The Bookshelf Corner

A creative space for all things books and writing….


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Writing Playlist #8: On Repeat Edition

Royalty Free Image via pixabay.com

For this playlist I’ve included songs that I’ve recently been listening to on repeat – a mix of old and newer songs.

 

Feel It Still” by Portugal. The Man

The Greatest” by Sia

It’s My Life” by Bon Jovi

(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life” – Glee version

Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley

Sweet Sweet Melody” by Katie Sky

Dear Theodosia” – Hamilton

It’s Quiet Uptown” – Hamilton

You and Me” – Descendants 2

Touch” by Little Mix

Shut Up And Dance” by Walk the Moon

Fire and Gold” by Bea Miller


Past Playlists:
General
Old-School
Hamilton
Glee
Broadway
Disney (pt.1)
Disney (pt.2)

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Writing Playlist #5: Broadway Edition

I’ve been waiting for this all year. Today is the Tony Awards, my favorite awards show, and Kevin Spacey is hosting! I’m looking forward to all the performances, especially Dear Evan Hansen, and seeing James Earl Jones, one of my favorite actors, receive a special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre.

I love the theatre. Musicals – the performing arts – have been a huge part of my life and have inspired me so much. So in honor of this special occasion, I’ve put together a playlist of Broadway songs that inspire my (and hopefully your) writing:

 

“A Brand New Day” – The Wiz

“Brotherhood of Men” – How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying

“Dear Theodosia” – Hamilton

“Defying Gravity” – Wicked

“Find Your Grail” – Spamalot

“I Know Where I’ve Been” – Hairspray

“King of Pride Rock / Circle of Life (Reprise)” – The Lion King

“Mamma Mia” – Mamma Mia

“My New Philosophy” – You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown

“Non-Stop” – Hamilton

“One Day More” – Les Misérables

“Raise Your Voice” – Sister Act

“Revolting Children” – Matilda the Musical

“Ring of Keys” – Fun Home

“The Wizard and I” – Wicked


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Writing Playlist #3: “Hamilton” Edition

I really love music and have been enjoying creating these writing playlists. For this list I picked songs from my (still) current musical obsession, Hamilton: An American Musical. When I was first listening to this soundtrack it felt so uplifting and inspiring. The writing was just so beautiful and good. I found myself picturing scenes of new story ideas in my head, ideas that begged to be written down. It’s such a great soundtrack/musical with so many fantastic songs to sing and dance to.

Hamilton: An American Musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda | Image via Amazon

In track order, here is my writing playlist made from my top favorite Hamilton songs:

“Alexander Hamilton”

“My Shot”

“The Story of Tonight”

“The Schuyler Sisters”

“You’ll Be Back”

“Helpless”

“Satisfied”

“Wait For It”

“Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down)”

“Non-Stop”

“Take A Break”

“The Room Where It Happens”

“One Last Time”

“It’s Quiet Uptown”

“Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story”

This post was immediately followed by a jam session of epic proportions, of course. There are 46 songs total on the soundtrack, so I begrudgingly had to narrow this list down to keep it relatively short. The writer/music lover/musical theater geek in me just loves Hamilton and…well, you know I could gush about it all day so I’ll leave it there.

But I hope you enjoy this list and today’s post. I wrote two previous lists, a general playlist and an old-school edition list, if you’d like to check those out.

If you’re a fan of Hamilton, what are your favorite songs from the soundtrack? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Let me know in the comment section below.

And, as always, happy writing!


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Popular Books I’ve Never Read

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I am a firm believer in reading the book before seeing the movie (unless I’m unaware that a story was a movie first) for, in my opinion, the book is always better. Yet there are several popular books that I’ve never read and/or seen its movie adaptation. It’s not because I don’t like these stories – you can’t dislike what you haven’t read/seen. I either was not interested at the time (either because of my age or where I was at in life), was going to read it but decided not to (because my TBR list was just too long), or I tried to read it but lost interest.

 

Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling (1997-2007, 2016)
I tried to read the first book but I probably shouldn’t have at the age I did. For me, it was too big and too much, so I thought maybe when I was a bit older I’d go back to the series. Then the movies began to come out. I still thought “Oh, I’ll see the movie and catch up on reading the books when I can. No worries.” But as more time passed I continued watching the movies without reading the books until I finally gave up. I was in too deep with the movies to go back.

Anyway, I love the movies. They blew my mind and I could just imagine how much more amazing the books must be. All my friends who’ve read Harry Potter tell me how there’s certain things missing from the movies (which is understandable when a book is adapted to a movie) but that the books are better (they still love the movies though). I think it’s likely I’ll read this series in the future when I have time.

