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.


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: January 16, 2017

Last week sucked for me, reading wise. I worked on a couple books but didn’t finish much—though what I did finish was pretty darn great. I saw a few movies and reestablished a few head canons, discovered something I want in book form, and got stuck in a Read Harder rut.

I went to the movies twice this past weekend, and watched a movie that hubs saw without me but knew I would want to see. That movie? The Accountant. And now I want a romance featuring someone modeled off of Chris getting a HEA. Is that too much to ask?

I also saw A Monster Callswhich, jeez. I remember why I didn’t get far in the book. But the movie was beautiful and heartbreaking and incredibly well done and acted—though now we know Sigourney Weaver’s weakness: British.

That same day, I saw Singin’ in the Rain for the first time in a theater, and the spectacle is just magnificent on a big screen. If you’ve got the time and the chance to see it when it plays again on Wednesday, take it. I’ve seen bits and pieces in the past few years but it’s been awhile since I’ve watched it all the way through, and boy, is that OT3 there. I thought it was just me when I was younger, but that was before I discovered fanfiction; and the last time I looked on AO3, there was nothing there. Well, now there is, and over the past 24 hours I’ve read nearly all of it. (I will probably write more thoroughly on this after I’m done.)

Okay, on to books. The reason for this post:

Books Completed

26114524The Only Thing Worse than Me is YouLily Anderson

love Much Ado About NothingLike, probably more than I do Pride and PrejudiceSo when I realized in the first chapter that this was going to be a YA retelling (because that was left out of the blurb! Who leaves that out of the blurb?!) I became even more excited about what this book would be. It had already drawn me in with supernerds who were also super geeky. The snappy dialogue and excellent transference of the plot—while still making it different enough that you weren’t sure how things would go down—won this one for me, and I am eagerly awaiting Anderson’s second book (THIS WAS HER DEBUT, WHAT, AND SHE’S A LIBRARIAN, WHAT) that’s based on The Importance of Being Earnest. If she writes a YA version of Design For Living, she will go down in history as my absolute favorite person putting words together on the planet.

Pumpkin Rolls and Porn Sounds, Kris T. Bethke

This was a cute little novella that was the perfect length to read while twisting my hair on Saturday. Will, a young professional, is drawn out to a meeting at the PFLAG chapter his mother started. She wants him to hear a speech by Joshua, who owns a bakery. Diminutive Will is not usually attracted to big, hairy men, but something about Joshua draws him in. The writing is a bit juvenile sometimes, but it touches on some great things, particularly supportive families and body image in men.

Under Rose Tainted Skies, Louise Gornall

I DNFd this book. I was sad to; the narrator, Norah, is an awesome person and her love interest sounds cute, if troubled. Norah’s mother is great, and the other people that I encountered in the 40 or so pages I read before I stopped were very interestingly written. But Norah has Agoraphobia and Severe Anxiety Disorder, and she is very well written. I’ve been pretty high on the Empath scale this week, and her very extreme anxiety was making my (much lower scale) anxiety and neurosis much more palpable. I actually spoke the words “you know I like having the bedroom door open so I can hear if someone breaks in while we’re sleeping.” Not that it’s ever happened, or that there is a high chance of it happening, but my usual “is the door locked?” followed by my checking three or four times before being able to sleep, wasn’t enough. (This is not the full extent of how anxious this book made me, just an example.)

Still Working

8341567Running InterferenceElley Arden

I don’t know if there’s something about the writing or my reluctance to read second-chance stories, but this one is slow going. I was really excited about the prospect to read about a world in which a women’s professional football league existed, but the other stuff is not making me anxious to pick it back up.

Getting InsideSerena Bell

Okay, maybe what’s really going on is that there’s too much football in my life right now.

The Perfect Play, Jaci Burton

Or maybe not because I was going at this one like gangbusters until I got distracted by Don, Cosmo and Kathy. (Also, see that cover? I bought that one in print.)

