.e., by author have you read particularly many books – or maybe even all of them)?   The authors by whom I’ve read the most books don’t coincide exactly, but substantially with those that I’d also […]

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A Book Stack / Scales Festivus Feat of Strength

24 Festive Tasks: Door 19 – Festivus, Task 3: Have your household scales perform a feat of strength: Place 10 of your heaviest books in a stack on your scales and tell us what their total weight comes to.   The books I picked for this task: * My hardcover boxed set of Thomas Mann’s […]

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Bibliomancy

24 Festive Tasks: Door 18 – Winter Solstice / Yuletide, Task 1: Bibliomancy: Grab one of your larger books and flip to the indicated page and line number to answer the following questions – then post those answers for us: Will I read all the books on my TBR?  (page 378, line 29) Will any […]

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Book Rescue, Book-Related Places of Pilgrimage … and My Personal Literary Canon, Part 1

24 Festive Tasks: Door 7 – Mawlid, Task 2: The Five Pillars of Islam almsgiving and the pilgrimage to Mekka.  Tell us: Have you ever donated books or rescued them from (horror of horrors) being trashed?  Alternatively: Is there a book-related place that is a place of pilgrimage to you? If I donate books, I […]

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William Shakespeare’s Epitaph

24 Festive Tasks: Door 1 – Día de los Muertos, Task 2: Share your favorite gravestone epitaph (you know you have one). To a Shakespeare fan, there can be only one …     Good friend for Jesus’ sake forbeare, To dig the dust enclosed here. Blessed be the man that spares these stones, And […]

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16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Final Tally

The Markers: Stack of Books: Books read       Red Bows and Ribbons: Other Tasks completed Joker cards used:   The Squares, Books and Other Tasks: Square 1: November 1st: All Saints Day / Día de los Muertos & Calan Gaeaf Book themes for Día de Muertos and All Saint’s Day: A book that […]

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16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Updates / Blackout

I’ve yet to read at least one book for some of the squares, but I’ve completed a minimum of either one book or one task for all of the squares, and in several cases, more.     The Markers: Stack of Books: Books read       Red Bows and Ribbons: Other Tasks completed   […]

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Literature Reviews

Gregory Doran & Antony Sher: Woza Shakespeare — Titus Andronicus in South Africa

Man, what a trip.  Titus Andronicus is not, and never will be my favorite play by William Shakespeare, but having read this book, I’d give anything to be able to watch a recording of this particular production. In the 1980s (when Apartheid was still in full swing) Gregory Doran (later: Artistic Director of the Royal […]

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2017: Favorite and Least Favorite Books of the Year

16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Square 10 – Pancha Ganapti – and Square 12 – Festivus Tasks for Pancha Ganapati: Post about your 5 favourite books this year and why you appreciated them so much. Tasks for Festivus: […] –OR– Perform the Airing of Grievances: name 5 books you’ve read this year that have […]

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Literature Reviews

Jackie Bennett & Andrew Lawson: Shakespeare’s Gardens

A lavishly illustrated coffee table book-sized guide to the gardens Shakespeare knew (or might have known) both in Stratford / Warwickshire and in London, as well as an introduction to the gardens of the five Shakespeare-related houses in and around Stratford, with an introductory chapter on Tudor gardening in general.  The find of several great […]

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Stratford-upon-Avon — Oxford — London: Shakespeare, Hogwarts and Shopping

Stratford A Scene at the RSC Book and Gift Shop The date: June 17, 2017. The time: Approximately 10:00AM. TA and friend enter; TA asks for a shopping basket and makes straight for the shelves and display cases. An indeterminate amount of time is then spent browsing. Whenever her friend points out something and asks […]

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10 Shakespeare Quotes For New Year’s Eve

For when you skip the New Year’s Eve party to read and drink wine and then fall asleep at 10 p.m. because you don’t actually want to talk to anyone: Good wine is a good familiar creature, if it be well used. – Othello For when your roommate’s lonely brother (or sister) comes to the […]

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REBLOG: British Council – #ShakespeareNoFilter

Reblogged from: Scarlet’s Web (BookLikes) www.shakespearelives.org/explore/shakespearenofilter As part of our Shakespeare Lives programme, we are retelling three of the Bard’s most iconic plays through the lens of Instagram! Set throughout Europe, these modern adaptions will inspire and intrigue. This is where you can catch up with the stories so far, and on Instagram you can […]

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Thou Gorbellied, Clapper-Clawed Moldwarp!

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Movies Reviews

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING

A Dainty Dish Ever since his Oscar-nominated Henry V adaptation, Kenneth Branagh has come up with a simple, effective recipe: Blend 3 parts English actors well-versed in all things “Bard” with 1 or 2 parts Hollywood, sprinkle the mixture liberally over one of Shakespeare‘s plays, lift the material out of its original temporal and local […]

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