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Fashion Scenes & Low Rise Jeans

Everybody (else) is perfect

Everybody (Else) is Perfect:  How I Survived Hypocrisy, Beauty, Clicks, and Likes by Gabrielle Korn (Atria Books)

“Under the guidance of 29-year-old Gabrielle Korn, an out lesbian who lives in Brooklyn with her musician girlfriend, Nylon has become one of the most politically-aware, racially diverse, LGBTQ-inclusive, and feminist-forward digital magazines out there since Korn was appointed editor-in-chief in September 2017 (the same time the outlet’s print edition folded).”

January 25, 2021

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

Women!  You were a fan…I am quite sure of that.  We empower one another to live life to the fullest, love who we want to love, feel confident in our bodies and demand equality in our everyday lives.  But the bottom line is…are we ever 100% happy within our own skin?  How can we get to a place of peace and acceptance of our most wonderful selves, especially when we are promoting this to those around us?  Sometimes a deep dive into the roots of these issues is more telling than a one size fits all answer.  Gabrielle Korn, a digital media expert, former editor at Refinery29 and former editor-in-chief of Nylon shares in her new memoir, personal essays relating to this very issue. Her story is an eye-opening, contemporary account of how damaging the fashion and beauty industries have been (and still can be) to women.  Her writing is fresh and alive and pretty much blew me away.  I hope you will read her book and find wisdom and courage in her words.

I will admit right away that I have never read Nylon (I have seen it referenced in books and on the internet though) and until I read Korn’s memoir, I didn’t even know who she was.  I am telling you this because I loved her book and I loved getting to know her through her writing.  I am not sure how much of a difference it would have made if I had more knowledge of who Korn was and what Nylon was all about.  FYI…Nylon is an international lifestyle publication that focuses on emerging culture (beauty, fashion, music, entertainment, etc.).  Korn’s book is a compilation of essays about her time spent in her twenties working in the fashion/beauty industry and her fast rise to the top of the publication, Nylon.  Korn had a great education, a supportive family and plenty of friendships.  Despite these blessings, she found herself in a cycle of eating disorders and body dysmorphia that not only impacted her health and well being, but had an acute influence on her intimate relationships with women.  Society’s view of sexualality was and still is in constant flux, making Korn’s goal of bringing diversity to this area and to all shapes, sizes and races to the media a constant battle. Fashion Week in New York City was one of the biggest culprits of all.  Stick thin models with dress sizes measuring an xxxs, is not ideal for anyone.

Korn talked a lot about trending body parts and their continuous sway on our self-esteem.  First it was a flat as a pancake stomach, then it was an oversized booty, followed by big boobs or bust.  Let’s not forget the thin waif look or the “strong is healthy” body.  What body part was the focus was and still is ever changing.   Looking in the mirror became a confusing vision for Korn and one that she battled everyday.    

“Even before hashtags, women’s body parts have been going in and out of style for as long as there’s been style.  What’s meant by that, really, is that for the moment, people with a certain physical characteristic are privileged. “ 

With popular body parts comes fashion to highlight them.  From low rise jeans, to high rise leggings, to crop tops to the no makeup makeup look, there is always a trend lingering around tempting us to conform or shaming us because we don’t.  Korn takes us through her days of dressing and undressing in the clothes of our time that were supposed to inspire us to feel beautiful but also had the potential of making one feel empty and not good enough.  She does mention that what you wear still can be valued.  Fashion has changed through the decades and for example, women being able to wear pants was a huge deal.  It was a sign of strength and equality that should be celebrated.  With this comes a hefty side order of  sexism, mental health issues and a variety of eating disorders that keep us from reaching our full potential and most happy selves.  Korn shares how her own eating disorder came to be and her battle to overcome it in a world that was determined to defeat her with unobtainable bodies and beauty standards. 

Through her years in the instrustry, Korn called out the fashion world for promoting diversity and women empowerment, while at the same time, not adhering to their own standards.  

“For any real change to happen in the fashion industry, all of the editors and bloggers and influencers would have to agree to stop showing up for designers that aren’t making an active effort to improve diversity.  That would mean going to probably four or five shows as opposed to the nearly one hundred that happen during New York Fashion Week.”  

