100 books like The Complete Works of William Shakespeare

By William Shakespeare,

Here are 100 books that The Complete Works of William Shakespeare fans have personally recommended if you like The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Jewish War

Lena Einhorn Author Of A Shift in Time: How Historical Documents Reveal the Surprising Truth about Jesus

From my list on ancient religious texts and actual history.

Why am I passionate about this?

Lena Einhorn is a writer and filmmaker, with a background in medicine. She has portrayed Greta Garbo’s life before the breakthrough, in the novel Blekinge Street 32, and in Nina’s Journey, she told the story of her mother, one of the last to leave the Warsaw ghetto alive. Nina’s Journey also became a feature film, written and directed by Einhorn. The book received the National Book Award of Sweden, and the film received the National Film Award for best picture and best script, as well as a number of international awards. In 2019 the critically acclaimed autobiographical novel The Thin Ice came out.

Lena's book list on ancient religious texts and actual history

Lena Einhorn Why did Lena love this book?

This is the parallel companion book to the New Testament, for anyone who wants to try to discern "the true story behind the religious text." And it is also the biggest impediment to all historians and biblical scholars who have attempted to portray Jesus and his disciples as historical individuals. He simply does not seem to be there (if one excepts the paragraph "Testimonium Flavianum", which has been added or amended by later scribes). But perhaps he does... If one looks slightly beneath the surface....

By Flavius Josephus,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Josephus' account of a war marked by treachery and atrocity is a superbly detailed and evocative record of the Jewish rebellion against Rome between AD 66 and 70. Originally a rebel leader, Josephus changed sides after he was captured to become a Rome-appointed negotiator, and so was uniquely placed to observe these turbulent events, from the siege of Jerusalem to the final heroic resistance and mass suicides at Masada. His account provides much of what we know about the history of the Jews under Roman rule, with vivid portraits of such key figures as the Emperor Vespasian and Herod the…


Book cover of Wolf Hall

Iris Mwanza Author Of The Lions' Den

From my list on immersed in another culture, country and time.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in Zambia, a small, landlocked country where travel was prohibitively expensive, but through books, I could travel to any place and across time without ever leaving my bedroom. Now, I’m fortunate that I get to travel for work and leisure and have been to over thirty countries and counting. Before I go to a new country, I try to read historical fiction as a fun way to educate myself and better understand that country’s history, culture, food, and family life. I hope you also enjoy traveling worldwide and across time through this selection.

Iris' book list on immersed in another culture, country and time

Iris Mwanza Why did Iris love this book?

I was surprised by how much I loved this book about England in the 1500s. The story of Thomas Cromwell and Henry VIII has been told and retold, but even when I thought I knew what was coming (it is history, after all), I didn’t!

I laughed, cried, and found myself rooting for Cromwell. Yes, Cromwell! Such is the power of Hilary Mantle; there is no better historical fiction writer.

By Hilary Mantel,

Why should I read it?

20 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 Monogamy

Armin Shimerman Author Of Imbalance of Power

From my list on Shakespeare and the Elizabethan period.

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.

Armin's book list on Shakespeare and the Elizabethan period

Armin Shimerman Why did Armin 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
DAILY MAIL 'BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR TO GIFT FOR CHRISTMAS'
SUNDAY EXPRESS' S MAGAZINE 'WINTER WARMERS'
GOOD HOUSEKEEPING 'BEST BOOKS OF 2020' ONLINE

'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'…


HellWard

By James Sale,

Book cover of HellWard

James Sale Author Of StairWell

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Poet Entrepreneur Consultant Innovator

James' 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

Dante’s Inferno in the Twenty-First Century...

A psychological and metaphysical thriller in epic poetic form about nearly dying of cancer and descending into a Dantean-type of Hell where both the dead and the soul-dead are each in their separate wards. Meet awful family members, dire friends, a dreadful boss, a perverted pupil, and a murdering neighbour; plus, some infamous (and some contemporary) politicians, poets, and philosophers all contributing to human misery in their self-righteous and mad words, actions, and productions.

Let Dante take you through an odyssey in Hell just as he leads James, and meet not just real people…

HellWard

By James Sale,

What is this book about?

Dante’s Inferno in the Twenty-First Century...

A psychological and metaphysical thriller in epic poetic form about nearly dying of cancer and descending into a Dantean-type of Hell where both the dead and the soul-dead are each in their separate wards. Meet awful family members, dire friends, a dreadful boss, a perverted pupil and a murdering neighbour; plus, some infamous (and some contemporary) politicians, poets and philosophers all contributing to human misery in their self-righteous and mad words, actions, and productions.

Let Dante take you through an odyssey in Hell just as he leads James, and meet not just real people…


Book cover of The New Testament

Lena Einhorn Author Of A Shift in Time: How Historical Documents Reveal the Surprising Truth about Jesus

From my list on ancient religious texts and actual history.

