Goodreads Blog
Goodreads Blog posts (showing 31-40 of 603)
Who Inspired Shakespeare?
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on April 21, 2016


Shakespeare is still everywhere, 400 years after his death. Claire Underwood channels Lady Macbeth on House of Cards, shades of King Lear weave through Empire, and Game of Thrones's warring families embrace the cutthroat politics of Richard III. And those are just the television shows. We're treated to new film adaptations of the Bard's plays nearly every year, and you can fill a whole library with the books his stories inspired.

But what about Shakespeare himself? When he sat down, quill in hand, whose words were running through his head? In honor of #ShakespeareWeek, we did the research and found five writers who helped shape Shakespeare's work. Check them out for yourself! If they inspired the Bard to write, imagine what they could do for you.


Ovid
Rate this book
Clear rating

Picture Shakespeare as a young boy, wading through dense Latin prose. Roman poet Ovid's Metamorphoses was likely a part of the Bard's school program, and its powerful theme of transformation followed Shakespeare into adulthood.
Ovid: "Chance is always powerful. Let your hook be always cast; in the pool where you least expect it, there will be a fish."


Rate this book
Clear rating
Plutarch
Shakespeare was quite fond of a 1579 translation of Greek writer Plutarch's Parallel Lives. And by "quite fond" we mean that the Bard, on more than one occasion, stuck some of Plutarch's lines directly into his own plays. (Our modern concept of plagiarism wasn't around then.)
Plutarch: "I don't need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better."


Geoffrey Chaucer
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Canterbury Tales, English poet Chaucer's most famous work, is really a story about stories. Not only did Shakespeare explore this theme in his own plays, he also wrote The Two Noble Kinsmen, a retelling of Chaucer's The Knight's Tale.
Chaucer: "What is better than wisdom? Woman. And what is better than a good woman? Nothing."


Rate this book
Clear rating
Raphael Holinshed
A big history buff, Shakespeare turned to English chronicler Holinshed's books for inspiration. As a result, Holinshed's research was the source of most of the Bard's history plays, including Macbeth.
Holinshed: "It is dangerous (gentle reader) to range in so large a field as I have here undertaken…"



Christopher Marlowe
Rate this book
Clear rating

Well, let's get one thing out of the way: Some people believe that Marlowe wrote most of the plays we now attribute to Shakespeare. While modern analysis suggests this theory is not true, there's no denying the similarity between the two English playwrights' work.
Marlowe: "Why should you love him whom the world hates so? Because he love me more than all the world."



What writers inspire you? Tell us in the comments!
All research done by resident Goodreads and Shakespeare expert Carla Quesada
Top image credit: Shakespeare in Love


9 Famous Book Titles Based on Shakespeare Lines
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on April 20, 2016

Authors have been finding book title inspiration in the Bard's verses for centuries: four centuries, to be exact! For #ShakespeareWeek, we've collected a few contemporary examples. From a dystopian thriller to a young adult tearjerker, these are the stories Shakespeare has inspired from beyond the grave. How many have you read?


INFINITE JEST
Rate this book
Clear rating
by David Foster Wallace
"Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio, a fellow of infinite
jest
, of most excellent fancy. He hath bore me on his back a
thousand times, and now how abhorr'd in my imagination it is!
My gorge rises at it."

From Hamlet


Rate this book
Clear rating
BRAVE NEW WORLD
by Aldous Huxley

"Oh, wonder!
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
That has such people in 't!"

From The Tempest


WYRD SISTERS
Rate this book
Clear rating
by Terry Pratchett
"Saw you the weird sisters?"

From Macbeth


Rate this book
Clear rating
ON SUCH A FULL SEA
by Chang-rae Lee

"On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures."

From Julius Caesar


THE SOUND AND THE FURY
Rate this book
Clear rating
by William Faulkner
"Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing."

From Macbeth


THE FAULT IN OUR STARS
Rate this book
Clear rating
by John Green
"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings."

From Julius Caesar


SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES
Rate this book
Clear rating
by Ray Bradbury
"By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes."

From Macbeth


Rate this book
Clear rating
PALE FIRE
by Vladimir Nabokov

"And her pale fire she snatches from the sun:
The sea's a thief, whose liquid surge resolves
The moon into salt tears: the earth's a thief,
That feeds and breeds by a composture stolen."

From Timon of Athens


SOMETHING ROTTEN
Rate this book
Clear rating
by Jasper Fforde
"Something is rotten in the state of Denmark."

From Hamlet



If you had to name a book using a Shakespeare line, what title would you choose?
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for #ShakespeareWeek updates.

What Shakespeare Play Should I Read? An Infographic
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on April 19, 2016

In honor of #ShakespeareWeek, try our helpful infographic to find out what celebrated play you should read next.



Where did you end up—comedy, history, or tragedy?
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for #ShakespeareWeek updates.
It's Shakespeare Week on Goodreads!
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on April 18, 2016



But, soft! What light through yonder internet browser window breaks? It's our Shakespeare Week celebration on Goodreads—and you, fair reader, are invited!

April 23 is the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare's death. To mark this momentous anniversary, we're pulling out all the stops for the Bard this week—just take a look at our logo! We'll be featuring Shakespeare-themed quizzes, book lists, writing prompts, and games. In addition, amazing authors who have written books based on the Bard's plays are taking your questions about comedy and tragedy…and everything in between. (Bonus points for questions in iambic pentameter.)

To kick off the festivities, we asked six authors to write a deleted scene from one of the Bard's plays. (Check them out below!) On Tuesday, we helped you answer the question, Which Shakespeare play should I read next?; on Wednesday, we took a look at famous book titles based on Shakespeare lines; and on Thursday, we investigated the writers who influenced Shakespeare. What's up next? Come back to find out!


Ian Doescher, author of William Shakespeare's Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope:
(Read the full deleted scene here.)


Jasper Fforde, author of the Hamlet-inspired Something Rotten:
(Read the full deleted scene here.)


Margaret Atwood, author of Hag-Seed, a retelling of The Tempest:
(Read the full deleted scene here.)


Malorie Blackman, author of the Othello-inspired Chasing the Stars:
(Read the full deleted scene here.)


Elizabeth Nunez, author of Even in Paradise, a retelling of King Lear:
(Read the full deleted scene here.)


Christopher Moore, author of Fool, a retelling of King Lear:
(Read the full deleted scene here.)



Now it's your turn! Write your own deleted scene from a Shakespeare play in the comments and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for #ShakespeareWeek updates.
7 Delightful Beverly Cleary Quotes to Celebrate Her 100th Birthday
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on April 12, 2016



Happy birthday, Beverly Cleary! The beloved author of Beezus and Ramona, The Mouse and the Motorcycle, and Henry Huggins turns 100 today. From working as a librarian to spinning tales of youthful adventure, Clearly has dedicated her life to the magic of stories. To help celebrate her birthday, we've rounded up her top quotes on Goodreads. Which one is your favorite?

1. "She was not a slowpoke grownup. She was a girl who could not wait. Life was so interesting she had to find out what happened next."


Rate this book
Clear rating
2. "If she can't spell, why is she a librarian? Librarians should know how to spell."

3. "Quite often somebody will say, 'What year do your books take place?' and the only answer I can give is, in childhood."

4. "If you don't see the book you want on the shelves, write it."

5. "Words were so puzzling. Present should mean a present just as attack should mean to stick tacks in people."

6. "Didn't the people who made those license plates care about little girls named Ramona?"

7. "She means well, but she always manages to do the wrong thing. She has a real talent for it."


Are you a Beverly Cleary fan? Share your experience with her books in the comments!
16 Perfect Books to Curl Up with on a Rainy Day
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on April 09, 2016


Storms don't bother us. As long as we have a book in hand and a hot beverage nearby, we're in reading paradise. Last week we asked on Facebook and Twitter: What's the perfect book to read on a rainy day? Your top answers are below!


