shakespeare

365 Challenge: Day 182 – Authors (My Top 10)

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Authors: Writers of books that are in my top 10 list

authos

 

Sunday posts, the end of each week, have become a theme on This-Is-My-Truth-Now, organized by groups of five (5) focused on interesting things about my life. I’m continuing the trend of the seventh day, ending the week on Sunday, as a list (we know I love them) that provides more in depth knowledge about me.

  • Weeks 1 – 5: My Ethnicity
  • Weeks 6 – 10: A to Z Favorites
  • Weeks 11 – 15: Meaningful Colors
  • Weeks 16 – 20: Cities I’ve lived
  • Weeks 21 – 25: Jobs I’ve held

The next set of 5 Sundays covers the “Top 10” of entertainment options that I spend my time thinking about or doing: Authors/Books I Read (Week 26), TV Shows I Watch (Week 27), Countries to Visit (Week 28), Foods to Cook (Week 29), and Pastimes (Week 30). It’s a bit of an unwieldy set of similar items, but these are five leisure activities where I spend a majority of my time, which clearly speak volumes about who I am and how I like to keep myself occupied.

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First up is a list of my ten favorite authors, chosen based on each having a number of books I have read or want to keep reading. Often in my favorite genres (mystery fiction, historical fiction or suspense/thriller fiction), you will likely see a pattern. I only selected authors under the following conditions: (1) I’ve read at least 2 of their books, (2) They have more coming out or already out that I desperately want to read, (3) I could re-read some of their books and still get something new from them each time, and (4) one or more of their books have been adapted to film or TV, which I have seen and loved.

It was tough to narrow down to only ten, and sometimes I questioned whether I just enjoyed the author’s novels or I truly felt I could read them at anytime. If I hesitated, I tossed them to the next level, which means this is a list of people who while I might not love 100% of everything they do, I can always settle into a comfy chair with a cup of coffee and a few hours in the world they’ve created (just for me, I know they had me and me alone in mind when writing the words!). These ten are in no specific order!

  • Agatha Christie
    • All the mystery and suspense I need to keep me highly interested
    • Favorite: And Then There Were None
  • Ken Follett
    • The storytelling is top-notch, I can feel all the connections between time periods and characters
    • Favorite: World Without End
  • Kate Morton
    • Amazing and brilliant descriptions, ability to transport you to a different setting
    • Favorite: The Forgotten Garden* (not yet a film, but I see it in my head already)
  • Dan Brown
    • Unbelievable suspense, so many weaving plots, rich depth of plot and setting
    • Favorite: Angels and Demons
  • Henry James
    • Lyrical language capable of truly making you think about who you are and why you choose to do the things you do
    • Favorite: Daisy Miller
  • J. K. Rowling
    • A world of magic like no other, I can read these over and over again with utter joy, even as an adult
    • Favorite: The Philosopher’s Stone
  • Edgar Allan Poe
    • I am a huge lover of Gothic and dark literature when done properly
    • Favorite: The Tell-Tale Heart
  • William Shakespeare
    • The ability to strike a balance between plot and character, where you simply get lost in everything he has to deliver
    • Favorite: Othello
  • Janet Evanovich
    • A bit of mystery, romance and humor, the only series I find myself laughing aloud consistently
    • Favorite: Eleven on Top
  • Philippa Gregory
    • I adore British history and lineage of all the kings and queens, plus her ability to present historical fiction in such a beautiful manner captivates my attention
    • Favorite: The White Queen

 

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What are your favorite books? Who are your must-read authors? What’s your favorite activity to keep occupied when you have free time to spare?

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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Author Alert: William Shakespeare

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As part of our Author Alert series, we’re now on our fourth week and I’ve completed 500 reviews on the ThisIsMyTruthNow blog site. This week, I’ve selected… William Shakespeare!

 

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William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616) wrote 37 plays and 157 sonnets. You can find more about him on Goodreads or Wikipedia.

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He married Anne Hathaway and had 3 children. She looks great for being nearly 500 years old, but given she’s an actress, she probably has tons of people taking care of her! Oh… that’s right, it’s a different Anne Hathaway. Silly me. I get them confused a lot… probably because I’ve read at least 21 out Shakespeare’s 37 plays. See below for links to all the reviews. I should probably keep on reading…. which one…. feel free to suggest a good one I’ve missed. It’s been a while and although a re-read might work, something “new” is even better.

