Reading Challenges

Blogmas | Goals | 2020 Shakespeare Challenge

Reading Goals NEW

Hello and welcome to a little my little chat about one of my goals for 2020. In the past I have been adamant about hating Shakespeare. I never enjoyed any of his plays that I read, I found them dull and just boring honestly. But, the last time I read one of his works, any of this works honestly, I was always told to read them.

Now, I don’t know about you, but even though I am a book lover and avid reader, the fastest way to not get me to read a book is to make it required. I hate being told what to read. In fact, I didn’t read this much until I went to college, high school made me hate reading because they were never anything that interested me. Now, that is an entire other discussion I can get into another time. For now, let’s get back to Shakespeare.

So, I am not sure why, but I want to give Ol’ Shakespeare  another go and see if my tastes have either changed or simply not making his work required changed me view.

While going to my local indie bookstore I was looking at the classics, my go to there for some reason and I saw a bunch of Shakespeare’s plays. For some reason the idea for this challenge hit me. Currently, I think this is a wonderful idea. In the future, past me might be a huge jerk. Only time will tell. So, this is my plan, every month I will read 1 Shakespeare and review it. Nice and simple right? Wrong, I honestly have no idea what plays might be interesting. I picked up the ones pictured above because A Midsummers Night Dream was one I was able to tolerate reading all those moons ago and the second, Twelfth Night I have never even heard of and I thought I would give it a go.

So, there is my year long classics challenge for myself. If you have a favorite play or work by him please comment below the name and why you liked it. I could really use the help!

Also, I will be starting off with reading A Midsummer Night’s Dream, thanks to those who voted for the first month! Also, please feel free to join me in this challenge. It would be a ton of fun to read along with you! In fact, I created a goodreads group so we can all connect and you can see which plays are coming up, you can find that group here: 2020 Shakespeare Challenge Group.

Which one of Shakespeare works did you enjoy reading?

Which one did you detest?

Have you read any of his works?


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31 thoughts on “Blogmas | Goals | 2020 Shakespeare Challenge

  1. You know I don’t think I’ve ever read Shakespeare. Ok I probably did in high school but I can’t remember that far back. Im like you. I didn’t like reading until after I graduated high school. Being told what you have to read makes it not fun to me.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah true. For me if I feel like I have no other choice but to read I want to do the opposite. Even now if the power goes off or something and my only choice is to read I don’t want to read. It makes me feel like I am being forced to read and I don’t like that.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the idea of this challenge! I was on a big Shakespeare jag right after I got out of high school, but I haven’t read any in years. Perhaps it’s time to pick up another 🤔

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love them all, and Hamlet is my favorite. However, I would recommend Much Ado About Nothing. It’s funny and fast-paced with witty banter.

    I also highly recommend you try watching them. After all, they were meant to be seen performed and not read. A lot of people find it easier and more fun when they see it, and there are some really great productions out there.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a great idea! I didn’t dislike Shakespeare but didn’t really like his works either in high school, with the exception of Much Ado About Nothing and King Lear, still my two favourite Shakespeare plays, but I took a mandatory course in university with an enthusiastic professor who was an excellent teacher and it gave me a new understanding and appreciation of Shakespeare.

    I’ll second the recommendation in the comments of Much Ado About Nothing, which has some lovely banter with a side of romance. As far as tragedies go, I always preferred King Lear to some of the more popular (Hamlet, Macbeth, etc.) plays.

    There are some good adaptations out there too if seeing a live production isn’t an option. I remember liking both the campy, but entertaining Much Ado with Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson and the subtler Joss Whedon version and there’s a filmed version of a production with David Tennant and Catherine Tate set in the 80’s that’s brilliant. I loved The Hollow Crown with Tom Hiddleston as well. There’s an older 3 season Canadian TV series called Slings and Arrows set at a Shakespeare summer theatre company (based on Canada’s Stratford Shakespeare Festival) that features some excerpts of and references to Shakespeare plays that’s pretty brilliant as well.

    Best of luck with your Shakespeare challenge!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow, thank you so much for all of the insight! Many don’t talk about King Lear so I am glad you brought it to my attention. Also, thanks for the list of adaptation/performances to look into.


  5. Oooh, I’m excited to see if you get to Hamlet, as it’s my favourite, but for a really weird reason. Back in the 60’s a playwright by the name of Tom Stoppard decided to write a secondary play (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead) that sits in between the acts and scenes of Hamlet and follows two side characters that don’t really have a lot of stage time in the original version. The characters are idiots, but they are friends with Hamlet and they have a part to play in the tragedy. I guess Stoppard was just curious about how these two came about. It’s probably one of the first ever plays that is essentially fanfic (and I loved it before I knew what fanfic was), but you can read the two plays spliced together and it tells a really fascinating story!!
    I also recommend watching movie versions of the plays if you find the language dry. There are so many great adaptations, and Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet is one of the best, and while looking ‘modern’ has all the original language, plus some amazing costumes and acting. (Also, young Leo was so hot!!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Meeghan! That is really cool that someone write a play that actually fits between the two acts, I had no idea that even existed. I should be getting to Hamlet, it is one of the plays I have already sitting on my shelf, just as matter of when. I am planning on having people vote on twitter for which ones to read next, but I also have a goodreads group for this, so I might just have the vote in that group. I haven’t fully decided yet.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This is so awesome! I also want to get in some more Shakespeare. 😀

    My three near favorites are The Taming of the Shrew (it is SO FEMINIST although on the surface it APPEARS misogynist), Much Ado About Nothing (again feminist & also funny), & Richard III (a proper story about a sociopath… or is he? As in, Shakespeare makes you think.) 😀

    My FAVORITE is Henry V, because it is a dramatization of the power of political rhetoric.


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