Book Review: “Alexander Hamilton” by Ron Chernow (5/5)

“While reading the scene in Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy in which the tenderhearted Uncle Toby picks up a fly and delicately places it outside a window instead of killing it, Burr is said to have remarked, ‘Had I read Sterne more and Voltaire less, I should have known the world was wide enough for Hamilton and me.'”

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Penguin, 2004, 818 pages [hardcover]

Here I am! Hi! Hi!!! I don’t even know if it is worth apologizing for not posting a review in so long; it’s unacceptable, but with everything that I have going on right now my reading and reviewing has suffered the most. :\

Work is good but super busy, and we’re also beginning to navigate the very, very stressful process of purchasing our first (and hopefully only) house. But a new, big house means more space for books, am I right?

In the time since I last posted I have definitely joined the Hamilton bandwagon. I have always been interested in American history, especially earlier American history, but never realized just how fascinating Hamilton’s life was in comparison to the other founding fathers until listening to the soundtrack from the show and then reading this book. Even though I have a lot of nonfiction and biographies on my TBR, I always seem to gravitate to fiction more, but this was really wonderful and maybe I will seek out nonfiction to actually read more often now.

I think with the growing popularity of the musical now, a lot of people know the basics of Hamilton’s life so I won’t really go into that in this review. What I want to talk about here is Chernow’s skill as a biographer and a writer. Unlike many other biographies, I think that Alexander Hamilton provides an extremely well-rounded and honest portrait of a quite complicated man: as much as there is to love and respect about Hamilton, he was a very vain, rather elitist guy who would do pretty much anything that he could to move up in the world and obtain more power. Chernow doesn’t shy away from this at all and continuously reinforces Hamilton’s personality traits, both positive and negative, as explanations for why he made many of the questionable decisions of his career. The writing was persuasive, emotionally effective, and often funny and sarcastic. Even though there was a very large cast of characters, between Hamilton’s wife and eight(!!!) children and his many political comrades and enemies, I felt like I knew everyone so well by the end (and we all know how it ends).

It’s also hard for me not to mention that since I was familiar with (OK, memorized all of the songs) the musical soundtrack prior to reading the book, it just reinforced for me how much of a genius Lin-Manuel Miranda is. It was really great for me to continuously find quotes and/or descriptions from Chernow that matched song lyrics. I can’t say exactly when I’m seeing the show (the tickets are a “surprise” from my husband), but I know that it is at some point in the not too distant future, and having read Alexander Hamilton is only going to enhance my experience.

Not surprisingly, I am giving Alexander Hamilton 5 stars. If you already love the musical/soundtrack, you have nothing to lose by reading this, except maybe time, since it did take me almost a month of train reading to get through it. If you have an interest in American history/founding fathers/colonial America etc., this is also a great choice. Despite the length and depth of this book I really never felt bored at all while reading it – I don’t know how much of that can be attributed to Chernow’s talents and how much to the fact that Hamilton’s life as compared to many of his contemporaries was simply very interesting, but those two factors have created a great combination and I’m so glad that I read it.

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Hope to be able to post a bit more regularly, but do not want to make a promise that I can’t fulfill. Miss you all though.

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Quick Update

I just wanted to write a quick post to say hi to everyone and promise that I am going to get a couple of reviews out this weekend. I started a totally unexpected new job at the end of September, and I am loving it so, so much, but I never expected that I would have a job where I’d be so busy that I didn’t have time to do my blog anymore :\ it is just a totally different style of work than I had before (I finally feel like a real lawyer, which is wonderful) and also commuting to Brooklyn between 3 and 4 hours total each day means that when I get home most nights I just want to sleeeeeeeeep. I am over two months behind on reviews and that makes me so sad because the long commute also means that I’ve been reading a ton!

I really hope that I can catch up with my reviews and also try to set aside a little bit of time every day to interact, too. I promise all of my followers & especially friends I’ve made through blogging that I do not intend to ever stop blogging, just am in the middle of this adjustment period and hopefully can get back into the swing of things soon!

 

xoxo

Andy Weir Reddit AMA

Hi guys,

I don’t know if anyone happened to notice that I didn’t do a WWW Wednesday today. It would be exactly the same as last week‘s so I just decided not to repeat it, plus I was away for most of the day for the Jewish holiday today and just got back a little while ago.