Why am I passionate about this?

Lena Einhorn is a writer and filmmaker, with a background in medicine. She has portrayed Greta Garbo’s life before the breakthrough, in the novel Blekinge Street 32, and in Nina’s Journey, she told the story of her mother, one of the last to leave the Warsaw ghetto alive. Nina’s Journey also became a feature film, written and directed by Einhorn. The book received the National Book Award of Sweden, and the film received the National Film Award for best picture and best script, as well as a number of international awards. In 2019 the critically acclaimed autobiographical novel The Thin Ice came out.

Lena's book list on ancient religious texts and actual history

Lena Einhorn Why did Lena love this book?

The New Testament has been portrayed as a repetitive and largely ahistorical text, except for the presence of the names of certain individuals (Emperors Augustus and Tiberius, Roman Prefect Pontius Pilate, Jewish King Herod the Great, etc, etc). Otherwise, very little fits with known history of first-century Juda and Galilee. But when one reads this religious narrative, The New Testament, next to the narratives of Josephus—written around the same time—one starts discerning certain recurring patterns. And after a while one realizes that The New Testament is anything but boring. It is actually a fantastic text, skillfully written in layers, where the historical layer lies just beneath the surface. The New Testament is full of incomprehensible elements—unknown names just thrown into the narrative, seeming contradictions, etc—but it is in these strange elements that the clues lie. One needs, however, to have Josephus' historical texts (The Jewish War and Jewish Antiquities)…

By David Bentley Hart (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The New Testament as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From one of our most celebrated writers on religion, a fresh, bold, and unsettling new translation of the New Testament

"The greatest achievement of Hart's translation is to restore the urgency of the original. . . . It is beautiful."-James Mumford, Standpoint

"This translation is a remarkable feat."-Lucy Beckett, Times Literary Supplement

David Bentley Hart undertook this new translation of the New Testament in the spirit of "etsi doctrina non daretur," "as if doctrine is not given." Reproducing the texts' often fragmentary formulations without augmentation or correction, he has produced a pitilessly literal translation, one that captures the texts' impenetrability…


Book cover of The Old Testament: Text and Context

Lena Einhorn Author Of A Shift in Time: How Historical Documents Reveal the Surprising Truth about Jesus

From my list on ancient religious texts and actual history.

Why am I passionate about this?

Lena Einhorn is a writer and filmmaker, with a background in medicine. She has portrayed Greta Garbo’s life before the breakthrough, in the novel Blekinge Street 32, and in Nina’s Journey, she told the story of her mother, one of the last to leave the Warsaw ghetto alive. Nina’s Journey also became a feature film, written and directed by Einhorn. The book received the National Book Award of Sweden, and the film received the National Film Award for best picture and best script, as well as a number of international awards. In 2019 the critically acclaimed autobiographical novel The Thin Ice came out.

Lena's book list on ancient religious texts and actual history

Lena Einhorn Why did Lena love this book?

It is not only the New Testament that is written in layers: an upper religious layer, a lower historical one. Also the Old Testament uses this construct, albeit less elaborately so. It is no coincidence that the subject of "history", as we know it, is a fairly recent one. If one goes far enough back in time, all we had, when it comes to longer narratives, are the mythical and religious epics. They likely filled many purposes, of telling stories of the fantastical and supernatural, of giving ethical advice, of uniting people, and of conveying history.

By Victor H. Matthews, James C. Moyer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Old Testament as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This substantially updated edition of a classroom standard provides students with an accessible introduction to the literature, history, and social context of the Old Testament. Written by two seasoned Old Testament professors, the book pays attention to methodology, archaeology, history, and literary genre and includes illustrations, sidebars, maps, and study questions.


Book cover of "Shakespeare" Identified in Edward De Vere, the Seventeenth Earl of Oxford

Lena Einhorn Author Of A Shift in Time: How Historical Documents Reveal the Surprising Truth about Jesus

From my list on ancient religious texts and actual history.

Why am I passionate about this?

Lena Einhorn is a writer and filmmaker, with a background in medicine. She has portrayed Greta Garbo’s life before the breakthrough, in the novel Blekinge Street 32, and in Nina’s Journey, she told the story of her mother, one of the last to leave the Warsaw ghetto alive. Nina’s Journey also became a feature film, written and directed by Einhorn. The book received the National Book Award of Sweden, and the film received the National Film Award for best picture and best script, as well as a number of international awards. In 2019 the critically acclaimed autobiographical novel The Thin Ice came out.

Lena's book list on ancient religious texts and actual history

Lena Einhorn Why did Lena love this book?

