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Scrumptious Cookbooks

Hello Reading Friends!

As you may have gathered, I am a cookbook junkie! I love them, use them, collect them, obsess over them, and basically can’t live without them. Because of this, I am excited to share THREE shiny new books for you to check out. Each one of these beauties is unique in its own way and all of them are absolutely DELICIOUS!

Happy Cooking & Happy Eating!

Kelly

Click on the book pic to purchase!

๐ˆ ๐š๐ฆ ๐Ž๐๐’๐„๐’๐’๐„๐ƒ with ๐˜‰๐˜ฐ๐˜ฅ๐˜บ ๐˜๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜บ: ๐˜•๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ, ๐˜—๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ต-๐˜‰๐˜ข๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜™๐˜ฆ๐˜ค๐˜ช๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ง๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ ๐˜๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ถ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜Œ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ by Nicole Berrie!

This cookbook is not only stunning but 100% inspiring. It truly makes me want to cook more nutritious, delicious food while eating the rainbow. Berrieโ€™s recipes use Whole Foods and gorgeous ingredients that make healthy cooking and eating feel luxurious. My top three recipes so far are the ๐ƒ๐ซ๐ข๐ง๐ค ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐’๐ฎ๐ง juice, ๐ƒ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ฌ๐ž ๐‚๐š๐ž๐ฌ๐š๐ซ ๐’๐š๐ฅ๐š๐, and the ๐‚๐ก๐ข๐œ๐ค๐ฉ๐ž๐š ๐“๐ฎ๐ง๐š ( pictured here and stuffed into a raw red pepper). I plan on perusing this book ๐š๐ ๐š๐ข๐ง tonight, to plan some yummy weekend meals! โฃ
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If you are looking to fuel yourself with some spectacular plant-based recipesโ€ฆ๐˜‰๐˜ฐ๐˜ฅ๐˜บ ๐˜๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜บ is for you! This is not only my new โ€œgo-toโ€ cookbook but also my โ€œ go-toโ€ gift to give EVERYONE!โฃ

Synopsis:โฃ
“In ๐˜‰๐˜ฐ๐˜ฅ๐˜บ ๐˜๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜บ, Nicole Berrie reveals how she personally transitioned from the partying years of her teens and twenties to the fast-paced world of fashion and media, eventually settling into a thriving and balanced life and career in wellness. Sharing recipes, advice, and thoughtful guidance, this book is an inspirational lifestyle manual and cookbook dedicated to those seeking the ever-elusive answer to how to nourish themselves with clean, plant-based foods while still indulging in the joys and delicacies of life.โฃ
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In the introductory chapters, Berrie outlines the founding tenets of the Body Harmony lifestyle and discusses topics ranging from plant-based cooking and intuitive eating to the importance of nontoxic beauty rituals and self-care. In addition, the book includes more than 50 original vegan recipes for juices, smoothies, salads, soups, and grounding grain-based dishes, all meant to cleanse and nourish the body and soul while keeping the reader both pretty and full.โฃ”

Click on the book pic to purchase!

I dove right into Anna Stockwell’s scrumptious book because guess what? It is time to start having dinner parties again. While planning something epic at my home for friends and family, I jumped in with both feet and made the ๐‚๐ข๐ญ๐ซ๐ฎ๐ฌ-๐‚๐ก๐ข๐ฅ๐ž ๐’๐ฅ๐จ๐ฐ-๐‚๐จ๐จ๐ค๐ž๐ ๐๐จ๐ซ๐ค and I can honestly sayโ€ฆ.. it was devoured by my entire family (me, husband, two teen boys, and one tween boy). It was even requested to be made again sooner than later. That my friends…is an ABSOLUTE WIN!
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I am officially making my guest list!

โฃSynopsis:
โ€œStockwell has written a cookbook for a new way of entertaining thatโ€™s simpler, better, healthier, and more fun. Organized by season and full of helpful hosting advice, Stockwell provides accessible and modern menus; each is built around two large platters to pass around the table and includes suggestions for no-recipe side dishes. Dinner parties don’t have to be formal or fussy, or even a lot of work, to be celebratory and gratifying. This book teaches you how to plan and prepare great-tasting and impressive-looking menus that are easy to pull off, as well as offers expert advice on toasts, prep-ahead strategies, and tips on handling guest lists and dietary restrictions. โ€œโฃ

Click on the book pic to purchase!

