The Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare (1623)

Your favourite bit, apart from A sad tale’s best for winter and she is the queen of curds and cream?

Mine’s got to be either let’s be red with mirth or If I might die within this hour, I have lived to die when I desire.

But for now let’s to a favourite theme of Willy’s showing angry middle-aged men as complete oafs. Sit back and listen to one proving it again and again.

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John Thomas and Lady Jane by D H Lawrence (1927)

Aha, gotcha! Expecting saucy bits, eh? Like, then he took her and laid her down, wasting no time, breaking her underclothing in his urgency… or She was like a volcano. At moments she surged with desire, with passion, like a stream of white-hot lava. Eh?

Well tough titties. We’re going to look at Connie with the wide blue eyes and her bored life and broken marriage instead – before she loses her knickers.

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The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank (1947)

This book makes me giddy. On weak days, I couldn’t even pick it up.

It’s the pain. The anxiety. Of watching Anne coping and hoping. And the dread of knowing what happens.

We know. She didn’t.

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The Most Excellent Historie of the Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare (1600)

Your favourite bit, aside from But love is blind, and lovers cannot see and All that glisters is not gold?

Mine’s got to be, apart from Portia’s acidic I’d rather be married to a death’s head with a bone in his mouth, Gratiano’s Let me play the fool: with mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.

But hark, I sense a need for one more touch.

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A Drink with Shane MacGowan by Victoria Mary Clarke and Shane MacGowan (2001)

I’ve always had Shane down as simply drunk as a brewer’s fart.

This book, a chat over drinks with his wife Victoria, brings out some of the kind, human, down-to-earth, honest and very Irishly funny qualities of the lead singer of The Pogues (and former member of the Nipple Erectors).

Lynn Barber, in The Observer, says of the book, ‘One of the freshest, most original biographies I’ve ever read.’.

Some morsels for you on sex, drugs, marriage, and definitive Irish nurturing.

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The Most Excellent and Lamentable Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare (1596)

Your favourite bit, aside from O, she doth teach the torches to shine bright! and But, soft! What light through yonder window breaks?

(I love Willy when he does the puppet word shadow order thing – okay, okay, I’ll keep practicing – remember that delicious Though hast by moonlight at her window sung from A Midsummer Night’s Dream a couple of posts back?)

Mine’s got to be the nurse dealing with the big sleep. But first it would be unfair not to bow to the boys who land some lovely love lines. Take Mercutio.

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