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Three recipes I can’t survive without — Monday Morning Ramblings

Good morning, friends!

So good to see you again. Okay, before I start off on recipes today I have a wee announcement. I’m going to do a slight post scheduling change. Meaning I’m going to flake out on doing Monday Morning Ramblings for awhile.

It’s not that I don’t like them or that I think you don’t like them, it’s just that the format isn’t really working for me right now. I’m so glad I did them though. It’s always a fun challenge and I’d love to do something like it again sometime, but just not right now.

Instead, expect posts every Friday. Random whatever posts on Friday. Because I still want to post weekly. Just not within a confined thing like MMR. Whoa, I never abbreviated that before until just now. *slips on shades and nods like a cool cat*



I thought I’d share three of my favorite recipes of all time. You know the kind of recipe that just becomes second nature after awhile? I mean, I’m not even sure where these recipes came from. They’ve just kind of become my own. But I think you will like. They are very good.


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London Fog Latte 

London fogs are already pretty easy to make, but I have a few TIPS AND TRICKS you might not know. And maybe you didn’t know you could make it at home with just a microwave.

Yeah. I’ve got lots of tricks up my sleeve.

Ahem.

Ingredients: 

  • two earl grey tea bags (Twinings is my favorite)
  • about a teaspoon of vanilla
  • milk — any milk
  • water
  • sweetener

Directions:

  1. Fill your cup with steaming water about 1/2 to 3/4 full. Depending on how milky you like it.
  2. Put tea bags in. I use two because it makes the flavor come through way better. You can only use one if you prefer.
  3. Pour in steamed milk the rest of the way, add your bit of vanilla (makes a tremendous difference in my opinion, but you can technically go without) and your sweetener.
  4. You can put milk froth on top if you like!

Voila!

But wait. I mentioned something about a microwave and tricks up my sleeve.

WELL, JUST YOU WAIT.

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So I don’t have the ability to make steamed milk froth, but there is actually a way to do it with a microwave. Just put your milk in a jar or any other container, shake for 1-2 minutes, microwave for 1-2 minutes and ta-da! You have milk froth and hot milk for your latte.

You must try. You will like.

Disclaimer: I am so not a barista.


MY FAVORITE NUTELLA MUG CAKE OF ALL TIME — JUST FOUR INGREDIENTS

Okay, I actually had to find this one again because it’s been awhile since I’ve made it, but let me tell you I have utilized this recipe so many times. If you have a sudden, urgent chocolate craving, this is a life saver.

Ingredients: 

  • 1/4 cup of flour
  • 1/4 nutella
  • 3 tablespoons of milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder

And that’s if you want to get exact. I usually just think, “One part nutella, one part flour, a splash of milk and a sprinkle of baking powder.”

…Not that I had a rhyme until now. Whoa.

Directions:

Just stir ingredients together in a mug (make sure no flour’s on the bottom of the mug — I recommend putting the wet ingredients in before the dry) and microwave for 1-2 minutes. Top with powdered sugar or sprinkles or ice cream or whip cream or fruit or whatever your heart desires.

~ General mug cake tip: Avoid the recipes that call for a whole egg. I mean COME ON. I’ve made full sized recipes that call for one egg. That’s way too much egg. Avoid it bro. Avoid that pain.


Favorite Eggs-In-A-Basket

Yes, technically you could just make eggs and toast. Yes, theoretically cutting a hole in your bread and cooking an egg in it is totally unnecessary. Do I care? Friend, I do not.

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 piece of toast
  • a sprinkle of cheddar (or your fromage préféré)
  • some ham, bae. Sliced, chopped.
  • pepper, salt
  • a bit of butter

Directions:

  1. Take a small, circular cookie cutter (or if your shady like me just use a small cup) and cut a hole in your bread. Save that circle. You’ll need it later. (Also, if you were making this for your significant other you could cut it in a heart. That would be cute.)
  2. Heat your pan with a bit of butter then stick in your bread
  3. Crack the egg into the hole. You can go crazy with how you want to cook your egg. Sometimes I do scrambled, but standardly I just do fried.
  4. Stick in some ham pieces and cheese, season how you please.
  5. Flip! And yay! Fancy bread egg. You’re welcome.
  6. Oh, and don’t forget to cook your little bread circle too. It’s so cute.

