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dear mr. hemingway’s 2021 holiday books & pairings 

All the Shining Stars

Holidays 2021, All the Shining Stars Category

All the Lonely People by Mike Gayle (Grand Central Publishing)

Every star in my heart goes to this GEM.  Mike Gayle wrote the ultimate story of love, loss, grief, loneliness, and friendship.  My heart went on a wild ride with this one, but in the end…it has never felt more full.  Hubert Bird’s story will stay with you long after the last page.  


In weekly phone calls to his daughter in Australia, widower Hubert Bird paints a picture of the perfect retirement, packed with fun, friendship, and fulfillment. But it’s a lie. In reality, Hubert’s days are all the same, dragging on without him seeing a single soul.

Until he receives some good news—good news that in one way turns out to be the worst news ever, news that will force him out again, into a world he has long since turned his back on. The news that his daughter is coming for a visit.

Now Hubert faces a seemingly impossible task: to make his real-life resemble his fake life before the truth comes out.

Along the way, Hubert stumbles across a second chance at love, renews a cherished friendship, and finds himself roped into an audacious community scheme that seeks to end loneliness once and for all . . .

Life is certainly beginning to happen to Hubert Bird. But with the origin of his earlier isolation always lurking in the shadows, will he ever get to live the life he’s pretended to have for so long?”

P.S.  Eat, Sleep, Read, Repeat is my motto and this shirt paired with Gayle’s book is DIVINE!   


The Guncle by Steven Rowley (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

The Guncle by Steven Rowley is The Dear Mr. Hemingway pick for the DMH~ PAGES WELL PAIRED HOLIDAY BOX.  Nubble Light Candle Company in Kittery Maine created an exclusive candle just for this box. Orange, Champagne Bubbles, and Sunshine anyone?  This candle smells as magical as this book reads.  

The Guncle is the most wonderful story!  So wonderful that I wrote a letter to author Steven Rowley (instead of Mr. Hemingway 😮 ) about how amazing I think his writing is.  You can read that letter RIGHT HERE.  Rowley tackles grief, loss, addiction, family and so much more by infusing laughter and love throughout his book, making life’s challenges a little less scary to read about.  This book is touching and downright hysterical.  It is an absolute must.


Patrick, or Gay Uncle Patrick (GUP, for short), has always loved his niece, Maisie, and nephew, Grant. That is, he loves spending time with them when they come out to Palm Springs for weeklong visits, or when he heads home to Connecticut for the holidays. But in terms of caretaking and relating to two children, no matter how adorable, Patrick is, honestly, overwhelmed. 

So when tragedy strikes and Maisie and Grant lose their mother and Patrick’s brother has a health crisis of his own, Patrick finds himself suddenly taking on the role of primary guardian. Despite having a set of “Guncle Rules” ready to go, Patrick has no idea what to expect, having spent years barely holding on after the loss of his great love, a somewhat-stalled acting career, and a lifestyle not-so-suited to a six- and a nine-year-old. Quickly realizing that parenting–even if temporary–isn’t solved with treats and jokes, Patrick’s eyes are opened to a new sense of responsibility, and the realization that, sometimes, even being larger than life means you’re unfailingly human.”

It Had to Be You by Georgia Clark (Atria Books)

It Had To Be You by Georgia Clark has all the “feels” and I literally can’t stop smiling.  Love almighty love is the theme here, and Clark delivers a five-star tale blending a sprinkle of Modern Love with a dollop of Love Actually.  This twenty-first-century romantic comedy is a ray of sunshine and should be gifted to EVERYONE! This book is a well-needed hug after a long day kind of book. You can read my full post about this book right HERE if you would like.


For the past twenty years, Liv and Eliot Goldenhorn have run In Love in New York, Brooklyn’s beloved wedding-planning business. When Eliot dies unexpectedly, he even more unexpectedly leaves half of the business to his younger, blonder girlfriend, Savannah. Liv and Savannah are not a match made in heaven, to say the least. But what starts as a personal and professional nightmare transforms into something even savvy, cynical Liv Goldenhorn couldn’t begin to imagine.

It Had to Be You cleverly unites Liv, Savannah, and couples as diverse and unique as New York City itself, in a joyous Love-Actually-style braided narrative.”

P.S. Pair this book with one of my favorite bookmarks gifted to me last year.  It’s vintage and silver-plated and absolutely FABULOUS…just like Clark’s book!

Dear Mr. Hemingway’s 2021 Holiday Books & Pairings

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