I still wanted to make a quick post to let anyone interested know that today on Reddit, Andy Weir, the author of The Martian, did an “ask me anything” post where he answered many questions from Reddit users. I read through the first page and thought that in some of his answers he provided some interesting insights into his writing process and the book in general, so if anyone is a fan and wants to look at that, you can check it out here.

Top Ten Tuesday #5: Ten Characters Who Are Fellow Book Nerds

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week participating bloggers create a list corresponding to a particular theme. I LOVE this week’s theme which asks us to list ten characters who are also book nerds! I feel like most of the fictional book nerds on my list are pretty obvious but oh well 🙂

1. Hermione Granger, Harry Potter series (J.K. Rowling): This might be the first one that most people think of these days when picturing a fictional book nerd, but think of all the times that Hermione’s voracious reading and thirst for knowledge and learning saved the trio, and in effect the wizarding world, from a lot of trouble. harry-potter-read

2. Matilda, Matilda (Roald Dahl): I identified soooo much with Matilda growing up. Except that my parents weren’t jerks like hers. :p tumblr_m2up98SXJw1qhd14co4_r1_250

3. Cath Avery, Fangirl (Rainbow Rowell): I wish that this book was out when I was in college, it would have made my transition to being away from home and living with a roommate easier. Again I don’t have the family problems that Cath experienced in this book but I still completely understand the way that she used her obsession to escape.

Source: Pinterest

Source: Pinterest

4. Tyrion Lannister, A Song of Ice and Fire series (George R.R. Martin): Tyrion is my fave character in the entire series (and the accompanying TV show) and I’ll always find an excuse to use him on a TTT list if I can 😉 tyrion-lannister-reading

5. Liesel Meminger, The Book Thief (Markus Zusak): Liesel’s love of reading drives the whole story.

Source: Pinterest

Source: Pinterest

6. Hazel Grace Lancaster, The Fault in Our Stars (John Green): Hazel is more of a book nerd about one particular book, but her love of this book and the way she shares it with Augustus drives much of the plot. 635537765015860263-IMPERIALAFFLICTION

7. Charlie, The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Stephen Chbosky): Charlie is another character who uses books to escape and reads extra, advanced books outside of his English class that his teacher recommends.

Source: Tumblr

Source: Tumblr

8. Jo March, Little Women (Louisa May Alcott): Not just one of the best examples of a devoted reader, but a writer as well.

Source: Tumblr

Source: Tumblr

9. Juliet Ashton, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Mary Ann Shaffer): I actually didn’t really enjoy this book, but I did appreciate Juliet’s passion for books and especially bookstores.

Found on Pinterest; creator sourced in image

Found on Pinterest; creator sourced in image

10. Diana Bishop, All Souls trilogy (Deborah Harkness): It was so easy to be carried away by the descriptions of the Bodleian Library and the magic of the old books within its shelves.

This is the library where Diana researches. So dreamy.

This is the library where Diana researches. So dreamy.

Allergic to E Challenge

Thanks to my friend Danielle @ Fifteen Thousand Pages for challenging me to this evil thing!! This challenge was created by Redefining Random. I’m not going to repost the rules here, but essentially you need to attempt to write an entire paragraph without using the letter E. This was a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. I worked really hard on this so don’t make fun of me. I decided to write it about my husband and the dog that we don’t have yet. His name actually will be Wesley when we eventually get him but I had to change his name for e-less paragraph purposes:

Anthony had a show on, a particular daily horror saga, but his small, young dog, a tan corgi, was spinning around and around, again and again, jubilantly barking and chasing his tiny tail. Soon, this distraction took all of his focus away from his program, and it was quickly shut off in favor of acting as a participant in Winston’s play, tossing him a worn ball, which Winston was quick to follow. In addition to constantly pursuing his microscopic tail, hunting a ball was a popular sport for Winston. Actually, Winston did not balk at dragging any dirty, nasty, possibly living, but almost always finally stiff and cold, thing across Anthony’s doorway. This was a small con of having a dog, thought Anthony, but picking up Winston’s kills was worth it, if only for how much joy Anthony had had with his short, stumpy pal for so many months now. Winston was quick to adapt; that smart dog could grasp any trick, and could grasp it fast, usually in just two days of coaching. “Who’s a good boy?!?!” was a daily inquiry. Winston was a good boy. Anthony was so fond of his dog, who brought him an antonym of sorrow. In fact, only Abby could lift Anthony’s spirits past that high par built by Winston.

