Monday, February 1, 2016

Broadway, Blizzards, and Books, oh my! (January Recap/ Outbox)

Apparently, I had a good month for books. I posted three Outbox posts (including this one) and read 18 books in January. WHOA! As I said in my mid-January post, I read a butt ton of great books this month. I added one book to the DNF shelf and reread a few old favorites.

I attended the first ever Broadway Convention. Yes. It's like Comic-Con, but related to Broadway shows.
There were panels and workshops, autograph sessions and main stage shows. It was super expensive, mostly because it was in New York City, but my daughter turned 16 and the trip was basically her birthday present. It was the weekend of that blizzard so we kinda got stuck there an extra night, but it was a great time. And there was a Disney Sing-a-long and a random gathering of about 300 people debating about the Hogwarts Houses for characters in shows. That was a hot mess of a time, actually. But, it's always a treat to be surrounded by people who are even bigger geeks than you are. The only thing that would have made it better would have been if we actually got a show. But they cancelled all the shows, due to weather, for part of the time we were there, anyway. And... EXPENSIVE! I'm glad we went, but I don't think it's going to be an every year sort of thing for us. 

Now, on to the books! First, let's just hit the highlights for the last two weeks, all of which earn a #DiverseBook sticker: 

Better Nate than Ever by Tim Federle was hysterical. It's a middle grade book about a 13 year old who hears about open auditions for E.T. The Musical and embarks on a hilarious caper to Broadway with the help of his best friend. Nate is a chubby, clueless musical geek who who you will totally root for by the end. But, does he get the part? And why is his aunt such a mystery to him? And, OMG. Is his mother drunk!? Tim Federle is a Rochester Teen Book Festival Author this year and I'm thrilled to meet him. He's currently co-writing Tuck Everlasting for Broadway.

Let Me Just Say This: I am reviewing this book as part of my first ever Blog Tour. My review will post on 2/7 at 10a. Join us for the twitter chat on the 6th at 4pm.

The Weight of Feathers by Anna - Marie McLemore - This book is definitely review worthy, but I don't think I'll get to write one before I've read a few more books, and forgotten many things. This book was beautiful, about two side show families locked in anger and a decades old grudge. The imagery is lovely. It has all the YA tropes I love to hate. 

I also finished my Harry Potter re-read. Whew. That was a journey! And I re-read The Wizard of Oz. There were so many cute little moments in that book. I might make it an annual re-read.
The month wasn't all peaches and roses. I put H is for Hawk on the #DNF shelf. I think that you have to be in a certain mood for a book about a woman who is grieving the loss of her father by training a giant bird and learning about falconry through the teachings of T.H. White. And I wasn't in that mood. This book has been on many many must read lists and, indeed, the writing is wonderful. But the content was just not for me. I made it about 35% through it before calling it quits. It sort of reminded me of Wild... only less interesting. 

I read 4 books that count toward my two #TBR reading challenges. Not too shabby. I haven't read any books that count as a retelling, yet, so I need to prioritize that for February. Check out the footer of this blog for links to each of the challenges I'm doing for 2016. Or click here to see the related blog post.

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