This is one of the many books that have delved into the old question of who William Shakespeare really was. And it is one of the more clever ones, drawing clear parallels between Shakespeare's texts, on the one hand, and the travels, experiences, opinions, and facilities of the main suspect, the Earl of Oxford, on the other. Looney’s book was the first one to propose and present exhaustive evidence that the Earl of Oxford was the sole author of all of Shakespeare’s works – a hypothesis that is now dominant among those who doubt the role of the relatively uneducated and untravelled “Stratford-man”.

By J. Thomas Looney,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked "Shakespeare" Identified in Edward De Vere, the Seventeenth Earl of Oxford as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Excerpt from "Shakespeare" Identified in Edward De Vere, the Seventeenth Earl of Oxford (Classic Reprint)

About the Publisher

Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books.

This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to…


Book cover of Feast Day of Fools

Armin Shimerman Author Of Imbalance of Power

From my list on Shakespeare and the Elizabethan period.

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.

Armin's book list on Shakespeare and the Elizabethan period

Armin Shimerman Why did Armin 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 Man and Superman

Armin Shimerman Author Of Imbalance of Power

From my list on Shakespeare and the Elizabethan period.

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.

Armin's book list on Shakespeare and the Elizabethan period

Armin Shimerman Why did Armin 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…


Book cover of A Treasury of Shakespeare's Verse

Cassia Hall Author Of Songs of Love & Longing: Poem & Songs from the Seasons Cycle

From my list on romantic fantasy poetry to make you swoon and sigh.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up loving the works of Shakespeare and the Romantic poets. Now I write romantic fantasy with a lyrical, fairy-tale vibe. The Seasons Cycle is a spin-off series from my main Lake Traveler saga. My poetry includes Poems of Myth & Magick, and Songs of Love & Longing. I compose songs and background music for key scenes in my stories. My music has been described as GoT meets LoTR with a lyrical twist and a musical theatre vibe. You can check out my songs and instrumental pieces on my youtube channel and my music website.

Cassia's book list on romantic fantasy poetry to make you swoon and sigh

Cassia Hall Why did Cassia love this book?

This book is a beautifully illustrated work of art. I absolutely adore the well-chosen excerpts from some of the Bard's most famous plays, including his fantasy ones (The Tempest and Midsummer Night’s Dream). This book contains some of the most beautiful passages in the English language. If you love the language of Shakespeare, you will swoon over this book. I do every single time.

By William Shakespeare, Emma Chichester Clark (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Treasury of Shakespeare's Verse as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

An engaging introduction to Shakespeare, this lyrically llustrated anthology has been carefully edited to be accessible both to older children and teenagers. More then 200 short gems of verse, arranged in thematic sections -- heroics and love, good and evil, fun and frolic, magic and mystery -- capture the rich, powerful language and imagery of Shakespeare without overwhelming the reader who is new to Elizabethan poetry. A beautiful book that the whole family can treasure. Includes index of plays and first lines.


Book cover of The Secret Life of William Shakespeare: A Novel

Jessica Barksdale Inclan Author Of The Play's the Thing

From my list on to help you love William Shakespeare even more.

Why am I passionate about this?

While I taught Shakespeare’s plays all my teaching career, I stayed in my lanes: Hamlet, Othello, The Merchant of Venice, King Lear. As a poetry teacher, I used his sonnets as examples of metaphor and form, but never did I consider myself an expert. However, when the idea for my novel popped into my head, I realized I had some serious reading to do. Not only did I study the facts, I delved into the fiction. While some of these books came out during my writing and others after, I didn’t lose my interest, picking up whatever new Shakespeare book appeared. These are some of my favorites.

Jessica's book list on to help you love William Shakespeare even more

Jessica Barksdale Inclan Why did Jessica love this book?

One of the best ways to learn about a character is to listen to what other characters say (or think) about him, in this case, Shakespeare. As with Hamnet, much of this book focuses on Anne Hathaway, and we learn about Shakespeare as a very young man making his way in the world—not only as a writer—but as a lover and husband. Once in the writing world, we see the ripple effects of his writing, as fellow playwrights Christopher Marlowe and Ben Jonson provide their perspectives. A great look into Shakespeare and Elizabethan England.

By Jude Morgan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Secret Life of William Shakespeare as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The greatest writer of them all, brought to glorious life.

How well do you know the man you love? How much do you think you know about Shakespeare? What if they were one and the same? He is an ordinary man: unwilling craftsman, ambitious actor, resentful son, almost good-enough husband. And he is also a genius. The story of how a glove-maker from Warwickshire became the greatest writer of them all is vaguely known to most of us, but it would take an exceptional modern novelist to bring him to life. And now at last Jude Morgan, acclaimed author of…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in William Shakespeare, the Elizabethan era, and New Testament?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about William Shakespeare, the Elizabethan era, and New Testament.

William Shakespeare Explore 183 books about William Shakespeare
The Elizabethan Era Explore 32 books about the Elizabethan era
New Testament Explore 46 books about New Testament