Emily Meggettโ€™s (M.G.), ๐˜Ž๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜ฉ ๐˜Ž๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ค๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ ๐˜๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ ๐˜Š๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฌ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ is the ultimate comfort cookbook. Fresh biscuits and popovers, fish cakes, squash casserole, and sausage and gravy are just a few satisfying recipes I made straight away. But of course, when I see a new version of the beloved banana breadโ€ฆ I must make it! Can you say YUM??? The best part of M.G.โ€™s cookbook is that I learned all about Edisto Island in South Carolina and the Gullah and Geechee people. What an absolute treat!โฃ

๐’๐ฒ๐ง๐จ๐ฉ๐ฌ๐ข๐ฌ โฃ
โ€œThe history of the Gullah and Geechee people stretches back centuries when enslaved members of this community were historically isolated from the rest of the South because of their location on the Sea Islands of coastal South Carolina and Georgia. Today, this Lowcountry community represents the most direct living link to the traditional culture, language, and foodways of their West African ancestors.โฃ
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Gullah Geechee Home Cooking, written by Emily Meggett, the matriarch of Edisto Island, is the preeminent Gullah cookbook. At 89 years old, and with more than 50 grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Meggett is a respected elder in the Gullah community of South Carolina. She has lived on the island all her life, and even at her age, still cooks for hundreds of people out of her hallowed home kitchen. Her house is a place of pilgrimage for anyone with an interest in Gullah Geechee food. Meggettโ€™s Gullah food is rich and flavorful, though it is also often lighter and more seasonal than other types of Southern cooking. Heirloom rice, fresh-caught seafood, local game, and vegetables are key to her recipes for regional delicacies like fried oysters, collard greens, and stone-ground grits. This cookbook includes not only delicious and accessible recipes but also snippets of the Meggett family history on Edisto Island, which stretches back into the 19th century. โ€œ

***Dear Mr. Hemingway, LLC  has proudly PARTNERED with Abrams Books and will be sharing their Fall 2021 & Spring 2022 Food & Beverage books as part of the #ABRAMSDINNERPARTY.

Who Took My Phone Charger

A momโ€™s late-night hunt for her missing phone charger, all in the name of a GOOD NIGHTโ€™S SLEEP!

April 27, 2022

Dear Readers,

Today I am sharing a piece I have up on MEDIUM. In a house with two parents, two teens, and a tween, phone chargers are a hot commodity and should NEVER be taken for granted. Join me in battling imaginary Serial Killers, sleepless nights, and my late-night hunt for my missing phone charger. Be prepared to LAUGH OUT LOUD while I stumble through my house in the dark of the night searching for what is rightfully mine…all in the name of A GOOD NIGHTโ€™S SLEEP!

CLICK HERE TO READ! Be sure to give me a clap and a follow over there if you enjoy my work!

Thank you for all your kind words and support!

Enjoy!

xoxo,

Kelly

Cleopatra’s Dagger & An Honest Lie

April 26, 2022

Hello Gorgeous Readers!

Today I am sharing two books that couldn’t be more different from one another. On tap is a psychological thriller that will knock your socks off and a slow-burn historical mystery with a few dead bodies floating around. Let’s take a peek at these spring 2022 releases, shall we?

Cleopatraโ€™s Dagger by Carole Lawrence (Thomas  & Mercer)

Cleopatraโ€™s Dagger was a delight to read.  Lawrence immediately transported me to New York City circa 1880.  Her writing is rich in detail and showcases a feminist journalist way ahead of her time. A serial killer, mysterious dead bodies, and an Egyptian flair fill the pages of this book. I went into this novel anticipating gruesome details and an unsettling storyline; however, I found her writing more intriguing than disturbing.  There were twists along the way that kept me guessing and a โ€œwhodunnit vibeโ€ present throughout the book.  I believe that historical fiction and mystery lovers will equally enjoy this slow-burn historical mystery.

