My Favorite Mamma Mia and Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again Songs

Mamma Mia


Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!

 

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Biannual Bibliothon – Write A Synopsis From The Villain’s Perspective

 Biannual Bibliothon – Day Two Challenge: Write A Synopsis From The Villains Perspective


This was forever ago and I didn’t participate really but this was in my drafts so enjoy!


Day 3 of the blog challenges is hosted by Dominique @ Pirates and Pixie Dust. Her prompt is to write a synopsis from the villain’s point of view. Basically:

  1. Choose a favorite book.
  2. Create a blog post sharing your villain’s short synopsis.
  3. Visit Dominique’s original post and share your link in the comments.

I wrote a poem from The Evil Queen’s perspective from Snow White.

Read it here: Poem: The “Evil” Queen

Queens may not cackle
They must be fair
But they may poison apples
To kill an unworthy heir
Snow White falls
At the hands of The Queen
Yet home, Snow crawls
The how, yet to be seen
The winter princess with stars in her eyes
Just as well has blood staining her teeth
And though they cannot see her lies
The Queen sees the girl underneath
She just wished her stepdaughter knew
She was once the princess, too


I hope you guys enjoyed this!

Is anyone participating in Biannual Bibliothon?
Did anyone else write a villain synopsis?
Did you like this?

Let me know!

Throwback Thursday: 9th Grade – A Series of Vignettes: A Writing Project / My Version of The House On Mango Street

Throwback Thursday, where, essentially I post old writing samples, essays and short stories that I dig up from my pile of hoarded papers and school assignments or from the depths of my computer. So everyone can see how my writing has changed/improved over the years.

These are mostly true but very exaggerated stories as we had to emulate the tone and style of The House on Mango Street with our own autobiographical stories.


A Series of Vignettes: A Writing Project

My Version of The House On Mango Street


My House

(“The House on Mango Street”)

We moved to my house when I was about five. Through the entire moving process I screamed, kicked, and cried in protestation. But to no avail as we still moved to this house. At the time, I was an only child. But the time I was six, this was no longer the case. I got a little sister when I asked for a puppy, and the playroom got turned into a nursery much to my dismay. She got the bigger room because the front facing window made me nervous, I had watched too many movies and thought a burglar would come in at night. That never happened though.

Our house was new construction, and to me it seemed like it was on the edge of the universe because through the back fence you could see cornfields until I was about ten. A few blocks down there is a forest. I said we lived in the middle of nowhere. But we lived in a dull yellow, one-story house that I was determined to hate because I didn’t want to move. I am not the biggest fan of change.

Our house has two round, frosted windows in the front like eyes glazed over. Most of the back wall consists of rectangular windows overlooking the admittedly small backyard. The floors were tile, and seemed extra cold to my feet that up to this point had only ever lived in a place where the floors were carpet. I got used to it soon enough, but I complained constantly. Hoping this would convince my parents to let us move back to our old house.

There is no defining line in the front yard to show where our house ends and the neighbors begins. We usually end up mowing the grass because otherwise it ends up

looking like a jungle. A knee high, suburban jungle, but a jungle all the same. We have bushes right up against the wall of the house, and a tree off to the side that is perpetually overgrown. It’s too long branches sagging into the driveway. At night it forms a hand hovering over the yard. When I was younger I thought the tree looked sad, bending under the weight of its own leaves.

A lot of things changed when we moved to this house. Like the fact we were now closer to family and didn’t have to drive for so long on a daily basis anymore. And the fact I got to see my cousins more often as well. And then things changed again when my sister was born. I wasn’t an only child anymore. I changed from private to public school. The walls were repainted as well. I remember I wanted to paint my walls this bright turquoise color to match my Winx Club fairy poster. But we accidently ended up with baby blue. I sulked for days before I realized I liked this new color. We haven’t changed it since.

My house is the home I have lived in for eight years with my parents, my sister, and the pets we have had through the years. My house is one story, and is painted a pale yellow on the outside. The cornfields I used to see through the fence are now a park. And the backyard now has a pool. And my house looks different now from when we first moved in, because now my house is home.


