Leslie Odom Jr.’s Inspiring New Book: Failing Up: How to Take Risks, Aim Higher, and Never Stop Learning

Leslie Odom, Jr. originated the role of Aaron Burr in the Broadway musical phenomenon Hamilton. Since then, he has performed for sold-out audiences, sung for the Obamas at the White House, and won a Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical. But before he landed the role of a lifetime in one of the biggest musicals of all time, Odom put in years of hard work as a singer and an actor.

With personal stories from his life, Odom asks the questions that will help you unlock your true potential and achieve your goals even when they seem impossible. What work did you put in today that will help you improve tomorrow? How do you surround yourself with people who will care about your dreams as much as you do? How do you know when to play it safe and when to risk it all for something bigger and better?

These stories will inspire you, motivate you, and empower you for the greatness that lies ahead, whether you’re graduating from college, starting a new job, or just looking to live each day to the fullest.

Odom was most recently seen in the blockbuster Broadway musical Hamilton, for which he won the Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical for the role of “Aaron Burr.” He is a Grammy Award winner as a principal soloist on Hamilton’s Original Broadway Cast Recording, which won the 2015 award for Best Musical Theater Album. Odom, Jr. originated the role of “Burr” in a sold-out run at The Public Theater in 2015, earning a Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical and a Lucille Lortel Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical.

As a recording artist, his self-titled debut album was part-funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign which raised $40,971. The album was released in 2014 by Borderlight Entertainment, Inc. Odom has appeared on “Smash,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “Gotham,” “Person of Interest,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “House of Lies,” “Vanished” and “CSI: Miami.” He also starred in the feature film Murder on the Orient Express.

Leslie Odom, Jr.’s upcoming visit is part of Anderson’s Bookshops’ calendar of special author events. Anderson’s Bookshops specialize in book sales, author events, book signings, and building a sense of community, learning and fun. The store has been helping Naperville readers for six generations. Additional locations include Downers Grove, at 5112 Main Street (630)-963-2665 and La Grange, at 26 S. La Grange Rd. (708) 582-6353. A toy shop, Anderson’s Toyshop, at 111 W. Jefferson Ave., in Naperville, opened in 2016. Key to Anderson’s success has been special author events, like the March 31 program with Leslie Odom, Jr.


Steve Hamilton in Chicago to discuss his latest mystery “The Second Life of Nick Mason”

“He’s made a deal with the devil,” says New York Times bestselling author Steve Hamilton abSECOND LIFE OF NICK MASONout his latest book, “The Second Life of Nick Mason” (Putnam’ 2016; $26) . “Everywhere he goes he’s watched, everyone he touches is in danger and all he wants to do is reunite with his wife and daughter.”

To get out of prison after five very long years instead of serving 25-to-life, Mason agrees to a mysterious agreement with Darius Cole, who is serving a double-life term in the same prison but still rules his criminal empire from his cell.  What it means is Mason gets to live in a luxurious Chicago Gold Coast mansion stocked with gourmet food and drink and drive the super-fast sports car that’s parked in the garage. The downside?  He has to do Cole’s bidding and so, every time his cell phone rings, Mason finds Author Photo of Steve Hamilton (c) Franco Vogthimself embark on ever increasingly dangerous—and need we say—illegal assignments. To make matters worse,  he’s being tracked by the same police detective who put him behind bars to begin with.

Hamilton, one of only two authors to win Mystery Writers of America Edgar Awards for both best novel and best first novel, is meticulous about his research.

“When I was writing ‘The Lock Artist’ which is about a safe cracker, I found the best one in the world,” says Hamilton who is from Detroit but now lives in the Catskill Mountains in New York State. “I learned how to pick locks. In fact,  I keep my lock picks on my desk and pick locks everyday just to keep my touch.”

He’s also been to maximum security prisons, like the one Mason is so desperate to leave that he’s willing to agree to anything.

“There’s so much of Nick I can relate to,” says Hamilton, whose books  include The Alex McKnight series starting with ‘A Cold Day in Paradise.’ “You’d do anything to get out of those prisons just like Nick and I have a daughter like he does and it would just kill me not to see her.”


What: Steve Hamilton book signing

When: Monday, May 23 at 7pm

Where: Anderson’s Bookshop,  Anderson’s Bookshop La Grange, 26 S. La Grange Rd., La Grange, IL

Cost: Free

FYI: (708) 582-6353


%d bloggers like this: