Who wants some Sammy stories? Last week I made the decision to watch the new Hamilton movie after Sam went to bed, which meant that I was up entirely too late watching it. Totally worth it, but I was dragging the following day. As I was reheating leftovers for lunch, I was singing bits and pieces of the musical to myself. Sammers came in and was all, “Mommy what are you singing?” and I was like “Well, buddy, I’m singing songs from Hamilton.” He then demanded to listen to Hamilton. Now, I’m not particularly squeamish about profanity, but my not-quite-three-year-old can best be described as “aggressively verbal.” I was not in the mood to have to either explain what exactly a “bastard orphan son of a whore” is, or to have my toddler repeating it. So I settled on having him listen to “Dear Theodosia” with me, the loveliest of lullabies. I used to sing it to Sammy as a baby, taking some liberties with the lyrics, of course.
ME: Dear Sammysaurus, what to say to you? You have my eyes, you have your father’s name, when you came into the world you cried, and it broke my heart…
SAM: Oh no! My heart! YOU BROKED IT! I need that!
ME: Oh, Sammy when you smile I am undone, my son.
SAM: I do not smile! Look! I make a mad face!
In other Sam news, he’s befriended a decorative penguin doorstop thingie that I got for Christmas (see left). He’s obsessed, carries it around, has conversations with it: the works. The penguin’s name is Phillip. He’s even decided that my penguin butler Alfred is Phillip’s dad. The imaginative play is so much fun. Now, Phillip was named because Sam asks the names of everyone and everything, and I’ve been naming all our penguins with alliterative names so I can remember them (clearly Alfred predates this policy.) I did not intentionally name this penguin for Eliza and Alexander Hamilton’s son- it just happened. Sometimes I’ll do young Phillip’s rap for Sam, mostly because I like shouting numbers in French and it doesn’t include any difficult to explain language. He LOVES it and will demand that I “sing Phillip!” regularly. It’s only recently occurred to me that Sam thinks his penguin doorstop is responsible for the rap, which is the most delightful thing I can imagine. When everything looks bleak, you’ve got to grasp at charm and whimsy when it presents itself. Sam is contrary and energetic and LOUD but he’s also my favorite person on the planet. “You knock me out, I fall apart- and I thought I was so smart.” Indeed.
Anyway, I’ve been a big reading slowpoke the last week or two, but I do have a couple of gems to share with you, so let’s talk books.
Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert- Talia Hibbert just continues to be perfect and wonderful with her latest novel, Take a Hint, Dani Brown. I raved about how much I adored Get a Life, Chloe Brown a few months ago, and I was excited to see where the Brown sisters went next. Danika Brown (Chloe’s younger sister) is a brilliant scholar. She’s driven and focused on completing her PhD and not at all interested in romance. The stress relief and distraction provided by amorous encounters? Sure. But a relationship? That’ll be a hard pass from Dani Brown, thank you very much. That doesn’t mean that she won’t flirt with the impossibly handsome former rugby player working security at her university, though. Zafir Ansari spends his spare time reading romance novels and coaching young rugby players on how to channel their emotions in positive ways. I mean, I’m already swooning, but then, he goes and rescues Dani from an elevator with his bare hands and carries her out of the building during an emergency drill. WHERE IS MY FAINTING COUCH?! The two end up in a viral video, because of course they do. Then they fake date, because why wouldn’t they? Then they catch feelings, OBVIOUSLY. Look, this book is wonderful and charming and self aware because Zaf is such a romance novel buff. I’m also giving Talia Hibbert extra brownie points for writing a male lead with an anxiety disorder who handles it like a freaking grown up. It’s so lovely. Read this book, folks.
An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole- When it comes to romance novels, I almost invariably choose romantic comedies because that’s what fills the void in my dark, sad soul. (That was melodramatic, but bare with me.) I ADORED Alyssa Cole’s Reluctant Royals series but I was nervous to take on her historical romance selections because I knew it wouldn’t be all fun and fluffy. It would be romantic, sure, but also challenging, because slavery is a hideous uncomfortable beast to grapple with. But then there was a sale, and I was like, “take the plunge, trust Alyssa Cole” which turned out to be excellent advice. An Extraordinary Union is set during the Civil War. Elle Burns is a formerly enslaved person with an eidetic memory. In order to help the Union, Elle agrees to go undercover, and, essentially, back into slavery so that she can gather intelligence for the military. Malcom McCall is another secret agent- one who adopts the guise of a Confederate soldier. He uses his charm and acting ability to infiltrate a rebel enclave in Virginia, which is where he runs into Elle. The unlikely duo discover their shared connection and fall hard. But the stakes are impossibly high. And, even if the fate of the nation weren’t on their minds, there wasn’t exactly a clear path to “happily ever after” for a biracial couple in this time period. But, like I said. Trust Alyssa Cole. The ending was most satisfying and I’ll definitely be continuing the series.
That brings us to right now. What am I reading? I’m working my way through The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune with my eyes, and I just started Recipe for Persuasion by Sonali Dev via audio. I’m sure I’ll have plenty to tell you about next week- both books are very promising thus far. Tell me Bookworms, what have you been up to?
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