Gabrielle Korn’s memoir was a deep-seated read.  I was beguiled with how she shared her most private moments in her life in a way that felt like she was talking in confidence with a close friend.  As a forty something year old straight woman who has never worked in the fashion industry, I could still relate to so much of what she revealed.  I have lived through my fair share of fashion/body trends and unreachable beauty standards and of course…sexism at its finest.  I can’t say that it was all bad (excluding sexism…that is always never welcomed here), but looking back now I wonder if some of it was even worth it.   Some trends worked in my favor, while others had me scrambling or left feeling pretty low.  Through the decades, I have witnessed media, fashion, diets and beauty products make strides towards diversity and inclusion of all shapes, sizes and even genders…at least from my perspective as a consumer. But is society moving in the right direction to meet the needs of our diverse and beautiful world?  Hopefully.  Do I still feel like I am reaching for the stars sometimes?  Absolutely.  But my one take away from Korn is that there are so many outside factors that influence our lives and we can’t change everything, especially all at once.  What we can change though, is our reaction to the cultural influences around us and how we let it seep into our minds and relationships.  We do not have to be a slave to our image.  We can just be who we are and love ourselves, flaws and all.   2021 continues to be an uphill battle. But as the steepness slowly decreases, our strength is increasing. Our bodies are our vessels that carry us through life.  I am focussing more on loving my vessel than hating it.  How about you?  

Much love, health and happiness to you!

Your Biggest Fan,

Kelly

P.S. Wallace ❤️❤️❤️

Click on the book pic below to purchase this book. It comes out January 26, 2021 🥰🥰🥰

The Yogi of Wall Street

New Blog Post

Breathe In, Cash Out by Madeleine Henry (Atria Books)

January 12, 2020

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

Let’s talk about a crazy coincidence?  I am writing to you in the middle of a global pandemic and you actually know what I am talking about.  Covid-19 for me and Spanish flu for you. Wow…who would have thought.  Remember the busyness of everyday life?  School, work, deadlines, hanging with friends and family (geez…even War for you).  The everyday grind has drastically changed, but I got to relive the feeling of being overcommitted and overworked in Madeleine Henry’s book, Breathe In, Cash Out. As I go through my days (Groundhog Day Style), it was refreshing to get a glimpse into the world of ruthless banking on Wall Street (boy I miss NYC), while also getting my zen on with some much needed yoga. Henry delivered a soul searching story that not only enlightened me with wisdom and laughter, but seriously charmed the pants off of me.  Let’s take a look, shall we.

Allegra Cobb… a self taught yogi and one time American Yoga National Competition Champion, is also a straight A Princeton grad who works as an analyst at a cut throat, top tiered bank on good old Wall Street. Now that was a mouthful. Biding time until her year end bonus comes in (should be a juicy one), Allegra is seriously contemplating leaving her financially secure job to follow her dreams  of becoming a yoga teacher.  While she struggles with disappointing her father and battles her innermost demons, she meets up with the ultimate yoga guru (and her yoga idol), Skylar, for some realignment in her life.  Skylar has a very successful yoga career and is a superstar on instagram.  Allegra desperately begins following her advice on how to integrate more mindfulness and yoga into her life in order to discover her true and authentic self.  The more she works with Skylar though, the more she begins to realize that working over a 100 hours a week in a grueling banking job, which basically strips you of your soul, may not be all that different from Skylar’s world of shiny leggings, seven chakras and photo perfect poses for instagram.  And of course, just to add a splash of sparkle to her conscience examining days, a bit of romance is lingering in the background.  Time is ticking on her mental well being and Allegra needs to figure out which path she should travel next.  

Breathe in, Cash Out was a breath of fresh air. It was the perfect distraction to my stay at home days filled with work, Zooms and teenage boys surrounding my every move.  I love books (fiction or nonfiction) where someone is pondering a major life change.  Even though Allegra’s story is a work of fiction, it still dazzled me and all my dreams.  But self exploration aside, Henry’s book is down right hysterical. As I revisited my own days of working a gazillion hours a week and took a hard look at the current state of my downward facing dog (not that pretty these days), I found myself doubled over with laughter.  And of course, one of my favorite parts of Henry’s story was the wee bit of romance that kept my heart fluttering.  It did not overpower the story one bit, but was equivalent to a sprinkle of cinnamon on top of a fabulous cappuccino……the perfect touch!.  

Allegra is a character you want to root for because guess what…there is a bit of her in all of us.  During these strange days of more time with our thoughts than ever, it is impossible not to engage in a tad of introspection. Whether switching jobs or shifting our mindsets, change is not always a bad thing and Henry’s main girl is a gentle reminder of that.  But of course every leading lady needs a gaggle of characters around her to add some more shine to her story.   Mark (Allegra’s boss who she accidentally sleeps with 😮), and Tripp, Chole and Puja who sit in close proximity to her everyday, were an absolute delightful addition to Henry’s story.  And of course the lovely Skylar…the spice to this wicked fun tale.  I always say that a touch of spice is always quite nice…am I right???

I hope you enjoy this easy breezy and quite frankly, humorous read.  It sure added a twinkle and some much needed stretching to my day!

Until next time my friend!

Namaste!