Age Differences

(“Boys and Girls”)

My sister and I are six years apart. 1999 and 2005. Both of us born in October. Mine the 8th, and hers the 23rd. She has dishwater-blond hair like silk. And the kind of baby blue eyes newborns have, like she just never grew into her real eye color. Compared to me, my hair was brown-curls when I was her age but has turned into a light-brown/dark-blonde mass of frizz. Partially due to the humidity South Florida is famous for, part because I dyed my hair purple in middle school. My eyes used to be blue like hers and now they’re this hazel-gold-brown-green color that changes by the day.

I am almost 15. Almost old enough to drive. Almost an adult. Almost about to almost graduate. Almost about to go to college. Almost old enough to have to worry about it. She is almost 9. Almost in the fifth grade.

I’m a Libra, she’s a Scorpio.

We couldn’t be more different. We aren’t very close, but a six-year age difference will do that to you.

We are very different, but she’s my sister. And I love her.

I think that’s all that matters.


My Name

My name means “Listener”, which is funny because I love to talk. My name means unoriginal, it was one of the top five names of my birthyear. There is always at least one other girl or boy who shared my name. My name means never being told apart from those who share it. It means three tries before you get it straight which one I am. My name is Samantha. It is too long, too common, and sounds too much like an American Girl doll. I go by Sam. People say Sam is a boy’s name. I say its my name. I am only ever called Samantha by professional strangers (i.e teachers, doctors) and when I am trouble. Though in that case, I am called Samantha Aileen Bonge. My full name, middle and all.

Samantha is a mouthful. Its awkward in the mouth of non-English speaking relatives like an ill-fitting retainer. It doesn’t quite fit. They inevitably mispronounce it as Samanta, no h. The name Samantha comes from a TV I have never seen but both my parents have. The name Aileen comes from my mother’s sister, chosen because it begins with an A, and my father’s stepsisters and their daughters all have middle names beginning with A. Aileen means compromise, two families coming together. It means tradition, and forever being mistaken as my aunt’s child. As the other granddaughter, it means immutably being called Alien by kids who can’t read the Spanish name.

Bonge is a name that doesn’t exist. The sole relic left of a man I have never met, my father’s father. His name was too difficult to say in English, so it was shortened to

Bonge.
Bonge is like the name of a ghost. Maybe it existed once upon a time. Maybe it belonged to a family with twelve kids in a small Italian village. Maybe the father was fair-haired and the mother was brunette. Maybe their children were a dishwater-colored mix of the two and they shared the name. But Bonge doesn’t exist; it belongs only to the four people that live in my house. Bonge belongs to my parents, my sister, and me. Bonge sounds like a fairytale in a language you can’t read. My name is Samantha Aileen Bonge, it means listener, tradition, fairytale. But I go by Sam. And that’s me.

Street Cats

(“Cathy Queen of Cats”)

Unlike most kids who have a dog or a fish-tank, I have cats. Three of them to be exact. Max, Angel, and Jackie.

None of them are purebred. I don’t actually know what breed they are, any of them. They aren’t fancy hairless cats that everyone wants but are terrified of. They’re all rescues. They’re street cats.

Max came to our door during a thunderstorm before I was even born. He is about 16 years old now, at least in human years. He is an old, fat cat. He is diabetic as well.

Every morning my dad has to inject him with insulin. He is black and white like a checkerboard. But now his fur is slowly turning grey. He has trouble jumping up onto the bed and couch now, but it doesn’t stop him. He’s long out grown leaving dead mice as presents, but he does like to follow people around the house and hang out in the shower. He must be the only cat in existence that likes showers, running water and everything. He still hates baths though.

He doesn’t like my sister much. But he likes to sleep on my bed sometimes. My mom says he used to sleep in my crib. He’s been with us my whole life. My mom calls him

my big brother. I don’t know what I’m going to do when he’s gone. He wouldn’t be the first pet to die, but he’d be the first I’d never truly lived without. I don’t think he remembers life without me either.