Picking Up Soon

30251383Hidden FiguresMargot Lee Shetterly

 I haven’t forgotten about this one, but I’ve been out of the nonfiction mood.

Joyride, Jackson Lanzing et al

I need to get back into comics. This one looks hella fun.

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur Vol. 2, Amy Reeder et al

Luella is my must-buy trade girl. I can’t wait to sit down and savor it.

The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories, Angela Carter

I’m doing a group read of this with some of the folks at WWAC, and I finally got it from the library. I think I’m really only going to do one at a time, so I had better get started!


Also, because this is going to be available this week!


And now I’m going to go finish reading all that magical fanfiction and get lost in the Tucson Festival of Books panel schedule. Sweet Christmas.

Ending on a high note: Favorites 2016

We’re coming upon the end of 2016, and with it, the one-year anniversary of my return to blogging. After about a month of writing on my old blogger site, I transferred everything over here to Books and Beethoven and determined that I was going to write more about both reading and music, which each hold high points in my life.

I lost momentum over the summer, but I’m determined to try again—new year, new me and all that. I started using a planner, and I’ve got a great Trello board for all of my writing plans.

I can do this.

Earlier today, Sarah asked the BR blog support group what our blog resolutions were, and I really had to think about goals that I might actually be able to keep up with. (If you remember, I wrote a whole post about goals for October, and then didn’t write anything until the end of November…)

Here was what I determined:

  1. More straight reviews of books and music
  2. Regular check-ins for Read Harder 2017
  3. Regular check-ins for Read My Own Damn Books 2017
  4. More writing about music as I encounter it

I will try my best to pull that off. If nothing else, monthly check-ins will continue, and random mental meanderings about music and books will come up.

Right. Favorites.

Here are some of my favorites of this year, in books, music, film, and TV. I’ll post a regular December wrap-up in the next few days, but I wanted to get this one out of the way when I was thinking about it.

Favorite Book Published in 2016

the-geeks-guide-to-unrequited-loveHands down, no question:

The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love by Sarvenaz Tash.

This book was just adorable and heartwarming. I loved the voice, and the characters, and all of the geeky goodness in this three-day story that takes place over the course of New York Comic Con.

Favorite Backlist Book Read in 2016

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz, narrated by Lin-Manuel Miranda.

I started reading this in 2012 after it started getting peppered with seals from ALA and all the rest of the book people. I got a few pages in and just wasn’t into it. But I needed a book to listen to and this one was available at the library, so I went for it.

What magic I had been missing. Lin-Manuel did a perfect narration, bringing to life the type of prose that I occasionally just don’t process the same when I’m reading it.

Favorite Read Harder Challenge Book

30688435So I didn’t actually complete the RH challenge, but I got close, and came across some really good books because of it. There are a lot of books I would have read anyway, but Exit West was one that I probably would have put on my Want to Read list, never to be seen or heard from again. It takes place in an unnamed country, but sounds like it could be the Middle East (and the author is from Pakistan, so it’s not a far leap). I probably wouldn’t have read this book if it hadn’t been dropped in my hands by someone from Riverhead Books, but I’m so glad I did. It doesn’t come out until March, so  I was glad to be able to read it so early, but I want to talk to people about it!

Favorite Read My Own Damn Books Book

The Heiress Effect by Courtney Milan is the second book in the Brothers Sinister series, and it is Historical Romance Perfection. It’s Victorian instead of Regency. The hero is a duke’s “natural son” with severe political aspirations, and the heroine is an heiress who will do anything to inspire disinterest (and even dislike) in gentlemen who need to marry for money. And the secondary romance is the sweetest.

It does things with stuff.

Goodreads tells me I added this to my to-read shelf in July of 2013, and Amazon says I bought it March of 2015. It was time. (I also owned the first one. Which I also read. It was wonderful, but this was so much better.)