  1. Sonnets (1590 – 1610)
  2. Richard III (1591)
  3. The Taming of the Shrew (1593)
  4. Comedy of Errors (1594)
  5. Romeo & Juliet (1595)
  6. A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1595) — would love to do a re-read some day
  7. Richard II (1595)
  8. The Merchant of Venice (1596)
  9. Much Ado About Nothing (1598)
  10. As You Like It (1599)
  11. Julius Caesar (1599)
  12. Hamlet (1600) — favorite tragedy
  13. The Winter’s Tale (1600) — least favorite of all!
  14. Twelfth Night (1601) — favorite comedy
  15. Measure For Measure (1603)
  16. Othello (1603)
  17. King Lear (1603)
  18. Macbeth (1606)
  19. Antony and Cleopatra (1606)
  20. The Tempest (1610)
  21. Cymbeline (1611)
  22. Henry VIII (1613)

 

I adore Shakespeare and took a 4 month course on him in college (many years ago). Saturday mornings 9 to 12… some days, I wasn’t sober enough to have a lot of input, and I think my grade showed it. It was the only class where I didn’t have at least an A-. Very disappointed in myself. Now you probably are too!

I also love the movie Shakespeare in Love. Have you ever seen it? I wonder if that is representative of who he really was… I might have fallen in love myself. And then there’s Shakespeare in the Park.

To see the actual author page and all the reviews, click here. All 20+ reviews I’ve completed are there…

The Cat Who series I adore has a book with Shakespeare in the title by Lilian Jackson Braun.

What’s your favorite thing about Shakespeare? What other things have you seen / read about Shakespeare that weren’t actually his own writing?

 

About Me

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. Once you hit my site “ThisIsMyTruthNow” at https://thisismytruthnow.com, you can join the fun and see my blog and various site content. You’ll find book reviews, published and in-progress fiction, TV/Film reviews, favorite vacation spots and my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge.” Since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life… see how you compare! Each month, I will post a summary of a trip I’ve taken somewhere in the world. I’ll cover the transportation, hotel, restaurants, activities, who, what, when, where and why… and let you decide for yourself if it’s a trip worth taking. Feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Tell me what you think. Note: All content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

365 Challenge: Day 100 – Morbid

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Morbid: characterized by or appealing to an abnormal and unhealthy interest in disturbing and unpleasant subjects, especially death and disease.

morbid

Today, we are celebrating life and death on ThisIsMyTruthNow’s 365 Daily Challenge. And before you go any further, I mean no offense nor to cause any trouble with this post, as it’s intended with humor and jest; however, I acknowledge it also reveals a little bit about my sense of humor. This is going to be an interesting one, but I promise no GIFs with gore, although I do love them.

This is my 100th post in the 365 Daily Challenge. I thought about the number 100 for a few minutes, discovering what it really means to me:

  1. The perfectionist in me always strives to get a score of 100 on any tests or exams (assuming that’s the highest mark). What a nerd!
  2. I’m very in tune with history, time and genealogy, which makes the concept of 100 years, or a century, very important to my research and interests.
  3. I’d like to live until I’m at least 100 years old. I plan to be healthy, active, youthful and still have all my wits about me. The way I look at it… as a kid, I always acted at least 5 to 10 years older than I was, and that continued up until I was around 30 when acting like I was near retirement… I finally gave up and said… act your age. So now… as I start growing older, it’s time to regress a little. By that logic, when I’m 100, maybe it’ll be like I’m really 50. So this is all gonna work out quite well for me. Hope to see you all then, too!

To put a few points around these rambles… hitting the milestone 100 posts in the 365 Daily Challenge today made me feel kinda good. I will also have completed 500 book reviews by next week, which has been a lot of work. And I just made 600 followers on WordPress. A nice little celebration this week… Life on WordPress has been great!