You can double this if you’re really hungry, but one usually does it for me. I don’t know why I like it so much. But I don’t know… The heart wants what the heart wants.



And that’s about it for me today!

I will, however, see you on Friday. Let me know if you try out any of these recipes! I’d love to hear what you think of them.

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Single Pringle — Monday Morning Ramblings

Good morning there!

Praying your Monday turns out to be lovely. Mondays are so hard, I know. But I hope it will at least be bearable. HEY, HEY. WE CAN DO IT.


Tomorrow is Tuesday! It is also Valentine’s Day. *ceremonious barfing* It definitely felt appropriate that I should take some time to talk about my seemingly permanent single-Pringle status.
—No, no, I’m mostly content… The “mostly” part is what I want to talk about I guess. I guess I should just jump right into it. Ahem.

I feel that every once in awhile I have to renew my heart-wish to “wait until the appropriate time” for this whole love-thing.
And genuinely, the waiting part is not the whole problem. It’s the not knowing? It’s the uncertainty of what happens in the meantime. My lack of control over the situation makes the INFJ-perfectionist side of me so unhappy. But then the INFP-idealism bit of me kicks in and I remember why this was important to me in the first place.
I have the same mental struggles we all do, my friend. And I am honestly rather prone to crushes. Specifically the “oh my gosh he’s the one I have to go to Pinterest and plan the wedding right nowwww” sort. I mean, flights of fancy are kind of my thing, so it really isn’t a surprise.

The truth is, my dreams fall so short of God’s dreams for me. And I don’t want to go planning out my whole life for Him — believe me, I try to — but this guy knows what He’s doing.
Friends. It is so, so easy to get our minds caught up in what we do not yet have. This isn’t even confined just to seeking a significant other. There’s enough else to keep us stressed out about our unsure futures — college, money, jobs, cars, bills, annoying commercials that convince you your life will not be complete until you own a flip-a-zoo. Or whatever…
I have literally sat awake many a night just contemplating how much I have absolutely no idea what’s going to happen next.

And I get all caught up in pipe-dreams and fairytales. I worry too much about what I do not yet have. I stir up hopes and desires in myself that are not yet meant to be stirred up. And I find myself feeling so unsatisfied with the life and opportunities that I already have.

And I miss out on so much because of it.

Crushes come in all forms. An appealing this-or-that comes along and our mind gets caught up in an idealistic fantasy that will probably never come true. (And even if it does come true what good does dwelling on it until you’re unhappy do?)

I am a single Pringle and I don’t have any clue at all what lies ahead of me. I am at the very beginning of the story.

What I know is that God started a good work in me and He will be faithful to finish it. I have so many beautiful opportunities and relationships and friends and books to read and thoughts to think and raindrops to catch on my tongue. I have a cat to pet and siblings to care for and brand new concepts to learn and tea to sip delicately. I have a God to take refuge in and a life that is made very valid and beautiful just by the fact that He has breathed me into existence, loved me, and called me His own.

I am so grateful for the now.
And I think I want to live here for awhile.



“Young women of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and the wild does of the field: do not stir up or awaken love until the appropriate time.”

Song of Solomon 2:7

~

“I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. “

Philippians 1:6

~

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Matthew 6:34

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Currently… — Monday Morning Ramblings 

Currently…

Thinking…
It is not smart to set one’s alarm clock so early. Agggh I hate mornings. Mornings are so unattractive. Ew.

Feeling…
Tired. I was not designed for the morning. Yup. Nope. Nuh uh.

Wishing…
I’d prewritten something. Turns out spontaneity is not always my thing, ha.

Learning…
Challenges are *indeed* challenging.

Dreaming
Of bright, beautiful things that haven’t happened yet — leftover dreams from before I fell asleep.

Planning…
On breakfast? I think I’ll go healthy today… I need to work on that. Health.

Remembering…
How I used to rise very early and enjoy it. Not sure who that person was. Ew. Nope.

Loving…
The endlessness of God’s grace. Because I am quite a mess, but for some reason He is making me acutely aware that He knows how to turn broken into beautiful.