Favorite Movie Seen in the Theater


I saw so many good movies this year; all of Disney and Pixar’s contributions were excellent. Rogue One was perfect. Loving was magnificent. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was tons of fun. But Moana was all of these things, not to mention it had amazing music (also written in part by Lin-Manuel Miranda) that I went home and downloaded and still can’t get enough of.


Favorite New TV


No, really. Seriously.

It took all the good parts of City of Bones and made them better. The writing improves as the season does, and Dominic Sherwood is a very attractive Jace. And of course, Malec. All the Malec. I can’t wait for it to come back; except now that I don’t have a DVR anymore I’m not sure how I’m going to work my way around that.


Favorite Hulu/Netflix TV

Luke Cage was magnificence personified. I’m looking forward to more Defenders TV.

And I finally got around to watching Season 1 of Crazy Ex Girlfriend and it was worth it to just binge. I am in love with Rebecca Bunch (and Rachel Bloom). Also I bought the season one soundtrack and will never be able to watch Frozen without hearing “I Gave You a UTI”. Thanks, Hans.

Also, I’m four seasons into Smallville and I can’t look away.

Favorite Popular Music Discovery

Post Modern Jukebox is definitely the royal music maker of 2016. They were around before this year, sure, but this was the year they made it on my radar to the point where I had PMJ music playing in iTunes. Some of their covers are songs I know better than the originals, like Radiohead’s “Creep”. Man, that song.

Favorite Musical Theater Discovery

Waitress. I really loved seeing the long performance on the Tonys. Jesse Mueller is fantastic, and it was fun to watch Sara Bareilles glide in on her piano. (And the album is only 5.99 right now, what!)

Favorite Classical Performance

There were only two for me this year, and it was definitely the Fall performance of the Haydn Lord Nelson Mass and Mozart’s Solemn Vespers. I’ve done both of them before and preparation for this one really tightened up my knowledge of them. Also, they’re both just magnificent pieces of music.

Favorite Song of 2016

Is it any surprise that it’s “How Far I’ll Go”?



What were your favorites this year?

November Wrap-Up: Thanks, I guess?

Oh look, it’s December!

November was an interesting month. I finished a few books, but left many more incomplete or barely started. I spent Thanksgiving and Black Friday putting more words to paper than I had the entire rest of the month; and I was so worn out I couldn’t stick to anything else, really.

I “discovered” a new author, though I own four of her books. I’ve been collecting Courtney Milan’s books for years, but when I went about writing a historical romance series list and realized I couldn’t include hers because I couldn’t explain what made them different, I knew I had to remedy that.

And holy crap.

Not only does the Brothers Sinister series take place in the Victorian era instead of Regency, but her characters are witty and smart and have a much more worldly point of view than our favorite regency dukes and their heroines. Even the necessary duke wishes the aristocracy didn’t exist. Sadly, the second one got caught in my slump, but I don’t plan on abandoning her ever. I’ll make it back soon.

Other highlights from October and November:

The Soldier’s Scoundrel  – One of the nice things about M/M historical romance is the breadth of types you discover. Even in Regency and early Victorian stories, these gentlemen are often middle class and lower gentry. It’s refreshing.

Princess Princess Ever After – I can only squee. It’s soooooo darling and wonderful. If only there had been more of it. There needs to be a grown up version.

Beethoven’s Hair – After several years of meaning to read it (since I did work a floor below where the titled lock of hair lives now) I finally got around to this. It works works as a science book and a biography, as it alternates between describing Beethoven’s life and the story of the lock of hair, which they used to potentially discover the origins of many of his health problems.

The Accidental Movie Star – This one surprised me! It had been sitting in my kindle app for however long and I finally decided to try it out, completely expecting it to be one of those mediocre badly-designed-covered self-pubs that I find myself interested in. But no! I was almost immediately emotionally invested.

Under a Painted Sky – YA friendship-centered historical fiction about a Chinese-American girl and an escaped slave pretending to be boys? Yes, please.

The Midnight Star – This was the final book in the Young Elites trilogy and whoo doggie. Danger ahead.

