- The Lodger Shakespeare: His Life on Silver Street by Charles Nicholl
The story of Shakespeare's life in the neighborhood where he lived from 1603-1605, as seen in relation to the home of his landlords - the Mountjoys, French Huguenot immigrants in the clothing trade. The details are remarkable and give a wonderful picture of life in Shakespeare's London and environs.
- Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare by Stephen Greenblatt
Another excellent non-fiction book that shows the correlation between events in Shakespeare's time that he may or may not experienced, but which appear to have influenced his plays.
- The Book of Air and Shadows: A Novel by Michael Gruber
This was a complicated but well organized and well written novel. An unknown play about Mary Queen of Scots may have been written by Shakespeare - under the impression he was doing King James a favor. Told from the point of view of an attorney and a would-be film maker, the story leads the reader through numerous twists trying to determine what is real and what is fake. In the end, the loose ends are tied up and connections that need to be made are and others that didn't need to be made are still a bit tenuous.
I went into more detail on my blog about both the books I read and the ones I didn't finish.
I really appreciate Historia's sponsorship of this challenge. It encouraged me to read more on The Bard and gave me a framework to concentrate on. I plan on continuing to read more Shakespeare since there are so many books out there. And I'll revisit the plays. Thanks Historia.