LWIMusic (Cause Reading Sucked)

Like really sucked. I had to read a book for a paid review that I wanted to murder by the time I finished it. Maybe not to the point of burning a book (I…might have done that once) but I spent the whole week trying to get through it, and then taking the bitterness and making it into real words. *Shrug*

I started a bunch of books the week before last and didn’t get through them, so maybe this week will involve a little of that (though I have another book to read for the same publication, so who knows). I just tried reading Speak Gigantular for the fourth time (and even then, I was only on the third story) and gave up. It’s going back to the library.

SO yeah, all kinds of book woes.

Instead, let’s talk about music!

I mean, this was one of my tweets last week:

We had our first rehearsal for March’s show last week, and the theme is Page to Stage. It’s gonna be hella fun, even if I’m not in most of the show (since I’m also rehearsing with two different choruses—the second was just because they’re doing Faure’s requiem and I can’t live if I know there’s a group performing it and I’m not in it).

So anyway, getting our music for that rehearsal spurred me to do a back-to-back watching of A Very Potter Musical and A Very Potter Sequel. It got too late to watch A Very Potter Senior Year. I love StarKid so much, even though (ahem) I had never watched either of these and still haven’t seen Senior Year. I’d heard plenty of the music, of course, since more than half of our cast is very big on HP.

Not familiar with this magic morsel of marvelousness? Here’s the opening number of the original:

 

(Turn on autoplay in youtube to watch the whole thing!)

Meanwhile, anytime I drive my husband’s car, I listen to the Broadway station on the preset page he made for me. They played one of Josh Groban’s songs from The Great Comet (AKA Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812) and it was REALLY GOOD. I mean, I love Josh’s voice, but I remember his acting chops of long ago. Just from listening to this one song, I could tell they’ve improved. (Also, I’m really glad he’s not singing weird pseudo pop anymore.) I can’t wait to see the show.

 

Another thing I’ve been doing this week? Discovering deep cuts in my iTunes. It’s like meeting a friend for the first time. Like, I say I love Imelda May, and I have all of her albums, but I tend to mostly listen to Tribal. But “End of the World” from her first album came on while I had iTunes on shuffle, and I fell in love. I didn’t play it on repeat like I have been known to do, but…you know, there’s still time.

 

Other rediscoveries included David Bisbal’s “Digale,” which. Goddamn.

 

But, you know, I have 4,500 items in my iTunes library, so it’s no surprise there are things I might have only listened to once (like right now it’s playing “General Zod” from Man of Steel because hubs auto buys Zimmer soundtracks and I tend to steal them). I’ll do more to not skip things that I should know at least a little.

This is already getting long but there’s one more thing that happened this week: They announced two of the people cast in the live-action Lion King. I’m happy to hear they got James Earl Jones back, but the casting of both him and Childish (ugh, really) means something very significant: this is going to be more of the cartoon than the Broadway show. And that sucks a lot. Not that I don’t love the animated feature, but the musical is so much more grand, and lush, and…well. African.

Lebo M., an exile from South America, helped write some of The Lion King (the chants, mostly) and then became pretty much the man in charge of turning a relatively musically flat cartoon into a 2.5 hour stageplay. He extended “Circle of Life”, wrote some amazing chants and choral pieces, and helped Tim Rice and Friends work on the solo songs that bring depth to the characters and breadth to the story. Songs like “They Live/He Lives In You” and “Shadowlands” and (sobbing) “Endless Night.” (Keep in mind, the musical version was written after Apartheid was dismantled and all of that Zulu music is joyous AF.)  The Lion King is still running on Broadway (it opened in 1997) and has been on multiple national tours. So yeah, there are people who couldn’t get to New York who have been able to see it, but it still doesn’t have the reach that putting it to film could. The fact that neither of the announced actors has the singing chops necessary to do the additional music provided them in the stageplay indicates that Disney is not going that route.

/endrant

What have you been reading and listening to? I think I need to do another Romeo and Juliet adventure to clear my head before I try anything new.

LWIBooks: Eh. (February 14, 2017)

Last week wasn’t much of a book week for me. I mean, I read stuff, but I didn’t finish a lot. Combination of having a ton of things to do in the evenings and just being exhausted. But Nevertheless…

Yeah.

Books Completed

29496435Here We Are, by Kelly Jensen et al. This fabulous essay/art/poetry/etc collection was fantastic and everyone should read it. Everyone.

Joyride vol 1by Jackson Lanzing et al. Eh. I finished reading it. I don’t think I’m intrigued enough to keep up with it.

You Can’t Touch My Hair (And Other Things I Still Have to Explain), by Phoebe Robinson. THIS BOOK. THIS. BOOK. Phoebe Robinson has that capability to toe the line between hilarious AF and Serious Shit magnificently. I listened to it, which is definitely the best way to consume this book, but I also have a paper ARC and I will cherish it for the rest of my days (if I loan it to you, you had better give it TF back).

The Perfect Play, by Jaci Burton. Goddamn. I finally finished this book, and made the mistake of reading the excerpt from the next one…and now I have to go spend a couple hundred dollars on all of the books in this series. It’s that good. Also, goddamn. They have so much sex. Take a couple breaks, folks.