Also, if I had a choice I’d want to be in Gryffindor and I’d want Maggie Smith to be my mentor (she’s so amazing and a great actress). And don’t get me started on Potter Puppet Pals (so so funny and adorable).

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo (1862)
When I first heard about/seen the stage/movie adaption, I did not know it was originally a book. I’ve seen three different movie adaptations of it: the 2012 version, one was in black and white and spoken in French (don’t remember the year), and the other was in color but I don’t remember much else about it. All were equally interesting and enjoyable to watch.

It’s staged musical production was my first introduction to the story. It was late at night and I was flipping through channels and I saw what I thought was a commercial (not sure what you’d actually call it) but it was showing Les Misérables: In Concert at the Royal Albert Hall (10th anniversary). I was thoroughly amazed by the singing and the story was so moving even though it was an all sung concert. I fell in love with it and soon got my hands on the soundtrack from that concert.

I would like to see this show in person someday. It’s such a sad but incredible story…I’m not sure if I could get through reading the book without falling to pieces. But it’d be worth the read someday.

The Lord of the Rings series (1954-1955) & The Hobbit (1937) by J. R. R. Tolkien
I knew about the movies before I knew they were books first. Most of my friends have seen (and I think read) them but I haven’t done either. I’m all for epic fantasy adventures but these just never really interested me. Although, I do enjoy watching The Hillywood Show‘s parodies of them, especially of The Hobbit.

The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins (2008-2010)
I actually had the first book on my TBR list way back when it was first published but I just never got around to reading it – too many books kept being added to my TBR list and taking precedence. I really wish I’d had time to read them but some things just don’t work out. I did enjoy each of the movies, the first and part two of the third book being my favorites. The Hunger Games is an awesome dystopian story and series. And, of course, I have to point out The Hillywood Show’s amazing parody of it.

Divergent series by Veronica Roth (2011-2013)
I heard about the books back when only the first book had been published. I debated for a while whether or not to read Divergent and ultimately decided not to. I just couldn’t see myself enjoying it and part of me didn’t really get what it was supposed to be about. Now that I’ve seen all the movies that have been released so far, I kind of wish I had. I think as a reader I am just personally not drawn to dystopian books or just haven’t found any ones to read that spark my interest – which is strange because I enjoyed watching their movie adaptations. Based on my impressions from seeing the movies, I don’t believe I’ll go back and read this series in the future.

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green (2012)
I discovered this book and it’s movie adaptation at the same time because everyone (who had read the book) was excited for the upcoming film. After the film came out I bought the book because I’d only heard good things about it both. But I haven’t read it yet and I think it’s because the hype kind of killed it for me. However, I do love John Green as a person – I think he’s smart, kind, and funny. I still would like to read this book before seeing the movie but I don’t know when that’ll happen.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fizgerald (1925)
A classic piece of literature often used in school English/Language Arts/Literature classes. I never had to read it in school. To be honest, most classic literature never really interested me growing up. I think it’s due to a mix of me having to study a book too intensely, being prone to getting lost in my imagination, or just loving all things fantastical more. I heard the 2013 movie adaptation was good but I didn’t go see it. I do find it interesting that the story isn’t told through the title-character’s perspective (from my understanding). But I don’t see myself reading this in the future.

So there’s my list, the honest truth. And again, I have no ill will towards any of these books. Perhaps one day I’ll read them and/or see their movie adaptations and there’s probably others I haven’t read that aren’t on this list. But for now I’ve got an extensive TBR list to get through.

What popular books have you not read or gotten a chance to read yet? What book(s) should I make a point of reading? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy Reading!


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Happy Blogiversary! – 1 Year Later

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I can’t believe The Bookshelf Corner has turned 1 year old today! The year has gone by so fast with new many changes and new things learned. Here I am 1 year later still blogging and I don’t plan to stop anytime soon.

This blogging adventure has been an amazing journey. There are so many great memories to look back on. For instance, with my first post I wrote a short introductory message about myself and the blog. The following day, I wrote about my literary hero, Tamora Pierce, whose books really got me into reading. She’s been an incredible influence on my life. My first book review on here was about Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raassch; such a good book. I started writing a new novel, which is still a work in progress. I shared my top 10 favorite books of all time. I wrote about the time I was inspired to write a musical. On July 14, 2016, I hit a mini milestone with my 50th post and shared the top 5 books from my early days as a reader that make me feel nostalgic. The Bookshelf Corner was nominated for two awards – the MakeItUltra™ Blogger Award and The Versatile Blogger Award – which was so amazing to have happened in this blog’s first year. And, finally, I (belatedly) celebrated my 10 year reading anniversary and recapped 2016.