So now you’re asking why is the title of this post “morbid?” Well… I have a slight fascination with death and horror. And life and death balance each other out… so I thought I’d combine the two into this 100th post. A bit morbid, right? Ever since I was a young kid, I’ve always wondered about death — in a very healthy way. Big curiosity over what happens when someone dies, where they really go, do you get a second chance, are there really past lives, can you haunt someone? That kinda stuff. And whenever there’s a book, film or TV show that covers these topics, I love it!

My favorite place to go by myself is a cemetery or a graveyard. I find them relaxing. I feel connected with things. To see all the history. The memories. The missing pieces. The lost. The pain. The hope. Sometimes a little scare or fear at night. It’s a place that feels real to me, which is quite odd, given that it’s the place things that are no longer “real” go after life. I’m odd. I know it. I accept it. But it’s the truth. And that’s what I say on this site.

I also love gore. When movies or films get right in there and show all the horrible, nasty and disgusting things happening to bodies or people who’ve been murdered, it keeps my attention. For almost everyone I know, they close their eyes or leave the room; some even get sick. Not me. I’m good with seeing it all. I have some strange ability to turn off the “scary & squeamish” part and look at it more subjectively. That said… I’ve never been injured myself, so I have no idea what might happen if it were my own body with the issues. I know I get this from my dad, as he’s the same way. Blood, gore, surgery… none of it bothers him. Apparently, we’ve got strong stomachs for that kinda stuff. The only way to describe it is “morbid.”

When I read books like Paradise Lost or Inferno (Dante), I wish I could be part of that exploration. It’s not that I want to see the pain in or on other people, but it’s to gain knowledge about the broad concepts of life and death. It’s more intellectual for me… not like I want to sit around and watch people be dismembered just for fun. OK, well that’s not true… I do love serial killer books and movies, especially when they come from nowhere and make me jump just a little. I root for the serial killer. In theory. Not in real life, of course. That would be wrong. I know that much. 😛

By now, you probably agree… I’m morbid. You may even think I’m quite peculiar and extraordinarily scary. But… as you know… I don’t hold back in these 365 daily posts. So no need to worry whether I’m a secret psycho. A psycho wouldn’t put all this out for the public to read. And it’s a good thing this stuff all makes me laugh and have fun. I could be morose about it; and most people think of morbid and morose together. I’m the opposite. I see morbid as a fascination and morose as doom-n-gloom. Aren’t you glad you read today’s post?

Who would have thought combining the 100th “365 Daily Challenge” post would lead to me talking about serial killers, whacking people’s heads off and wondering when I might die!?!?!! Anyone else out there like me? Or do you run for the hills when it comes to this kinda stuff?

To Be or Not To Be: That Is The Question

(morbid, that is… to be or not to be morbid?)

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Review: The Comedy of Errors

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The Comedy of Errors
The Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



Book Review


4 out of 5 stars to The Comedy of Errors, a comedy (seriously, did you think with that title it was one of his tragedies… oh my) published in 1594 by William Shakespeare. So… who knew Shakespeare invented the humor of mistaken identity? Wow! Think of this as a cross between any daytime television soap opera, “Dumb and Dumber” and “Dude, Where’s My Car?”

And if you don’t know what that clip is from, you have no watched the right kinds of movies. So go figure it out and come back to chat. That said… this is definitely one of the funniest plays he’s written, as you’d expect. But it’s not just a single set of twins, there are two pairs. And no one knows who is who. Sometimes you might get lost too. But that’s what I’ve learned to love when reading Shakespeare. If it’s a historical play or a tragedy, make it serious. If it’s a comedy, then do whatever you’d like. I’ll make up my own interpretation.

And that’s what I did with this one. And when finished, I talked about it with some fellow students. We all agreed… I had the most interesting interpretation. And then when we got into class, the professor talked about what he thought it was about. And what do you know… I had the closest version. Woo Hoo! I’m good for something, I remember thinking to myself. On a serious note, this is worth a read if you want to get into more Shakespeare. Don’t make it your first one tho… you’ll regret it.



