I wouldn't ordinarily pick up a biography of Shakespeare, but I enjoy Bill Bryson's writing and thought I'd give it a try. He describes the book in the introduction, "the idea is a simple one: to see how much of Shakespeare we can know, really know, from the record. Which is one reason, of course, it's so slender." Written in the voice that is uniquely Bill Bryson, this is a succinct and humorous look at what we know and don't know about the life of Shakespeare. Bryson's description of life in 16th century England is compelling as is his descriptions of the detective work that goes in to establishing the facts in Shakespeare's biography. Definitely worth reading.