“So pluck up your courage and take that risk! Add another story to the book of your life.” // Review of “Choose Your Own Autobiography” by Neil Patrick Harris

Title: Choose Your Own Autobiography
Author: Neil Patrick Harris
Genre: Celebrity memoir/choose your own adventure
Date Read: 10/02/2017 – 13/02/2017
Rating: ★★★

Review:

You may know Neil Patrick Harris as teenage MD Doogie Howser, or as Joss Whedon’s Doctor Horrible, or if you’re lucky, you’ve seen him on Broadway. This book is cute and fun, and really shows that he recognises just how blessed his life has been. It was also in quirky format that would not have worked for every celebrity memoir, but it did work for this one.

As you can probably tell from the title, the book is in a choose-your-own-adventure format, where “you are” NPH. I did start off reading it this way, and probably read about half of it by choosing the various paths, but after a while, I found myself continually being given choices I’d already read. At that point, I just started reading from beginning to end, skipping the pages I’d already read.

It was really fascinating reading some of the behind-the-scenes stories about performances I was familiar with him from. I particularly liked the anecdote about his Tony Awards opening song, “It’s Not Just For Gays Anymore” and how the Powers That Be had insisted the word “sodomy” be replaced with “same-sex love”, but Neil “accidentally” sang the original lyric during the performance/live broadcast.

The anecdotes about his personal life were also fairly interesting to read. He doesn’t go into a lot of detail, which is fine. He also talks about his almost-professional hobby of stage magic, but his descriptions of magic tricks did not really translate to the page. I ended up skimming those because they were pretty confusing to read. Maybe if I’d had a deck of cards handy and could actually follow the instructions, I might have made more sense of them. The notes from his celebrity friends that were scattered throughout were also sweet, but I’m not sure they really added much to the book overall.


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#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday – 15 February, 2017

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I thought I might mix it up this week and put WIPpet Wednesday at the top of my post. I knoooow. I live on the edge like that.

WIPpet Wednesday is a weekly blog hop hosted by yours truly. If you’re a writer, you are very welcome to join us by posting an excerpt from your WIP that somehow relates to the date. You can click the blue guy on the right of this blog to be taken to the link up. It’s the 15th, so I’m sharing six paragraphs. Clara is testing out her newly-developed telepathic and teleport-y powers to create a distraction.

I didn’t quite make it around to all of you last week, but I will try to do better this week! (I seem to say that a lot.)

~*~

Max? she thought. Jana? Can you hear me?

She sent the same thought out several times in a row. She had no way of knowing whether or not they had heard her, but she kept her mind trained on thoughts of them, open to a response. When there had been no voices inside her head for a while, she tried again, and with relief, heard Max’s voice in reply.

Clara? Where are you?

I’m a block away, she replied. I’m getting the hang of this ability. I’m going to appear with you guys again in a moment, and pretend I’m giving myself up and going with them. That will give you and Jana a chance to get away. Go back to the park and meet me by the sculpture.

Okay, Max’s voice replied inside her head. Be careful.

I will.

~*~

She then proceeds to be pretty kickass if I do say so myself.

And now it’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

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What have you recently finished reading?

chooseautobiocovverI read Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris over the weekend. As you can tell from the title, it is in choose your own adventure form, though after a while I was ending up faced with a choice between three paths I’d already read. At that point, I just started going through from beginning to end and reading the pages I hadn’t read yet. It was cute and fun and not especially memorable, but it was interesting hearing some behind-the-scenes stories about the performances I’ve really enjoyed him in.

themesmeristcoverI also finished The Mesmerist by Ronald L. Smith. This improved a bit in the last 25%, but I was underwhelmed. I do think 10-12-year-old me would have enjoyed it, so it’s probably a bit of a case of “it’s not you, it’s me”.  This was an ARC and the official release was last week, so I hope to have the review up this Friday.

I also posted my review of Beauty Queens by Libba Bray. Click the title to read it.

What are you currently reading?

traitortothethronecoverI’m finally getting through Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton. I think I was not in the mood for it when I started it, and I missed some vital information, which left me confused, but now that I’ve figured out the info I missed, and am also getting into the action, I’m really enjoying it more than the first book! I know a lot of people have been disappointed by the lack of Jin in this one, but I’m actually appreciating that it is really Amani’s story, and not Amani+Jin’s story. Also Rahim for Sultan, y/n?

scarletlettercoverI’m also listening to The Scarlet Letter by Nathanial Hawthorne on audio. My plan is to use Overdrive to get through a few classics I’ve never read before, though to be honest, I’m probably not devoting my full attention to it. I do admire Hester Prynne, though. But apart from often staring at the letter, everyone seems to treat her pretty much as normal? Which seems odd?

What do you think you’ll read next?

fearlesstravelersguidecoverI think probably The Fearless Traveler’s Guide to Wicked Places by Peter Begler. I can aspire to have one ARC review up before the book’s release date, at least! It’s another middle-grade one like The Mesmerist, but it’s got some really good reviews so far so I’m hoping I like it. I also have a couple of library books out that I want to get to soon.

What are you reading this week? 🙂

~ Emily

#MirthMusicMon – Who Loves You?

I went to see the Jersey Boys movie the other night, and while it was nowhere near as good as the show (which I saw on  New Year’s Day in London after an awesome day at Greenwich geeking out over 300-year-old clockwork; I was still buzzing long after I got back to my hotel), it was a pretty good adaptation. Hence I have been listening to the Original Broadway Cast recording for the last couple of days, and watching clips on YouTube where I could find them. So of course I’m going to force one of those on you for Mirth and Music Monday. The guy singing in this is the same guy who plays Frankie Valli in the movie, though the other three from the movie didn’t do the show on Broadway, I believe.

Edy and I have been watching old Sesame Street episodes (Edy more so than me, since he is the Jim Henson aficionado in our house), so my mirthful part of MMM is a Sesame Street clip. Y’all know I can’t really go past a Neil Patrick Harris appearance and there’s not much that’s more adorable than and NPH and Elmo dance break (and I’m not even a big Elmo fan). Also, his Pajama Song.

I’m going to go now, because I spent a stupid amount of time watching videos and deciding which ones to actually post, so typing this up has taken far longer than it should. If I’m clever, I’ll get the rest of my blog posts for this week written tonight, and I’ll be able to chill for the rest of the week. Please feel free to join us in Mirth and Music Monday by linking here.

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#MirthMusicMon – Tony Awards Edition

So I was freaking out because it’s been a long weekend here, so I’ve been home all day, but it’s now 6:20 and I hadn’t figured out what I was going to post today. But then I started seeing headlines about how everyone was a bit weirded out by Hugh Jackman’s opening number at the Tony Awards (which happened Monday morning, Aussie time) and then I knew what I would post. (Hugh’s opening was weird, but these ones make up for it).

From the 2011 Tonys.


Related to this video: when I did Chicago, we all said that given the number of scantily-clad women often to be found in musical theatre, why aren’t there more straight guys? (Having said that, I do know quite a number of straight guys who do theatre. The song is right.)

Who knew Daniel Radcliffe could sing and dance, right?

And this is the video where Neil Patrick Harris proves to those of us who can’t actually go see this show on Broadway, why he is totally deserving of this year’s Best Lead Actor in a Musical award for his performance in Hedwig and the Angry Itch.

I could go on, but that will do for one post. To join in on Mirth and Music Monday, simply post some music and some mirth, and then join us on the linky. I’ll have more music next Monday! 😀

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P.S. Okay, I said I’d stop, but then Edy told me about Neil Patrick Harris’ opening number for the 2010 Oscars. So you should watch that, too.