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You’re Not Alone: mental health ramble — Monday Morning Rambling 

I’m sick right now. I turn into a roly-poly baby when I’m sick. And I drink too much tea — even more than usual. It’s just the beginning of this cold and I can tell it’s going to be a doozy so I’m making sure to write this Monday morning ramble before I get much worse.
I have more of those important soul-things to say because I’m a sentimental, passionate, emotion-driven person and you’re just going to have to love me for it. 😂
Today I want to talk about mental health a bit. I want to talk about the stigma and the micro stigma and the misunderstandings.
I’ve had my first really scary mental health crisis over this summer. I don’t know if it was the stress or anxiety or if I just kept it all bottled up for too long — all I know is it sucked and I never want to get that low again.
So many things would have helped prevent that low. I still don’t know exactly what it was that happened — I haven’t been to a psychologist yet; working on that — and I don’t know what caused it. It was like my brain got overloaded with information and decided to delete everything but fine dining and breathing. 

(what up spongebob reference?)
And I didn’t know how to explain what was happening to me. I felt like whenever I opened up to someone I sounded like an idiot or an attention seeker. The unintentional lack of understanding from those around me made me realize just how messed up our world is right now when it comes to mental health. 
I think stigma is especially common in Christian communities. Just going to put it out there. Not all of them, but the ones I grew up with at least. Nobody mentions these things and nobody tells you how you’re supposed to deal with except “trust in God” and “keep on praying!” 
That’s actually something like good advice and it’s technically what got me through — but I so needed palpable solutions. I needed people to listen to me and not act like I was weird. I needed people to not shut down and awkwardly slide away when I brought up my mental state. I needed people to ask me how I was doing. Heck– I still need those things. 
I was made to feel guilty about my anxiety and depression and depersonalization. I was made — I want to assure you, completely unintentionally and as product of common stigmas — to feel as though Christians aren’t supposed to have mental health altercations. As if it was a personal flaw. It took me so long just to feel brave enough to ask for help. I sometimes even doubted that there was a problem at all. I thought it was just me.

I’m getting so drowsy right now, so I have to try and end this.
Guys, I know I’m just shouting this into an internetly abyss here, but for those few echoes out there — treat mental health as a priority. Please.
If it scares you, research it. If you don’t understand, ask questions and learn more about it. If you’re suffering, get help. And don’t ever, ever feel guilty for struggling. 
I know it’s so hard to find answers. I’m still struggling — not like I was before, but significantly — and I’m still trying to find solutions. All I know is, I don’t want people to feel as though their struggle is not valid. If you need help, you shouldn’t have to feel guilty for asking for it.
You absolutely do not have to do it on your own, even when it looks like you’re all alone. Know for certain Jesus is right there with you, he understands this struggle perfectly, and he won’t ever let you go.
Take courage, dear heart. God is with you.

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Dodie Clark’s “When” and related emotions– Monday Morning Ramblings

Happy Monday! And welcome to my blog!

Today I begin my comfy weekly randomness series called “Monday Morning Ramblings.” I did this series with my previous blog as a means to get myself up earlier in the mornings. It was nice to have a reason to face the week with a cup of coffee and a smile. Okay, maybe not always a smile. But at least a hopeful heart? Maybe?

Well, I’m starting the series back up on this blog. I want to blog more. I want to write more in general. This series was fun for me before and even if it was only fun for me, it was worth it. I love the challenge, I love the sense of positivity and accomplishment it gives me, and I love being able to share the random bits of my brain without worrying too much about editing and perfectionism and all of that.
Today’s ramble is a something I wrote last week about a particular person and a particular song. I felt like it was somehow important so I decided I’d spruce it up *a bit* and bring it to the blog this morning. Enjoy!


Hello there. So, I feel the need to say words about this song, “When” by Dodie Clark. And this is not exactly meant to be a review of the song. This is not an open letter to Dodie. Even if she did somehow end up reading this, I have opinions that would probably, sadly, make Dodie not like me very much. Which is alright. (And it’s not exactly for you, dear reader, either — even though I will put this on the blog because with Monday Morning Ramblings comes the random over-spillage of my heart, but I have no idea if any of this is actually helpful to other people in any way. And I guess I don’t really care because I’m in a period of learning and growth anyway.)

