Shakespeare Saved my Life is a great book with a quilt chapter

I finished a book last week that I had to share here on my blog. Why, you ask? Because Shakespeare Saved my Life is a great book with a quilt chapter. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not about quilts but it has a chapter where a quilt is significant. For that and other reasons, you might want to give it a read.


I usually read only fiction and shy away from memoirs. This book is definitely non fiction and is indeed a memoir. And I was really taken with it.

The book was written by a Shakespeare professor, Dr. Laura Bates, who teaches in Indiana universities. She got her PhD at the University of Chicago in, wait for it, Shakespeare. The last time and only time I read Shakespeare was in high school.

My interest in the book was the morality of it and my incredulity that anyone could dgo to a prison and accomplish what she did.54cafc3ba53b8.image I think we all have ideas about the violence in the world today and wish it would lessen. I, however, am doing really nothing about it. Dr. Bates did.

I’ve included a picture of her reading her book. It has been featured in an online book club and been selling well on Amazon. You can read more about the book at her website.

I thought about violence, childhood, prisons and punishments while I read the book. I also pondered forgiveness and rehabilitation, It was a very thoughtful book.


The book was divided into multiple fairly short chapters which was good for me as I read before I go to sleep. Chapter 57 really caught my eye. I have read articles before about prisoners who sew quilts but never with this kind of insight.

At the end of the chapter there was a black and white picture of the quilt which is written about in the chapter.


I took a picture of that page, it is the only picture I have of it. I realize it is a pretty lousy rendition. I even posted on her Facebook page asking for a better shot but never got one.

A better picture is not that important, the chapter is more about the act of sewing in prisons. I also found food for thought in chapter 57. I would love to discuss this book with someone. No one I know has read it.

If you do happen to read it, let me know what you think. There were so many aspects to consider in the book. I considered issues that I had never before really encountered in my life.

Once again, the magic of quilts is where I least expected to find it.

Reading and quilting make me Sew happy!

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I write about books directly and indirectly fairly often in my posts. Writing about Laura Ingalls Wilder was one of my favorite Books and Sewing posts.

Filed under: Books and sewing

Tags: Shakespeare

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    Kathy Mathews

    My passions are quilting and sewing. Add to that French, Spanish, books, swimming, travels, new restaurants, yoga and chocolate and you have me. All of these are best shared with family and friends. Except for chocolate, don't touch my chocolate. You can email me at

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