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DEAR FRIDAY~11/4/22

November 4, 2022

Dear Friday!

You are here, and I am not even the slightest bit mad about it. I am not one to wish a week away or time in general, but this week was a DOOZY! I traveled for a wedding this past glorious weekend. Even though I felt refreshed from the alone time spent with my hubby away from the kids, I started the week with a significant sleep deficit. Throw in a sick kiddo home ALL week and a few abandoned (and much-needed) routines, and my week was a bit off-centered. Instead of focusing on the things that frazzled me, I am cherishing the beautiful things that kept me grounded and put a smile on my face (AKA…spending more time with my youngest). And in case it slipped your mind, FALL BACK this weekend and set the clocks back one hour. The plus side to daylight savings is that we gain one magnificent hour of much-needed sleep. This dark and cold season is the perfect excuse to cuddle up by the fire, sip something warm, and get lost in a cozy tale.

Cheers, Friday!

xoxo,

Kelly

SHHH…CAN’T YOU SEE I’M READING

Click on the book pic to purchase!

It’s officially November and a new month equals a new #DEARBASICBUDDYREADS selection. For Non-fiction November, Katie and I chose Stolen by Elizabeth Gilpin. This memoir sounds absolutely harrowing, and I can’t wait to dive in. Some early feedback from readers in our group is that the audio version (read by the author) is very good. At this point, I am leaning toward listening, but will keep you posted when I get started. Our private group chat is held over on Instagram, so be sure to DM me at @dearmrhemingway over there to join us. If you want to watch Katie and I reveal this month’s pick LIVE, CLICK HERE! Be sure to check out the synopsis and READ WITH US!

SYNOPSIS:

“At fifteen, Elizabeth Gilpin was an honor student, a state-ranked swimmer and a rising soccer star, but behind closed doors her undiagnosed depression was wreaking havoc on her life. Growing angrier by the day, she began skipping practices and drinking to excess. At a loss, her parents turned to an educational consultant who suggested Elizabeth be enrolled in a behavioral modification program. That recommendation would change her life forever.⁣
The nightmare began when she was abducted from her bed in the middle of the night by hired professionals and dropped off deep in the woods of Appalachia. Living with no real shelter was only the beginning of her ordeal: she was strip-searched, force-fed, her name was changed to a number and every moment was a test of physical survival.⁣
After three brutal months, Elizabeth was transferred to a boarding school in Southern Virginia that in reality functioned more like a prison. Its curriculum revolved around a perverse form of group therapy where students were psychologically abused and humiliated. Finally, at seventeen, Elizabeth convinced them she was rehabilitated enough to “graduate” and was released.⁣
In this eye-opening and unflinching book, Elizabeth recalls the horrors she endured, the friends she lost to suicide and addiction, and–years later–how she was finally able to pick up the pieces of her life and reclaim her identity.”

I CAN’T HEAR YOU…I’M WEARING

HEADPHONES

I am not typically one to “drink the cool aid,” but I decided to take a sip of Taylor Swift’s latest album, and I am OBSESSED! I’ve had MIDNIGHTS playing in the background since it came out, and I LOVE IT. It’s fun, moody, has a bit of an edge, and works for me 100%. MAROON and YOU’RE ON YOUR OWN, KID, have been my favorites, but I adore all the songs. The best news is that she is going on tour again, and I hope to see her because she makes me feel oh so YOUNG again, and that’s a good thing!

NETFLIX & CHILL

I am in between shows, so my hubby and I are re-watching VEEP…a political comedy starring Julia Louise-Dreyfus. This is pee-in-your-pants-my-stomach-hurts-from-laughing kind of funny, and it’s perfect for unwinding at the end of the day. It is WILDLY inappropriate, so consider yourself forwarned. Click here to check it out.

WHAT THE HELL AM I MAKING THESE PEOPLE FOR DINNER TONIGHT?

My answer to that question is NOT MUCH! My enthusiasm for cooking this week was lower than low. I kept it simple by making a few go-to meals such as pot roast and burritos and added in a pizza night to keep things exciting. Tonight my plan is for the five of us to go out for dinner and catch up as a family—all in one place with no phones or places to escape. Now, I may not have executed an epic weeknight meal plan this week, but I did make fresh bread, and that is literally the GREATEST. Not only was it a cinch to make, but it made my house smell homey and like someone baked in it for hours. The best part of this bread is that it is delicious and only has FIVE INGREDIENTS! Because of this, I would advise using the beer you love and high-quality honey for this recipe. It will make a difference. Also, be sure to grease your pan EXTRA EXTRA. I did not, and the bread was hard to get out. I think I will use parchment paper next time. HERE IS THE RECIPE! Happy Baking!

