I loved listening to this audiobook. I am unashamed of my obsession with Hamilton. I first heard the musical when NPR put the tracks on their website. One of my best friends lives in NYC and heard the buzz about the show. He knows about my love of musical theatre and history, and Hamilton is the perfect blend of both.
This book follows the show song by song and gives background information about the show that relates to each song. The book version also has the lyrics of the show accompanied by Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Genius annotations.
This book was a great behind the scenes look at Hamilton that any fan won’t want to miss.
A the recommendation of a patron, our unofficial circulation book club read this book. The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson is a mystery/thriller that follows Lily, a woman who meets Ted on a plane. Ted confides in Lily that he wants to kill his wife, who he caught cheating on him.
While this sounds like it would be plenty for the plot of the novel, it is only the beginning. There are so many twists and turns in this book. Every time I thought that I knew the direction it was going, Swanson delivered another plot twist.
Unexpectedly, I loved this novel. It was more feminist than I thought it was going to be. I admit that I’m not an expert in this genre, but when I’ve read mysteries and thrillers written by men, the women are more archetypal than Lily. Even Miranda, who is painted as the shrew from the opening of the novel, has motives for her actions and is not just a plot device.
Overall, I enjoyed this novel. After trying to guess the next plot twist during the first section, I eventually gave up and let Swanson lead me on his tightly crafted roller coaster. This isn’t the most cerebral novel, but it kept everyone in the book club intrigued and gave us plenty to discuss.
Before the Fall by Noah Hawley is about a man who performs a heroic act, and then he has to live with the consequences. This novel follows Scott Burroughs, a painter who lives on Martha’s Vineyard. After a plane crash from a flight he never should have been on, Scott saves the life of a boy who is now the sole inheritor of a media empire.
This novel slowly picks apart the mystery of why the plane crash happened by diving into the backstories of the people aboard the plane. I love stories that start with the center of the story and then pick apart everything else to give the viewer the full picture. This succeeds in this, as you would expect from the creator and writer of Fargo.
Overall, I really liked this novel up until the end. Hawley is a master of spinning narrative out of a central event. But I thought the ending of the novel was cliché. Hawley is too good of a plotter and writer to fall into the traps that he did. But this novel will make a great blockbuster movie and it has already been optioned.
When I read this book for my 2016 Reading Challenge, I’d just heard about the TV series for Hulu. I’m reviewing this book through a recommendation. If there’s anything else that you want me to read and review, please don’t hesitate to ask! When I say that this book changed the way I think, I do so without a hint of irony. Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale is literary without being pretentious and, since January 20, 2107, closer to reality in the United States than we ever expected.
For those unfamiliar with the novel, it follows the story of Offred, a woman who is a Handmaid. Handmaids are women whose function is to sexually satisfy and bear children for the elite of a new religious oligarchy. But these men who are the head of the new system also have wives. Offred is assigned to The Commander and his wife, Serena Joy, because she is infertile. In actuality, The Commander is infertile, but men are not allowed to be infertile under the laws of Gilead, the new nation and government.
I’ve read the majority of classic dystopian novels. This one stands out to me for three reasons: the female protagonist, its subsequent focus on female issues, and that it is from the perspective of someone who remembers ‘before’. I like 1984 and Brave New World, but they have no concern for women beyond the typical archetypal roles of whore and/or mother. The Handmaid’s Tale is from the perspective of a woman who remembers the freedom she had before the current extreme patriarchal society that took over.
I can’t really express how much this novel affected me in just a few short paragraphs. I have trouble articulating it at all, actually. I read literature to gain perspectives that aren’t my own. But we are just a few small steps away from a United States that could resemble the one that Offred lives in. I love this novel because it’s a mixture f many of my favorite genres: dystopian, feminist, and sci-fi/fantasy. Every word of this novel resounded with me and I already can’t wait to read it again.