Agh.

The reason I wanted to talk about this song is because it so emotionally impacts me that I can barely listen to it. I did my eyeliner earlier and I wanted to listen to the song to refresh my memory before I wrote this but had to turn it off immediately for fear my eyeliner would get ruined. Just the first notes before she starts singing tug at my heart. The memory of the song alone makes me feel like crying.

But before I comment on the song, I want to talk a bit about Dodie Clark herself as she’s such an interesting person and I have a lot of thoughts on her. I’ve had sort of a weird, conflicted relationship with her content and to explain why the song above affects me so much, I should probably first explain this relationship.
I first got acquainted with Dodie’s music and videos in 2016. She is so quirky and adorable and genuine — I immediately loved her. I fell in love with her and her voice and her videos and subscribed right away. Her taste is so similar to mine — specifically the Dodie with shorter hair, but I still love her style now as well.

I quickly became very interested in her circle of friends and fellow YouTubers. I followed people like Evan Edinger, Noodlerella, and Tessa Violet as well. All of them adorable, adorable humans.

After awhile, I realized I was following them *a bit* too closely. I realized their beliefs were nothing like my own. And I realized I was watching way more content from people whose beliefs I absolutely do not agree with than content from people who encouraged me to pursue my own faith. And it was taking a bit of a toll. I mean, at one point I legitimately watched more Dan and Phil Let’s Plays than I read the Bible, haha.
And so, for awhile there, I just unfollowed and unsubscribed and didn’t watch their content at all.

Since then, I’ve subscribed once more. Why? Because I do actually love them. I love their art and their ideas and their friendships with one another. And I love getting to be involved in their life-story in this really small way.

But it was good for me to step away for awhile and to reevaluate what I watch and consume. It was good for me to evaluate how I involved my heart in these people’s stories and how I let it influence me and to remember that I have to choose what I consume.

I don’t mean to be overdramatic here. Because I believe there’s nothing wrong with being a fan of YouTubers — or other creators, for that matter — who have different beliefs than you. For me, it was a matter of choosing what I let influence me.

All this to say, though I differ greatly in mindset, Dodie’s story has still been of great interest to me. I relate to her on a deep level. Even her mental health struggles sound so similar to my own. When I listen to her music, I often hear myself. And though there is so much about her belief system that, as a Christian, I find problematic, I still love this child. I still absolutely love the way she expresses herself.
So now, if you’re still reading, I’m just going to go over the lyrics of the song a bit and tell you what they mean to me — I guess — from a Christian point of view. And why, though this song makes me sad, I know deep down it shouldn’t make me sad, because it isn’t true.

But we’ll get to that.

I think I’ve been telling lies,
cause I’ve never been in love.
Everyone falls for the sunshine disguise, distracted by who they’re thinking of.

I’d rather date an idea;
something I’ll never find.
Sure, I’ll live in the moment,
but I’m never happy here
I’m surrounded by greener looking time.”

I’m going to start here. I want to firstly say, these lyrics are so beautiful. And the music with them — agh. I think part of the reason I get so emotional is because of how tragically beautiful it all is.

Dodie sings a lot of songs about love. We all do, I suppose. I do, anyway. I mean, a great number of songs are on that topic, so it’s kind of unavoidable. But for those of us who have never experienced that sunshiny love that we sing about — and I think it’s more people than you might think — it’s really, really hard to be certain that this happy, perfect love will ever come around.
Am I the only one
wishing life away?
Never caught up in the moment
busy begging the past to stay
Memories painted with much brighter ink;
they tell me I loved, teach me how to think.

I’ll take what I can get
cause I’m too damp for a spark.
Kissing sickly sweet guys
cause they say they like my eyes
but I’d only ever see them in the dark.”

Part of what Dodie’s shared about mental health struggles is a thing called depersonalization. She’s talked about how it made it hard for her to enjoy the present because she measured it up to happy moments in her past and she just ended up overthinking the whole thing and ruining what could have been new happy memories.

And this is about when I start weeping again. Because, oh, can I relate.