Your Biggest Fan,

Kelly

P.S.  Madeleine Henry has a new book coming out on February 9, 2021 called The Love Proof!  I am reading it now and will be telling you all about it very soon. In the meantime, give it a quick pre-order ❤️❤️❤️.

P.P.S. I alternated between reading Breathe In, Cash Out and listening to it on audio. Both were equally wonderful.

Click on the book pic below to purchase!

Breathe in, Cash Out

Fly Me To The Moon

Book Recommendation

The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker (Atria Books)

January 10, 2021

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

Between the fishing, hunting and the massive overdose of nature, I would imagine Alaska would not only have been the ultimate adventure land for you, but probably the star of a short story or novel.  Though I have never been myself, it is on my wicked long bucket list of places to go.  Let’s face it, for those of us in the lower 48, there is something captivating about this off the grid state where the wilderness is your backyard and mother nature rules the roost. In the meantime, I love reading books while I relax in my cozy chair (during a pandemic) with this majestic state as the backdrop. K.A. Tucker’s, The Simple Wild fulfilled my Alaskan dreams.  Not only did I get to experience Alaska’s beauty between the pages of her book, but I got to meet some pretty wonderful characters along the way. Let’s take a look, shall we!

Calla Fletcher was born in Alaska to Wren and Susan Fletcher.  After two years of living with a small child in Alaska, Susan couldn’t take it anymore.  With her husband gone all the time as an Alaskan Pilot (he owned his own charter plane company) and his priority remaining in the sky instead of with his family, Susan moved to Toronto with Calla to start again.  Fast forward 24 years and Calla is now 26, running a lifestyle blog with her friend in Canada.  Through the years she has had minimal contact with her father making him pretty much a complete stranger.  One night a friend of her father’s in Alaska calls alerting Calla that he is sick and may not have much time left.  Calla doesn’t take the decision to go see her father lightly, but in the end books a week long trip to see him one last time.  Her instagram loving days and fashion flare are rudely interrupted when the Alaskan elements do not mix well with her platform sandals and connecting to the internet is virtually impossible. Not to mention the rude Alaskan pilot who flies her alone on the last leg of her trip in a puddle jumper of a plane. Let me backup for one quick moment.  The pilot she meets is named Jonah and he works for her father.  He is a rugged, badass Alaskan pilot who gets a high from flying in the most dangerous conditions (Think Tom Cruise with a beard and a baseball cap flying around mountains and glaciers… Top Gun style).. Did I mention….drop dead, flannel wearing gorgeous.  Sorry, I digress.   As Calla gets settled in her Dad’s house and works on getting to know the man that is her biological father, she slowly discovers the complexities of his life.  While she detests living in close proximity to Jonah, their rocky start relationship begins to bloom into something very unexpected.  The more time Calla spends in Alaska with her Dad and his right hand man, Jonah, the more she realizes how difficult it is going to be to go back to Toronto.  The clock is ticking on not only her plane ticket back home, but on her father’s life.

Let me just say this…I LOVED THIS BOOK!  Tucker did a beautiful job creating an Alaskan atmosphere that I could experience through words from the comfort of my own home (with high speed internet).  I am a huge fan of the enemies to lovers trope and Calla and Jonah’s ever evolving relationship took the prize for me.  The banter between them was sharp and hysterical.  And while yes, there was a burning romance slowly developing throughout the story that I so deeply desired, there was also so much more.  Tucker knows how to tap into relationships with her writing.  Whether it’s Calla and her father, Calla and Jonah, or even Calla’s mom and her new husband, the emotional baggage is heavy and runs deep with this crew of characters.  This book definitely stayed with me until the very end.  I found myself constantly dreaming of Calla and Jonah!  Sorry… that is a flat out lie.  I really only dreamed of Jonah.  There!  I said it!  Moving on now.  So here is the scoop…when The Simple Wild ended, I yearned for more.  And guess what??? There is a sequel called Wild at Heart that I can’t wait to dive into.

That’s all I’ve got for today my friend!

Until next time…

Your Biggest Fan,

Kelly

P.S.  I am secretly hoping that you have not read this book yet because if not, I am officially the last person on earth to have read it.  Talk about late to the party!  Gotta love these backlist beauties!

Guest Writer

Holly Berfield Guest Writer Graphic

Holly Berfield
Bookstagram Bonanza Edition

Guest Writer Holly Berfield Graphic

October 23, 2020

Dear Book Friends,

I have such a mouthwatering treat for you this Friday. Today’s Guest Writer is the ever so talented Holly Berfield, creator of the Blog, BookCookLook and Instagram account @bookcooklook. Who doesn’t love a fabulous book paired with something absolutely scrumptious to eat. BookCookLook features book reviews and delicious food inspired by the story. How perfect is that! If you have never visited Holly’s Blog or Instagram account…now is the time. Detailed book reviews, delectable food pairings and drool worthy photos will have you hooked in no time.