There is my paragraph. I did my best! I’m not going to nominate anyone specifically for this but I invite anyone who wants to give it a shot to post your paragraph in the comments and I’ll give you some feedback 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday #3: Last Ten Books That Came Into My Possession

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme asks bloggers to list the ten books they have most recently acquired, whether from purchases, the library, review copies, etc… All of my top ten are purchases! I got them in 3 groupings:

  • Purchased from Barnes and Noble (yesterday during my lunch break :p):
    1. The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel FaberCrimson-Petal-and-the-White
    2. Maus I and Maus II by Art Spiegelman (counting as one book in two volumes)Maus
  • Purchased from Strand Books a few weeks ago (from the awesome used book racks outside the store):
    1. The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers9780618492398_custom-f5d81e7c829c07d044fe01ec0d52877da346cc7f-s6-c30
    2. The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan 51RDfuIApZL
    3. A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley (I guess I am very into King Lear retellings at the moment) 41Ry7Ejte+L
    4. The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig 84351
  • Purchased from Barnes and Noble a little while before that:
    1. The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey 17235026
    2. The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes 41cAGulBwqL__SX330_BO1,204,203,200_
    3. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (lost track of my original copy) Neverwhere(1)
    4. Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman (read years ago but never owned) Anansi_Boys

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award!

I’ve been posting so much that I might need to think about disconnecting WordPress from my personal Facebook page so my non book nerd friends don’t have to deal with so many updates 😛 OH WELL.

I was nominated by Christiana @ Christiana Reads for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award. This is the first time that something like this has happened and I am so grateful and excited, so THANK YOU Christiana for including me! My blog has been active for a little less than a month and in that time I’ve been able to come across a lot of very nice people with the same interests as me, which was my goal in starting a book blog 🙂

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RULES:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and link to their blog.

2. Answer the questions that the blogger who nominated you has provided.

3. Nominate ten other bloggers (I am choosing only five)

4. Create ten questions for your nominees and notify them of their nomination.

My questions from Christiana:

1. Do you enjoy playing any sports? If yes, which one?

I am not proud of this but it is true: I’m probably the least athletic/coordinated person I know. If there is a team sport having a game somewhere, you do NOT want me to be a part of it. When I played soccer as a child my family always knew which kid I was because I was the one just standing there looking at the grass watching the ball roll by. I took tennis lessons for a while and my form is not that bad but I just miss the ball a lot since I am sloooowwwww. If hiking counts as a sport, then I would choose that – there is a beautiful preserve near my parents’ house (about 10 minutes from where I live now) that has a few miles of trails and also has NIGERIAN DWARF GOATS that “mow” the grass in a natural and eco-friendly way. I will partake in any physical activity that gets me to play with cute animals. Oh I also really like horseback riding, I forgot about that, and I am good at it! 🙂

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Here’s me and one of the dwarf goats (he started to eat my sweatshirt sleeve a little while after this picture was taken)!

2. What do you take with you no matter where you go?

My phone, Lactaid pills so I can have dairy without getting (as much of) a stomachache, emergency stomach medicine (are you noticing a pattern?), my Barnes and Noble membership card…

3. Any dream that seems impossible to you right now but you wish it comes true in the future?

I dream of living in London (specifically in Bloomsbury) with Anthony, hopefully some kids and lots of doggies and we make our living from my incredibly successful book reviews :p This is not possible because I would somehow have to have my parents, brother and all of my friends in London too.

4. Which book/movie/TV show would you consider your guiltiest pleasure?

Nicholas Sparks’ books make me cry even though I know that’s the point of them, I have watched Mean Girls/Legally Blonde/Miss Congeniality and similar movies to the point that I can quote them from beginning to end, and Teen Wolf is definitely my guilty pleasure TV show – the dialogue is so predictable at times that I often say what a character is going to say before they do, but I’ve been through 4 seasons with it and I will not stop now.

5. Share one of your most motivational quotes!

“Fairy tales are more than true, not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten” – Neil Gaiman

6. Which song could be the soundtrack of your life (so far)?

My dad would say that it should be “Short People” by Randy Newman (I am under 5’0″ tall). I will be slightly more positive and say “Lucky” by Jason Mraz.