We got Angel next. She’s the only girl. She’s white except for the grey on her tail and ears. Her fur is longer and fluffier than the boys’. She’s also far more antisocial than the others. She doesn’t really like anyone except me. I was maybe seven when we got her. We found her outside our church the day we went to sing for Easter. My parents wouldn’t let me pet her; worried she had rabbis and that I’d get filthy. I begged and begged to take her home. I felt bad for her all alone, little kids throwing chunks of granola bars and pebbles at her. She’s about 8-years old now, maybe 9. She was black with dirt and grime when we found her. Like the monster from black lagoon from that kids book. Skinny like a skeleton too. But I named her Angel before I ever knew the color of her fur.

Of course, she took some time to get used to our house. She’d hide under beds. Refuse to eat if anyone was anyone near her. She tore things up at night with her claws and teeth. I woke up on day to find the remains of foam blocks everywhere like a rainbow threw-up. She liked to bring us present too. Rats, lizards, small snakes, dragonflies. You name it. Their dead corpses haunted the hallways.

But she calmed down eventually. But before then, she managed to break her leg by getting it caught on a tablecloth. It was wrapped up in a green cast for a few weeks. We stopped using tablecloths after that.

Max took to having a “little sister” fairly well. He took care of her. He also once got in a fight because of her. With a real street cat that tried attacking her. My dad had to

rescue Max. It was scary. But kind of cute too.

The last of the cats is Jack. He’s orange with brownish stripes. Like a perpetually infant tiger cub. I had wanted to name him Simba or Tiger. But my dad nixed those ideas right away. I was famous for awful names. So we picked Jack and that was the end of it, Jack was more my sister’s cat. She calls him Jackie. He’s the one that gets struck on the roof and drags bats and dying birds into the house. We got him from the FurBaby adoption thing at PetCo, he was going to be put down. His name had been Prancer, because his entire litter was named after Santa’s reindeer. I think that’s why he loves the roof so much.

He’s about 5 or 6 now. He’s smaller than the other two. But still bigger than when e got him. He’s fully grown now. He’s the one that attacks for feet under the covers and sleeps on the pillow next to your head. Guarding you through the night.


Blood is Thicker than Water

(“Louie, his Cousin, and his Other Cousin”)

Most people don’t really understand the phrase “Blood is thicker than Water”. It comes from a longer quote, “The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb”. Most people see the first and know it means that family is the most important bond. But according to the second, the bonds you chose to form (i.e. Friends), are stronger than those forged by familial ties.

I like to think of it as saying some ties you make are more important than the ones we are born into. That there is something more to family than just sharing blood. Like marriage for example, you chose to form that bond.

I am very close to my maternal grandparents, very close to some of my cousins. But I am also very close to some family members to whom I am not strictly related to. With whom I do not share a single drop of blood.

Like my Mama Rosario. Who is not my mother or stepmother, but rather my grandmother’s best friend of almost sixty years. She practically raised me. She and my

grandmother have been friends since they were six years old in Cuba. For all intents and purposes, she is family. Though we are not really related.

Or take my tia Lily. She bought the blanket they wrapped me in when they brought me home from the hospital. Her daughter Alejandra calls me cousin Sammy. And yet I am not related to her. But she has been my mom’s best friend for about 20 years.

I am a firm believer in the fact that family can be more than blood.

Because of this, I have more cousins than I can count.


Here Not Everywhere

(“Those Who Don’t”)

I have always lived in or at the very least near Miami. We moved to Miami from Miami Lakes. Those are the only two places I’ve lived. In those two houses. I have never even left the East Coast. At least, not that I can remember.

Miami is a big city, even when you live in the suburb type neighborhoods like Kendall. Here we do not talk to our neighbors. We do not send children outside to play alone even for a minute. You don’t walk home alone, especially at night. Not even if it’s a block away.

Here, flip-flops in winter are acceptable.

Here, we roll our eyes at tourists who squeal at the sight of the beach, because we are all so bored of sand and waves.

Here, we scoff at sunblock and silently suffer sunburns because we are too used to it to be bothered by the red peeling skin.