When you’re a young teenager, everything has just begun. You have so many hopes and plans for your future. And nothing is tainted because it hasn’t touched reality yet. Everything is hopeful and new and you’re just waiting for your amazing, beautiful life to begin — happy enough to be young and innocent.

And then you actually begin the process of growing up. And it’s not like how you thought. Yes, yes, it’s not always the worst and there are so many beautiful moments that make it worth it, but sometimes you get trapped, thinking the future will never be as bright as the past and that you were so wrong about how you thought life would be. This is my experience, anyway.

I’m sick of faking diary entries,
got to get it in my head; I’ll never be sixteen again
I’m waiting to live, and waiting to love
oh it’ll be over, and I’ll still be asking when.”

This is the last part I’ll go over because it will just repeat after this stanza. Stanza? Verse. Yeah, that one.

For me, sixteen and seventeen were this sort of peak. The top of the roller coster, if you will. I was so much happier than I’d ever been. A lot of this was because I was newly a Jesus follower, but I think it also comes with being that age and feeling like soon — very soon — you’re going to morph into something amazing.

But somehow, I’ve come to realize that growing up is not very fun at all. I’m clinging so much to my past. Or maybe, what I could have done with my past before things became so utterly difficult and confusing.

And now it just feels like I’m going to be hurdled down a hill and it will only get worse and worse. This song speaks to the fears I have — what if things only get more and more confusing and what if I never find time just to love someone and be happy?

It’ll be over and I’ll still be asking when.”
Only, I really needn’t weep, for there is an answer.

No matter what people tell you, life really, really isn’t about being happy. That is absolutely not a viable goal. If you chase nothing but happiness all your life, you’re going to end up completely empty by the end of your life. Happiness, without anything deeper attached, is meaningless.

So what do we chase instead? We chase Christ-joy.
Happiness is a sensation. Joy is something much deeper than that.

We humans are very, very messed up. It is entirely obvious to anyone who pays attention that we cannot do it — all of this life thing — on our own. Three seconds into the beginning of my day and I’ve already thought forty-two murderous thoughts. I’m not a morning person, okay?

If we go around chasing nothing but happiness, we’re going to be hurt by people we thought we could trust and we’re going to begin to think that love is a lie.

Joy can be found when we lay down our troubles at the cross. Joy can be found when we realize that God loves us so purely that we can’t even comprehend it. Joy can be found when we are forgiven.

Happiness is passing. Happiness is temporary. Happiness cannot be captured. Christ-joy is something that, once you have it, nobody can ever take it away from you.

Christ-joy is a product of belief. It is present regardless of circumstance. And no fear of death or fear of growing up can take it away.


Ahh, thanks so much for reading!!

I know that was super long for a blog post and they’ll probably be somewhat shorter — though probably just as random and rambly — in the future, but I was just full of righteous-energy there and wanted to share my heart on a dear person’s dear song.

I guess I should note here that I will not always be super prepared with a pre-written blurb like I have today. Some days will be messier than others.
The only goal is to get me out of bed to write and edit and post without fear or regret or rampant perfectionism.
Just a little heads up there, haha.
So yes! Thank you so much for joining me here! I hope you have a wonderful, wonderful week!
Love, love,

Brookie


{Lyric credits, of course, go to Dodie Clark. Check out doddleoddle on YouTube for more of her lovely content. Cover photo my own.}

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Favorite Books of 2016 and My 2017 Book Resolutions

Good day! I hope you’re enjoying the New Year so far!

So this blog is becoming pretty focused on books I guess. I’m still trying to figure out what it is exactly that I want to do with this blog. I have no idea if I’m even going about anything correctly, but I guess I’m going to learn by my mistakes as I go. No matter what, I will grow and I will learn. And that’s good to remember. This year has been a big, scary year of learning and growing for me. And, to be perfectly honest, I mostly learned by making mistakes. All I know is, I want to write here more and I want to write from the heart more.

But I’m not really here to talk about #NewYearNewMe today. I’m here to talk about — you guessed it — books. Because, while this has been a huge year for mistakes and mental health altercations for me, I’ve also read some pretty epic books this year too. And somehow this is becoming a book blog so I guess am going to talk about books now.

Books are always sort of a positive thing, right? So we’re going to talk about the positive things. Yeah. Let’s go with that.

