Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Happy Shakespeare Day

I'm celebrating Shakespeare's 450th Birthday with Shakespeare themed books this week.


Have to get a move on with this one, as book 2 is available and book 3 comes out in July!

William Shakespeare's Star Wars
by Ian Doescher
Published: 2013
Amazon | Goodreads

Return once more to a galaxy far, far away with this sublime retelling of George Lucas’s epic Star Wars in the style of the immortal Bard of Avon. The saga of a wise (Jedi) knight and an evil (Sith) lord, of a beautiful princess held captive and a young hero coming of age, Star Wars abounds with all the valor and villainy of Shakespeare’s greatest plays. ’Tis a tale told by fretful droids, full of faithful Wookiees and fearstome Stormtroopers, signifying...pretty much everything.

Reimagined in glorious iambic pentameter—and complete with twenty gorgeous Elizabethan illustrations--William Shakespeare’s Star Wars will astound and edify Rebels and Imperials alike. Zounds! This is the book you’re looking for.


Last night I caught Christopher Moore on tour with his latest Shakespeare themed book, The Serpent of Venice. He was dressed in our good ol' SF Giants wear. Along with a bit of intro to Venice of the past and present, he treated us with a couple hilarious stories. Check out his site to see if he will be in a bookstore near you.

Serpent of Venice
by Christopher Moore
just released: April 22, 2014
Amazon | Goodreads

Venice, a long time ago. Three prominent Venetians await their most loathsome and foul dinner guest, the erstwhile envoy from the Queen of Britain: the rascal-Fool Pocket.

This trio of cunning plotters—the merchant, Antonio; the senator, Montressor Brabantio; and the naval officer, Iago—have lured Pocket to a dark dungeon, promising an evening of sprits and debauchery with a rare Amontillado sherry and Brabantio's beautiful daughter, Portia.

But their invitation is, of course, bogus. The wine is drugged. The girl isn't even in the city limits. Desperate to rid themselves once and for all of the man who has consistently foiled their grand quest for power and wealth, they have lured him to his death. (How can such a small man, be such a huge obstacle?). But this Fool is no fool . . . and he's got more than a few tricks (and hand gestures) up his sleeve.

Greed, revenge, deception, lust, and a giant (but lovable) sea monster combine to create another hilarious and bawdy tale from modern comic genius, Christopher Moore.

Note: The book, too, is a veritable work of art. Rich creamy stock is enhanced by two-color printing, featuring part/chapter titles, running heads, and folios printed in red ink. The text block has blue-stained edges. The book opens to reveal two-page spread endpapers decorated with a sepia-toned antique map of Venice; an antique map of Italy graces the book’s front matter, printed in red. The jacket sports a matte finish with embossed author and title type; gold foil embellishes the title and illustration detail.


AND, I will be checking out the The Twisted Lit Series:

Anyone But You:
A Modern-Day Spin on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet
by Kim Askew and Amy Helmes
Publised: January 2014
Amazon | Goodreads -signup to win this (expires May 9)

“Heartbreakingly lovely.” -- USA Today.

After her family’s struggling eatery, Cap’s, falls prey to another of the Monte clan’s vicious and destructive pranks, sixteen-year-old Gigi Caputo finds herself courting danger during a clandestine encounter with Roman Monte, the very boy whose relatives have brought her family such grief. When the daughter and son of these two warring factions fall for each other, their quest to mend this bitter family feud turns out to be a recipe for disaster. Their story is irrevocably linked to the summer of 1933, when two twelve-year-olds, Benny and Nick, hop the turnstile at the Chicago World’s Fair. While enjoying some of the fair’s legendary amusements, Nick has a “love at first sight” encounter with Stella, a young girl who unintentionally causes a lasting rift between the two boyhood pals. Deftly winding its way through past and present day, this modern take on Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet has much to do with hate — but more with love.

A Modern-Day Spin on Shakespeare's The Tempest
by Kim Askew and Amy Helmes
Published: 2012
Amazon | Goodreads

“Irresistible debut novel. We can assure you reading the surprising adventures in the Twisted Lit series is nothing short of thrilling.” -- Children’s Book Review

Recently banished, unfairly, by the school’s popular crowd, former “it girl,” Miranda Prospero, finds herself in a brave new world: holding dominion amongst a rag-tag crew of geeks and misfits where she works at the Hot-Dog Kabob in the food court of her local mall. When the worst winter storm of the season causes mall workers and last-minute shoppers to be snowed-in for the night, Miranda seizes the opportunity to get revenge against the catty clique behind her social exile. With help from her delightfully dweeby coworker, Ariel, and a sullen loner named Caleb who works at the mall’s nearby gaming and magic shop, Miranda uses charm and trickery to set things to right during this spirited take on Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

A Modern-Day Spin on Shakespeare's Macbeth
by Kim Askew and Amy Helmes
Published: 2013
Amazon | Goodreads -signup to win this (expires April 28)

“Death, betrayal, ruthless plots to seize the “crown” — all the seeds of stage tragedy take root and flourish in this clever modern-day homage to Macbeth.” -- Kirkus Reviews.

Double, double, toil and trouble. Sometimes, the quest for high school royalty can be deadly! In this emotionally-charged twist on Shakespeare’s Macbeth, a self-conscious shutterbug named Skye Kingston navigates a treacherous school year in Alaska fraught with unspoken secrets and tragic twists of fate. Along the way she encounters three strangely prophetic BFFs; one social-climbing, sociopathic cheerleader; and a heart-stopping hottie named Craig McKenzie: the man who would be Prom King. Can Skye save the boy she loves — and herself — before they get caught in the crosshairs?

FYI: Currently reading this.


I also plan on watching this on DVD...

Romeo & Juliet (2013)
Director: Carlo Carlei
Writers: Julian Fellowes (screenplay)
William Shakespeare (play)
Douglas Booth as Romeo
Hailee Steinfeld as Juliet


How are you celebrating Shakespeare this week?

Do any of these books capture your fancy?


* image source: Shakespeare

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