American Gods
Rate this book
Clear rating

Spellbinder
Rate this book
Clear rating

Cold Sassy Tree
Rate this book
Clear rating

Wuthering Heights
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Thirteenth Tale
Rate this book
Clear rating

Little Women
Rate this book
Clear rating

And Then There Were None
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Sword of Shannara
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Secret of the Old Clock
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Woman in Black
Rate this book
Clear rating

Man's Searching for Meaning
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Secret Garden
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Last Time We Say Goodbye
Rate this book
Clear rating

My Man Jeeves
Rate this book
Clear rating

Hopeless
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Bad Beginning
Rate this book
Clear rating


What's your quintessential rainy day read? Tell us in the comments!
(Top image credit: Becoming Jane)

50 Million Reviews!
Posted by Otis Chandler on April 06, 2016

In late 2006, I wrote the first book review on Goodreads. It was a simple, two-paragraph review of A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson (5 stars – I recommend it) and I had no idea how popular a book recommendation and review site could become. Since then, you all have really made the review space your own. I may be biased, but I think Goodreads reviews are the best book reviews anywhere! Today, we have reviews that share personal experiences, reviews that include actor photos for dream casts of the book’s characters, quick-but-sharp summary reviews, and so many enthusiastic “you have got to read this!” reviews. There are reviews that push your thinking, and ones that create deep discussion.

In retrospect, it should be no surprise that readers – the consummate lovers of words – would also be eager to write. Many of our reviewers have developed their own distinctive style and won an audience that loves their creativity as much as their recommendations. The amazing diversity of reactions and approaches is what makes Goodreads reviews so unique and enjoyable. And now, just over nine years later, we’ve reached a new milestone: 50 million reviews!

On behalf of the Goodreads team, I wanted to give a huge thank you to all of you who've written such amazing reviews over the years. I hope you've found it as rewarding as I do to look back at your reviews, months or even years later, and re-live each reading experience. We're also proud of the fact that we're helping readers all over the world build an online record of the books they've read and what they think of them. And I know I speak for book lovers everywhere when I say that your reviews help so many of us discover our next favorite book.

What's your favorite Goodreads review? Share a link in the comments below.





Happy Reading!

Otis
Announcing the new Goodreads literary magazine!
Posted by Elizabeth on April 01, 2016

Watch out Paris Review, step back n+1, Goodreads is launching a literary magazine! Today, with the first issue of Goodreads Lit!, book lovers will finally have a new magazine that speaks directly to their interests by revealing everything about their favorite authors: what they're eating for lunch, where they're going on vacation, what they're wearing to the latest hot literary party, and more!

Get ready for behind-the-scenes coverage of every major book tour, exciting glimpses of the private lives of authors, front-row reporting from controversial readings and poetry slams, insider tales from the most debauched writing residencies, fashion and beauty tips from the most glamorous writers, as well as guides to where all your favorite scribes eat, shop, and drink!





Our editorial team will be heading this new venture, Goodreads Lit!, along with high-profile hires from Granta, Vanity Fair, Us Weekly, Allure, Prairie Schooner Review.

Goodreads Lit! will be available each Friday on newsstands everywhere and via Kindle and the Kindle app.

Do you have any literary scuttlebutt for the pages of Goodreads Lit!? Share it in the comments below!
15 of Your Biggest Grammar and Punctuation Pet Peeves
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on March 26, 2016



Are you a proud member of the grammar police? We asked on Facebook and Twitter: What's your biggest grammar and punctuation pet peeve? From murdered contractions to apostrophes on the lam, these are your least favorite offenses against the English language.


1. "My BIGGEST pet peeve is when people use 'I' and 'me' incorrectly! Ughhhhh!" (Debbie Jones)

2. "Apostrophes in plurals. *cringe*" (@stampepk)

3. "Could of, would of and should of. I read a book recently where the author did this. The first time they did it I thought it was just an oversight, but it continued for the rest of the book. I almost quit reading it because it annoyed me so much!" (Gemma Riseborough)

4. "I can't stand it when people misuse quotation marks to add emphasis. I prefer the more elegant italic." (@bssmithy)

5. "The other day someone wrote this to me on Facebook: 'Your uneducated.' I replied, 'Oh, really? I'm pretty sure it's you're. But what do I know? I'm uneducated.' LOL." (Kori Keith)

6. "One huge sentence without a single comma or full stop." (@ElaBluEyes)

7. "When people add an 's' to the word 'mine.' That doesn't make sense unless you're referring to the places where miners work." (Barbara Anne Huskey )

8. "A lack of subject-verb agreement pains me. Can't the two just get along?" (Suzy Solomon Scheinthal )

9. "Mixing up the words 'off' and 'of.' When did that creep in????" (@Poloneckpolice)