7. Which fictional character shares many similarities with you? And which are those?

I think about this a lot and have many answers: Matilda (thankfully my parents are better than hers were, but I identified with her so much growing up as I have been a reader since age 2), Hermione (same idea, PLUS my mother is a dentist), Cath from Fangirl (saw so much of myself in her, from how I imagined she might look to how she dressed to getting obsessed with things to even how she dealt with her roommate and classmates, it was seriously like starting college all over again when I read that), Peeta Mellark (love of bread)…

8. Last thing that someone said to you and made you think about life.

I don’t know if I can pick out a specific saying but I have a “core group” of close friends and I am really able to tell them anything and have them share anything with me as well, and it makes me very grateful that I have people I can lean on in hard times. For instance, yesterday one of my friends said that she was so glad to have had me around during a rough time and I’m glad that I could be there for her.

9. Favorite Disney movie?

Beauty and the Beast, Mulan, Tangled… really I love them all.

10. Which is the book that, according to you, everyone should read?

I’ve been pushing Uprooted really hard lately because I absolutely loved it. I felt the same way about The Night Circus when that came out. The Perks of Being a Wallflower was such an important book for me in high school. If I had to choose just one to recommend, I guess it would really depend on what was personally going on for me when I read a book that made it stick with me.

Bloggers I am nominating (please feel free to not do the questions if you have already done this or something similar but I was honored to be nominated and I want to follow through):

1. Danielle @ Fifteen Thousand Pages

2. Brittany @ Brittany Marie Reads

3. Ashley @ What’s She Reading?

4. Blaise @ The Book Boulevard

5. Regina @ The Bibliothèque

My questions for the bloggers I’ve nominated:

1. Where do you live (general area or even country is fine, I am not stalking you 😉 ) and what is your favorite/least favorite thing about it?

2. What book are you planning to read next and why did you choose that one?

3. Do you have any special or unique family traditions (or traditions with friends) you want to share?

4. What do you think is your best quality?

5. What author would you most want to meet and why?

6. What are some things you hope to do this summer (besides read a lot)?

7. Where in the world would you most like to travel to and why?

8. Have you recently read a book that everyone else seemed to love but you just couldn’t get into?

9. What is your current occupation, or, if you’re a student, what are you studying, and how do you feel about it?

10. What toppings do you like on your pizza?

Would You Rather?

I was tagged by my friend Danielle at Fifteen Thousand Pages (check out her blog! We went to the same college 🙂 ) to do a would you rather post! I loved reading her answers and I’m excited to post my own now:

Would you rather: ONLY read trilogies or stand-alones?

This isn’t easy, because choosing standalone books only means that I get cut off from lots of series that I enjoy, but trilogies only means that all of the standalone books that I like, PLUS other series that are more than 3 books are a no-go also. I think I’m going to say stand-alones though because I think that choosing trilogies would be too limiting. I am GLAD that this is not a choice that I need to actually make :p

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Would you rather: ONLY read male or female authors?

I actually have been keeping a spreadsheet to track my reading habits over the past few years and noticed something very very interesting: With each year I read more female-written and less male-written books, to the extent that this year I have only read two books written by dudes all year. I have NO idea why this is happening because it’s not anything that I’m consciously doing; I always just pick books in the order that they happen to call out to me or that I’m in the mood to try in the moment, but I am going to say FEMALE authors for this one just to continue with my little pattern.

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Would you rather: shop ONLY at Barnes and Noble or Amazon?

Definitely, definitely Barnes and Noble!! Nothing beats being able to physically pick up books, examine the covers, flip through, check out the journal section (and usually never buy anything from there), smell the candles (that I definitely never buy either), hunt through the bargain books… Okay you get it, I love this place. My best friend Marissa and I basically live in there whenever she’s home from Florida.

This has happened to me more than once. My blog followers are now my friends and can now be aware that I have IBS. NO SHAME.

This has happened to me more than once. I have IBS. NO SHAME.

Would you rather: books be made into TV shows or movies?

I think TV shows. Danielle’s answer for this one is pretty much how I feel, too: with a TV show you get a longer experience and the likelihood that the show will be more detailed than a movie could be. Movies of my favorite books usually upset me because they just can’t compare. Except for The Princess Bride; that is the best movie ever and does improve upon the book in my opinion, even though that is still one of my all time favorite reads.

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Would you rather: read 5 pages per day or 5 books per week?

5 books per week, please!!! This is not even a question! I only wish I had the time to read even more than that…

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Would you rather: write or review books professionally?