Holly is a photographer of families and food, and was formerly a lawyer and marketing exec until her love for her camera made it feel impossible to do anything else! She is married to her college sweetheart, and lives in New York with her husband, two boys and mini Australian labradoodle puppy. When she’s not behind the camera, you can find her in the kitchen baking something new (lately challah!), traveling to new adventuresome locations (less of this lately …) or between the pages of a great novel (lots of this)! Her favorite books of 2020 so far have been This Tender Land, The Book of Longings, Here For It and The Girl With The Louding Voice.

I hope you enjoy her letter to Mr. H. It’s a tasty one!

❤️❤️❤️

Kelly

________________________

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

Did you ever finish reading a book, then hold it close in farewell before selecting a perfect spot on the bookshelf, to be reminded of it always? This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger was one of those books for me. It was one of my first quarantine purchases, made on a quick curbside trip to a semi-closed local bookshop, in a gloved and masked exchange with the owner. I just knew from the first chapter it would be special. In fact, it reminds me a lot of your Nick Adams stories. Your other works garner so much attention but the Nick Adams stories stayed with me, especially the power of nature to heal emotional wounds. This magnificent novel centers on the Depression-era journey of four orphans on the run from violence and despair at a tyrannical boarding school. Their makeshift family with nothing but a canoe winds its way down a river in Minnesota, and as their adventures along the way bring them closer together, others threaten to tear them apart. The narrator, Odie O’Banion, tells this coming of age story with a beauty that is immersive, and the descriptions of the setting fairly shimmer off the pages. It feels like a new American classic, filled with characters who shape the course of the orphans’ odyssey. The story is gently paced, but also filled with suspense as these young vagabonds avoid the pursuit of their would-be captors. With its transporting, captivating writing, and moving depiction of adventure and human connection, this book was an unforgettably perfect “mood read” for hunkering down at home.

Mr. Hemingway, I think you’d be so impressed with the author’s note. Krueger kayaked and canoed the same Minnesota waterways that Odie and his companions traveled. Every spot in the book was visited by the author and it shows in his descriptive writing, just as your time in northern Michigan inspired the Nick Adams stories. In my bookcooklook project, I cook something inspired by every book I read. Given the Depression-era timing of the story, there is lots of soup in this book. Lentil, chicken, beef and bean – but at the time of my reading, I was making matzo ball soup for Passover. It occurred to me how fitting this is for This Tender Land, which is all about freedom, family and to a degree, faith. There is a daring escape from bondage, many days and nights wandering in search of freedom, and even a character named Moses. It seemed a perfect, satisfying pairing for a memorable novel like this one.

I hope you love this book as much as I did, Mr. H.

Holly

P.S. Click on my book pic below to purchase.

This Tender Land cover

Photo Credit~Holly Berfield

Real Estate 101

Anxious People book sitting on a desk

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman (Atria Books)

Anxious People book sitting on a desk

September 3, 2020

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

Is it possible to fall in love with an author’s work, EVERY SINGLE TIME ???? Apparently so! I have just been WOWED again. Fredrik Backman’s new book, Anxious People, comes out next week (September 8, 2020) and he once again delivers a five star read. Move over Bear Town and A Man Called Ove. There are some new Backman characters in town that need some loving. Not only is Anxious People one of the most anticipated reads of this fall, but Backman is my all time favorite author.⁣ There is a chance that I may be changing the name of this blog from Dear Mr. Hemingway to Dear Mr. Backman 😂🤣😂!

Though all of Backman’s books are different, they have one thing in common…PEOPLE. Anxious People is no exception. Backman’s gift is that he allows his readers to view the world from someone else’s perspective. Only Backman can turn a failed bank robbery and hostage situation into a lesson in humanity. He once again turns his characters inside out on the pages of his books exposing all of their flaws, all of their most vulnerable sides. Whether you are fond of his characters or not, you will no doubt understand them at the end of his story. What I love about his new book (and all the rest of his books), is not only his talent for meshing together quirky and oftentimes struggling folks, but that he knows how to truly find humor in the most unexpected places. From everyday life to the absurdities that are thrown our way, Backman will get you to smile. ⁣

In my opinion, everything that Fredrik Backman writes is pure gold. He continues to dazzle me with his signature sarcasm and overflowing compassion. If you are a fan of his work, you will not be disappointed with Anxious People. Enjoy this treasure! I sure did!

Check out the synopsis!

