Shakespeare on Toast by Ben Crystal
Great title, isn't it? Tells you the book is easily digestible yet good for you. Got this book on a whim after seeing something about it in Writers' Forum (I think).
The book teaches you how to understand Shakespeare. Why did he write in poetry, what difference does the metre make and why does it change, what's with all the thees and thous, how does he still manage to direct actors four hundred years after his death?
It's a quick and enjoyable read. I've read some Shakespeare but never seen any acted. This, according to the book, is a mistake as of course the plays were originally intended to be seen and not read, and make far more sense on the stage than on the page. Nevertheless whether you are watching or reading Shakespeare, this book will certainly help you understand the meaning and how the Bard intended the plays to be performed.
Worth reading for anyone interested in language, whether or not you're especially a Shakespeare fan.