The best whimsical historical fiction about Shakespeare and the Elizabethan period written by an actor/teacher

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a classically trained Shakespearian actor who has spent a lifetime researching Tudor and Stuart times, imbibing their language, customs, and idiosyncrasies. As an actor, I'm trained to get inside my characters' heads and dedicate myself to their intentions. Also, as an actor, I've come to relish language and recognize what makes a good phrase, paragraph, and/or book. I not only perform the Bard, but I've also taught his rhetorical stylings to countless people. I love language and admire writers who use it elegantly. They say, "Write what you know." I know Shakespeare and the Elizabethan era inside and out. One's life can be changed by a book; the ones I've recommended have changed mine.

I wrote...

Imbalance of Power

By Armin Shimerman,

Book cover of Imbalance of Power

What is my book about?

Imbalance of Power (Jumpmaster Press) is the final book in the Illyria trilogy, a series of meticulous history meshed with theatrical fantasy. 

With the threat of further imprisonment held over him, Doctor John Dee must use all his talents to solve the mystery of who on Illyria is shepherding religious insurrectionists bent on overthrowing the Queen. Helped by his acolyte, Will Shakespeare, they investigate the court of Count Orsino, their chief suspect. Their mission brings them in contact with the witty characters of Toby Belch, Malvolio, Feste, and others in a fancifully imagined prequel to Twelfth Night. Together, in this exciting story steeped in Elizabethan history, Dee and Shakespeare must maneuver through a labyrinth of religious intolerance as they seek to protect Crown and Country.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Wolf Hall

Armin Shimerman Why did I love this book?

This is the most compelling historical novel that I have ever read. It won both the Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle award. It is the perfect mix of history and soaring political language. The characters jump off the page and are oh-so-very human. Ms. Mantel's knowledge of the period is extraordinary. I stand in awe.

By Hilary Mantel,

Why should I read it?

19 authors picked Wolf Hall as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the Man Booker Prize Shortlisted for the the Orange Prize Shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award

`Dizzyingly, dazzlingly good' Daily Mail

'Our most brilliant English writer' Guardian

England, the 1520s. Henry VIII is on the throne, but has no heir. Cardinal Wolsey is his chief advisor, charged with securing the divorce the pope refuses to grant. Into this atmosphere of distrust and need comes Thomas Cromwell, first as Wolsey's clerk, and later his successor.

Cromwell is a wholly original man: the son of a brutal blacksmith, a political genius, a briber, a charmer, a bully, a man with…

Book cover of Feast Day of Fools

Armin Shimerman Why did I love this book?

All of James Burke's novels are my favorites. His plots constantly take you by surprise, and his characters drip with foibles and exotic passions. This book does not take place in New Orleans yet, but Mr. Burke seems to equally understand the heat, the intentions, the loneliness, and the nightmares of the Southwest border. I could not get enough of his colorful dialogue and poetical descriptions.

By James Lee Burke,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Feast Day of Fools as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A powerful and unforgettable thriller from 'one of the finest American writers' GUARDIAN

Danny Boy Lorca was used to having apocalyptic visions - the beatings he'd taken in jail and the booze he drank to forget them made sure of that. But what he saw and heard that night out in the desert was more terrifying than anything even his battered spirit could have conjured. A man tortured to death. Slowly and methodically and with inhuman cruelty.

When Danny Boy tells his tale to Sheriff Hackberry Holland, Hack knows something evil has leaked over the border into his corner of…

Book cover of Monogamy

Armin Shimerman Why did I love this book?

I loved this book for its humanity and the language she used to pithily emphasize characters and situations. There was not an excess word employed. She compassionately realized every character and gave them wisdom, angst, and a tragic sense of loss. I found it utterly absorbing and have reread it several times.

By Sue Miller,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Monogamy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A New York Times Book of the Year

'One of the most emotionally truthful novels I have ever read' DAISY BUCHANAN
'Almost every line glows with even-handed wisdom - a superb novel, beautifully put together' DAILY MAIL
'An invaluably moving book' JULIET NICOLSON
'One to read first for the story and then to re-read at leisure and marvel at how real these people feel' ERIN KELLY
'Penetrating, intelligent, humane, funny too ... Smart and powerfully alive'…

Book cover of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare

Armin Shimerman Why did I love this book?

