Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Friday, April 29, 2016

My Bookish Birthday Bash,Part One

Earlier this week, I celebrated my birthday by going to the movies(saw Melissa McCarthy in The Boss, which was pretty good) and doing a little shopping, a nice time there.

What was even nicer was starting my special day with a trio of great books given to me by my sister Stephanie. Granted, I chose them but she gave them to me and I thank her heartily for that.

Since my selections were inspired by BookTube recommendations, let me show all of you the first of my literary gifts with a video review that showcases each one as neatly as a ribbon bow:

A Little Life: Heaps of praise have been lavished upon this novel, along with award nominations and high spots on best of the year lists in 2015. Hanya Yanagihara's story is about a set of four friends living in modern day New York, with the enigmatic Jude as the center of their bond.

Jude holds a devastating secret about his past that causes him great physical and emotional pain that all of his friends at one time or another attempt to rescue him from. Not a cheerful book by any definition yet from what I've read so far, it certainly is a well written one.

While there are many reviews that speak highly of ALL,I've also seen  several that have caused the readers to actually throw the book across the room(something I've never done but understand completely). Such a wide range of opinion made me curious to check this out for myself and I felt that The Poptimist gives the most succinct description of the appeal of this story:

Americanah: Having read Purple Hibiscus recently and throughly enjoying it, I was eager to own at least one of Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche's novels, in order to read it without worrying about long I had it on loan.

This celebrated as well as award winning novel follows a young couple fleeing their war torn homeland of Nigeria to find a better life together yet circumstances force them to settle down in two different countries apart from each other.

Imfemulu is able to go to America, thanks to a scholarship, while her childhood sweetheart Obinze is refused a visa and must make do with a makeshift life in London. As each of them struggles to fit into their new social sphere, the hope that they will find a way to reunite becomes hard to hold onto.

 Before I tackle this book, Adiche's second novel, Half a Yellow Sun, is on my reading list next(on loan from Booksfree) as I have heard that it's better to read her works in order of publication, despite them not being interconnected. Since I did that with Donna Tartt, that sounds right to me.  The heartfelt desire to read more of this amazing author feels best expressed by MercysBookishMusings to me:

Crazy Rich Asians: For something a bit on the lighter side, I wanted to check out Kevin Kwan's social satire which has been compared quite favorably to Pride and Prejudice. The leading lady of this book is Rachel, who expects the typical meet-the-parents situation when her boyfriend Nick invites her to spend the summer at his family home in Singapore.

Turns out that Nick's family is incredibly wealthy and she's put under serious scrutiny from his commanding mother Eleanor, as well as the snarky socialites in their social circle who are not happy about an outsider snapping up one of the most eligible bachelors in their midst.

Kwan has followed this up with a sequel called China Rich Girlfriend and a third book featuring these characters is also in the works, so starting at the beginning sounds good to me. One of the first places that I heard about this book was over at Rincey Reads(she's also read China Rich Girlfriend) and I bet she'll read the third as well:

A pretty good haul there, most would say and yet, my book themed birthday fun has only just begun. Later, I received a gift card that went to some more literary presents and with a local rummage sale taking place this weekend, my book party will continue for a little bit longer.

So, this is a "to be continued" but I must mention that one of my birthday buys was the cast album of Hamilton, a show that promises to be even more sold out that Cats ever was.

Watching this innovative project go from an off-Broadway experiment to a must-see hit that won it's creator Lin-Manuel Miranda a Pulitzer Prize really gives you hope in the American artistic dream.

 I have been listening to this wonderful musical in brief chunks, not wanting to rush through and miss out on all of the glorious details and part of my motivation for taking the plunge here was the Hamilton book tag that's been going around online. Hey, what's a party without music,right?:


Michelle Stockard Miller said...

Some awesome birthday goodies! That's a good sis to get you the books that you wanted. I always buy my sister books. She doesn't much for me since I already own everything and she's afraid I'll already have it. lol She has bought me some good ones I didn't have though.

Those are some very literary selections. I've been wondering about "A Little Life."

Sadly, I probably will not get to New York to see Hamilton, but maybe a touring company will come to Nashville someday. I did see Phantom of the Opera here several years ago. LOVED it. It's one of my favorites.

lady t said...

Thanks, Michelle-I've only seen the film version of the Phantom of the Opera musical(which I know does not compare to the stage version well,lol) but it was enjoyable for the songs, at least. I did hear that they're planning to do a tour with Hamilton within the next year or so, which would be awesome!