In order to properly answer this question I feel like I need to direct you to a text message I recently sent to my friend Bianca:

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^ So yes, definitely review. If I could get paid to read… seriously my dream life (with some dogs to sit by my feet while I read, too, of course)

Would you rather: ONLY read your favorite genre, or read every genre except your favorite?

I honestly read such a diverse range of books that if someone asked me to just pinpoint ONE favorite genre, I’m not even sure that I could. I think I probably read the most of either historical fiction or mystery/thriller types, and I know that I wouldn’t want to box myself into either of those, and would have plenty to read if I had to do without. So I would rather read every genre but my “favorite” :p

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Would you rather: read only physical or e-books?

Nothing beats the convenience of my Kindle while traveling, but when I’m just at home I almost always turn to a hard copy. I am not anti-Kindle or anything like that but physical books are just so much better and create a more authentic reading experience. Plus they just look so good on my shelves 🙂

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Would you rather: be best friends with Jane Austen or F. Scott Fitzgerald?

Definitely Jane Austen. Her observations and conclusions about people remain SO relevant today despite being written centuries ago. Plus, women who were close with Fitzgerald tended not to turn out so great, am I right, Zelda? :p

I found my Darcy :)

I found my Darcy 🙂

Would you rather: only ever read inside or outside?

Inside!!!! I’m not exactly the most outdoorsy person…

This man speaks to me on a spiritual level

Neil Gaiman speaks to me on a spiritual level

Would you rather: eat food from Harry Potter’s world, or drink the potions in Wonderland?

Well, considering that I have been to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios a few times now, and have eaten in their version of The Leaky Cauldron, and it was delicious, I will choose Harry Potter food! The only thing that would make it better is if more food would just keep magically appearing on my plate. 😉 I can do without vomit flavored Bertie Botts’ beans though.

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Thanks Danielle for adding some really fun questions to the usual ones that I have seen around, and for tagging me!!!

I don’t think that I am going to tag anyone specific to complete the post right now, but if any of my followers haven’t already done something like this… you should. You can even borrow my gifs :p

Random Post: My Favorite Literature Quizzes on Sporcle

I’m not going to work tomorrow!! My dad and I are driving to Boston in the morning, because last month while I was on my honeymoon I got THIS email:

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I have taken the Jeopardy! online test every year for many years now. This is the first time I’ve ever passed the test, or at least the first time I’ve ever been contacted to move onto the next step! AHHHHH.

I haven’t done too much preparation for tomorrow since I’ve been so busy, but if I make it through the audition and get called to actually fly to LA and be on the show itself, I will definitely go into studying overdrive. Which brings me to the point of this post: In order to prepare for the online test and audition I used Sporcle. I am obsessed with this awesome little site. There are quizzes on every single topic, and the site itself just has a lot of really great features that definitely make it the superior site for online quizzes and trivia.

The literature section is particularly strong, so before I pack up some things for tomorrow, I thought I would quickly share some of my favorite quizzes that I always find myself returning to until I attain perfection, and sometimes even after that:

Shakespeare Plays – Just what it says on the tin. Naming all of Shakespeare’s plays, divided by comedy, history, and tragedy. Addicting.

‘A’ Books by Cover – There are a few more of these, but I don’t think that they have created quizzes for each letter of the alphabet yet. A really fun quiz where you need to identify the title of the book based on the cover. In my opinion this would be even better if they took the authors’ names off too, because that can be a huge hint.

‘G’ Books by Opening Line – A more recent feature of Sporcle since I began using it (in 2008! Holy crap!!) is the “clickable” quiz, where you can select the answer instead of having to type it in. This particular quiz has you click on the correct book title based on the opening line. I think there are also some more of these besides just the letter G. Easy to memorize and get 20/20 after a few tries, but also good to see what you can get from your own reading experiences or just from common knowledge.

The Hunger Games Character by Tweet – Identifying the Hunger Games character by what they might say on Twitter.

Harry Potter Patronus Match-up – Self explanatory, I think! Still fun after all these years. The Harry Potter section of Sporcle’s literature quizzes is essentially endless, with hundreds to choose from.

Famous Books: First Page – I love this one. You get the actual first page of the book and try to identify it. I LOVE that every page is a different font and design and is the actual one from the book, it’s so much better than just picking through a list of quotes.

Literary Best Friends – Matching up each half of a friendship and also identifying the author whose work features the pair.