Every time I wade into a play or see a production, I discover the language that describes the human condition perfectly. Pithy moments of insight juxtaposed and embedded in meaningful testimonies of why we do the things we do. As a writer, I believe there is no better teacher of the magic of the English language.

By William Shakespeare,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Complete Works of William Shakespeare as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This ebook contains Shakespeare's complete plays and complete poems in a new, easy-to-read and easy-to-navigate format. This is the most reader-friendly introduction to Shakespeare available today. 'The Complete Works of William Shakespeare' collects all thirty-seven of the immortal Bard's comedies, tragedies, and historical plays in a Collectible Edition. This volume also features Shakespeare's complete poetry, including the sonnets. With this beautiful Collectible Edition, you can enjoy Shakespeare's enduring literary legacy again and again.

Book cover of Man and Superman

Armin Shimerman Why did I love this book?

Shaw believed he was a better writer than Shakespeare, and I think he may be right in this play. His wit and language combine to inform and entertain. Cleverness and iconoclasm abound. You can't help but revel in Shaw's pin-pricking of cherished beliefs. In response, we are forced to reevaluate customs and standards. If you want intellectual fun, this play is for you.

By George Bernard Shaw, Dan Laurence (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Man and Superman as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Shaw began writing MAN AND SUPERMAN in 1901 and determined to write a play that would encapsulate the new century's intellectual inheritance. Shaw drew not only on Byron's verse satire, but also on Shakespeare, the Victorian comedy fashionable in his early life, and from authors from Conan Doyle to Kipling. In this powerful drama of ideas, Shaw explores the role of the artist, the function of women in society, and his theory of Creative Evolution.
As Stanley Weintraub says in his new introduction, this is "the first great twentieth-century English play" and remains a classic expose of the eternal struggle…

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American Flygirl

By Susan Tate Ankeny,

Book cover of American Flygirl

Susan Tate Ankeny Author Of The Girl and the Bombardier: A True Story of Resistance and Rescue in Nazi-Occupied France

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Susan Tate Ankeny left a career in teaching to write the story of her father’s escape from Nazi-occupied France. In 2011, after being led on his path through France by the same Resistance fighters who guided him in 1944, she felt inspired to tell the story of these brave French patriots, especially the 17-year-old- girl who risked her own life to save her father’s. Susan is a member of the 8th Air Force Historical Society, the Air Force Escape and Evasion Society, and the Association des Sauveteurs d’Aviateurs Alliés. 

Susan's book list on women during WW2

What is my book about?

The first and only full-length biography of Hazel Ying Lee, an unrecognized pioneer and unsung World War II hero who fought for a country that actively discriminated against her gender, race, and ambition.

This unique hidden figure defied countless stereotypes to become the first Asian American woman in United States history to earn a pilot's license, and the first female Asian American pilot to fly for the military.

Her achievements, passionate drive, and resistance in the face of oppression as a daughter of Chinese immigrants and a female aviator changed the course of history. Now the remarkable story of a fearless underdog finally surfaces to inspire anyone to reach toward the sky.

American Flygirl

By Susan Tate Ankeny,

What is this book about?

One of WWII’s most uniquely hidden figures, Hazel Ying Lee was the first Asian American woman to earn a pilot’s license, join the WASPs, and fly for the United States military amid widespread anti-Asian sentiment and policies.

Her singular story of patriotism, barrier breaking, and fearless sacrifice is told for the first time in full for readers of The Women with Silver Wings by Katherine Sharp Landdeck, A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purnell, The Last Boat Out of Shanghai by Helen Zia, Facing the Mountain by Daniel James Brown and all Asian American, women’s and WWII history books.…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the Elizabethan era, William Shakespeare, and Texas?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the Elizabethan era, William Shakespeare, and Texas.

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