I WRITE THE SONGS THAT MAKE THE WHOLE WORLD SING

Still no songs…sorry. As I mentioned earlier, this week didn’t “flow” well for me. Hiding away and reading is my number one way to re-center myself. But a close second is writing and creating. The past few weeks, I’ve spent some time with Before You Knew My Name by Jacqueline Bublitz and The Parent Compass by Cynthia Clumeck Muchnick, MA & Jenn Curtis, MSW. I have always been very selective about what books I write about for my blog. Not only do I put my heart and soul into what I am writing, but also A LOT of time. These two books still linger in my mind and could not be any more different. Be sure to click the links above and read what I said.

MUST I PARENT THESE CHILDREN?

Click on the book pic to purchase!

YUP!!!!!! This is happening! For the love of GOD, I CAN NOT believe that I have entered this new-to-me arena of parenting. I just picked up this book from various parenting sites after reading about how wonderful it is. This is Fiske’s 39th Edition, so it’s safe to say it’s a good one. If you are beginning this process with your kiddo or will be in the next year or so, keep this book in mind. It has a 2-3 page write-up on almost every college in the United States. The information provided is the perfect combination of stats (acceptance rate, cost, financial aid, etc.), the primary focus of studies, student life, campus offerings, and more. I find this book easy to navigate, with digestible information that does not overwhelm me. It is also great for your college-bound kid to poke through. Because it is one “chunky monster,” it can be used as a doorstop once your teen gets into college!

FRIDAY I’M IN LOVE

Have you noticed an increase in junk mail lately? I am baffled at the waste whenever I grab the mail from our box. Junky advertisements, random papers, and piles of catalogs fill my poor mailbox to its breaking point. This, of course, does not include the essential pieces of mail, such as bills and cards—things I want to be able to find. As I thumbed through last night’s pile of crap, a few noteworthy catalogs caught my eye. Even though I’ve seen these stores and ordered from them occasionally, I usually don’t give them a second glance before sending them to the recycling bin. However, Halloween is officially behind us (PRAISE BE), and I am dreaming of the holiday season. So when I spied candy canes, ornaments, and whimsical garland on a glossy page out of the corner of my eye, my heart skipped a beat. I quickly nestled those magical-looking catalogs under my arm, grabbed a cozy glass of red, and beelined over to the couch. I flipped through every one of these catalogs reading through each description as if it was a holiday romance novel while allowing the sparkling images to occupy my mind. I sat cuddled on my couch dreaming about reindeer sheets and a poinsettia quilt draped on my bed, holiday lights dangling from every window, cozy fires created from perfectly stacked wood piles next to the fireplace (meanwhile, I have an electric fireplace), and Christmas trees decked out in various themes in EVERY room of my house (even the bathroom). Do I want to buy everything in these catalogs? YES! Will I buy anything from these catalogs? NO! Here is the thing— these catalogs provided me with 20 minutes of pure joy. And yes, after I finished swooning over the plaid blankets lined with faux fur and stockings hung with care on overdressed mantels, I delivered these bad boys straight to the recycling bin—but not without thanking them first!

#DEARBASICBUDDYREADS~NOVEMBER 2022

Stolen by Elizabeth Gilpin (Grand Central Publishing)

November 3, 2022

Dear Book Family,

I am so happy to announce our #DEARBASICBUDDYREADS NOVEMBER PICK. We will be reading Stolen, by Elizabeth Gilpin. There is no doubt in my mind that this memoir won’t spark the most intense conversations. Check out the WILD synopsis below and head on over to @dearmrhemingway on Instagram to join. If you want to watch Katie and I announce this pick LIVE, CLICK HERE. As always, this is a read at your own pace situation followed by a private Instagram chat at the end of the month. ⁣COME READ WITH US!

xoxo,⁣
Kelly


𝐒𝐘𝐍𝐎𝐏𝐒𝐈𝐒 ⁣
“At fifteen, Elizabeth Gilpin was an honor student, a state-ranked swimmer and a rising soccer star, but behind closed doors her undiagnosed depression was wreaking havoc on her life. Growing angrier by the day, she began skipping practices and drinking to excess. At a loss, her parents turned to an educational consultant who suggested Elizabeth be enrolled in a behavioral modification program. That recommendation would change her life forever.⁣
The nightmare began when she was abducted from her bed in the middle of the night by hired professionals and dropped off deep in the woods of Appalachia. Living with no real shelter was only the beginning of her ordeal: she was strip-searched, force-fed, her name was changed to a number and every moment was a test of physical survival.⁣
After three brutal months, Elizabeth was transferred to a boarding school in Southern Virginia that in reality functioned more like a prison. Its curriculum revolved around a perverse form of group therapy where students were psychologically abused and humiliated. Finally, at seventeen, Elizabeth convinced them she was rehabilitated enough to “graduate” and was released.⁣
In this eye-opening and unflinching book, Elizabeth recalls the horrors she endured, the friends she lost to suicide and addiction, and–years later–how she was finally able to pick up the pieces of her life and reclaim her identity.”

