Reinventing Shakespeare: Why His Stories Are Timeless

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I often wonder what Shakespeare would think of his legacy. It would be difficult to imagine what ambitions he had when he began his writing career. Eternal fame, legendary status was, perhaps, not on his bucket list. To say Shakespeare has become immortal through his sonnets and plays would be a slight on the truth. [….]

Gimbling in the Wabe – Twelfth Night

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Christmas for me always ends on January 5. We leave our holiday lights on through the night of the 5th, and then they get turned off for another year. We take down our tree and pack away our decorations on the 6th; in itself its own tradition, a finality to the season, a conscious moving [….]

LitStack Review: A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson

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A God in Ruins Kate Atkinson Little, Brown and Company Release Date:  May 5, 2015 ISBN 978-0-316-17653-8 According to her Author’s Note in A God in Ruins, Kate Atchinson originally wanted to write a novel with World War II as a backdrop; however, she soon realized such an effort was “too daunting a challenge.”  Instead, [….]

LitStack Review: The Tutor by Andrea Chapin

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The Tutor Andrea Chapin Riverhead Books Release Date:  February 5, 2015 ISBN 978-1-59463-254-9 Author Andrea Chapin is a brave woman.  She’s taken the “lost years” of William Shakespeare, and made him a character in her novel set in Lancashire England in 1590 (two years before we start to see the rise of historical documentation about [….]

LitStack Recs: my name on his tongue & Never Let Me Go

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my name on his tongue, by Laila Halaby In her first book of poetry, published in 2012, Halaby mines issues of identity, geography and the dislocation that comes from inhabiting two worlds. Halaby, the author of two novels, and recipient of a PEN/Beyond Margins Award, calls this volume a memoir in poems: a story of [….]

LitStack Review: The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

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The Bone Clocks David Mitchell Random House Release Date:  September 2, 2014 ISBN 978-1-4000-6567-7 Back in 2012 when I read David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas, I was at first confused, then amazed, then delighted.  It was unlike any other book I had read.  Jumping around in time, sharing characters and talismans in ways oblique and complex, [….]

A Hunger for Downton Abbey

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As American viewers await the start of Downton Abbey’s fourth season,  the entire season has already aired in Britain, and the waiting really seems unbearable. Luckily, we have the holidays to distract us, and this led me to ponder an aspect of the series that, if the blogs devoted to it are any indication, is [….]

LitStack Review: “The Bookstore” by Deborah Meyler

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The Bookstore Deborah Meyler Gallery Books (Simon & Schuster) Publication Date: August 20, 2013 ISBN 978-1-4767-1424-0 Anyone who frequents a (no doubt) small, independent bookstore (and I hope that means everyone who may read this review) knows that there is so much more to it than the books on the shelves.  These bookstores are also [….]

Jane Austen’s Ring Stays in UK

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From USA Today: It is a truth universally acknowledged that an antique ring once owned by Jane Austen would have to stay in the U.K., even if purchased by an American pop star. Austen worshipers in Britain are celebrating today at news that the Jane Austen’s House Museum has raised enough money to keep Austen’s [….]

Bunker Hill: A City, A Siege, A Revolution by Nathaniel Philbrick

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Bunker Hill: A City, A Siege, A Revolution Nathaniel Philbrick Viking First Edition: April 30, 2013 ISBN 978-0-670-02544-2 Non-fiction, historical books aren’t supposed to be this good.  They aren’t supposed to be fluid and entertaining.  They are supposed to be full of footnotes and impeccable, dry explication abounding with names and dates and events. Yet [….]