What’s Making me Happy… 27th March 2016

Hello and welcome to my second blog post celebrating what is making me happy this week!

Let’s get straight to it – the first thing that has made me happy recently is the podcast that inspired this post, Pop Culture Happy Hour, and more specifically, their episode on the Broadway musical Hamilton.

I love Pop Culture Happy Hour, a roundtable discussion from NPR about all the greatest aspects of pop culture, whether that be music, books or delightfully trashy tv. Mostly the discussion revolves around something vaguely topical, and every week they finish off the chat with revealing what is making them happy – hence this new blog adventure!

Pop Culture Happy Hour pic

Linda Holmes and the PCHH crew have been threatening to dedicate an episode to Hamilton for a while, and finally, last week, they did it! And it was glorious!!!

I’m kind of presuming that most of us know what Hamilton is about, but for those out there who are baffled, it’s the broadway sensation of the decade, a hip-hop journey through US history and more specifically, the life of United States founding father Alexander Hamilton. I have been listening to the soundtrack on and off for the last three months or so, and I am totally in love with it. But, the chances of seeing this musical for myself is negligible. Even if I were in New York, there are currently ongoing lotteries for tickets, the demand is so high, and let’s be honest, the chances of this musical transferring over to the West End is slim to nil. I’d never heard of Alexander Hamilton before this show came around, so I doubt that any West End producers are going to gamble on staging it for UK audiences.

Which is why I was so thrilled by the PCHH crew’s field trip to see Hamilton for themselves! I could live vicariously through them! They let me imagine what it might be like to actually see the show, and for that I am thankful. Plus their insight and critique added a dimension to the show that is otherwise impossible to find when listening to the soundtrack on shuffle via Spotify. So thanks Linda Holmes et al – you guys are fantastic. Thank you for inspiring my new weekly blogging endeavours, and keep up the good work!

HERE is a link to the NPR blog Monkey See, curated by the host of PCHH, Linda Holmes.

And HERE is a link to a great little video introduction to Hamilton courtesy of CBS.

The next thing making me happy this week is Crush by Eve Ainsworth, a gripping YA novel about a highly toxic relationship.


In a couple of weeks I’ll be appearing at the Oxford Literary Festival with Eve and CJ Skuse, so I’m doing my homework and making sure that I’ve read the works by these awesome ladies. Last week I read Crush, and devoured it in a couple of sittings. My heart actually lurched in places, as the relationship between Anna and Will descended into something horribly dangerous. I was a particularly impressed by how Eve planted the seeds to the downfall. The little snippets, like cracks in a dam, that allowed Will to become so dominant in Anna’s life. A brilliant read! Next up I’ll be reading Monster by CJ, and I honestly can’t wait!

If you want to read Crush for yourself, you can buy it RIGHT HERE!

And if you would like to come and see myself, Eve and CJ chat all things YA, then join us in Oxford! You can find a link to tickets HERE!

And finally, what is making me immensely happy this week is a playlist inspired by THIS BUZZFEED ARTICLE.

I went on Spotify and added a few tracks from each artist, and you can follow that playlist via THIS LINK. I hope you enjoy it! Some particular fascinating finds are Jacob Whitesides, Daya and Sophie Beem.

So there we have it – I hope you’ve liked my second foray into what’s making me happy. If you would like to make your own happy lists, feel free and let me know via my contact form on this website or by twitter, I’d love to see!