Click on the book pic to purchase!

*Book links provided in today’s post are affiliate links. Dear Mr. Hemingway makes a tiny commission through books purchased in our storefront. Even better, 20% of purchases made through the Dear Mr. Hemingway storefront go towards an independent bookstore. Thank you so much for all of your support!

DEAR FRIDAY~10/14/22

October 14, 2022

Dear Friday!

You are here again, and I am not mad about it. Monday holidays always throw me off and completely mess with my head. I basically had no clue what the date was or what day it was ALL WEEK. It all worked out because I began tackling my house. My goal for the next full year is to GET RID OF STUFF and to be more mindful of what we purchase and bring into our home moving forward. If it does not serve my family or me… it’s gone. I do not want to stare at odds and ends around the house. I do not want closets overflowing with all of our “things.” I do not want a basement bursting at the seams with crap we threw down there to avoid dealing with. I do not want my digital life to be so abundant that it needs to be stored in some imaginary cloud that I don’t know how to access. I want to feel lighter. I want my head to be clear. I want to be organized. I want an uncluttered life. This will take a lot of time, but I am determined! I also have three teenage boys, so please pray for me 😂😂. If you are looking for a great book on minimizing all the garbage in your life…check out LOVE PEOPLE USE THINGS.

Click on the pic to get it!

Ok…on with all the good stuff from the week!

Have a wonderful weekend!

xoxo,

Kelly

SHHH…CAN’T YOU SEE I’M READING

Click on the book pic to check it out!

I am in the middle of reading The Chain by Adrian McKinty for the #DEARBASICBUDDYREADS October book. It is a super fast read with short chapters to gobble up. So far, the pacing is quick, and the storyline is holding my interest. Fingers crossed, it continues in this direction. If you are on Instagram, CLICK HERE for more information on how to join our online discussion this month. I am also FINALLY reading Zibby Owens’ memoir, Bookends. I am a big fan of Zibby, her passion for great books and authors, and all her contributions to the literary world. I also enjoy writing for her publication…ZIBBY MAG (formerly MOMS DON’T HAVE TIME TO) and being a part of the ZIBBY MAG writing community. Read my funny piece about “getting it on” in the middle of the day…RIGHT HERE!

I CAN’T HEAR YOU…I’M WEARING HEADPHONES

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

I am currently reading/listening to the final book in the Beartown Trilogy. Backman is hands down…one of my favorite authors. I received an advanced copy of The Winners last spring, and guess what? I couldn’t read it. I stared at it every day but did not want to read it because reading it would be the end, and I could not face the end of this story. I am sure the publishers were thrilled with this 😂. Anyway, I am s-l-o-w-l-y alternating between listening and physically reading this book. I am savoring EVERY moment, EVERY character, and EVERY sentence 🥲.

On an entirely different note, I listened to a fantastic episode from Jen Hatmaker’s For The Love Podcast titled THE MOST EMPOWERING THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SEX & YOUR BODY WITH EMILY NAGOSKI. I highly recommend this episode, but listen with headphones on 😂. It’s empowering, educational, truthful, eye-opening, and just plain fun! I am now interested in checking out Emily Nagoski’s best-selling book, Come As You Are. I mean, why not make sure we are doing everything and anything to have the most incredible sex ever. I’ll keep you posted.

NETFLIX & CHILL

So last week, I shared that I listen to Caroline Kepnes’ book, YOU. I just finished binge-watching season one of the NETFLIX version, and it did not disappoint. It followed the book mostly, with a few changes here and there. I am a big fan of Penn Badgley (Hello Dan from Gossip Girl). I am not allowing myself to watch the next season until I read the second book, Hidden Bodies. However, from what I gathered, you could probably just cut to the chase and watch the series and call it good if you do not feel like reading the books. There are only so many hours in a day.

Another show I must recommend that I caught up on this summer is PHYSICAL on AppleTV. One of my besties recommended this, and I’ve been hooked. In my opinion, this show is underrated and needs more attention because it is the absolute bomb! The 80s vibe is out of this world, and the characters are entirely nuts, 100% unreliable, and will drive you CRAZY! Despite their awfulness, though, you will fall in love with them. The show tackles eating disorders, sexual abuse, and so much more with the 80s mindset and diet culture front and center. If you are sensitive to this subject matter, then take a pass. If not, have at it. It’s a hoot! There are two seasons, and the episodes are under 30 minutes. For this one, you will probably want to dust off your old exercise videos, High-Top Reeboks, and VCRs!