(Who let me be a blogger??)

~ 2016 Favs ~

I first wanted to go over my favorites of 2016. These are ones that I’d definitely recommend. I’m not going to go into too much detail here, but I’ll just go over why I liked them a bit.

And bear with me, I read a lot of classics this year. And by classics, I mean books everyone has probably already read. I grew up with a weird taste in books, okay? I still have to catch up on the ‘normal’ books.

LET’S GET ON WITH THIS. YAY.

 
“The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett

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You know those books that nestle in your heart and become a part of you? Yeah, I found a new heart-book this year. I don’t know if you’ve ever read The Secret Garden or if you would even like it all that much, but it was an absolute favorite of mine. *sighs all the heart-sighs*

“The Blue Castle” by L.M. Montgomery 

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I’d say this is also a heart-book, but I think Lucy Maud Montgomery’s work in general has a tendency to makes it’s way into my heart. This one is super lovely, super funny, and overall wonderful. I gobbled it up in one day.

“Matilda” by Roald Dahl

Actually? Another heart-book! Gosh, I did read some good ones this year. Thank you Jesus! There’s something about this gifted child, Matilda, that I simply adore. And, again, maybe this isn’t even something everyone would like, but there’s just something about injustice that makes me keep reading. And there’s something about this story that is simply magical and I adore it completely.

Sara Teasdale and Emily Dickinson

You might not like me for this, but I’m just going to roll these two poets into one section. I read a lot more poetry this year than I’ve ever read in my life. Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Poe, Frost etcetera. I was trying to find what I liked. These two ladies’ poetry happened to be my favorite. Rivers to the Sea and Love Songs by Sara Teasdale were just amazing. And Dickinson’s words are always absolutely gorgeous. I’m a romantic at heart and this is my favorite sort of poetry. I hope to read a lot more poetry in 2017.

Hobbits, Wizards, and Wardrobes

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Again, I apologize for rolling these all together. I finished The Chronicles of Narnia this year, started Harry Potter, and completed The Hobbit. I’ll just say this: WOW.

Sherlock Holmes and all His Detective-y Wective-y Fun

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First of all, I am a Sherlock fan. I haven’t seen the new episode yet and I am horribly out of the loop. So no spoilers. Thank you.

So, the BBC show Sherlock is what made me interested in Sherlock Holmes. I’m not going to lie. But gosh, I love Sherlock Holmes. I read some short stories and one or two of the novels and I thoroughly enjoyed them.

“To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee

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If you haven’t read this book, I gently urge you too. I poke you gently with the stick of urgence. I was transported with this one and I loved it. Very moving. Very absorbing. Much book. Wow. (Me and my dead memes.)

Also, the cover art on my copy is gorgeous.

~ 2017 Book Resolutions ~

I set a goal for 100 books at the beginning of 2016. To give you an idea on how big that was for me, I usually read about 10-20 or so books a year. I was so stressed this year and 100 quickly became impossible. I ended up changing the goal to 80 and what I actually read was 66 books.

I’m pretty satisfied with that, but I think this year I’m going to tone it down a bit. I had such a bad semester at college this fall. And though I survived it and made pretty good grades in all but the loathed math, reading was almost impossible during that time. There were some books I wished I’d had time to read more properly. I got pretty good at speed reading last year, but this year I just want to choose lovely books and soak in lovely words.

I want to finish the Green Gables series. I want to finish Harry Potter. I want to read more poetry. I want to read interesting fiction books that I’ve never heard much about before (it’s always so fun to approach a book with no preconceived notions).

I just want to read to enjoy. I want to read to fill my head with new thoughts. I’m starting to learn that that’s all reading’s about.
I hope you guys have a happy, happy 2017. For some reason I feel like it’s going to be a beautiful year. Hard, scary, and challenging, yes. But beautiful too.

God bless,

Brooke Elizabeth

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Book Review: Alexander Hamilton’s Guide to Life

[Warning. If you are sensitive to randomly inserted Hamilton quotes, you may want to Say No To This book review.]

