Shakespeare: A Crash Course

Shakespeare was a rite of passage for me. In the school I attended, the sixth graders put on an annual production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (for nearly two decades now, I think). Next to graduation, AMND was the most important event of our grade school lives, and the pageant season was something everyone looked forward to — the school transforms into a magical place when Shakespeare-spouting elves and fairies, noble lords and fair ladies, and mustached mechanicals  traipse around the campus, heightening the excitement for the much-awaited annual performance.

It was the pre-digicam ’90s so I don’t have any pictures of our production (the play photos are of a recent batch from the school website), but I don’t think any of us will forget our AMND experience. Up to now, you can ask any of us who were in that play and we can probably recite whole acts from memory.

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Mini Shopaholic


It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Sophie Kinsella, and as soon as I heard there was another book in the Shopaholic series coming out in early September, I started skulking around bookstores to get my copy.

Mini Shopaholic is the sixth book in Kinsella’s wildly popular Shopaholic series, following the books The Confessions of a Shopaholic (in UK it’s The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic), Shopaholic Takes Manhattan (UK Shopaholic Abroad), Shopaholic Ties the Knot, Shopaholic and Sister, and Shopaholic and Baby.

While my favorite Sophie Kinsella books are outside of the Shopaholic series (I love Undomestic Goddess, and the last one, Twenties Girl), Becky Bloomwood has grown on me as I read the novels. I was a bit outraged at her addiction to shopping in the first two books, but well, later on, I realized there’s a little Becky Bloomwood inside of me: the book shopper (hahaha!). And I really love the supporting cast in the series —  the dreamy Luke Brandon, the delightful Suze and Tarkie, the oddballs Jess and Tom, Becky’s folks Jane and Graham, their next-door neighbor Janice, the wild and wacky designer Danny Kovitz, and dear old Derek Smeath!

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