Keeping Her Secret  – Cute and sweet, and bonus music!

Romancing the Inventor (with bonus review on Women Write About Comics!)

Goldie Vance – I haven’t been reading a lot of comics recently, but I’m glad I picked up this one.

Inferno – Once I discovered they’d continued the Robert Langdon film series, I realized I probably needed to read this. I had hate quit The Lost Symbol about 150 pages in, but it doesn’t seem to matter for continuing with the series. And Inferno was the book that brought me back into Dan Brown discipleship. Florence, Dante, Mystery, and Unexpected Twist Endings are all things that will make me either hate or love the shit out of a book, and this one managed to get me to go in the direction of the latter. If only the movie had been so kind.

The Boy is Back – This is the one book in Meg Cabot’s trilogy of nostalgia (she put out new adult books in the Princess Diaries universe and the Mediator universe this year, too) that I made it through and enjoyed. It helped that it wasn’t really part of a series; it was a completely new book with new characters, just done in the same tradition as the other Boy books.

Truth or Beard – Surprise book of the year, you guys! The Winston brothers are my new favorites. I am kind of waiting for the series to be done to continue, though. Just in case.

Four Letter Word  – J. Daniels is a new favorite. I was intrigued by the premise of this book: woman calls BFF’s cheater married boyfriend to curse him out and ends up calling the wrong number, and then starts a phone relationship. Talk about a twisted meet-cute, right?

Exit West  – So I was a featured Riverhead Loves Librarians librarian a while ago and a few weeks after that posted, my interviewer told me she’d be sending me something she thought I’d enjoy. Little did she know how much I would, and how I wouldn’t be able to finish a book again for a week.

Matilda  – Until I got to this one! Which I finished in a few hours. It helped me get closer to completing the Read Harder challenge, both as a book published in the decade I was born and a book that was adapted into a movie (I love the narrator of the book, but I like the way they expanded the movie’s plot).

November was also a heavy music month. Tucson Masterworks Chorale did two Austrian Masters concerts, featuring Mozart’s Somemn Vespers and Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, which is one of those that I unapologetically geek out about. My favorite movement is one with a million words that I still remember after doing it in 2008 with Symphony Silicon Valley, and I had been jonesing to do it again for years.

Mayhem did our usual second Sunday of the month, and I didn’t completely fail, which is always nice. Also, I found a new wig in the box that I will fight to use in every show. I might have to get my own, but I dunno. It’s a nice wig. Who knows how expensive it’ll be.

But it contributed to an awesome Captain America costume:

photo c/o Tracy Lester

I musically ended November with a Messiah Sing-In, which reminded me that, with the exception of the Hallelujah Chorus and Part Three, I don’t actually know The Messiah. So it was…interesting…to sight-sing all those runs. Someday I’ll be forced to actually learn it and then I will be….UNSTOPPABLE!

Or something.

So yeah, I’ve got a little less to deal with musically this month, but I’m still not ready.

Business as usual.

I Can’t Even Keep a Straight Face…

…Except it’s not happy laughter.

The last post I wrote was October Goals, in which my first goal was “get better at this.”

Ah ha. Ahahaha. Ha. Ha.


I had determined that not only would I try to keep up with what had become monthly check-ins, but I would produce regular material, about reading, about singing, about whatever might have come up.

I can’t blame anything but myself.

October was insanely busy, and I bit off way more than I could handle in varying commitments. You know that overwhelming feeling of having so much on your mind you can’t say anything at all? Yeah, even if I’d had the time to write for anyone besides the sites I have a byline for, I wouldn’t have been able to put any words together that would be anything close to interesting.

So, now that December is closing in, here are my goals for the rest of 2016:

  • Pull one post idea from my Trello board to write about (there are about 489, so it shouldn’t be too much of an issue)
  • Recap November and December in books and music
  • Maybe write a little bit about my first viewing of Smallville and how I have been really good about waiting until I finish to look for OT3 fanfiction
  • End of the Year State of the Blog, including a wrap-up of my not-so-successful #readmyowndamnbooks campaign, and my inability to complete the Read Harder challenge.

