Tag Archives: William Shakespeare

WWW Wednesday, 12-December-2018

12 Dec

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: I’m a bit slower with The Gilded Hour by Sara Donati now that I can’t run outside. I’m avoiding the ‘dreadmill’ as much as possible. I got a few hours in while running on vacation, though!
Being out-of-town didn’t help me make progress with People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks. I’m optimistic about finishing it now that I’m over halfway through. I’ll have to run some errands, I guess!
I made it to Act 2 of Henry VIII by William Shakespeare. I think I’m finally catching on to the plot. It helps a lot to know the time period well! I’ve read too many books, seen too many movies, and watched too many shoes about Henry VIII to be completely clueless!
I just started reading Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. This was one a writer-group friend brought up constantly and I figured I had it read it. It may have taken me five years, but I’m getting to it!

Recently finished: I utilized my vacation time well and got through a whole book! It was perfect because I finished Brainiac by Ken Jennings while waiting for our ride to pick us up at the airport once we landed in Detroit. I celebrated by starting the Netflix episodes of Jeopardy! that are available. I think Ken will be in the Decade Tournament that’s available. My review will be up tomorrow.

I got a few reviews posted as well. Monday I was able to post about Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. I gave it Four out of Five Stars because I liked the adventure and I appreciate all the pirate references that were taken from this classic tale.
I also reviewed The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl on Tuesday. Honestly, this isn’t one I enjoyed so much. I gave it only Two out of Five Stars and even then I was thinking I might lower the rating.

Reading Next: I’m taking my husband into listening to Before the Fall by Noah Hawley with me when we make our annual Christmas drive to Southern Ohio. To those who have read it, is this one we could both enjoy on a long car ride?


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

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WWW Wednesday, 5-December-2018

5 Dec

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: I feel like I’ll be listening to The Gilded Hour by Sara Donati for the rest of my life. It’s very long and I’m only half way through it. I also keep thinking that halfway through this book is longer than most other books I’ve read this year. I’m loving it, so there’s no hardship.
I’m still moving forward with People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks but it’s a slower crawl. I’m glad I’m not spending as much time in the car, but I miss going through books quickly!
I’m finishing up my historical fiction challenge with a Shakespeare and I decided on Henry VIII. I’m not very far along yet and I’m already a bit confused about what is happening, but that’s normal for me in a Shakespeare play. I’m sure I’ll figure it out before long.
I was able to pick a book off of my TBR and grabbed Brainiac by Ken Jennings. If you’re a huge Jeopardy nerd like me, you’ll recognize Jennings as the contestant who had an epic run back in the 2004 time frame. I watched him every night with my mom. I’m so excited to hear what he has to say about other trivia buffs.

Recently finished: I finished Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson during my lunch. I’m so glad I did, I felt like I was dragging in this one and I’d never finish it. But somewhere around 60% I just dug in and powered on. I can’t wait to watch the Muppet version to compare!
I finally wrapped up The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl! Before you ask, no, the ending did not make up for the slow plot. I’ll be reviewing this next week but I already know it won’t score high.

Reading Next: I’ve decided to wait on Before the Fall by Noah Hawley and do it on audio CD when I finish People. I don’t have to get to this one any time soon, so I’ll take my time and wait.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Book Review: The Tempest by William Shakespeare (3/5)

19 Dec

This might not have been the best book to ‘read’ as an audiobook. It was a bit hard to follow aloud and I’m not sure how well I would have followed it on stage, to be honest. I’d like to see it on stage and see if I follow better, though. This book did help me complete a reading challenge and entertain me on my first ever 10K run!

Cover Image via Goodreads

Cover Image via Goodreads

The Tempest by William Shakespeare

Summary from Goodreads:

In The Tempest, long considered one of Shakespeare’s most lyrical plays, Prospero—a magician on an enchanted island—punishes his enemies, brings happiness to his daughter, and comes to terms with human use of supernatural power. The Tempest embodies both seemingly timeless romance and the historically specific moment in which Europe begins to explore and conquer the New World.

