Dead White Guys: A Father, His Daughter and the Great Books of the Western World by Matt Burriesci
Matt Burriesci takes the “great books of the Western World,” everything from Plutarch and Aristotle to Shakespeare, John Locke and Karl Marx, and distills them down into short lessons for his daughter. Each chapter focuses on a different lesson and Burriesci connects these classic works to modern times through what amounts to a literary lecture and usually contains some anecdote from Burriesci’s life. The book, meant for his daughter to read when she turns eighteen, succeeds in making the “dead white guys” feel relevant to today’s society, but I felt there was something lacking. I appreciated the laid back tone of a father writing to his daughter but I wanted more analysis or discussion of the literature.
Still Star-Crossed by Melinda Taub
Melinda Taub’s homage to Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, takes place in Verona after the events of the play. Romeo, Juliet, Paris, Tybalt, Mercutio and Lady Montague are all dead and Houses Montague and Capulet have pledged peace but in practice, peace proves elusive. Prince Escalus, desperate to protect his city, devises a new plan. Benvolio, nephew and heir of Lord Montague will wed Lady Rosaline, cousin of Juliet. Yet, they have no interest in each other and resolve to find a way to end the violence without marrying. But, an unseen force might have a different plan. Still Star-Crossed is a faithful tribute using the same language and tone of Shakespeare. The characters, though minor in the play, are fully fleshed and real. Melinda Taub’s Verona is mysterious and full of intrigue which makes for enthralling reading. Hopefully the coming television show keep the spirit of this lovely novel.
Three Panel Plays via Good Tickle Brain
Check out these cool comic versions of Shakespeare’s plays. Below is a little taste…