Here, humidity is never less than 50%. And the temperature dropping below seventy degrees means its time to break out the sweatshirts and boots. It might as well be snowing. Most people here haven’t seen snow once. Haven’t even seen the leaves change colors. But ask any Ten-year-old and they could tell you exactly when its safe and when its not to be outside during a thunderstorm. Because why should a little bit of rain stop us from running errands. Because you’ve never seen a rainstorm until you’ve seen the 15-minute flash flood Miami gives you. There’ll be water up to your knees.

Here, almost everyone speaks Spanish. And no one looks at you twice if you switch languages half way through a sentence.

Forgetting a word in one language, or only knowing it in Spanish is commonly accepted.

But anywhere else, a bathing suit any where but the pool is out of place. As is a sweater when it’s hotter than 50 degrees.

Anywhere else, forgetting how to say something in English makes people think you hit our head and are speaking in tongues.

But remember, anywhere else, there’s always someone who has never seen the ocean. Never been to Disneyworld.

Everywhere is different. And Miami is sort of messed up. But so is anywhere else. But Miami is home. No matter where we end up going to college.

Discussion: How To – Start A Book Blog

Advice from a Not-So-Seasoned Not-Quite-Professional

A long while ago, I wrote a discussion with my advice on ARC requests.

Surprisingly, to me at least, a lot of people liked it and found it useful. And I realized something, I feel like a floundering child when it comes to this blog, but with a year and 460-ish followers, I have a marginal about of experience and advice I can share with some form of authority.

So, since my best friend has finally caved to my wishes and is soon starting her own book blog (and yes, I will hype and promote the hell out of her, be prepared), I thought an advice post would be a good way to help her, and anyone else reading this blog who wants help starting a blog, or just to see my insights into blogging, to see a different point of view.


Practical Blogging Advice:

  • Be realistic with yourself. Don’t say you can post 5 times a week if you do not realistically have that time. Start with one well written post a week. Its more important to be well written and consistent than to have a lot of posts.
  • Follow and interact with other blogs. Be a part of the community.
  • Followers do not happen overnight. Do it because you like it.
  • DO NOT OVER REQUEST NETGALLEY ARCS IT WILL HAUNT YOU FOREVER.

Book Blogging Essentials:

  • A separate email account you feel comfortable sharing.
  • A blog directory
  • A Netgalley account
  • A Goodreads account

Memes, Features, and Common Types of Book Blog Posts:

  • Top Ten Tuesday / Top Five Wednesday
  • TBR (To Be Read)
  • Book Hauls / Unhauls
  • Book Reviews
  • Book Adaptation Reviews
  • Book Coming Out This Month/Year
  • Favorites
  • Week / Month in Review – Weekly/Monthly Reading or Blogging Wrap-ups

Connecting With Fellow Bloggers:

A big part of blogging is connecting with fellow book bloggers.

Comment on other people’s posts, and don’t be afraid to start a conversation. People will want to talk to you!


Social Media For Book Bloggers:

You can’t blog in a void.

Well, you can, but then, no one will read what you’re writing. If you want to make friends and gain readers you have to network.

Comment, like, and follow other blogs. Join twitter and follow bookish-peeps there. Get a Goodreads and join some blogger/reader groups.

Trust me, it works.

And this is coming from someone notoriously bad with both technology and people.


Other (more) helpful advice & tips:

How To Start A Book Blog By The Sassy Book Geek

Discussions by Sparkling Letters

Realities of Book Blogging by Ardent Attachments

Rave Worthy Blogging by Rant&Rave About Books

Blog Graphics Tutorial by Read At Midnight


Bloggers I Look Up To/To Follow
(Blog-speration)

This is of course, not a comprehensive list of all the bloggers I like/follow/love, its just a list for the newbies to get a feel of some amazing book blogs and shoutout some people I admire.

This is in no particular order.

That Bookshelf Bitch

Thoughts & Afterthoughts

RakioddBooks

Heir of Glitter

My Tiny Obsessions

Calliope The Book Goddess

52 Letters in the Alphabet

Freedom Library

Bookshelves And Biros

Genie Reads

Icebreaker694

The Orangutan Librarian

Rant & Rave About Books

Read At Midnight

Bookish Things & Tea


So, what do you guys think?