WHAT THE HELL AM I MAKING THESE PEOPLE FOR DINNER TONIGHT?

Today I am sharing a SLAM-DUNK RECIPE. It’s another dump-all-the-ingredients-in-the-crockpot situation and is a real crowd-pleaser. So this Instant Pot Short Rib Black Bean Chili can be made in an instant pot or a crockpot. I did the ladder, and it rocked! The short ribs give this chili a little “something-something” that separates it from your run-of-the-mill ground beef versions. At the end of the cook cycle, the short ribs shred effortlessly with the back of a fork. Chef’s Kiss! I highly recommend this for game day or busy week nights!

I WRITE THE SONGS THAT MAKE THE WHOLE WORLD SING

I am sorry to say that I am still not writing any songs. However, I am waiting to hear back on a few more pieces I submitted for publication while writing many other fun things. In the meantime, I loved this piece by Fridrik Backman in the New York Times. And if you need a bit more Backman in your life, check out what I had to say about one of his leading ladies RIGHT HERE!

MY BODY’S A TEMPLE…BLAH, BLAH, BLAH

My body IS a temple, and I lifted weights this week to honor it four times. I will say that lifting weights makes me feel fantastic, and I enjoy doing it. Right now, I have a membership with BEACHBODY. There are tons of workout programs to choose from that are either single workouts or specific programs that last for a particular duration (i.e., 6 wks/5 days a week, etc.). I love the variety of programs, recipes, and nutritional plans they have and highly recommend this if you want to work out at home. They also have accountability coaches and private social media communities for inspiration and support if that’s your jam. This currently seems to work for me, so I am just going with it. I am severely lacking in the cardio arena, so that is my mission for next week. I must add that I do not work for BEACHBODY or am an affiliate for them. I’m just a happy customer sharing.

FRIDAY I’M IN LOVE

Friday I’m in love. Yes, I named this blurb after The Cure’s song. They are, after all, my favorite band ever! So what am I in love with this week? TEA! That’s right, good old fashion hot tea to sip on during the day because it is getting COLD here in Maine. One fun fact about me is that I am a collector of teas. I am a sucker for a new flavor, gorgeous packaging, and if it comes in a quaint tin can…I’m buying it! I own more tea than I can drink, and I love it! My latest find is CARMEL APPLE by The Republic of Tea. It is caffeine free and tastes like a cozy fall day in a mug. If I feel wild, I add a splash of unsweetened vanilla almond milk to elevate my tea-drinking experience. Can you say DELICIOUS? I sometimes find seasonal flavors like this one at TARGET or WHOLE FOODS. It is hit or miss. If your stores do not sell this flavor, you can always grab it RIGHT HERE!

*Book links provided in today’s post are affiliate links. Dear Mr. Hemingway makes a tiny commission through books purchased in our storefront. Even better, 20% of purchases made through the Dear Mr. Hemingway storefront go towards an independent bookstore. Thank you so much for all of your support!

DEAR FRIDAY~A WEEKLY LOVE LETTER 10/7/22

October 7, 2022

Dear Friday,

You are here, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to share my days with you with my FIRST-EVER Weekly Love Letter. This week has been another lesson in “adapting” to the new school schedule for my boys while juggling the everyday tasks of working, managing homework, driving my boys EVERYWHERE (thank God one has his license), pretending to keep up with the ENDLESS piles of dirty laundry, and figuring out what to make for dinner AGAIN and AGAIN and AGAIN. I swear, if the laundry crisis in my home doesn’t break me, coming up with dinner plans will. Oh, and did I mention…I adopted a duck?????

I was 100% on point the past few days ( not my typical reality) with planning, organizing, and executing new professional adventures for my reading and writing life. This weekly love letter is one of my latest creations. Here is the deal…Life is hard, and it doesn’t blink an eye when it drenches us with monotonous tasks and uninvited stress. And while I do not believe every day needs to feel like a trip to the Magic Kingdom, it is VITAL to experience sparks of joy throughout the day that nourish you inside and out.

It wouldn’t be human if I didn’t admit to saying that I, more often than not… look forward to the weekend. I mean, duh, of course, I do. But as crappy as some of my days feel, I DO NOT want to wish them away just to get to Saturday & Sunday. Number one, this ages me faster, and I prefer to remain youthful for as long as possible. And two, it is not living in the present moment, which I so desperately work on doing EVERY DAMN DAY (it’s wicked hard, people).

So without further ado, here is Dear Friday! I hope it brings you great pleasure and unexpected delight.

xoxo,

Kelly

SHHH…CAN’T YOU SEE I’M READING

I just finished reading Yellow Wife by Sedeqa Johnson for the September #DEARBASICBUDDYREADS, and it was 5-star fabulous. It’s a historical fiction novel set on a slave plantation/jail. Johnson’s book has a very strong sense of place and time. It is utterly heartbreaking and 100% maddening. The characters are raw and hauntingly beautiful, and their stories will linger in your mind long after you finish the last page. If you love The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom, then Yellow Wife is for you. I CAN NOT recommend it enough. It is also under 300 pages, so it is not only quick but also packs a punch in a short period of time! Make this book happen. Also, grab a copy of The Chain by Adrian McKinty. It is our October Selection for #DEARBASICBUDDYREADS. Head on over to INSTAGRAM to sign up for our end-of-the-month chat.

I CAN’T HEAR YOU…I’M WEARING HEADPHONES

You by Caroline Kepnes has been on my TBR for a while now. I have been tailoring my reading to match the season, and I think “A Stalker” fits in beautifully with the spooky vibes of October. I do not put much stock into star ratings, but I believe this book fits the bill for 5 BIG ONES. It’s 100% literary, for one. Think quintessential NYC bookstore, writers bopping around the city working on their MFAs quoting famous writers, and reading THE NEW YORKER like it’s the Bible while completing the NEW YORK TIMES Sunday crossword puzzle in pen. The characters are needy, greedy, a tad bit narcissistic, and over-the-top messy. Kepnes’ book is a beautiful mix of sexy and creepy, and I could not stop listening. I am psyched that there are two more books in the series and a rumored 4th. You has also been adapted to the screen and is on NETFLIX. More on that later. Lastly, I enjoy listening to my books on Libro.fm because they support local bookstores. Feel free to use my referral code. I am not an affiliate, just sharing a great app.

NETFLIX & CHILL

Ok, so how about HULU & CHILL for today? Let’s be clear. There is no real “chilling” going on here. Just pure trying-to-get-through-one-episode-a-night-without-falling-asleep kind of watching, either alone or with my hubby. I just finished watching CANDY on HULU, and it was phenomenal. This mini-series is based on the 1980 murder in which Candy Montgomery was accused of murdering her friend Betty Gore with an axe 😳. Here is the scoop. Jessica Beil is sensational in this. The late 70s early 80s depiction was so freaking on point. The color palate was orange, yellow, brown, and avocado green. The eyewear was heavy and thick…think coke-bottle glasses. The characters were mysterious, raw, and totally depressing in the best possible way. The camera work was wicked cool and gave me all the DEXTER vibes. I thought the graphics were done exceptionally well, focussing more on the story itself and not on a ton of disturbing imagery. The “murder” was definitely…SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT. I am still processing all the details. The best part of this show is that you are in and out in five episodes, and if you pay close attention…you may even spot Justin Timberlake in the cast 😮.

WHAT THE HELL AM I MAKING THESE PEOPLE FOR DINNER TONIGHT?

I have realized that I will be making dinner every damn night until I die unless we go out or get takeout…so basically, FOREVER! I am sharing a recipe I made this week that is SOOOO EASY. It’s a dump-in-the-crockpot-and-go situation, and it’s good. This Chicken Taco Chili is the bomb. Serve it over fluffy rice (or cauliflower rice if you are keeping it tight) with shredded cheese, guacamole, and a piece of cornbread for good measure. It tastes EVEN BETTER the next day and freezes like a champ. You are welcome! CLICK HERE AND START COOKING…I mean, dumping 😂

I WRITE THE SONGS THAT MAKE THE WHOLE WORLD SING

Yeah, so…I don’t actually write songs. Instead, I write about books I love, life in general, and I’m maybe even working on a book or two 🤷‍♀️. Today though, I am THRILLED to share my latest piece published on Grown & Flown. It’s about my couch, seriously. Doesn’t that sound CAPTIVATING??? In all honesty, it is a love letter to all the messy couches out there and to all the moms who stress over keeping them tidy. Instead of focusing on catalog-worthy couches with gorgeous faux fur blankets and pillows strewn about, let’s pivot our mindset and appreciate the memories that are being made on this central piece of furniture and all the respite it provides us from our fast-paced world and over-scheduled lives. See…now you are intrigued 🥰! READ IT RIGHT HERE!

