Books: 2014 Shakespeare Reading Challenge

Posted 1 December, 2013 by Lianne in Books / 8 Comments

2014 Shakespeare Reading Challenge hosted by

I have been meaning for ages to read more of Shakespeare’s plays but alas, I keep putting it off. I’ve only read four plays in high school (Merchant of Venice, Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth) and one outside of school (Hamlet). The idea of creating a reading challenge about it occurred to me after commenting on someone’s blog about Shakespeare. You can sign up for the reading challenge IN THIS POST 🙂

Ideally it would be nice to read one play a month but given my own reading patterns and pace, I very much doubt that will happen. But I would like to, at the very least, read the following titles as I’ve been meaning to for ages (for the record, I haven’t read any of them but for some I know a wee bit about the plot):

Date Updated: 25 November 2014

It would also be nice to revisit one of the above plays that I mentioned if I have time but we’ll see 🙂

What about you? What are you favourite Shakespeare plays? Are there any you’d like to recommend to me? Or if you’re participating in the reading challenge, what plays will you be reading?

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8 Responses to “Books: 2014 Shakespeare Reading Challenge”

  1. I love Shakespeare! I’m not sure I’ll do the reading challenge as I just signed up for the Spanish one (yay!), but I really love Hamlet, The Tempest, The Winter’s Tale, and Henry V. How did you not read Hamlet in school, though? Isn’t that the one thing people normally assume you must have read in school? 😀

    Oh, Much Ado is good, as well. I just noticed you had it listed. The Kenneth Branagh film is fantastic!

    • (Yay for the Spanish one though!) Yeah, my high school was pretty interesting that way, we never read a lot of the books that people had in high school English (hence why I’m still slowly making my way to books like Fahrenheit 451, lol). The way they did it was 2 comedies for the lower years and 2 tragedies for the upper years; I suspect “Macbeth” trumped “Hamlet” in the English dept. meetings, lol.

      I’ve heard so many wonderful things about the Branagh film, definitely need to check it out! 🙂

  2. Hallo, Hallo Lianne! 🙂

    Only one bit you didn’t mention: can we grab the badge & post it in our sidebars/posts for the challenge!? 🙂

    My singular regret is that I wasn’t allowed to study Shakespeare my senior year because I skipped my junior year! 🙁 I loved the teacher too, as we’d converse about the Bard throughout my sophomore year in-between classes! Clever story involving *Macbeth* which I’ll share when I read it myself! 🙂 I might even start with that one — or “Much Ado About Nothing”!! I’m going to be a bit relaxed in my choosing of which play to read first and what to do in conjunction of reading them! I know I’ll have a heap of fun posting about my adventures, that much I can assure you!!

    My favourite favourite to have read thus far is “Julius Caesar”!!! 🙂 🙂 I had most of his famous speech memorised too! Love Caesar!

    Adaptation wise, I’ve come to adore: “Much Ado About Nothing”, “The Taming of the Shrew”, and a handful of others. Of these, the first one holds my heart most true, as the version with Emma Thompson bespoke to my Shakespearean heart the most! 🙂

    Eek. I am still riding the high of being included!!! 🙂 🙂

    Worst play for me “Hamlet” — I avoided it like the plague! Seriously. I. did. not. read. it! And, yes it was required reading!

    • Hi Jorie 🙂 Thanks so much for your question, I actually forgot to add the code to my sign-up posts! Anyway, yeah, sure, grab the badge and upload it for your blog 🙂

      Hehe, you know, I haven’t even thought about which play to begin with! Probably “Tempest” because I really love the last speech by Prospero (which I know of only because of Loreena McKennitt’s song xD)

      You’re the second person here who’s mentioned “Julius Caesar” so will have to definitely add it to my list now!

      Strangely enough I haven’t gotten around to some of those other adaptations of Shakespeare’s comedies, especially the Kenneth Branagh ones–definitely need to rectify that in the coming year!

      Sorry to hear about “Hamlet”! Never studied it in school so I was never subjected to the required reading pressure bit

  3. Much Ado is my favorite…I love it so much!!! I see other commenters have already urged you to watch the Branagh film, so I’ll just agree with them — it’s an absolute delight! (And Keanu Reeves is in it, which is hilarious!) I also really liked Joss Whedon’s recent version.

    I also highly recommend Twelfth Night and As You Like It…I tend to prefer the comedies to the tragedies! But I do have to plug King Lear as well, since I see that’s not on your list. Happy Shakespeare-ing!

    • Right, King Lear! Totally forgot about it (my brother had read it in high school so I know bits of it but never read it for myself) *goes off to add it on the list*

      Twelfth Night is fantastic, I had to re-enact a scene from it in high school 🙂

      I sense that next year is going to be quite the Shakespeare year, reading and watching-wise xD

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