Books Started

The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas. This book has been killing my soul and I can only consume it a bit at a time.

And yeah, that’s it.

I’ve got some *super secret book reading* to do this week, but maybe I’ll finish THUG and get something else on my TBR completed.

Still haven’t started Hidden Figures yet…

 

 

LWIBooks (and the week before, and the week before that): February 5, 2017

I’ve fallen behind!

The first week I skipped LWIBooks was because I was at a library conference when I would usually be writing it. I did get some writing done, but that was mostly for Kissing Books and several thousand words I was inspired to write after a freak incident in my hotel room that will never see the light of day.

Then, I decided to pick up LWIBooks the next week, also talking about the library conference, but I got distracted by…something?

So now, I have three weeks to cover, and it’s going to be a fast one, because I’ve definitely picked up after several weeks of slumpy-ness.

Books Completed

Oh man, did i finish some awesomeness. I also walked away from a book that was totally not happening, only to find redemption in a book with similar tropes that were addressed in a much better packaged way.

27248383First Position, Melissa Brayden

An adorable lesbian romance about ballerinas. BALLERINAS.

PerfectCecelia Ahern

I picked this up at ALA on the last day and might have started reading it on the exhibit floor. I finished it on the flight home. Some people have their hesitations about Flawed, but I was instantly drawn in to both books in the duology.

Let it ShineAlyssa Cole

The Juneteenth anthology has been sitting on my kindle forever. I started the first book and kind of stalled, so I hadn’t made it to this, the last story. I went to the National Center for Civil and Human Rights while I was in Atlanta,29522514 and just needed to read this when I was done with Perfect. They actually kind of went well together.

Size Matters, Alison Bliss (DNF)

I have been on a fat heroine kick lately, and this one was one I’d seen at the library and been drawn to because of the cover. If it had been an amazingly well written book that featured a heroine with super super self-esteem issues, I might have moved forward. If it had been a less-badly-written book about a heroine with self-esteem issues and a guy who wasn’t a constant victim of foot-in-mouth disease, I might have moved forward. Honestly, I was all for seeing where the story went until the hero, having offered to drive the heroine home the first night they met, discovered he couldn’t wake her up to get directions, took her to his home instead, and then took her dress off while she was still unconscious. Sure, he slept on the couch, but it doesn’t matter. You don’t do that.

Whoops. That was a lot.

Beast, Pepper Pace

This book was less-than-stellarly written, but I loved it anyway. The characters are both cinnamon rolls I want to hug and keep in my pocket and they have some serious body issues between the two of them. But they also know how to love the right fucking way. There are other real-life things that are addressed in the book relatively well, but it all ends happily.

30166695Breathless, Beverly Jenkins

Bev can do no wrong. That is all.

This Song is (Not) for You, Laura Nowlin

I saw this book on one of the ALA book lists (Stonewall? Rainbow? Can’t remember) and knew I needed to read it. There are two teens who won’t admit they’re in love with each other and then in walks a third who doesn’t feel sexual attraction towards anyone but really comes to love these other two people. Yeah, you know I was all over that.

The Lawrence Browne Affair, Cat Sebastian

Soldier’s Scoundrel sequel starring the dashing young Georgie? Yes. Please. Also, our Mad Earl isn’t mad at all, he’s just…sciency. And anxious. And a little agoraphobic? Okay, maybe a lot agoraphobic. Still adorable as hell. And there’s 30226770totally a scene that came right out of Beauty and the Beast.

TreasureRebekah Weatherspoon

Precious baby butch falls for stripper and then runs into her in comp-sci. Adorbs. And at 103 pages, I didn’t even feel like it was too short.

If The Dress Fits, Carla de Guzman

Oh man, this book. I want to marry this book. I will correct its grammar every once in awhile and maybe throw out a fact that it got wrong, but I will love, honor, and cherish this book for all the days of my life.

Still Working

Goddammit, I’m still working on The Perfect Play. To be fair, I haven’t picked it up really since the last time I talked about it, but it’s going to make perfect game-day reading. It will probably be in place of the Super Bowl, if I’m honest. I feel no inclination to turn it on while hubs is at work, and I can watch the halftime show tomorrow.

I’m also still working on Joyride. I picked it up to finish yesterday and ended up finishing two ebooks I’d started and set aside instead.

I’ve abandoned the other football books I started. I’ll try to read them again eventually.

Picking Up Soon

I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t given up on Hidden Figures. Not because I don’t have it sitting right there on my bookshelf, but because I’ve been more interested in the fluffy happy stuff recently (I wonder why). Otherwise, I have no idea where I’m going bookwise in the near future. I borrowed Dangerous Curves Ahead from the library and might read it, or I might just take it back and find something on my TBR shelves, which are sinking into the floor with things I want to read. (And unfortunately, or fortunately, whichever way you want to look at it, I still want to read them all; my last weeding was a few weeks ago and I only pulled out five or six things.)

What are you reading? What have you enjoyed recently? I’ve managed to add a few things to my Read Harder list, but I’m kind of falling behind.