MY BODY’S A TEMPLE…BLAH, BLAH, BLAH

Oh my God, it kind of is, and I am TRYING to do all the things for myself physically, mentally, and spiritually. It’s a process, friends. Two things for you this week. Number one, drink water! I am hit or miss with this one. I can say that when I drink A LOT of water each day, I see and feel a difference in myself. The numbers on the scale go down, and I am less hungry and feel less tired. I have zero clue about the science behind the whole “water” thing. Do we drink half of our body weight in ounces, or do we lug around a huge and, might I add, obnoxious GALLON water bottle with ridiculous reminders written on the side (which we apparently need)? I do not know. What I do know is that if you are consciously drinking water throughout the day and inconvenienced by MULTIPLE trips to the restroom (especially when you are driving), then you are probably drinking enough 🤷‍♀️!

I am also expanding my personal development reading these days. I am finishing up an Advance Reader Copy of The Book of Boundaries by the lovely Melissa Urban (CEO/Founder of the Whole30). I am beginning to believe that boundaries are EVERYTHING, especially as you get older. This book comes out next week and is one for your shelf. Big thanks to Random House for hooking me up with this gem. You can pre-order it RIGHT HERE!

FRIDAY I’M IN LOVE

That’s right, my sweet friends. It is Friday, and I am here to share what I’m in love with this week. Pumpkin Spice & Everything Nice…That’s What Dreams Are Made of. Am-I-Right? So I truly love making my coffee and have been playing around with making my cup align with the whole PSL season. I do not like sugary-tasting coffee, so most of my coffee-enhancing purchases have been failures. That all came to a screeching halt this week when I purchased Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Flavored Oat Beverage. I have found my winner. It is light with just a touch of sweetness, and I am 1000% obsessed with it. A splash of this in your coffee will bring you much joy…I promise! Make this “milk” happen!

*Book links provided in today’s post are affiliate links. Dear Mr. Hemingway makes a tiny commission through books purchased in our storefront. Even better, 20% of purchases made through the Dear Mr. Hemingway storefront go towards an independent bookstore. Thank you so much for all of your support!

#DEARBASICBUDDYREADS OCTOBER SELECTION

The Chain by Adrian McKinty (Mulholland Books)

September 29, 2022

Dear Book Family,

It’s that time again. I am THRILLED to announce our OCTOBER pick for #DEARBASICBUDDYREADS. We will be reading The Chain by Adrian McKinty. COME READ WITH US! As always, this is an online book club held on Instagram only. If you are not a big social media person or do not use that platform regularly, do not worry. You can make a generic private account just for this purpose. You are not obligated to follow anyone or take in any followers yourself. I know many people who do this who NEVER post on Instagram but want to participate in our private chat. Just some food for thought.

You can find me on Instagram @dearmrhemingway to sign up.

Katie and I are psyched for this book!

See you all soon!

xoxo,

Kelly

P.S. Check out the synopsis below. It’s a crazy one 😳!

“It’s something parents do every morning: Rachel Klein drops her daughter at the bus stop and heads into her day. But a cell phone call from an unknown number changes everything: it’s a woman on the line, informing her that she has Kylie bound and gagged in her back seat, and the only way Rachel will see her again is to follow her instructions exactly: pay a ransom, and find another child to abduct. This is no ordinary kidnapping: the caller is a mother herself, whose son has been taken, and if Rachel doesn’t do as she’s told, the boy will die. “You are not the first. And you will certainly not be the last.”Rachel is now part of The Chain, an unending and ingenious scheme that turns victims into criminals–and is making someone else very rich in the process. The rules are simple, the moral challenges impossible; find the money fast, find your victim, and then commit a horrible act you’d have thought yourself incapable of just twenty-four hours ago. But what the masterminds behind The Chain know is that parents will do anything for their children. It turns out that kidnapping is only the beginning.”

Click on the book pic to purchase through my affiliate link.

*Book links provided in today’s post are affiliate links. Dear Mr. Hemingway makes a tiny commission through books purchased in our storefront. Even better, 20% of purchases made through the Dear Mr. Hemingway storefront go towards an independent bookstore. Thank you so much for all of your support!

#DEARBASICBUDDYREADS SEPTEMBER SELECTION

Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson (Simon & Schuster)

September 13, 2022

Dear Book Family,

Katie @basicbsguide and I are so excited to announce our September book selection for #DEARBASICBUDDYREADS. We will be reading and discussing 𝘠𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘰𝘸 𝘞𝘪𝘧𝘦  by Sadeqa Johnson.

⁣Here is the scoop…𝘠𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘰𝘸 𝘞𝘪𝘧𝘦 has been rated over 31,000 times on GOODREADS with an average rating of 4.4 😮. And honestly, I have only heard rave reviews about it from the book community.