⁣”Looking at real estate isn’t usually a life-or-death situation, but an apartment open house becomes just that when a failed bank robber bursts in and takes a group of strangers hostage. The captives include a recently retired couple who relentlessly hunt down fixer-uppers to avoid the painful truth that they can’t fix their own marriage. There’s a wealthy bank director who has been too busy to care about anyone else and a young couple who are about to have their first child but can’t seem to agree on anything, from where they want to live to how they met in the first place. Add to the mix an eighty-seven-year-old woman who has lived long enough not to be afraid of someone waving a gun in her face, a flustered but still-ready-to-make-a-deal real estate agent, and a mystery man who has locked himself in the apartment’s only bathroom, and you’ve got the worst group of hostages in the world.

Each of them carries a lifetime of grievances, hurts, secrets, and passions that are ready to boil over. None of them is entirely who they appear to be. And all of them—the bank robber included—desperately crave some sort of rescue. As the authorities and the media surround the premises these reluctant allies will reveal surprising truths about themselves and set in motion a chain of events so unexpected that even they can hardly explain what happens next.”

Until next time!

Your Biggest Fan (And…Fredrik Backman’s Biggest Fan),

Kelly

P.S. A HUGE thank you to Atria Books for sending me an Advance Reader Copy of this book months ago and trusting me with this incredible story! ❤️❤️❤️

Click on the book pic to purchase.

Anxious People Bookcover

I Tumble For You

Head over Heals Beauty Shot

Beach Read by Emily Henry (Berkley)

Head Over Heels by Hannah Orenstein (Atria Books)

May 19, 2020

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

Summertime, summertime, summertime. While you longed for feeling your fishing rod between your hands on a clear Michigan river with endless trout in sight, I ache to feel a book between my hands, my toes in the warm sand, and endless chapters to devour while lounging in my beach chair.  Today, I am focusing on the summertime beach reading scenario (my husband can handle the fishing one another time…if you are interested). Beach Read by Emily Henry (OUT TODAY) and Head Over Heels (OUT JUNE 23) by Hannah Orenstein are two books that you must make time for this summer. Though these books appear to be light and fizzy at first glance (hello, cover love), they both offer a surprise pop of “something more” than your typical rom-com.  Henry and Orenstein give their readers plenty of passion and steam, but they also include characters with complicated pasts and a yearning for self-discovery.  Plan to be swept away to a classic beach town and the competitive world of gymnastics. Friends to lovers, opposites attract, and everything in-between……these books are bursting with goodness. Henry’s and Orenstein’s books will both quench your summer reading thirst.  Bottoms up!!!

All you gymnastic fans out there will love Head Over Heels, the most anticipated hot new release this June.  Orenstein captures the dusty chalk, the intense training, the drive for perfection and the love of the sport with ease. Avery’s Olympic dreams come to an end after an injury occurs during her Olympic trials.  To make matters worse, she is newly single and moving back to her home town in Massachusetts.  In comes Ryan, Avery’s childhood acquaintance and Olympic gold medalist.  When Ryan discovers that Avery is back home, he eagerly asks her to take the job as his assistant coach to Hallie, an up and coming gymnast.   As these two former gymnasts train the next Olympic star, sparks begin to fly on and off the mat. While Ryan struggles with being a male coach during a sexual abuse scandal involving other female gymnasts, Hallie is seeking to figure out how to navigate her life off the mat as a retired gymnast.  Picture twists and turns, switch leaps and layouts and maybe just maybe, some steamy fooling around on a sticky pile of mats.  Head Over Heels has it all…the love of gymnastics, the tension, the hot topics and most of all, the romance.  Can you say… perfect 10!

Lets pirouette over to January Andrews and Augustus (Gus) Everett from Henry’s Beach Read.  These two twenty something college writing rivals are now living next door to one another in their summertime beach houses. January is a romance writer in the midst of the biggest writing slump of her career, while Gus is a successful literary fiction writer managing his own writers’ block.  In order to get out of their respective ruts, Gus challenges January to a writing contest.  Get ready… the competition between the two gets heated, and so does the chemistry.  As they both tussle with the intense urge to be together (and boy do they fight it), they continue to grapple with their thorny pasts. Be ready for January and Gus’ snarky remarks, funny banter and above all, their heartfelt dynamics. The atmosphere of this summer beach town coupled with two hot and heavy novelists on the mission to pen the next great book, equal a book lovers dream.  

If you can’t head to the beach this summer, bring these two summer treats outside with you and take delight in reading them under the warm summer sky.  They will not disappoint!

Happy Reading!!! 

Your Biggest Fan,

Kelly

P.S. Thank you to Atria Books and Netgalley for offering me an advance readers copy of Head Over Heels in exchange for my honest opinion.

P.P.S. I was able to read Beach Read before its publishing date as a Book of the Month Club member. Check them out if you are interested. I’ve been a member for over two years now and adore them.

Click on the book pictures below to purchase and pre-order.

Mother’s Day 2020

Big Summer beauty shot

A Book & A Pairing

Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner (Atria Books)

 

April 27, 2020

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and do I have a sensational book gift for all the mothers out there. Jennifer Weiner’s latest book, Big Summer, is women’s fiction at its finest.  This time around, Weiner manages to blend her signature wit and charm with a mystery to be solved. Friendship, family, and tons of drama fill the pages of this highly entertaining read. With a loveable protagonist and a story that aims to please, Big Summer is the perfect springtime read! Here we go!

Daphne Berg and Drue Cavanaugh were best friends growing up.  Drue was the sophisticated wealthy one, while Daphne was the scholarship student at their private high school.  After a huge fight and humiliating video that went viral, the two girls went their separate ways. Six years later, Daphne is making her mark as a plus-sized Instagram influencer.  She is shocked when she receives a phone call from her old friend Drue, begging her to be a bridesmaid in her upcoming society wedding on Cape Cod.  After much deliberation, Daphne takes on the role of maid of honor.  While the two girls get reacquainted, Daphne reexamines their friendship and how it went awry.  The story takes a big turn the night before Drue’s big day.  With secrets unraveling and family drama coming to a head, Daphne’s maid of honor duties takes on a whole new meaning.  

Weiner’s Big Summer did not disappoint. I really enjoyed how her coming of age drama managed to capture contemporary themes of body shaming, social media, self-love, and forgiveness. Weiner blended these issues into her story in a way that allows readers to not only empathize with the different characters in the book but also relate to them on a personal level.  I was pleasantly surprised halfway through her book when she switched gears and threw a mysterious twist into the mix.  A chick-lit and mystery combined…who would have thought that this combo of genres would work so well?  Guess what…it absolutely did. Throw in an ocean breeze and a warm Cape Cod summer night, and I am a very happy reader.  Once again, Weiner’s book had me glued to my couch completely enthralled.  I hope you have the same experience. 

This May 10th, I wish every mama out there a Happy Mother’s Day.

Until next time Mr. H.

Your Biggest Fan,

Kelly

P.S.  For my birthday last year, my dear friend Kate gave me a pair of earrings that I truly adore.  They are bookish, whimsical, and classy all at the same time.  The best part of these earrings is that they are not only cute, but they are high quality and won’t break the bank (or turn your ears green).  They also come from a Woman-Owned Indie Business… Winning!!!  These earrings paired with Jennifer Weiner’s Big Summer, make the perfect Mother’s Day Gift this year. Click here to check them out!

Big Summer Comes out May 5, 2020

Click on the book pic below to pre-order this gem.

 

This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. My links are not affiliate links. I do not make compensation for my links. Some links may be in collaboration with a book store solely for exposure. 

Fabulously Female

Mrs. Everything book cover

Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner

June 10, 2019

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

Women! We are a force to be reckoned with!  We have come so far as a gender with more roads to conquer. Jennifer Weiner’s new novel, Mrs. Everything, takes readers back to a time when women were the secondary sex. They earned college degrees in MRS and honorary Phds in Laundry, Cleaning, and Child Rearing. During this time, homosexuality was considered taboo, and sticking with “your own kind” kept you on the right path (whatever that means). Weiner’s story follows two sisters’ life journeys through the changing decades of our modern history. This book highlights the struggles women have had through the years and still have today. Plan to be swept away reading this beautiful family drama.

Mrs. Everything is a grand story.  It follows sisters Jo and Bethie from their childhood in Detroit in the 1950s through the present day. Jo is the tomboy of their nuclear family. She is a voracious reader who wants to make the world a better place.  Bethie has the girlie girl flare. She loves to look pretty and strives to be a traditional woman of the time. Things rapidly change for these two sisters when they each encounter situations that put a snag in their life long dreams.  The tables are quickly turned, leaving Jo as a stay at home mom and Bethie as the quintessential wild child. This book is a tough one to summarize without giving away too much (I hate spoilers). All I will say is that this story sets up with plenty of space for the characters to develop and evolve in a world that is constantly trying to stifle their growth.  Weiner does not skip a beat sharing these two sisters’ lives. She takes her readers behind the scenes of Jo and Bethie’s most intimate experiences. Their individual stories are told in alternating chapters with plenty of overlap. Weiner covers a lot of ground in her book. Readers will get to watch how Jo and Bethie maneuver through some heart wrenching experiences that ultimately shape the course of their lives.   Though Weiner’s message is powerful, her writing has a delicate touch and is extremely easy to read and absorb.

In Mrs. Everything, Jennifer Weiner writes about women who were thinking outside the box.  Women who were in an uphill battle against the social norms of their time.  Weiner’s characters are heroic and fierce in their own right. Yes, they succumbed at times to the expectations of their gender.  They also rebelled and challenged these standards, changing the path for fellow women. These ladies were determined to find their happy ending.  Weiner’s book was an absolute joy to read. Be prepared for Jo and Bethie to steal your heart. You will be rooting for them every step of the way.