Alexander Hamilton’s Guide to Life by Jeff Wilser is probably best described as “written by Hamiltrash, for Hamiltrash.” I knew this when I first picked it up and let me tell you, I was pretty stoked. I’ve recently fallen into an obsession with the musical Hamilton and it’s amazing writer and star actor, Lin Manuel Miranda. This play has made me do something I never thought I’d do: attempt (emphasis on “attempt”) to rap about the founding fathers.

I think this particular book is definitely building on the recent popularity of the musical Hamilton, but that said, I think it’s still worth a read for Hamilton fans, history buffs, and otherwise.

I learned a lot more about the beautiful Alexander Hamilton than can be gleaned from the musical. I haven’t read Ron Chernow’s biography of Hamilton yet (that’s the one the musical is based off of), so I can’t say if it had any more interesting tidbits than a biography such as that one would have given you, but I think it’s a unique book and not really intended to mainly be a biography anyway, so there you have it.

Without further blabbering, let’s get into some nitty-gritty details about this little Hamil-gem.

~ What I Disliked ~

We should start with negative so we can end with positive, shouldn’t we? Yeah, let’s do that.

There was little I took issue with in this book, but I am going to give a little argument as to why you might not enjoy this book anyway.

This book could be seen as being heavily influenced by the recent Hamilton craze. Is that a bad thing? Personally, I’m satisfied. I listen to Hamilton non-stop. I love the musical and I love reading material by people who also love the musical. My only criticism is that people who don’t love the musical might not be interested in this book.

However, I think Wilser did a good job of being conscious of this fact and really tried to make a book that gave us something we can’t just get by listening to Hamilton or reading a biography. More on that soon!

I would like to mention before I move on that perhaps this isn’t a kid friendly book because of some of the topics (it’s A-Ham, y’all) so if you’re sensitive that, be cautious!

~ What I Liked ~

Yay! Positivity is my favorite! Because this book has a lot of good points.

This book is indeed new material. I know you might be worried that it’s just more crazy Hamilton stuff (I personally love crazy Hamilton stuff… I digress), but I promise this book truly does serve its own purpose. Jeff Wilser has a unique and very funny voice. This book covers a lot of Hamilton’s life, but it’s also very humorous and gives some pretty sound advice too. It doesn’t hide Hamilton’s flaws, but rather uses them to advise further and show that Hamilton was certainly not perfect.

This book also served to increase my affection for the “ten dollar founding father without a father” even more. Hamilton, though very imperfect, was a highly intelligent and extremely fascinating human being. And somehow, he’s just so darn lovable. This book actually made my hand go to my heart a few times  because sometimes you just feel sort of proud of a historical figure.

The book did actually make me laugh out loud quite a few times too. The illustrations are great, the history is fascinating, and I think this book was certainly worth a read.

 

~ Would I Recommend It? ~

Yes! I would recommend this specifically to Hamilton fans who are looking for something Hamilton-related to read. However, I think it’d be enjoyable to anybody who’s interested in history or the life of Alexander Hamilton as well. Even if you’re just curious, it’s definitely worth a go. I enjoyed it and I think you’d like it too.

And well, in summary, Alexander Hamilton’s Guide to Life by Jeff Wilser is humorous, informative, and helpful. This book highlights Hamilton’s beliefs, his dreams, his ambition, determination and his failures too and uses them to give some pretty decent advice about life.

We’re not all Alexander Hamiltons, but I think what’s so compelling about Hamilton’s story is how he started from absolutely nothing and became something way bigger than anyone would expect of someone in his position. It’s interesting to know we all have that potential inside us.

~

My Official Goodreads Rating is four out of five stars! Technically, 3.5, but that’s not really a thing on Goodreads. I gave it that because I enjoyed it quite a lot, but I feel it’s almost niche and that it’s not something I’d really want to read twice. In other words, read it once and that would be enough.

Despite that, it’s earned itself a happy place on my bookshelves. My sincere admiration goes out to Jeff Wilser who took his love of Alexander Hamilton to the next level and wrote a great book. Jeff, you did not throw away your shot.


My thanks goes to Blogging for Books who sent me a review copy of this book for my honest review!

If you’d like to know more about Jeff Wilser, you can find him at his website  http://www.jeffwilser.com or on his twitter and instagram which are both @jeffwilser. This dude’s pretty awesome so check him out!

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