Synopsis:

“New York, 1880. Elizabeth van den Broek is the only female reporter at the Herald, the city’s most popular newspaper. Then she and her bohemian friend Carlotta Ackerman find a woman’s body wrapped like a mummy in a freshly dug hole in Central Park–the intended site of an obelisk called Cleopatra’s Needle. The macabre discovery takes Elizabeth away from the society pages to follow an investigation into New York City’s darkest shadows.

When more bodies turn up, each tied to Egyptian lore, Elizabeth is onto a headline-making scoop more sinister than she could have imagined. Her reporting has readers spellbound, and each new clue implicates New York’s richest and most powerful citizens. And a serial killer is watching every headline.

Now a madman with an indecipherable motive is coming after Elizabeth and everyone she loves. She wants a good story? She may have to die to get it.โ€

An Honest Lie by Tarryn Fisher (Graydon House)

An Honest Lie is my second Tarryn Fisher book, and what can I sayโ€ฆI am a fan.  This novel is a story of survival, redemption, and everything in-between. It is written in two different timelines with a horrific cult as the backdrop. I adored the complexity of Fisherโ€™s characters and was captivated by each messy layer that was slowly unpeeled. I was pulled in many directions, which kept me briskly turning the pages to see what happened next.  One minute I was lingering in sadness, and the next minute I felt like I was on an over-the-top roller coaster ride. Most importantly, though, Fisher kept me wildly entertained while I basked in the sun poolside over spring break.

Synopsis:

โ€œLorraine–“Rainy”–lives at the top of Tiger Mountain. Remote, moody, cloistered in pine trees and fog, it’s a sanctuary, a new life. She can hide from the disturbing past she wants to forget.

If she’s allowed to.

When Rainy reluctantly agrees to a girls’ weekend in Vegas, she’s prepared for an exhausting parade of shots and slot machines. But after a wild night, her friend Braithe doesn’t come back to the hotel room.

And then Rainy gets the text message, sent from Braithe’s phone: someone has her. But Rainy is who they really want, and Rainy knows why.

What follows is a twisted, shocking journey on the knife-edge of life and death. If she wants to save Braithe–and herself–the only way is to step back into the past.โ€

Happy Reading my friends!

xoxo,

Kelly

Click on the book pic to purchase.
Click on the book pic to purchase.

May #DEARBASICBUDDYREADS SELECTION

Necessary People by Anna Pitoniak (Little, Brown & Company)

April 25, 2022

Hello Beautiful Readers,

The month of May is just around the corner, and Katieย @basicbsguideย and I have selected ๐˜•๐˜ฆ๐˜ค๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜บ ๐˜—๐˜ฆ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฑ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ by Anna Pitoniak for our next Buddy Read! โฃ
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Itโ€™s time to dive into something with chills, drama, ambition, and intensity and we anticipate Pitoniakโ€™s 2019 book will deliver.โฃ
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As always, this is is read at your own pace situation with a killer private chat at the end of May!โฃ
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DM me over on Instagram to join in the madness!โฃ
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xoxo,โฃ
Kellyโฃ
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๐’๐ฒ๐ง๐จ๐ฉ๐ฌ๐ข๐ฌ:โฃ
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โ€œ๐€ ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐ฉ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ฌ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž, “๐œ๐ก๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ข๐ง๐ ” ๐ง๐จ๐ฏ๐ž๐ฅ ๐ž๐ฑ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐จ๐ซ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐๐š๐ง๐ ๐ž๐ซ๐จ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐Ÿ๐š๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ญ ๐ฅ๐ข๐ง๐ž๐ฌ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ฆ๐š๐ฅ๐ž ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐ข๐ž๐ง๐๐ฌ๐ก๐ข๐ฉ๐ฌ (๐‹๐ž๐ž ๐‚๐ก๐ข๐ฅ๐), ๐๐ž๐œ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ๐š๐ซ๐ฒ ๐๐ž๐จ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž ๐๐ž๐Ÿ๐ญ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ฎ๐ฆ๐›๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฅ๐ข๐ฆ๐ข๐ญ๐ฌ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐š๐ฆ๐›๐ข๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง, ๐ฅ๐จ๐ฒ๐š๐ฅ๐ญ๐ฒ, ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฅ๐จ๐ฏ๐ž. โฃ
๐Ž๐ง๐ž ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฆ ๐ก๐š๐ฌ ๐ข๐ญ ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ. ๐Ž๐ง๐ž ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฆ ๐ฐ๐š๐ง๐ญ๐ฌ ๐ข๐ญ ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ. ๐๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฒ ๐œ๐š๐ง’๐ญ ๐›๐จ๐ญ๐ก ๐ฐ๐ข๐ง.โฃ
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Stella and Violet are best friends, and from the moment they met in college, they knew their roles. Beautiful, privileged, and reckless Stella lives in the spotlight. Hardworking, laser-focused Violet stays behind the scenes, always ready to clean up the mess that Stella inevitably leaves in her wake.โฃ


After graduation, Violet moves to New York and lands a job in cable news, where she works her way up from intern to assistant to producer, and to a life where she’s finally free from Stella’s shadow. In this fast-paced world, Violet thrives, and her ambitions grow — but everything is jeopardized when Stella, envious of Violet’s new life, uses her connections, beauty, and charisma to get hired at the same network. Stella soon moves in front of the camera, becoming the public face of the stories that Violet has worked tirelessly to produce — and taking all the credit. โฃ


Stella might be the one with the rich family and the right friends, but Violet isn’t giving up so easily. As she and Stella strive for success, each reveals just how far she’ll go to get what she wants — even if it means destroying the other person along the way.โ€

Click on the book pic to purchase.

Listen Up

Good Rich People by Eliza Jane Brazier (Berkley Publishing + Penguin Random House Audio)
In the Shadow of the Mountain:ย  A Memoir of Courage by Silvia Vasquez-Lavado (Henry Holt & Co + Macmillan Audio)

March 24, 2022

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

Spring is officially in the air, and my reading life feels wonderfully on point.  I constantly switch up genres to keep up with my ever-changing mood, and itโ€™s the #1 reason I hardly ever get bored with my books.  Today I am sharing two books that could not possibly be more different from one another, yet both were captivating in their unique way.  A memoir about healing from trauma while climbing Mount Everest and a work of spectacular fiction that involves dead bodies and over-the-top rich people is what I am talking about today, so listen up.

In the Shadow of the Mountain:  A Memoir of Courage by Silvia Vasquez-Lavado was phenomenal.  I had the pleasure of listening to this book on audio read by the author.  Vasquez-Lavado leads a group of sexual assault survivors on a trek to Mount Everest basecamp as part of their healing process. Her journey was far from over after reaching base camp, though.  She then joined up with another climbing group and took a shot at summitting the highest mountain on Earth.  Vasquez-Lavado shares her story alternating between her traumatic past and her epic climb.  I was moved to tears by the intimate details of the sexual abuse she experienced as a child and the fallout from these horrific events.  On the flip side, my heart was pounding out of my chest as she climbed for weeks and weeks in unfathomable conditions. Charged with brutal honesty, rich in unique culture, and filled with hope, Vasquez-Lavadoโ€™s memoir is a must-read/listen.

After immersing myself in Vasquez-Lavadoโ€™s profound journey, it was refreshing to switch it up with an over-the-top read about bored rich people who lie, scheme, and kill for entertainment.ย  Good Rich People by Eliza Jane Brazier is dripping in cash AND blood and I loved every second of it. Lyla and Graham are incredibly wealthy and enjoy playing games with people.ย  Iโ€™m not talking monopoly or a spicy pickleball competition, mind you.ย  Nooooo, I am talking about recruiting innocent self-made successful people to live in the guest house that they can destroy financially and maybe even kill if the spirit moves them. How fun is that??? Brazierโ€™s story is a fast-paced, mannerless tale that had me wildly entertained.ย  Her writing is striking and razor-sharp. Her cast of characters is a spectacular melody of stunning and loopy all in the same breath and I had no problem gobbling up this juicy delight. I listened to Good Rich People on audio, and I must shout out the fabulous narrators who brought this wicked fun story to life.ย  Karissa Vacker and Sophie Amoss crushed the narration 100%!!!!

Well, my friendโ€ฆI hope you enjoy experiencing these two incredible books one way or the other. 

Until next time!

Your Biggest Fan,

Kelly


P.S. I enjoy listening to my audiobooks via Libro.fm.ย  My audio purchases support an independent bookstore of my choice, which is something to cheer about.ย  Please feel free to use my member link to get started.

Click on the book pic to purchase!
Click on the book pic to purchase!

#DEARBASICBUDDYREADS APRIL SELECTION

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys (Penguin Random House)

March 23, 2022

Dear Fabulous Readers,

It’s that time of the month again. Katieย @basicbsguideย and I have decided on our Aprilย #dearbasicbuddyreadsย Backlist Buddy Read and we are thrilled to announce that our pick is ๐˜š๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ต ๐˜›๐˜ฐ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜š๐˜ฆ๐˜ขย by Ruta Sepetys.
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We will be reading this YA Historical Fiction novel the month of April and will have a fabulous discussion ( as always ๐Ÿ˜‰) at the end of the month via a private Instagram chat. โฃ
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I can honestly sayโ€ฆ I have only heard great things about this book and I am wicked excited to dive in with everyone! If you want to join our lively group for this read, please reach out to me on Instagram @dearmrhemingway and I will add you to April’s group chat.
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Check out the synopsis below! โฃ
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xoxo,โฃ
Kelly

๐’๐ฒ๐ง๐จ๐ฉ๐ฌ๐ข๐ฌ โฃ
โ€œWorld War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, many with something to hide. Among them are Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in each other tested with each step closer to safety. โฃ
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Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand peopleโ€”adults and children alikeโ€”aboard must fight for the same thing: survival. โฃโ€

Click on the book pic to purchase!

@freethetruth

Truth and Other Lies by Maggie Smith (Ten16press)

March 10, 2022

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

I am so thrilled to be writing to you about a brilliant debut novel that completely captivated me.  Truth and Other Lies by Maggie Smith is Womenโ€™s Fiction at its finest.  Politics, journalism, and family dynamics line the pages of Smithโ€™s book and I happily read every word.  Letโ€™s take a peek, shall we?

Twenty-five-year-old Megan Barnes is the leading lady of Smithโ€™s debut tale. After losing her job at an NYC newspaper and finding her boyfriend in bed with another woman, she heads back to Chicago and reunites with her mother who surprisingly is running for congress. Because Megan and her mom have opposing political views, supporting her campaign is not only frustrating but hinders her from getting a job at virtually any newspaper during election season. However, once in Chicago, Megan meets her professional idol, Jocelyn Jones, an award-winning journalist.  This twist of fate encounter lands her a job working for Jones and promoting her upcoming memoir.  A job like this may not exactly be in Meganโ€™s wheelhouse, but this connection to the world of high-stakes journalism is just what she needs to move forward with her career. Things take a wild turn when an anonymous TWEET is exposed jeopardizing Joneโ€™s reputation.  Meganโ€™s investigation into this allegation reveals more than she bargained for and before she can catch her breath, she finds herself in a snarled mess of lies, secrets, and scandal involving her mentor and her motherโ€™s campaign.  Can she discover the real truth and will it, in the end, set everyone free? 

Smithโ€™s debut novel was an absolute delight to read. I loved how this story was simultaneously dripping in ambition and soiled with secrets. With each page I turned, a new layer was slowly peeled away leaving me happily swimming in muddy water questioning everything.  Truth and Other Lies is a relevant story that showcases highly driven women and hot topics galore. Abortion, political views, sexual assault, and feminism are all touched upon with dignity and grace. As a daughter, wife, mother, and friend (who is in her late forties), it was refreshing that I could relate to the different generations of women represented in Smithโ€™s book. In addition to being progressive women with agendas to finalize, Smithโ€™s characters were carriers of complicated pasts that were difficult to outrun.  As the story unfolds, I enjoyed watching Megan and her mom develop and blossom as women while their relationship matured.  I adored Meganโ€™s loyalty to her best friend and her ability to make toilsome decisions in order to protect her. Most of all, I love how the ending of this book left me with a craving for a deep conversation about what the future holds for these characters.  To meโ€ฆthat is perfection!   Cheers to a fabulous book!

Until next time my friend!

Your Biggest Fan,

Kelly

P.S. Check out Maggie Smith and all her fabulousness RIGHT HERE!

Click on the book pic to purchase!