Its complexity of thought, its range of characters—from the spirit Ariel and the monster Caliban to the beautiful Miranda and her prince Ferdinand -its poetic beauty, and its exploration of difficult questions that still haunt us today make this play wonderfully compelling.

The Tempest is a play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1610–11. It is set on a remote island, where Prospero, the exiled Duke of Milan, plots to restore his daughter Miranda to her rightful place, using illusion and skilful manipulation. The eponymous tempest brings to the island Prospero’s usurping brother Antonio and the complicit Alonso, King of Naples. There, his machinations bring about the revelation of Antonio’s low nature, the redemption of Alonso, and the marriage of Miranda to Alonso’s son, Ferdinand.

I got really confused about the characters. Listening to the play, I would get Alonso and Antonio confused and forget which was Prospero’s brother. I think that would be easier watching it on stage and be able to follow actors instead of the litany of names that I was given before the narrator started reading the play. Truth right now, I just read the SparkNotes summary and I’m not surprised I had trouble following the plot. It’s a Shakespearean comedy to be sure and I love the twists and turns the Bard takes. Prospero changes his mind about things very quickly, though. which makes him frustrating. Though after being Kind of an island for 12 years, I might not be the most agreeable person either.

Of course, Shakespeare’s comedic characters are only just believable enough to keep reading. They do silly and ridiculous things all through the play but the things they pine after (women, power, freedom) are universal. I understood why Ferdinand didn’t mind working for Miranda’s sake or why Sebastian and Antonio might consider killing their King to gain status themselves or why Ariel appeases Prospero’s every wish to hopefully gain his freedom. Their motivations are enough to make their absurd actions justified.

I liked Ariel. He seemed reluctant but he was also having fun in how he tricked the sailors. He didn’t like being forced to serve Prospero (because let’s face it, Prospero was kind of a huge jerk) but he was thankful to be free of the tree where he was trapped and he liked the degree of freedom he was given to do what Prospero bid him. Causing chaos is always fun, right?

Miranda reminded me of myself in middle school. There’s a boy interested in me?! Let’s get married! It was endearing to see her young and sudden love with Ferdinand and I thought it was cute. I was a little surprised Ferdinand returned her affections so quickly but if she is as beautiful as described, I guess he can fall in ‘love’ in the same quick moment.

William Shakespeare Image via Wikipedia

William Shakespeare
Image via Wikipedia

Ferdinand and Miranda made my favorite scenes of the book. I think that the young Romeo and Juliet style of love is so fun to see on stage and it’s something I love about Shakespeare. I’m glad that things worked out for them, though! I don’t know if I could have taken a sad ending between the two.

The relationship between Ariel and Prospero bothered me most. Prospero, who I take as the hero of the story, is very rude and demeaning toward Ariel and it made it hard for me to like him. Ariel did everything Prospero asked and Prospero still kept him a slave, stretching out his servitude a bit each time. It was like he was reneging every scene!

Oddly, the name of the narrator for this audiobook isn’t listed in the file information and I couldn’t tell you what he said! It’s from Saddleback Educational Publishing. I wish the narrator had used more voices for the different characters. This would have been hard with the many characters but the only voice that was at all different was Miranda, which took on a more feminine tone. I think I got many of the characters confused because of this. Even though their names were said before each line, I would get the names confused without them having their own voice.

Prospero is power-hungry and wants to be the puppet master of the island but the task is too much for him and he has to rely on Ariel and Caliban for a lot of the work. I think Shakespeare was writing a comedy about what happens to those that try to control everything. It never works out exactly as planned. I know I can be like this in my life and I’m sure many of you can think of examples. I don’t even have magic to make it easier!

Writer’s Takeaway: Though I usually like Shakespeare’s twists and turns, I felt like this one was a little too complicated for my liking. Simple plots are easier most of the time and while a little twist is good, making things too complicated can confuse readers (such as myself). I’ve tried to keep my plot and subplots as simple and straightforward as I can but it’s something to revisit, especially considering my audience.