Yeah. As my offline bookish, musical life continues to be overwhelming, I’m just gonna do my best to keep this up.

I say that every year.

October Goals: Get Better At This

This blog has been sporadic since I combined the backlogs of my two established blogs. I have been relatively okay at my monthly check-ins, but I haven’t been keeping to it as I should. The least I could do is a couple times a month, yeah? After the #blogathon my fellow Rioters and I challenged ourselves to before September began, I see that I can do more, and I can be more. I just have to figure out how to do that.

With that in mind, here are my blog goals for October:

  • Write more about music. The past several months have only had a few cursory references to music things, and I’ve put the ones I’ve considered on my Trello board and then done nothing with them. I made this a books AND music blog because I was having trouble maintaining a pair of blogs about different things, and now it’s just become a books one.
  • Don’t wait until I have writing mania to write. I’ve been writing in bursts instead of sitting down to write a little on the regular, and that has made my blog even more sporadic than it could be. If I don’t have ideas, don’t write, but I need to do habitual writing instead of that All The Things writing that I talked about at the end of my Fangirl review.
  • Plot out a writing plan for when I know I’ll be available and home. October is going to have quite a bit of outside activity for me, so I need to legit make the time. Cause I suck at keeping habits. The fact that I can form sentences is amazing.
  • Listen to the Trello Board. I make those things to keep my ideas, not send words into empty space. There are some blog topics that are probably fully written in my head but haven’t made it onto paper/screen yet. Just cause I’m lazy.

And then, of course, there’s always #readmyowndamnbooks, which I have been supremely failing at thanks to my own incapability to stay away from the library. (Not only do I work there, but I habitually check the new materials to do some of my work, and end up putting things on hold…and sometimes I just go after stuff that I know I’ll want to read. I wrote all about it on Book Riot a couple months ago.)

Basically, I need to figure out a way to read, write, clean out my DVR, watch new things that show up on Netflix and Amazon, go to choir, go to Mayhem, see new shows, and learn existing music all at the same time. My life would be so much more efficient that way.

Ugh. Here goes.

After I finish this book I’m reading.

And finally catch up on Supergirl.

And watch Luke Cage.

After rehearsal and performance at Tucson Pride tonight.


Wrap-up: My Second Dewey’s 24-hour Readathon

My alarm went off at 4:30 on Saturday morning, and to no one’s bigger surprise than mine, I was wide awake. I put on comfy clothes, got my stack together, grabbed my snacks and store-bought Starbucks drink thingy, and got settled on the couch. Hubs was still asleep, obvi, so I didn’t put on any music or turn on the tv for reading company. It was just me, one lamp, and the darkness. I did some tweeting and instagramming, and then 5:00 hit.


It was time to read.

I’d fallen asleep Friday night trying to finish Cecilia Ahern’s Flawed, which I’d been iffy about earlier in the week and all about by Friday night. So that was my first readathon completion.

If there was one thing I learned from the last Dewey’s, it was that while reading comics is a great idea in theory, it’s super mentally exhausting. My brain can only intake so much in a 24 hour period. BUT! I had some comics that I wanted to get through, so the plan was to alternate between comics and prose.

I started reading Gene Yuen Lang et. al.’s new Superman trade right before sunrise. It’s no surprise that the art was absolutely perfect; but the current DC universe outside of the connected Batverse is…odd. I don’t read continuously, so I spent most of my reading just learning what the characters were like in this iteration. Call me a purist, which is weird because I love non-canon more than the average person, but it feels really weird to read about a Clark/Superman and Lois who are actively not together, and are perfectly fine with that. A lot happened, but I didn’t get a lot out of it. I did however make a discovery about my own internal voice:

Just me? I dunno. I watched the animated series well into my teens, and he has a very distinct voice.