If you don’t already visit Sporcle regularly, I highly recommend it! They really have a quiz on everything, and even if you can’t find the exact type of quiz you want, you can register for free and create your own. Some of the user-created quizzes that aren’t made or approved by the editors of the site are the best ones, in my opinion. In addition to the literature quizzes, I really enjoy their geography ones. I’m proud to say that I can now name all of the countries of the world, and their capitals, and I’m hoping that this knowledge comes in handy during my audition tomorrow and perhaps on the actual show itself! Feel free to add me as a Sporcle friend (my username there is Abbynormal) and we can challenge each other 🙂

Random Post: My Book-Themed Engagement Photos, Bridal Shower and Bookish Wedding Decor

So obviously I won’t be able to post a book review every single day, even though I would absolutely love to do that! I have work and it’s just not possible. I do have a few books going right now including an audiobook that I’m almost done with (The Husband’s Secret), so I will be able to post some more reviews ASAP. I think that I will also go back to some earlier reads from before I started the blog and write longer reviews for those to have more content here. But in the meantime I am trying to come up with other ideas for things that I can post that are related to my reading life even if not necessarily a book review. One of our engagement photo shoots, my bridal shower, and the actual wedding had lots of book inspiration, so I’ll discuss and share a few pictures 🙂

We actually had two professional photo sessions because I was dying to have some pictures of us by the monuments in DC after knowing I’d be moving back home, and then after we hired our actual wedding photographer here in New York. Before that, though, one of my friends from law school was nice enough to snap a few photos for us in the Eastern Market area of DC. There is a fantastic used bookstore there called Capitol Hill Books and I’ve seen other great engagement pictures there, so we got a few of our own. The pictures don’t even fully capture the perfect quirkiness of this store: You can barely get up the narrow stairs without thinking that an unwieldy pile of books is going to fall on you; there are foreign language books stacked up in the bathroom; there are sarcastic comments all along the shelves to both guide and amuse as you browse. I am so happy that we have these as a memory of one of my favorite DC haunts. A couple of the best ones are also on the About page of the blog.

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 ^ “Look worried/confused, Anthony!!”

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I know that surprise bridal showers are a pretty popular thing, but I hate surprises and I’m kind of a control freak, so that wasn’t going to happen when it was my turn for a shower this past January. I had a vision in my head of what I wanted the shower to be like, and my mother-in-law and I spent a couple hundred bucks at Michael’s, hit up the book sale at my local library, and got down to business.

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^ The room that the shower was in had a beautiful built-in bookcase. I actually first had the idea for a book-themed shower once I saw this bookcase when we were looking at different venues. I knew then that I wanted to have the bridal shower here and what I wanted everything to look like. I arranged photos of us with some of my favorite books, plus other books I just felt were representative of the occasion (The Book of Awesome). I haven’t actually read Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald yet, but my new last name starts with a Z so that big Z on the cover was just perfect.

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^ The favors were journals and bookmarks, of course!

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^ Some close-ups of the table decorations. I know some people will take issue with this, but yes, a couple of very old books collecting dust in my dad’s office DID have to die for the cause. Pages were ripped out to be punched into heart confetti to decorate the tables and were painted with metallic watercolors (which took FOREVER to dry) in order to create the book paper flowers on each table. I used a tutorial that I found on Buzzfeed and it was pretty simple once I got into it! I think the payoff was so much better compared to regular flowers, and now I’ll have these forever.

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^ We painted some simple wood frames in soft pastel colors and put a different love quote from a book or author inside each. Other book pages were used to create a base for the books, which were either softcover books wrapped in pretty scrapbook paper, or decorative book-shaped boxes, depending on the table.

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^ The cake that my mother-in-law and sisters-in-law made for me. Look at this thing!!!

I was really happy with the way everything looked at the shower, and employed a similar strategy in preparing some of my own wedding table decorations to supplement the centerpieces from the florist. We went with a president theme because we’re both big U.S. history buffs. I painted frames like crazy, so that for a while the entire floor of the upstairs loft in my house looked like this:

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Then it was off to three nearby libraries to pick out biographies for our selected presidents. The final result came out like this:

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So definitely not as bookish as the shower, but still just enough that it was there, without being too themed. The explanation card was actually Anthony’s idea and a lot of people remarked that they would have had no idea why we had presidents on the tables without it, so good for him!

I forgot to mention this when initially posting, but our save the dates were also library cards:

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I really enjoyed infusing my love of books into the wedding planning, pre-wedding events and the big day itself. Maybe in a few years’ time, there will be a book themed baby shower… 😉