Enjoy my lovely readers.

Until Next time Mr. H.!!!!!

Your Biggest Fan,

Kelly

P.S.  The ARC of Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner was provided by Atria Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Click here to purchase Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner

April Showers Bring More Books and Pairings! Happy May Reading!

April 29, 2019

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

Spring is finally in the air. Not only do April showers bring May flowers, but they also bring shiny new books. Today I am sharing four books that will be coming your way this May. I am also including my 2019 May book pairings that will complement and embellish your lovely new reads. Enjoy this special spring post Mr. H. Happy shopping and happy reading!

Your Biggest Fan,

Kelly

P.S. This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. My links are not affiliate links. I do not make compensation from these links. Some links may be in collaboration with a book store solely for exposure.

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren (May 14, 2019)

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren is the quintessential rom-com read for this May. I adored this book with all of my heart and reading soul. Olive’s identical twin sister is getting married. At the wedding, the entire wedding party except for Olive and the best man (Ethan) get severe food poison. Here is where the plot thickens. Olive’s sister’s honeymoon to Hawaii can not be canceled or they lose the trip entirely. In order to not let this trip of a lifetime go to waste, Olive and Ethan go on the trip together instead. Here is the scoop though……..they despise each other. The story follows them on their Hawaiian adventure pretending to be the married couple by sharing the honeymoon sweet and participating in all of the honeymoon activities together. The Unhoneymooners is light and funny with a fantastic Hawaiian backdrop. Christina Lauren does an incredible job transporting readers to this island getaway. Readers will be flipping the pages as fast as they can to see how Olive and Ethan manage this trip together as sworn enemies. Will these two pseudo love birds end up surviving this trip together with their ever-changing emotions? Can they maintain this lie throughout their stay? Will they maybe even learn to like each other? Pack your suitcases readers…….. you are going to Hawaii. Enjoy your trip!!!!!!!!

**This ARC was provided by Gallery Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

P.S. I highly recommend protecting your new book with a gorgeous book sleeve by NERDFACESLEEVES. Warning…these book sleeves are adorable. You may find yourself ordering more than one.

Books and Pairings for The Unhoneymooners:

Click here to check out these wicked cool book sleeves

Click here to purchase The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

Things My Son Needs to Know About The World by Fredrik Backman (May 7, 2019)

Here we go, readers. Everyone who knows me knows that I LOVE Fredrick Backman. I will read absolutely anything this man writes. His new book, Things My Son Needs To Know About The World is a heartfelt read on the joys and fears of parenting. Having three sons of my own, I was instantly attracted to this book. Backman’s book is essentially a letter to his newborn son in the form of short essays about what his son needs to know about life. His writing is beautifully crafted and pulled hard at my ever dangling heartstrings. He essentially emptied his brain on the pages of his book with his own parenting fears, mistakes, and hopes for the future. He writes of the everyday dealings with newborn poop and sleepless nights to the importance of finding your people, the benefits of being in a band, and of course.…soccer. His love for his son is bursting through the pages of this book. Not only does his writing offer his son unique advice and raw explanations of life thus far, but it is also (most definitely) a love letter to his beautiful wife. Be prepared to laugh your face off, cry your eyes out, and be left with a warm and fuzzy feeling after reading the last page of this short, but sweet book. Backman delivers another effortless read.

**This ARC was provided by Atria Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

P.S. There is no doubt that you will want to highlight everything that Backman has to say. To keep track of your favorite parts of the book, check out these Book Darts by MODERN MRS. DARCY.

Books and Pairings for Things My Son Needs To Know About the World:

Click here to check out MODERN MRS. DARCY’S Book Darts

Click here to purchase Things My Son Needs To Know About The World by Fredrik Backman

How Not To Die Alone by Richard Roper (May 28, 2019)

How Not To Die Alone is Richard Roper’s debut fiction novel, and let me tell you this…it is GOOOOOOD! If you enjoy books with offbeat lead characters that need a little extra cheering for, this is your read. Andrew works in the field of public health. Trying to find the next of kin for someone who died alone is a job that is anything but cheerful. His only interactions are with his co-workers and his online friends who have shared interests in electric trains. Living alone as a middle-aged man is draining for Andrew. Sick of answering questions about marriage, girlfriends, and kids, he spontaneously lies during his interview for his current job by saying he has a wife and two kids. This little lie was easy to keep up at first but becomes increasingly difficult to manage as time goes on. When a new co-worker named Peggy joins his team, things get tricky. What appears to be an outlandish lie on the outside, may in fact be Andrew’s way of coping with his gloomy past. What I love about this story is that so much light shines through the dark undertones. With death and funerals lingering in the background, Roper still manages to lighten the load with his lovable characters and unique storyline. It is impossible to read this book and not be rooting for Andrew and Peggy. Fans of Fredrik Backman’s Britt-Marie Was Here and Gail Honeyman’s Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine will cherish this quirky read.