“𝘈 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘯𝘨𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘥 𝘣𝘶𝘵 𝘣𝘦𝘢𝘶𝘵𝘪𝘧𝘶𝘭𝘭𝘺 𝘵𝘰𝘭𝘥… 𝘠𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘰𝘸 𝘞𝘪𝘧𝘦 𝘥𝘰𝘦𝘴𝘯’𝘵 𝘱𝘶𝘭𝘭 𝘢𝘯𝘺 𝘱𝘶𝘯𝘤𝘩𝘦𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘪𝘵𝘴 𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘺 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘱𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘧𝘶𝘭 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘰𝘥 𝘪𝘯 𝘈𝘮𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘩𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘺. 𝘏𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳, 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘢 𝘤𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘭 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘪𝘴 𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘯 𝘶𝘱 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘢𝘴𝘬, 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩𝘵-𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘷𝘰𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘸𝘦𝘭𝘭-𝘱𝘢𝘤𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘢𝘭𝘦 𝘣𝘳𝘪𝘮𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘵 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘨𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦.”–𝐍𝐏𝐑⁣

Weighing in at 278 pages, this Historical Fiction novel is the perfect September read! ⁣

As always, we will be reading at our own pace and then discussing via a private Instagram chat at the end of the month. ⁣You do need to have an Instagram account to join in.

DM me over on Instagram to join.

xoxo,⁣
Kelly

𝐒𝐲𝐧𝐨𝐩𝐬𝐢𝐬:⁣
“Born on a plantation in Charles City, Virginia, Pheby Delores Brown has lived a relatively sheltered life. Shielded by her mother’s position as the estate’s medicine woman and cherished by the Master’s sister, she is set apart from the others on the plantation, belonging to neither world.⁣

She’d been promised freedom on her eighteenth birthday, but instead of the idyllic life she imagined with her true love, Essex Henry, Pheby is forced to leave the only home she has ever known. She unexpectedly finds herself thrust into the bowels of slavery at the infamous Devil’s Half Acre, a jail in Richmond, Virginia, where the enslaved are broken, tortured, and sold every day. There, Pheby is exposed not just to her Jailer’s cruelty but also to his contradictions. To survive, Pheby will have to outwit him, and she soon faces the ultimate sacrifice.”

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#DEARBASICBUDDYREADS AUGUST SELECTION

I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes With Death by Maggie O’Farrell (Vintage Books)

July 24, 2022

Dear Gorgeous Readers,

Guess Who is Back??? #𝐃𝐄𝐀𝐑𝐁𝐀𝐒𝐈𝐂𝐁𝐔𝐃𝐃𝐘𝐑𝐄𝐀𝐃𝐒 and our August Book Selection!⁣⁣
Katie @basicbsguide and I are so excited to announce that we will be reading and discussing 𝘐 𝘈𝘮 𝘐 𝘈𝘮 𝘐 𝘈𝘮: 𝘚𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘉𝘳𝘶𝘴𝘩𝘦𝘴 𝘞𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘋𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘩 by Maggie O’Farrell. ⁣

As you probably know, O’Farrell is the author of many books, including 𝘏𝘢𝘮𝘯𝘦𝘵 and 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘔𝘢𝘳𝘳𝘪𝘢𝘨𝘦 𝘗𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘪𝘵 (out in August). But it is THIS memoir, 𝘐 𝘈𝘮 𝘐 𝘈𝘮 𝘐 𝘈𝘮 that has been staring me down for many years with its captivating title and premise. The time has come to take on all O’Farrell’s brushes with death…one page at a time. 𝐂𝐡𝐞𝐜𝐤 𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐝 𝐬𝐲𝐧𝐨𝐩𝐬𝐢𝐬 𝐛𝐞𝐥𝐨𝐰.⁣

As always, this is a read-at-your-pace situation with a private Instagram chat at the end of the month… Date/Time TBA.⁣ If you are on Instagram, please message @dearmrhemingway to join.

Will you be joining us? I truly hope so! We would love to read with you! ⁣

xoxo,⁣
Kelly & Katie⁣


𝐒𝐲𝐧𝐨𝐩𝐬𝐢𝐬:⁣
“On seventeen occasions, award-winning novelist Maggie O’Farrell has stared death in the face—and lived to tell the tale. In this astonishing memoir, the New York Times bestselling author of Hamnet shares the near-death experiences that have punctuated and defined her life.⁣

The childhood illness that left her bedridden for a year, which she was not expected to survive. A teenage yearning to escape that nearly ended in disaster. An encounter with a disturbed man on a remote path. And, most terrifying of all, an ongoing, daily struggle to protect her daughter from a condition that leaves her unimaginably vulnerable to life’s myriad dangers. ⁣