A Trio of Books Just For You

The Selfless Act of Breathing by JJ Bola (Atria Books)

The Prynne Viper by Bianca Marais (Audible Original)

Woman on Fire by Lisa Barr (Harper Perennial)


March 7, 2022

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

I have three books for you today and they are all so very different from one another. These three works of fiction each have their own unique vibe and I am thrilled to share them with you. I am offering up a man in search of his soul, a courtroom drama set way into the future, and a mystery around some Nazi stolen artwork. I can honestly say that I was swept away by all three of the books below. I was shocked, entertained, made to think, and above all…simply wowed by these three authors. I do believe there is something for everyone in today’s round-up. Happy reading and listening!

Until next time dear friend!

Your Biggest Fan,

Kelly

Click on the book pic to purchase.

First up is The Selfless Act of Breathing by JJ Bola. All I can say is that I absolutely LOVED this book.  Bolaโ€™s writing knocked my socks off, that is for sure.  His main character Michael truly lost his way and my soul literally ached for him.  His journey is beyond profound and left me with a feeling of sadness that was hard to shed.  I was mesmerized by his introspection and oftentimes found myself drifting off into my own world of ruminating and reflecting on life, love, and loneliness.  The connections with the people he met along the way truly highlighted his internal needs and fears and I was in absolute awe of how Bola could take on the heavy themes of suicidal thoughts, race, culture, and family using a poetic tone.  The Selfless Act of Breathing is a raw and powerful read and I highly recommend it.

Synopsis:

โ€œMichael Kabongo is a British-Congolese teacher living in London on the cusp of two identities. On paper, he seems to have it all: Heโ€™s beloved by his students, popular with his coworkers, and the pride and joy of a mother who emigrated from the Congo to the UK in search of a better life. But behind closed doors, heโ€™s been struggling with the overwhelming sense that he canโ€™t address the injustices he sees raging before himโ€”from his relentless efforts to change the lives of his students for the better to his attempts to transcend the violence and brutality that marginalizes young Black men around the world.

Then one day he suffers a devastating loss, and his life is thrown into a tailspin. As he struggles to find a way forward, memories of his fatherโ€™s violent death, the weight of refugeehood, and an increasing sense of dread threaten everything heโ€™s worked so hard to achieve. Longing to escape the shadows in his mind and start anew, Michael decides to spontaneously pack up and go to America, the mythical โ€œland of the free,โ€ where he imagines everything will be better, easierโ€”a place where he can become someone new, someone without a past filled with pain.

On this transformative journey, Michael travels everywhere from New York City to San Francisco, partying with new friends, sparking fleeting romances, and splurging on big adventures, with the intention of living the life of his dreams until the money in his bank account runs out.โ€

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Next up is Woman on Fire by Lisa Barr. Run, donโ€™t walk to grab yourself a copy of this literary gem.ย  The dazzling art world, high-stakes journalism, and the history of Nazi stolen artwork during the Second World War are well framed in this remarkable literary mystery. Barrโ€™s story is teeming with intricate details and a chic background that pairs well with her multi-layered and quite juicy characters that undeniably lit up the pages of this book.ย  The combination of unparalleled research weaved into modern-day fiction was THE creme de la creme for me.ย  Every luscious page I read made me more ravenous for the next because I simply had to know what happened next. I refused to cease my reading adventure until I reached the wicked satisfying ending the Barr so meticulously delivered.ย  At the end of the day, there is nothing better than being immersed in a world where the past meant everything and secrets kept everyone in the game.ย  Woman on Fire was an absolute pleasure to read.ย 

Lisa Barrโ€™s stunning creation is the true work of art here and SHE isโ€ฆ The Ultimate Woman on Fire!

Synopsis:

“After talking her way into a job with Dan Mansfield, the leading investigative reporter in Chicago, rising young journalist Jules Roth is given an unusualโ€”and very secretโ€”assignment. Dan needs her to locate a painting stolen by the Nazis more than 75 years earlier: legendary Expressionist artist Ernst Engelโ€™s most famous work, Woman on Fire. World-renowned shoe designer Ellis Baum wants this portrait of a beautiful, mysterious woman for deeply personal reasons, and has enlisted Danโ€™s help to find it. But Jules doesnโ€™t have much time; the famous designer is dying.