**Thank you to Putnam Books for sending me an advance copy of this book to read, review and share on Dear Mr. Hemingway!

P.S. If you want to enjoy the smell of May Flowers from the April Showers all year long, snag yourself the candle…NICE STEMS (smells like fresh flowers and green leaves) from NUBBLE LIGHT CANDLE COMPANY. You will not regret it.

Books and Pairings for How Not To Die Alone:

Click here to check out NUBBLE LIGHT CANDLE COMPANY’S NICE STEMS Candle.

Click here to purchase How Not To Die Alone by Richard Roper

Passion on Park Avenue Book Cover
Passion on Park Avenue by Lauren Layne (May 28, 2019)

Passion on Park Avenue by Lauren Layne is the perfect New York City romance. Who doesn’t love NYC in the springtime? This book has it all. Cocktails, Central Park, to die for Manhattan apartments, and above all…Love in the Big Apple. Naomi Powell is the CEO of one of the biggest jewelry companies in the country. With a successful company and the financial freedom she worked so hard for, Naomi now mingles with Manhattan’s elite. Despite her success, Naomi’s rag to riches tale leaves her feeling insecure in her professional and private life. Her life becomes a bit more complicated when she moves into a new, but very familiar apartment building. Naomi quickly runs into a gentleman (Oliver) in her building that is not only gorgeous but turns out to be someone from her childhood she deeply despises. How will she deal with their daily interactions and secretive past? With a dilemma on her hands and two new girlfriends (she uniquely meets) to help her navigate the muddy waters, Naomi embarks on a journey of self-discovery, friendship, and love. Layne’s writing is delightful and quite touching to read. Her story has a dash of snark, a sprinkle of wit, and a whole lot of NYC charm. Passion on Park Avenue is a romantic comedy filled with lovable characters that you can’t get enough of. Buckle up your stilettos and put on your sunglasses…you are about to strut down Park Avenue. Enjoy this easy breezy read.

**This ARC was provided by Gallery Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

P.S. Mark your place in your book with a gorgeous Elastic Jewelry Bookmark from BOOK ART BOOKMARKS. So long paper bookmarks. Dress your book up in style with this one of a kind page saver. Park Avenue deserves a little bling!!!!

Books and Pairings for Passion on Park Avenue:

Click here to check out these fabulous bookmarks

Click here to purchase Passion on Park Avenue by Lauren Layne

The Greatest Present to Give is the Gift of Being Present

The Deal of a Lifetime book cover

The Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman

December 11, 2018

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

Fredrik Backman is such a beautiful writer. His work taps into emotions I never knew existed. I can easily laugh out loud, cry into a box of tissues, and ponder into the wee hours of the night after reading any of his books. His novella, The Deal of a Lifetime, is no exception. It was originally printed in Backman’s local newspaper in Sweden before being published as a book. This story is not easy to summarize. I read it three times in one sitting, just to absorb its depth. Here is a glimpse into this magical story of love, hope, and beyond.

A middle-aged absentee father. A cancer diagnosis. A death. Is a legacy of wealth, material things, and disappointment worth leaving behind?

A five-year-old girl. A cancer diagnosis. No regret, just wonder. Will death be cold? Should she pack her gloves just in case?

Backman’s novella can be read in its entirety over your morning coffee. It may be short, but its message will stay with you long after you close the book. Backman writes about how one man’s journey changes drastically after staring death in the eyes. This nameless character is presented with a unique opportunity to change the life course of a little girl he just recently met and to erase the sorrow he has caused the son he never took the time to know. Is this a deal he is ready to make?

“A second is always a second;  that’s the one definite value we have on Earth. Everyone is always negotiating, all of the time. You’re doing the deal of your life, every day.”

This is not your traditional holiday story, but instead, one to be read and reflected upon during this time of year. It will cause you to meditate on what is truly valuable. Presents are fun to give, but the gift of being present will outweigh any material possession. It is easy to forget in the hustle and bustle of daily life to use our seconds wisely. Make each second count. Each second is a deal we make thousands of times a day. Do not be afraid to enjoy time.  However, hold dear to your heart that yesterday has expired. Make sure to live today with thoughtfulness and love. Look forward to tomorrow without wishing the days away. Start now. Do not wait until you are unkindly reminded by time.

Until next time my friend!

Your Biggest Fan,

Kelly

P.S.    “Time is a thief I would rob.”  (Heart of the World by Lady Antebellum)

Wouldn’t You????????

Click here to buy The Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman

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