An interesting article in Sunday’s Observer (27 Sept, not yet online), in which literary editor Robert McCrum writes of two London literary agents who are setting up a bookshop to stock really worthwhile books, as opposed to the celebrity memoirs and cookbooks that now fill the chain stores. Apparently they’ve sent out an email asking hundreds of people to name the ten books that every bookshop should be sure to stock. McCrum says that it’s an impossible task to compile such a short list, once you get past three absolute no-brainer inclusions. And what are they? “The Bible is comparatively easy (the King James Version, naturally); the hunger for a collected Shakespeare can be settled with Bate and Rasmussen's Complete Works (RSC/Macmillan); and for my money Chambers sets the gold standard for dictionaries. Thereafter, things start to get really difficult.”
Meanwhile we’re pleased to announce the publication of the next five individual volumes, including the chief general editor’s Shakespearean favourites (the two parts of Henry IV) and three other exceptionally popular titles: Much Ado about Nothing, Othello and Romeo and Juliet. Highlights among the new materials include David Tennant on playing Romeo, Antony Sher on playing Iago, Harriet Walter on playing Beatrice, Trevor Nunn on his great Othello production with Ian McKellen, Imogen Stubbs and Willard White, and Nicholas Hytner on directing Simon Russell Beale and Zoe Wanamaker in Much Ado at the National. Enjoy.