The format brought this book down for me. Three out of Five Stars

This book fulfills the 1600-1699 time period for the When Are You Reading? Challenge and just like that, I’m done! Woo!

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Related Posts:
The Tempest is Coming | Bell Shakespeare
Works Inspired by The Tempest | The Tempest UCM
Chicago Theater Review: ‘The Tempest,’ with Magic by Teller | Variety

WWW Wednesday, 30-November-2016

30 Nov

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


breakoutCurrently reading: I got World Without End by Ken Follett back! I started listening to it on Friday during my run and I’m beyond excited to keep listening. I hope to finish it this time, but there’s a lot going on between now and when it returns again.
I’ve only read a bit of The Birthday Boys by Beryl Bainbridge. Again, as an ebook, I don’t tend to read these quickly. It helps that I own this one and won’t have to continue to check it out every three weeks!
I picked up Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass on Sunday and I plan to start applying it to my novel-in-progress in December and January. I’m not sure how much of it will be fun to apply and how much of it will frustrate me and make me want to pull my hair out, haha.

paranoidRecently finished: I finished Only the Paranoid Survive by Andrew S. Grove Sunday morning. It wasn’t as informative as I’d hoped it would be. The advice applies better to senior level managers and since I’m only at the entry-level point of my career, I’m not sure how much of it I’ll use and I’ll likely forget the important parts when I would be ready to use it. Oh well.
I finished The Tempest by William Shakespeare on Friday before I started back up with Follett. It was hard to follow while running, which is the first time I’ve said that. Usually I have no trouble but I found I needed to picture the actors moving across a stage and it was hard for  me to do that and not run off the side of the road.

onceuponReading Next: It’s likely going to be Once Upon a River by Bonnie Jo Campbell, my book club’s January pick. I have another book club book coming up soon so I better start in on these and make sure I get them both done in time!


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 23-November-2016

23 Nov

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


birthdayboysCurrently reading: I’m so anxious to get World Without End by Ken Follett. All my audiobooks are about to wrap up and it would be the perfect time to jump back into it full-force. Soon enough…
I’m still making only minor progress with Only the Paranoid Survive by Andrew S. Grove. It’s slow reading and a lot of it is about the computer industry which is outside what I know. Also, the book is really dated sometimes, asking if the Internet is going to be a big thing for companies to adapt to. Ha!
I was given a copy of The Birthday Boys by Beryl Bainbridge a few weeks ago and finally started in on the ebook. It’s exactly what I suspected so far, which is a good thing! I’m a fan of Bainbridge’s style so I’m looking forward to this one.
I also started listening to The Tempest by William Shakespeare. My husband has read almost all of the Bard’s works and of the ones written in the 1600s that I haven’t read, he recommended this one. It’s quite short so I should be done soon!

BeastsRecently finished: SO MUCH PROGRESS! I, unexpectedly, finished In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson on Thursday. I was only at 79% but it turns out the rest of the book was notes and references! That was a pleasant surprise. It was a good read and I almost wish Dodd had been in Germany a bit longer, but I can’t change history.
I also finished Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler on Thursday. It was a bit more abrupt than I was expecting but it was appropriate. The part of Zelda’s life when she was in treatment was glossed over a lot so it sped to the end quickly. Still, the book was really enjoyable.
I’ll have a lot of book reviews to write at the beginning of December because I also finished The Lost Daughter by Elena Ferrante. I didn’t enjoy this one much, to be honest. I’m a bit nervous about reading another Ferrante novel but I’ve got one on my shelf so I’ll get to it eventually.

breakoutReading Next: There are a few options. I’d like to start working with Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass as part of NaNoWriMo. I should get through this re-read of my novel and be able to start on some serious editing with the book before the end of the month.
The other option is Once Upon a River by Bonnie Jo Campbell, my book club’s January selection. For that club, January will be my last meeting before I have to miss three months due to class. (I’ve already cried over this.) I might delay starting it a bit so it’s fresh in my mind for the meeting.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!