For this entire week, I’ll be celebrating this 1 year anniversary with special posts every day.

Thank you for checking out my blog! I really appreciate it.

Happy reading and happy writing!


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New Year’s Eve 2016

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Cheers! It’s New Year’s Eve! Only hours left of 2016 to go.

I decided a quiet day at home would be best, especially since I wasn’t feeling too good yesterday. So the plan for today is to relax but be productive. I’ll be spending the day updating the blog, brainstorming post ideas, binge-re-watching Snow White with the Red Hair (one of my new favorite anime), reading, and researching. A busy but fun day ahead of me.

Also can’t forget about some of favorite memories of 2016:

  • starting this blog
  • all the books I read
  • started writing a new novel
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda and the Hamilton soundtrack
  • gymnastics and track & field events at the Olympics
  • The Hillywood Show®’s Sherlock Parody
  • going to a planetarium for the first time
  • staying positive
  • Hairspray Live!
  • all the new anime I watched

…and many more.

I want to wish everyone a safe and happy new year. And I can’t wait to see you all in 2017!

~~~~~~~

“Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on,
with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.”
– Hal Borland


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Back at Blogging!

Hello, everyone! I hope you all have been doing well.

I took a few months hiatus off of blogging to focus on my personal education in writing. It’s so good to have the time again to continue blogging, something I enjoy doing. Nevertheless, I don’t regret the practical experience I gained in the meantime.

Besides building new skills, I’ve been thinking some about the things I wanted to write about once I returned to blogging. What books I really wanted to get through so I can share them with you all. Maybe write short pieces of fiction like a brief scene or a short story series. And other ideas I’m trying to work out in my head. The important thing I want to continue to do and improve on this blog’s goals: to share, engage, converse on all things wonderful about books and writing.

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Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho

I’m still reading River of Dreams by Lynn Kurland, but I hope to have it finished and a book review up sometime next week. I did read other things over the past few months. I read a book that was completely different in plot and language from what I normally read called Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho. It’s her debut novel (published September 1, 2015 by Ace Books) and the first of a series to come. It was intriguing at the start, a little hard to get into early on as I kept reading, but well worth the read by the end. I’ll have a review about my full experience with the book in the coming days.

I also read manga for the first time and the series I read, Ouran High School Host Club by Bisco Hatori, was so much fun, couldn’t put it down. I had only watched the anime (several times) beforehand, decided to give graphic novels in general a shot, and did not regret it. You can read a summary of Volume 1 on Goodreads here. My review will be posted tomorrow.

A fan of musical theater, I watched the long-anticipated Hairspray Live!, which was star-studded and wonderful. I’ve seen the 2007 version and been in a theater production of it myself. I adore the 2007 soundtrack, so I had a bit high expectations for NBC’s live performance.

Also watched with much excitement Batman: The Telltale Series and season 3 of The Walking Dead (also by Telltale) video games via one of my favorite YouTuber’s channel, Jacksepticeye. The latter game I’ve been waiting a few years to come out and it’s really good so far (only episodes 1 and 2 are available). Batman was surprisingly good, too (I’m not much of a Batman fan). For me, it was very surprising throughout and kept me deeply invested the entire time. What I like about these two – and something I think Telltale does well – is the artistry, characterization, story, play-ability, and overall user experience.

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Hamilton: An American Musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda

And, of course, I have been addicted to listening to the Hamilton soundtrack and singing it aloud, especially in the car. I love this soundtrack so much that I’m more than content to wait a long time to be able to see the show live. I have so many favorite songs that I listen to on repeat but I think my top favorite songs are: “Alexander Hamilton,” “The Story of Tonight,” “The Schuyler Sisters,” “You’ll Be Back,” “Satisfied,” “Wait for It,” “Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down),” “Non-Stop,” “It’s Quiet Uptown,” and “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story.” The more I listen to this soundtrack, the more I get the urge to write. I think it’s because it’s so put-together and the songs are so well composed that I want to write something just as amazing as what Lin-Manuel Miranda has done. I saw the PBS documentary of Hamilton which was good and am considering reading the biography written by Ron Chernow that inspired the musical.

(currently listening to Hamilton as I write this post, he he)

So those are my tentative plans for the blog and what I’ve been up to since my last post. All these incredible stories I’ve watched and listened to have giving me lots of inspiration for my writing. I’m really looking forward to writing more often and in this space, and to what the new year will bring.