Any bloggers you want to shoutout? Any advice you want to give to newbies or fellow book bloggers? Did you find anything I said helpful? Do you want me to do more of these types of discussions? Are their any topics in particular you want to see?

Let me me know down in the comments!

 

 

Scars and Stories: How I Learned to Read (Though Sheer Stubborness)

Intro:

Every book blogger has a story of how they got into reading or what book insinuated the love of reading in them. This is my story, except my “learning to love to read” story is also my “literally learning to read story”.

Story Time:

Every kindergartener in America starts reading by learning sight words, and by the time they get to first grade they can read picture books on their own. Right?

Well, I went to a private school from preschool until first grade, and they were more math than reading oriented. Reading was basically something that was used to understand the directions on worksheets and that’s it. We didn’t actually read books. I don’t think I read a book until the second grade. That is when I really learned to read. (I mean, I’m pretty sure I read picture books and stuff. But not much else.)

Now, I had an amazing teacher in second grade. I was ahead in everything but reading compared to my class. I went from my slightly advanced private school to an inclusive class (by the fourth quarter they switched me to Gifted – yes, most of the way through the year) to put things in perspective. I went from a first grade reading level to sixth grade level by the end of the year with her. I was at a college reading level by the end of third grade.

The first chapter book I read? Harry Potter.

Sounds crazy? Well, I was a stubborn child (I still am).

I watched the first four movies and was dying to know what happened, so seven year old me decided she wanted to read the books. Didn’t matter that I could just barely read Magic Tree House on my own, I was determined. The school library wouldn’t let me check out the books, but my grandma bought me the boxed set for my birthday/christmas (something around there – this was a decade ago give me a break).

Mind you, I struggled greatly. And Harry Potter was interpreted with listening to the first book on audio to help me out (which we soon learned I wasn’t all that thrilled with – I hate audiobooks, I would literally fall asleep), as well as Cornelia Funke’s books, and stuff  like Series of Unfortunate Events (which I read out of order because at 7 I did not yet really understand the concept of series being in a particular order).

Eventually, I stubborned my way through all the Harry Potter books in a little over a year. My dad used to have to help me read words like “chandelier” but I could read things like “ectoplasm” just fine. I think I confused him.

My reading ability couldn’t be attributed just to Harry Potter – though it was my primary motivation to wanting to. I also had a thing where I liked having subtitles on TV shows  – mind you, I was the kind of kid that was so obsessed with Pokemon, I’d watch the newest movie in Japanese with English subtitles because I couldn’t wait the six months for a Dubbed release.

This Pokemon obsession was the other motivation behind wanting to learn to read – beginning even before the Harry Potter one. I was really into playing Pokemon Channel on the GameCube and Pokemon Leafgreen on the game boy – but Pokemon games are pretty dependent on reading, so I’d have to wait for my dad to help me out (I was 3/4/5 okay?). So, literally, I wanted to learn to read so I could lay Pokemon on my own. I’m pretty sure my first sight words were things like “Pikachu used Thundershock” or something.

After:

Mind you, my stubbornness over reading didn’t end once I’d mastered it. I tried to read Pride and Prejudice when I was 8 (I got bored and read Holly Black and Rick Riordan instead but still – I got a ways through it).

When I was 9, I read all the Twilight books – despite being told repeatedly I was too young and even getting my book confiscated so the teacher could confirm with my mother that I was permitted to read it. I probably would have stopped after the second book because I was, well 9, and a lot went over my head. But I was told I shouldn’t/couldn’t so I finished them. And liked. And started a shipping war among the nine-year-olds once the movie came out and we all begged to see it. Yeah, I was that kid.

I read Hunger Games in fifth grade and gave my dad a heart attack by sobbing hysterically in the car when Rue died – and loudly scream/begging for the next book – despite him beginning to think it was a mistake to let his 10 year old read such violence.