About Me


For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

View all my reviews

Review: Antony and Cleopatra

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Antony and Cleopatra
Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



Book Review


4 out of 5 stars to Antony and Cleopatra, a play published in 1606 by William Shakespeare.This is one of my favorite Shakespearean plays, partially for some of the reality on which it is based. Some know the full story, others know bits and pieces. Cleopatra, famous in her own right, is the Queen of Egypt. Caeser is conquering the world. Antony rules Rome for a while. The love affair between these three, plus a former wife and the sister, Octavia, create such a beautiful and tragic story. Misunderstood messages. Betrayal. Hatred. Anger. Love. It’s a reflection on all the human emotions, wondering why we are tested at so many points in our lives. Where does a man’s heart lie? How honest is the woman he loves? Can you trust your own staff? Time-tested questions we’ve faced for nearly 400 years since this was written, but also the thousands of years before it. This one had a bit of everything and was one of the more easily understood plays. It tugs a little at your emotions while pushing you to root for the right people. And if you are a history buff, it makes it all that much more enjoyable.



About Me


For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

View all my reviews

Review: Cymbeline

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Cymbeline
Cymbeline by William Shakespeare

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



Book Review


3 out of 5 stars to Cymbeline, a play written in 1611 by William Shakespeare. I read this during a Shakespeare course in college and then watched a film version. My review covers both. There seems to be a very dark aura surrounding the characters and the setting. All of the characters seem to be angry with each other, as though they do not like each other. Cymbeline didn’t get along with his wife nor with his daughter. Cymbeline as suppose to be an anxious and frustrated man, yet he appeared to be sickly and weak instead. The forces in the play were controlled by some other figure, instead of how they were in the actual words of the play. The set was mostly back with gold trim and the characters were often in silhouette. This darkness about the set and characters made the emotions and psychology of the play seem dark also.
Moshinsky (director) wanted the characters to appear as though they were alone. I definitely got this impression. When Imogen was locked in her room trying to find her bracelet, the camera went back and forth between her and Cloten serenading her. They weren’t in the same room, yet there was a divider between them. Neither seemed close to anyone. They were separate entities. The psychological interpretation of these behaviors, as directed by Moshinsky, was somewhat confusing. It seemed as though the director was focusing on optimism — as in the death songs of Imogen. I suppose the behaviors then would be forgiveness and helpfulness and kindness. All three are evident in the play and shown in the film we saw. The unraveling scene at the end showed the forgiveness of Iachimo, etc. It was light-hearted by that point.
As for the meaning of the play – it was definitely challenging to me, especially after watching the video and seeing a different interpretation than I thought it was. When I saw Cloten’s bloody head dripping and Imogen lying next to the bloody body, bathing herself in it, etc. I then saw the dark emotions of death and it’s repercussions. However, within the death, it was portrayed as though it was nothing. The psychology here could be shown as the director believing that the play was very dark, when in my opinion it was more light and happy. The only horrible part was the death of Cloten. In the text it seemed bloody, but not disgusting. In the video, it was horrific. So, it was more of a murky version than what I expected it to be. I was thrown by these dark emotional scenes which was the opposite of how I interpreted the play.



About Me


For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

View all my reviews

Review: Richard II

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Richard IIBook Review
4 out of 5 stars to Richard II, a tragedy or historical account written in 1595 by William Shakespeare. Richard II is the first of a series written about the War of the Roses, a famous tug-of-war over England’s throne just prior to Shakespeare’s time. This is the most fascinating period of English history for me and I loved reading this play. Though Richard III is my favorite of all the kinds during this era, the circumstance surrounding Richard II’s kingdom and power are quite unique. He was either a brilliant man or the biggest loon out there. He had ideas, but he couldn’t follow through with them due to a split in his views on responsibility. His words had beauty, but he wasn’t respected. Shakespeare paints a similar picture of him. There’s little plot in comparison to other plays. It’s more of a historical account, a point-in-time view of what was happening. Who was trying to take the throne? What was each man’s or woman’s position? How would it turn out? People wanted to read this to see what he’d choose. If you’re not a history buff, there’s no point in reading it, other than perhaps for some of the beauty in the images being created in each passage and in the dialogue. You might even want to brush up on the time period by reading some historical fiction such as a few of the books by Philippa Gregory covering these characters. It’ll help with perspective and background, then you can compare the way the characters (cum real life people) are portrayed.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

View all my reviews