Meanwhile, in Europe, provocative and powerful Margaux de Laurent also searches for the painting. Heir to her art collector familyโ€™s millions, Margaux is a cunning gallerist who gets everything she wants. The only thing standing in her way is Jules. Yet the passionate and determined Jules has unexpected resources of her own, including Adam Baum, Ellisโ€™s grandson. A recovering addict and brilliant artist in his own right, Adam was once in Margauxโ€™s clutches. He knows how ruthless she is, and heโ€™ll do anything to help Jules locate the painting before Margaux gets to it first.”

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Last but never ever least is The Prynne Viper by Bianca Marais. Marais, author of Hum if You Donโ€™t Know the Words and If You Want to Make God Laugh is back with something 100% fresh.  This time around she is not writing about South Africa, the Apartheid, or the Soweto Uprising.  Instead, she wowed me with a short story offered as an Audible Original. The Prynne Viper is a futuristic tale (yes, you heard me correctly) that left me thinking long and hard about the fate of humanity if left in the hands of some crazy predictive software. I was transfixed by this terrifying world and the idea that mankind could be predetermined by a courtroom jury haunted me for days.  Donโ€™t let the length of this story fool you though.  Maraisโ€™ magnificent storytelling, the full cast of narrators, and an extremely pleasing ending all neatly fit into a unique two-hour listen. Maraisโ€™ ability to switch writing gears by seamlessly transitioning to a completely different genre was wicked impressive and she will forever be an auto-buy author for me.

Synopsis:

โ€œIn a futuristic world where predictive software can map out the lives of every living person and their descendants, Naomi Prynne is on trial. The charge: endangerment by way of a pregnancy.

Thirteen jurors will determine whether Naomi is allowed to carry the pregnancy to term, but the jurors are also all plaintiffs, the software having predicted how Naomi Prynneโ€™s child will affect each of them in life-changing ways. Among them: a history professor who has given up on her own dreams for the sake of the greater good; a student participating in his first-ever trial whoโ€™s about to discover an earth-shattering truth; and a former mathematician, who knows all too well the dark machinations of the state, but is prohibited from speaking out against them. The future of the Prynne Viper – an acronym for โ€œviable personโ€ – is in their hands.

But this Prynne Viper is unlike Naomiโ€™s other pregnancies. This time, Naomi Prynne is carrying a secret, one with the power to alter the future into something incalculable, and therefore, unpredictable.โ€

Crocodile Rock

The Duchess Countess: The Woman Who Scandalized Eighteenth-Century London by Catherine Ostler (Atria Books)

February 22, 2022

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

Today I am wishing a VERY Happy Pub Day to The Duchess Countess by Catherine Ostler!!!  To say I was a happy camper reading this book would be an understatement.  Give me anything related to a scandal, royal courts, and an adventurous woman during any century prior to cell phones or electronics and I am in heaven.  This magnetic biography was my first introduction to  Elizabeth Chudleigh and certainly wonโ€™t be my last. Let me share with you why I am officially obsessed with this beguiling woman from the Georgian era. 

How I have never heard of Elizabeth Chudleigh until now is beyond me. While America was on the brink of Independence in 1776, the British papers were not filled with reports of this monumental change, but instead were dripping in stories of Chudleighโ€™s trial at Westminster where she was found guilty of bigamy. Ostler shares this piece of history with her readers then takes us through Chudleighโ€™s life beginning with her humble start. It is not long before she reveals her secret marriage to Augustus Hervey followed by her time at court as maid of honor to the Princess of Wales and her second marriage to Evelyn Pierrepont, the 2nd Duke of Kingston.  Oslerโ€™s book is chock-full of facts, intricacies, and then some piecing together Chudleighโ€™s two marriages and the dispute of their validity.  Her unabridged biography takes readers on Chudleighโ€™s never-ending escapades in England, France, and even Russia leaving no stone unturned. She brilliantly highlights why Chudleighโ€™s life was so controversial and who was impacted by her endeavors.

