Our Favorite Shakespeare Inspired Books

Painting of Shakespear.

What do winter and vacation have in common? Well, besides both being great reasons to stay at The Bard’s Inn? A winter vacation is the perfect opportunity to finally read that book you’ve had your eye on for months! Grab a Shakespeare inspired book and make your way to The Bard’s Inn. Since Shakespeare is so important in Ashland, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite Shakespeare inspired books. For those who want to embrace Ashland’s Shakespearian nature but don’t consider Othello light vacation reading, these books are for you.


Chasing the Stars, Malorie Blackman

Speaking of Othello, Malorie Blackman’s Chasing the Stars reimagines Shakespeare’s classic play. Her version is set in outer space. The main characters are stuck in a spaceship when mysterious murders start happening. A thrilling tale that will leave your heart racing, Blackman’s retelling doesn’t disappoint.


Vinegar Girl, Anne Tyler

This novel is inspired by The Taming of the Shrew and adapts Shakespeare’s play to modern day. The heroine of Vinegar Girl gets swept up in a plot to keep a man from being deported. Tyler keeps Shakespeare’s comedy while making the story entirely her own.  

Something Rotten, Alan M. Gratz

Hamlet is a play about murder, revenge, and mystery. So it makes sense that Gratz adapted it into a murder mystery novel. Something Rotten keeps the drama and intrigue of Hamlet, but removes the poetry and adds even more tension.  

Speak Easy, Speak Love, McKelle George

A Shakespeare-inspired period piece? Yes, please! Inspired by Much Ado About Nothing, George’s retelling of the classic comedy takes place in the 1920s. In Speak Easy, Speak Love, George is able to capture the feel and nature of the ’20s while still maintaining the integrity of the play.  

The Weird Sisters, Eleanor Brown

This reimagining of Macbeth keeps Shakespeare heavily involved in the plot. Brown cleverly narrates the story of three sisters who come back together to help care for their sick mother, who is a Shakespeare scholar. With lovable characters and a well-written plot, The Weird Sisters will make you fall in love with Shakespeare’s plays all over again.  


When you stay at The Bard’s Inn during the winter, bring some Shakespeare inspired books with you and embrace Ashland’s love of Shakespeare. When you’ve finished enjoying twists on the classics, see the originals at Ashland’s theaters.