Here, O’Farrell stiches together these discrete encounters to tell the story of her entire life. In taut prose that vibrates with electricity and restrained emotion, she captures the perils running just beneath the surface, and illuminates the preciousness, beauty, and mysteries of life itself.”⁣

#DEARBASICBUDDYREADS JUNE SELECTION

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo (Flatiron Books)

May 23, 2022

Dear Reading Friends,

Katie @basicbsguide and I are so excited to announce our June Book Selection…𝘕𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘩 𝘏𝘰𝘶𝘴𝘦 🐍by Leigh Bardugo. I have been wanting to read this for SO LONG and my dreams are finally coming true 😃. Does an Ivy League School, secret societies, dead bodies, and some dark magic sound good to you???? Sounds magnificent to me! Check out the synopsis below AND JOIN US! ⁣
⁣🐍
This is a read at your own pace situation during the month of June followed by an EPIC private chat on Instagram with me, Katie, and the whole 𝐃𝐄𝐀𝐑𝐁𝐀𝐒𝐈𝐂𝐁𝐔𝐃𝐃𝐘𝐑𝐄𝐀𝐃𝐒 crew. The chat date will be announced shortly! DM me over at @dearmrhemingway to join. You need to have an Instagram account to participate.
⁣🐍
𝐀𝐋𝐒𝐎..If you need a push to read 𝘕𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘩 𝘏𝘰𝘶𝘴𝘦, let me tell you this… the sequel to this tale is called 𝘏𝘦𝘭𝘭 𝘉𝘦𝘯𝘵 and it comes out in January 2023. Join us and you will be ready to take on book two when it makes its way into the world 😍!⁣

xoxo,⁣
Kelly

⁣🐍
𝐒𝐲𝐧𝐨𝐩𝐬𝐢𝐬:⁣
“Galaxy “Alex” Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug-dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. In fact, by age twenty, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicides. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most prestigious universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?⁣

Still searching for answers, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. Their eight windowless “tombs” are the well-known haunts of the rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street’s biggest players. But their occult activities are more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive. They tamper with forbidden magic. They raise the dead. And, sometimes, they prey on the living.”

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 Katie @basicbsguide and I have selected 𝘕𝘦𝘤𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘢𝘳𝘺 𝘗𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦 by Anna Pitoniak for our next Buddy Read! ⁣

It’s time to dive into something with chills, drama, ambition, and intensity and we anticipate Pitoniak’s 2019 book will deliver.⁣

As always, this is is read at your own pace situation with a killer private chat at the end of May!⁣

DM me over on Instagram to join in the madness!⁣

xoxo,⁣
Kelly⁣

𝐒𝐲𝐧𝐨𝐩𝐬𝐢𝐬:⁣

“𝐀 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐩𝐮𝐥𝐬𝐢𝐯𝐞, “𝐜𝐡𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐠” 𝐧𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐥 𝐞𝐱𝐩𝐥𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐝𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐞𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐬 𝐟𝐚𝐮𝐥𝐭 𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐟𝐞𝐦𝐚𝐥𝐞 𝐟𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐩𝐬 (𝐋𝐞𝐞 𝐂𝐡𝐢𝐥𝐝), 𝐍𝐞𝐜𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐚𝐫𝐲 𝐏𝐞𝐨𝐩𝐥𝐞 𝐝𝐞𝐟𝐭𝐥𝐲 𝐩𝐥𝐮𝐦𝐛𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐥𝐢𝐦𝐢𝐭𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐚𝐦𝐛𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧, 𝐥𝐨𝐲𝐚𝐥𝐭𝐲, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞. ⁣
𝐎𝐧𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐦 𝐡𝐚𝐬 𝐢𝐭 𝐚𝐥𝐥. 𝐎𝐧𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐦 𝐰𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐬 𝐢𝐭 𝐚𝐥𝐥. 𝐁𝐮𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐲 𝐜𝐚𝐧’𝐭 𝐛𝐨𝐭𝐡 𝐰𝐢𝐧.⁣

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.⁣


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. ⁣


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.”

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. Katie @basicbsguide and I have decided on our April #dearbasicbuddyreads Backlist Buddy Read and we are thrilled to announce that our pick is 𝘚𝘢𝘭𝘵 𝘛𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘚𝘦𝘢 by Ruta Sepetys.

We will be reading this YA Historical Fiction novel the month of April and will have a fabulous discussion ( as always 😉) at the end of the month via a private Instagram chat. ⁣

I can honestly say… 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.

Check out the synopsis below! ⁣

xoxo,⁣
Kelly

𝐒𝐲𝐧𝐨𝐩𝐬𝐢𝐬 ⁣
“World 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. ⁣

Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand people—adults and children alike—aboard must fight for the same thing: survival. ⁣”

Click on the book pic to purchase!

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