by Anne Tyler
"What do you read, my lord?"
"Words, words, words."
About the Book Club
Join the Folger as we search the stacks for our favorite novels inspired by Shakespeare and the early modern era.
This informal Book Club is free and open to all. Our picks range from historical fiction to adaptations of Shakespeare's plays, encompassing a wide variety of genres—all sourced from a different local, independent bookstore partner each month.
To spark the discussion, Folger staff open each meeting with a brief presentation that provides historical context, trivia, and connects the book to relevant items from the Folger collection. Participants are then broken into smaller groups for breakout discussions, moderated by a team of staff and volunteers.
Participation is free but registration is required. Sessions will be conducted through Zoom, so keep an eye on your inbox the day before for an access link, along with recommendations for quick bites and beverages to enjoy while we chat.
Our May Pick
Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler
Pulitzer Prize winner and American master Anne Tyler brings us an inspired, witty and irresistible contemporary take on one of Shakespeare’s most beloved comedies.
Kate Battista feels stuck. How did she end up running house and home for her eccentric scientist father and uppity, pretty younger sister Bunny? Plus, she’s always in trouble at work – her pre-school charges adore her, but their parents don’t always appreciate her unusual opinions and forthright manner.
Dr. Battista has other problems. After years out in the academic wilderness, he is on the verge of a breakthrough. His research could help millions. There’s only one problem: his brilliant young lab assistant, Pyotr, is about to be deported. And without Pyotr, all would be lost.
When Dr. Battista cooks up an outrageous plan that will enable Pyotr to stay in the country, he’s relying – as usual – on Kate to help him. Kate is furious: this time he’s really asking too much. But will she be able to resist the two men’s touchingly ludicrous campaign to bring her around?
Why did we choose this?
The Folger Shakespeare Library's collection explores not only Shakespeare's life and works, but also the plays' historical context, source material, critical and performance histories, and the ways in which they inspire and are adapted by contemporary novelists.
Vinegar Girl, part of the Hogarth Shakespeare series, borrows its plot structure and character inspirations from Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, updating its themes of gender roles and marriage to reflect contemporary concerns.
Order Your Book
This month, we are excited to partner once again with One More Page Books, an independent bookstore in Arlington, VA offering books, wines, and chocolates. Their mission is to provide a place for community to come together to share a love of reading through author events, book clubs, and open conversation. Check them out at onemorepagebooks.com.
Order online or by phone (703.300.9746). Curbside pickup is available at the shop from Tuesday-Sunday and shipping is available.