Ostlerโ€™s book has become my new obsession. Meeting Elizabeth Chudleigh for the first time has left me with a hankering to analyze and discuss her two marriages, her inheritance, and every element in-between.ย I am still in awe over her trial and the spectacle it was. It is crazy that it cost just as much or even more than a queen’s coronation and that it was an actual ticketed event that women and men alike dressed to the nines to attend. Oslerโ€™s book began very fact-driven but quickly read more like historical fiction than biography.ย  I was swept away by the Georgian era and the exquisite details of all the hierarchies, fashion, and laws of the lands. ย  Chudleighโ€™s ability to fight for a place in society and re-invent herself after every fall was astonishing. There was so much transgression, so much hearsay that deciphering what was true and what was false kept me on the edge of my seat.ย I predict my own ceaseless adventure going down the Elizabeth Chudleigh rabbit hole.

I love how Ostler brought to life this truly forgotten woman from eighteenth-century London. Her work is well researched and truly was a delight to read. This is the perfect cup of tea for all theย  Georgian era and Regency era fans out there like me. Not only am I looking forward to Bridgerton Season two coming out,ย  but I am now officially dreaming about Elizabeth Chudleigh coming to a big screen…a historical fiction mini-series is what I so desire. Maybe Ostler can help make that happen!!!!

Until next time my friend!

Your Biggest Fan,

Kelly

P.S. If you like this time period, guess what??? The Regency era overlaps with it and had some fabulous cocktails to boot. Check out this book for some delicious concoctions!

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#DEARBASICBUDDYREADS MARCH SELECTION

Musical Chairs by Amy Poeppel (Atria Books)

February 21, 2022

Dear Fabulous Readers,

The moment you have all been waiting for ๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿฅ ๐“๐ก๐ž #๐๐ž๐š๐ซ๐›๐š๐ฌ๐ข๐œ๐›๐ฎ๐๐๐ฒ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐๐ฌ ๐Œ๐š๐ซ๐œ๐ก ๐’๐ž๐ฅ๐ž๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง is ๐˜”๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ญ ๐˜Š๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ช๐˜ณ๐˜ด by Amy Poeppel  ๐ŸŽถ๐ŸŽถ๐ŸŽถโฃ.
โฃ
Katie @basicbsguide and I are so excited to lighten up the reading vibe in March with a book that PEOPLE MAGAZINE calls, โ€œ๐€ ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ž๐ซ๐œ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ง๐ง๐ฒ ๐ญ๐š๐ฅ๐ž ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐Ÿ๐š๐ฆ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฒ, ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐ข๐ž๐ง๐๐ฌ๐ก๐ข๐ฉ, ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฅ๐š๐ญ๐ž๐ซ-๐ข๐ง-๐ฅ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ž ๐ฅ๐จ๐ฏ๐ž.โ€โฃ

I love that we have been focusing on backlist reads in our group. Lord knows we all have stacks and lists of books that we hope to get to one day. Backlist reads have so many benefits. For one, it gives us the opportunity to check books off our never-ending TBRs. They also have been out a while and are easier to get your hands on. They tend to be more accessible at your local library, they are less expensive to buy if they are out in paperback, and you are more apt to find a deal on them via e-readers and audio options. Not too shabby! โฃ

If you would like to join our fabulous group this March you do need to be on INSTAGRAM. Please reach out to me there @dearmrhemingway. As always, this is a read at your own pace situation with a spectacular chat at the end of the month via a private Instagram chat. Date TBA!โฃ

Check out the SYNOPSIS:

“Bridget and Will have the kind of relationship that people envy: theyโ€™re loving, compatible, and completely devoted to each other. The fact that theyโ€™re strictly friends seems to get lost on nearly everyone. For three decades, theyโ€™ve nurtured their baby, the Forsyth Trioโ€”a chamber group they created as students with their Juilliard classmate Gavin Glantz. In the intervening years, Gavin has gone on to become one of the classical music worldโ€™s reigning stars, while Bridget and Will have learned to embrace the warm reviews and smaller venues that accompany modest success.

Bridget has been dreaming of spending the summer at her well-worn Connecticut country home with her boyfriend Sterling. But her plans are upended when Sterling breaks up with her over email, her twin twenty-somethings arrive unexpectedly, and her elderly father announces heโ€™s getting married. She concocts a plan to host her dadโ€™s wedding on her ramshackle property while putting the Forsyth Trio back into the spotlight. But to catch the attention of the music world, she and Will place their bets on luring back Gavin, whom theyโ€™ve both avoided ever since their stormy parting.”

Look forward to chatting about this book with you!

Kelly

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