Hey, Fearless Leader has written a book!

bday_SomeKindofMagic

ABOUT SOME KIND OF MAGIC

“An amazing first novel.” —Sydney Landon, New York Times bestselling author

In this sparkling debut novel, Mary Ann Marlowe introduces a hapless scientist who’s swept off her feet by a rock star—but is it love or just a chemical reaction?…
Biochemist Eden Sinclair has no idea that the scent she spritzed on herself before leaving the lab is designed to enhance pheromones. Or that the cute, grungy-looking guy she meets at a gig that evening is Adam Copeland. As in the Adam Copeland international rock god and object of lust for a million women. Make that a million and one. By the time she learns the truth, she s already spent the (amazing, incredible) night in his bed.

Suddenly Eden, who’s more accustomed to being set up on disastrous dates by her mom, is going out with a gorgeous celebrity who loves how down-to-earth and honest she is. But for once, Eden isn’t being honest. She can’t bear to reveal that this overpowering attraction could be nothing more than seduction by science. And the only way to know how Adam truly feels is to ditch the perfume—and risk being ditched in turn.

Smart, witty, and sexy, Some Kind of Magic is an irresistibly engaging look at modern relationships why we fall, how we connect, and the courage it takes to trust in something as mysterious and unpredictable as love.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

 
So that’s the official stuff, and having had the privilege of being one of her betas, I can tell you personally that the book is a joy. It’s sexy and engaging and witty–and so good about the music world, duh!–and genuinely romantic. The book also raises fascinating questions of the impact of one’s upbringing and levels of honesty, in the most natural and unobtrusive way, and the main characters are people with whom I would love to spend any amount of time.

(Speaking of which, where can I find me an Adam?)

(I mean, seriously, where?)

*ahem*

Right, where was I? Ah, yes! There is also a giveaway, a thing I am always in favor of, in which one winner will receive a $50 Amazon OR Book Depository Gift Card (International), and three winners will win a signed copy of SOME KIND OF MAGIC (US only). (Click on this nice clicky link here to enter.)

In summation: This is an awesome book by our very own Lizzy, and if you are looking for a way to duck out of the crazy for a bit check it out, it’s a great place to duck out into!

Let us turn our thoughts today…


Video by MaccabeatsVideos and Naturally 7

Some dreams need work to hold onto–let’s keep working on this one, okay?

 
As George Washington wrote to the Jews of Newport:

It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.

(Source: Touro Synagogue)

10, 9, 8…

Well, 2016 was quite a year, and not entirely in a good way. At least it was good for Castro The Band! But we lost far too many special creative people, and rediscovered some deep and unattractive rifts in the world’s social fabric.

Still, it’s over. For 2017, whatever happens in the world…

newyears17

 
“Auld Lang Syne,” performed by the BBC Symphony, Chorus, and Singers (and I think the audience, too):


Video posted by Kromgols kanal

Yep, still Chanukah!

Have a very traditional song: “Al Hanisim”; words from an extra paragraph inserted into the daily prayers on Chanukah (and Purim), melody by Dov Frimer, sung by Shira Kline:


Video by ShiraKline

Or if you are not feeling quite so traditional, here’s “Light Up the Night” by the Ein Prat Fountainheads (which actually quotes words from “Al Hanisim”):


Video by einpratfountainheads

Continue reading “Yep, still Chanukah!”

Just give it a couple of days…

“It’s Just Another New Year’s Eve” by Barry Manilow and Marty Panzer, sung by Barry Manilow:


Video posted by egaygigi

Yeah, yeah, I know, Barry Manilow, yadayada. But did you listen to the song? Because it’s really good. Try listening to the same song sung by Lea Salonga:


Video posted by LeaSalonga–Topic (Provided to YouTube by Sony Music Entertainment)

Beautiful, right? Very much like something you’d expect to find in a Broadway show or in an album of pop standards. People say that all Manilow’s songs sound the same, but my theory is that he sings in a very stylized way even though it sounds simply conversational, and it’s a strong enough style that the songs he sings sound more alike than different. (Not that he doesn’t have a definite music writing style, but the songs on his albums that he DIDN’T write sound as much like Barry Manilow as the ones he did. That’s a neat trick.)

Not to mention that right about now, I find it really nice to hear someone sing “We’ll get through this…we’ll be just fine,” don’t you?

Continue reading “Just give it a couple of days…”

It’s still Chanukah!

So here’s another Chanukah song: “Light One Candle,” by Peter Yarrow, sung by Peter, Paul, and Mary:


Video from the PBS Holiday Concert, posted by Loren Newsom

(The top comment on this particular YouTube is by the producer and director of the PBS show, how awesome is that?)

Peter, Paul, and Mary debuted “Light One Candle” during their 1982 Holiday Concert at Carnegie Hall. If you keep count, you will see that the lyrics “light one candle” repeat exactly eight times–and if you watch carefully, you can see that the children light one candle each time that phrase is repeated, making them a human menorah.

Continue reading “It’s still Chanukah!”

Is it too late to ask? Or too early? Or…

“What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve” by Frank Loesser, sung by Barbra Streisand:


Video posted by ChristmasCottage’s channel

According to the Songfacts blog, this is the second most popular song for the end of the year, and it is “the kind of ballad that is usually sung in a melancholy tone because the singer instinctively knows the answer (you’re probably busy).” Fits.

So let’s undercut the melancholy with this playful version sung by Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt:


Video by HelloGiggles/Zooey Deschanel

Maybe it’s that they’re clearly having so much fun, or maybe it’s that it’s a duet, but one way or another, that doesn’t sound sad or wistful to me at all–they sound like the answer they’re expecting is, “Spending it with you, you idiot!”

Deschanel is wrong about one thing, though–the original isn’t by Nancy Wilson, whose recording of the song came out in 1965. The song was written by Frank Loesser (about whom I have already written this year) in 1947 as an independent song,

(Which leads me to believe that Gordon-Levitt has a penchant for Loesser’s music–which is not a complaint, just an observation!)

and it was first recorded by The Orioles a couple of years later.

Continue reading “Is it too late to ask? Or too early? Or…”