Back to prose.

Before this weekend, I had never read any Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I have been vaguely interested, but was intrigued when I read the blurb for Memories of My Melancholy Whores somewhere, and had been keeping my eye out for a copy, which I found a couple months ago at Bookmans, my favorite local chain ever. It’s really short and straight fiction, so I figured I could get through it pretty quickly. I did, for the first 94 pages… and then…the mailman woke me up.

If having a dystopian society, Superman, and a weird old man in my head when falling asleep can do one thing, it’s give you weird dreams. I won’t go into detail, but I’m sort of sad I woke up when I did, because now if I find myself being chased around a never-ending train in an underground tunnel (also never-ending, I think?) I don’t know how I’ll win.

I got right back into it after some phone-scrolling and more fake latte drink, and man. Garcia Marquez is weird. And this particular book doesn’t even have magical realism. But the writing is gorgeous, even in translation, so maybe I’ll try something longer.

In need of something completely different, I moved on to We Are Robin.

God. Damn.

That was definitely the highlight of my comics reading this year. I didn’t know any of these people, but I was immediately emotionally involved in their story. This diverse group of young people with diverse problems, different backgrounds, attitudes, and strengths. I will probably collect this one.

I had to take a break three issues into We Are Robin to go to Mayhem rehearsal, which was all kinds of great. But that’s another story for another day. I will mention, however, that I stopped for a giant cold brew at Starbucks, and my Starbucks is apparently one of the ones piloting beer and wine + small plates? It’s weird, but we’ll see how it goes.

Back from rehearsal with soda and more snacks, I went back to the Robins, who did not disappoint in their final issues. I was just sad that there wasn’t more.

After I was done with that, it was time for the central focus of the night: Hamilton: The Revolution. Being the complete libretto of the Broadway Musical, with a true account of its creation, and concise remarks on hip-hop, the power of stories, and the New America  (yes, that is the full title of the book. The chapter titles are equally wonderful and hilarious). Jeremy McCarter’s skillful essay writing contrasted perfectly with Lin-Manuel Miranda’s annotated libretto, and both were equally effective at making me severely emotional.

Photos are everywhere, and they include production photos, backstage candids, those amazing portraits you might have seen on Facebook and Twitter, and all kinds of other things. As someone who has been and will continue to be unable to see the stage play in its current form, these photos not only expanded my experience of reading the book, but also will continue to influence my listening to the cast recording. I’m listening to it as I write, actually. Right now. There is one particular photo of Anthony Ramos as Philip Hamilton pointing his pistol in the air, and he just looks so young and afraid; I won’t be able to forget that. (Nor will I be able to forget the next several pages, covering the next few songs. The essay before “It’s Quiet Uptown” was incredibly moving; I couldn’t continue immediately. Yes, I cried. That was not the first time while reading, and it wasn’t the last. But I laughed too, sometimes just as hysterically, so we’re good.)

I took a break around 9 because I realized I hadn’t had any real food all day, and I didn’t want to get anything on my book.

I finished Hamilton around 2, and was totally emotionally wrecked. But I wanted to continue with the readathon, so after a bit of reflection, writing my reviews on Instagram, Litsy and Goodreads, I wondered what I might be able to handle reading.

I started out with Virgin, since I had added it to the original stack as fun prose. I wasn’t digging it, so I sort of did some page hopping, and set it aside. I really wanted to do just prose, so I didn’t try Lumberjanes (also, since it was already 2AM, I didn’t think I had capacity for reading visually). This is the third readathon (first Dewey’s, then 24in48) in which I have added Lumberjanes to my stack and then not gotten to it. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Instead I broke out the iPad and scrolled until I found something that looked fun.

I started reading about a girl who somehow ended up on a desert island with five celebrities, and then, once again, I woke up. I’d fallen asleep on the couch, and it was almost five. I rolled myself to bed and got some real sleep.


Books completed: 5
My Own Damn Books: 3 (yay!)