Alexander Hamilton book review

Alexander HamiltonAlexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I, like many, am caught up in the giant swirl of love for the musical “Hamilton.”After listening to the soundtrack dozens of times, I was ready to dive into the source material.

This is a very long, very well-written, very exhaustive biography of Alexander Hamilton, one of our founding fathers who simultaneously made great things, and HUGE mistakes, with his overactive pen and mouth. After a crappy childhood in the West Indies, A.Ham (with the help of benefactors) made his way to the British colonies in America. He fell in with the right group of people, and the rest is history. Literally!

I’m not a history person, and the only part that made me almost quit was the Federalist Papers. Luckily, there wasn’t a test at the end of the book, so I accepted that I didn’t have to memorize this stuff, just appreciate it. And I did.

What struck me most is that the Founding Fathers were making it all up as they went along. They were flawed men with large egos who preached that doom would happen if opponents were listened to. So, pretty much JUST like today.

I chuckled at how our leading thinkers ripped each other to shreds through “anonymous” newspaper essays and letters. Those writings are the building blocks upon which today’s newspaper comment sections are built!

Joking aside, Chernow did a fantastic job of not only describing the events of Hamilton’s short and brutish life but making sure we knew that all of the players were human.

Also, Eliza Hamilton had a hell of a second act. I’m glad her story was told, too.

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Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald book review

Z: A Novel of Zelda FitzgeraldZ: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a fictionalized account of the life of Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, covering her life from the night she meets F. Scott Fitzgerald until she leaves him, with a bit of end-story to tie up loose ends.

Their relationship is … difficult … compounded by how absurdly women were treated at the time.

It’s beautifully written and has a quick pace that keeps you turning the page even though you keep muttering, “Zelda, don’t. No, Zelda. Oh Zelda. Zel-da.” The author acknowledges in the endnotes that in the Fitzgerald fandom, there are definitive Team Zelda and Team Scott factions. I think it’s safe to say our author is Team Zelda.

Upon finishing this book, I realized that I have a searing hate toward F. Scott Fitzgerald and I’m glad he’s dead.

(I also hated The Great Gatsby. So eat that, Scott. Jerk.)

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Currently (post-party edition)

Today was my nephew’s birthday party. It was Daniel Tiger themed, and if you are a person of a certain age and aren’t exposed to Daniel Tiger, it’s adorable. It’s animated, but it’s a Mr. Rogers Neighborhood of Make Believe, next generation. It’s based around the children of the citizens of the Neighborhood of Make Believe. Too cute for words.

The party was lovely, and I ate responsibly. I miss shoving multiple slices of cake in my cakehole, but it’s okay. Because I’m…

Losing: 24 pounds and counting. The pound-and-a-half this week was a welcome surprise. I’m down 1 to 3 sizes (I hate how things are sized these days) but I’m not buying anything new until I get closer to summer. I’ll just use rope to keep my pants up.

Polished: I was going to do my beloved Lincoln Park After Dark, but when I opened the bottle, the polish was all dried out. Booooooooooo! That’s what I get for biting my nails for years. I settled for OPI Suzi Loves Cowboys, which is an equally old bottle but held up well.

Watching: WM has us watching Mountain Monsters (probably auto-play stupidity). This is the dumbest show on Destination America which is saying a lot. At this point I’m willing to go out there and shoot all of their stupid Bigfoot targets. (Bigfeet?) WM is amused to pieces by this show.

This rogue team “C QUAD?”…I hope it’s their wives screwing with them.

Reading: I’m about 100 pages away from finishing Jemisin’s The Kingdom of Gods and this weekend I bought Hamilton: The Revolution. I’m never going to see this cast perform this musical so this is the next best thing. This book even SMELLS great.

Cooking: I tried Mark Bittman’s chicken salad today. It’s good enough, but WM doesn’t like scallions and I don’t like celery, so I omitted them and it definitely needs some crunch. Maybe carrots?

Giving up: I have a cute photo of the party, but the WordPress 4.5 upgrade is tossing http errors when I try to upload photos. I don’t have an FTP client on my Surface yet (my bad) and it’s after 10pm so the Internet is out of luck.

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