10. "Too, two and to. Come on, people—it hasn't changed. Get it right!" (@brendajoyce58 )

11. "When someone says 'neither' or 'either' before listing three or more things." (@AWahle)

12. "Double negatives and multiple exclamation marks!" (@dbharkes)

13. "The misuse of where, wear, we're." (Diane M Riley)

14. "When people write sentences entirely in capital letters. Grrrr!" (@SarcasticEnigma)

15. "My biggest pet peeve is using 'text speech' for everything instead of knowing how to actually spell words." (@Madelin86642569 )


And if the above wasn't enough to rattle you, try this dizzying sentence from Paul: "There all going too the libary supposabley too catch up on some lite reading today to help them read more better."

What's your biggest grammar or punctuation pet peeve? Tell us in the comments!

13 Must-Read Books of Spring
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on March 23, 2016

With winter finally behind us, we crunched the numbers to find the buzzy spring books you crave. From magic in the streets of London to forbidden love in the Middle East, from monsters in disguise to moms out of time, these are the stories that demand a place on your Want to Read shelf this season. (Bonus: Each book has an average rating of 4.0+ from Goodreads members!)


Rate this book
Clear rating
The Year We Turned Forty
by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke

You should read this book if you like: Contemporary fiction, magical realism, heartwarming and hilarious tales of friendship, the idea of "doing over" a year in your life


Rate this book
Clear rating
A Court of Mist and Fury
by Sarah J. Maas

You should read this book if you like: YA fantasy, Beauty and the Beast, immortal realms filled with intrigue, terrifying creatures, true love

Get caught up by reading A Court of Thorns and Roses first!


Rate this book
Clear rating
Homegoing
by Yaa Gyasi

You should read this book if you like: Historical fiction, literary fiction, evocative explorations of race and culture, Africa, the bonds between sisters, epic narratives that span centuries and continents


Children of Earth and Sky
by Guy Gavriel Kay

You should read this book if you like: Standalone fantasy, Renaissance Europe, the Ottoman Empire, power struggles, spies, multiple POV characters, destiny


Rate this book
Clear rating
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City
by Matthew Desmond

You should read this book if you like: Nonfiction, sociology, ground-level perspective on today's key issues, human resiliency, fresh ideas for solving America's housing crisis


Rate this book
Clear rating
The Rose & the Dagger
by Renee Ahdieh

You should read this book if you like: YA fantasy, The Arabian Nights, intricate tales of intrigue and deception, soul mates, magic carpets

Get caught up by reading The Wrath and the Dawn first!


Rate this book
Clear rating
Guapa
by Saleem Haddad

You should read this book if you like: Contemporary fiction, forbidden love, the Middle East, humorous and honest portrayals of gay life, family drama, alienation


Rate this book
Clear rating
A Gathering of Shadows
by V.E. Schwab

You should read this book if you like: Parallel universes, fantasy, pirates, magical tournaments, witty banter, London, mischievous thieves and royals

Get caught up by reading A Darker Shade of Magic first!


Rate this book
Clear rating
Because of Miss Bridgerton
by Julia Quinn

You should read this book if you like: Regency romance, the Bridgertons, when opposites attract, rambunctious tomboys and arrogant lords, snappy dialogue, slow-burn love stories


Rate this book
Clear rating
Fool Me Once
by Harlan Coben

You should read this book if you like: Standalone mysteries, edge-of-your-seat thrillers, troubled war vets, murders that may not be what they seem, scandals and secrets


Rate this book
Clear rating
Outrun the Moon
by Stacey Lee

You should read this book if you like: YA historical fiction, quick-witted heroines (who aren't above lying and claiming they're rich Chinese heiresses), San Francisco, earthquakes


Rate this book
Clear rating
The Beast
by J.R. Ward

You should read this book if you like: Paranormal romance, immortal bonds, superhuman warfare, erotica, inner turmoil, vampires

Get caught up with the Black Dagger Brotherhood series first!


Rate this book
Clear rating
Shelter
by Jung Yun

You should read this book if you like: Contemporary fiction, family drama, immigrant stories, messages of hope in times of chaos, riveting prose, dark secrets



For more irresistible books coming out this year, check out our 15 Highly Anticipated Books of 2016. Which ones are you most excited to read? Let us know in the comments!