By my last semester of fifth grade, I’d literally run out of books grade level or higher in the ENTIRE SCHOOL LIBRARY to read. Not ones that interested me. All of them. I can’t name beyond about 20 or so favorites that I read through all of elementary school (10 Ways to Make My Sister Disappear, Regarding The Fountain, Awful End, Ghosthunters, Heir Apparent, Companions Quartet, Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark, The Girl Who Could Fly, Inkheart, Amber Brown, Ramona and Beezus, Suddenly Supernatural, Molly Moon, Peter and the Starcatachers, The Magic Half, Scat, Etc.). My teacher had to allow me to read below grade level books so I could reach my minimum for a grade. Yeah, it was pretty insane. I sat for an hour with a stack of picture books, reading and taking AR tests for .5 points each until I got what I needed.

I was the kid who got in trouble for reading under the desk a lot. I once got grounded from reading and was told to watch TV because I was being a smart mouth (my dad told me to do the dishes, and I said child labor was illegal…and continued arguing this point for a while – I was like, 8).

Trailer Talk: Young Justice Outsiders

 

About Young Justice:

Young Justice is an American animated television series developed by Brandon Vietti and Greg Weisman for Cartoon Network. Despite its title, it is not a direct adaptation of Peter David, Todd Dezago and Todd Nauck’s Young Justice comic series, but rather an adaptation of the entire DC Universe with a focus on young superheroes.

The series follows the lives of teenage superheroes and sidekicks who are members of a fictional covert operation group referred to simply as ‘the team’. Young Justice is essentially a young counterpart to the famous adult team, the Justice League. The main setting is a fictional universe apart from the previous DCAU and other continuities (designated at one point as Earth-16) during a time period in which superheroes are a relatively recent phenomenon.

After airing its second season, titled Young Justice: Invasion, the series was canceled in spring 2013. On November 7, 2016, Warner Bros. Animation announced that the series would be returning for a third season, titled Young Justice: Outsiders, which  would be released on January 4, 2019.


Trailer Thoughts:

  • Very dramatic
  • Nice animation
  • WALLY!
  • Leaving behind the hero life?
  • Explaining aay the breakbetween seasons? Nice
  • Making out while the world in ending. Classic.
  • Of course kid flash is in danger

12 Days of Christmas Book Tag

Side note: I’m not picking absolute favorites, just the first books that pop into my head.


ON THE FIRST DAY OF CHRISTMAS, MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: A PARTRIDGE IN A PEAR TREE.

The partridge stood alone in the pear tree. What is your favorite stand alone?

 

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ON THE SECOND DAY OF CHRISTMAS, MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: TWO TURTLE DOVES.

Love is in the air! Who is your one true pairing?

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ON THE THIRD DAY OF CHRISTMAS, MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: THREE FRENCH HENS.

In the spirit of threes, what is the best trilogy you have read?

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ON THE FOURTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: FOUR CALLING BIRDS.

Since series usually consist of four or more books, what is your favorite series?

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ON THE FIFTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: FIVE GOLDEN RINGS.

One ring to rule them all! Who is your Favorite Villain/Antagonist?

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ON THE SIXTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: SIX GEESE A LAYING.

Creation is a beautiful thing. What is your favorite world/world-building?

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ON THE SEVENTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: SEVEN SWANS A SWIMMING.

Who needs seven swans when all it takes is one good animal sidekick? Who’s your favorite animal sidekick?

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ON THE EIGHTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: EIGHT MAIDS A MILKING.

Milk is so 18th century. Which book or series takes beverages/food to a whole new level?

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ON THE NINTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: NINE LADIES DANCING.

Dancing is just one skill of a Lady! Who is your favorite kickass female lead?

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ON THE TENTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: TEN LORDS A LEAPING.

How about your favorite leading lad?

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ON THE ELEVENTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: ELEVEN PIPES PIPING.

What is your favorite book or bookish thing with musical influence? (It can be about music, reference music a lot etc.)

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ON THE TWELFTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: 12 DRUMMERS DRUMMING.

Drum roll please…what is your favorite read of this year?

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I tag anyone who wants to do this Christmas tag!