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🎁2022 HOLIDAY BOOKS & PAIRINGS🎁

November 27, 2022

Dear Beautiful Book Family,

The 2022 Dear Mr. Hemingway Holiday Books & Pairings is HERE, and short and sweet—perfect for everyone exhausted from endless decision-making. In this year’s minimalist guide, I chose five books & five pairings that have DELIGHTED me every which way. This year’s lineup includes a scrumptious new cookbook, a mesmerizing book of poems, a musical memoir, a thriller in a secluded cabin, and a tantalizing tale of love and lust. My pairings are equally satisfying. They can be mixed and matched and open the doors to many products from pretty spectacular businesses. I hope you enjoy my holiday roundup for shopping made easy this holiday season! Be sure to click on the book pictures below to purchase these books for the book lover in your life. Don’t forget to click on the highlighted pairings as well. If you are looking for a more extensive list of Books & Pairings, check out my past gift guides RIGHT HERE!

Happy Reading, Happy Shopping, & Happy Holidays,

Kelly

Seclude Cabin Sleeps Six by Lisa Unger (Park Row Books)

Lisa Unger never disappoints. Like so many twisted thrillers, it is better not to know too much before reading, What I can offer you is this—three couples embark on a restful gateway to a luxurious secluded cabin only to be greeted by a dark and stormy night filled with more than just some gorgeous cocktails and mind-numbing edibles. Sketchy cell phone service, a busted generator, and messy characters with a lot of dirty baggage fill the pages of this locked-room mystery. Throw in a few ghost stories, characters have gone missing, and perhaps even a trail of blood, and you’ve got yourself a fast-paced atmospheric read. Don’t let the number of characters in this book scare you. They all come together for a wicked, fun ending! I paired this book with my latest fragrance obsession. NEAR & NATIVE Room and Body Mists are so wonderful. These naturally made sprays are created in Maine and are perfect for spritzing on your body, in your house, in your car, and even on your bed sheets for a hint of fabulousness. My favorite scents are rosewater, Japanese Yuzu, and citrus mint. I adore that they are not overpowering, and I ALWAYS receive compliments when wearing them! Shop for these spritzes RIGHT HERE!

Synopsis:

“What could be more restful than a weekend getaway with family and friends? An isolated luxury cabin in the woods with spectacular views, a hot tub, and a personal chef. Hannah’s generous brother found the listing online. The reviews are stellar. It’ll be three couples on this trip with good food, good company, and lots of R & R.

But the dreamy weekend is about to turn into a nightmare. 

A deadly storm is brewing. The rental host seems just a little too present. The personal chef reveals that their beautiful house has a spine-tingling history. And the friends have their own complicated pasts, with secrets that run blood deep.

How well does Hannah know her brother, her own husband? Can she trust her best friend? Meanwhile, someone is determined to ruin the weekend, looking to exact payback for deeds long buried. Who is the stranger among them?”

And Yet by Kate Baer (Harper Perennial)

If you are new to poetry, let Kate Baer lead the way. This is Baer’s third book of poems I have read, and I fell in love all over again with her writing. Her contemporary poems center around motherhood, friendship, love, loss, and just being a woman. Her poems shine a light on EVERYTHING, and I simply can’t get enough of her writing! I felt 100% seen in her words and believe that this will be true for so many other women. My favorite poems in this collection are Reasons to Log Off and Putting Away the Baby Clothes. This slim book of beauty will fit perfectly inside a fuzzy stocking or nestled between two books on a cozy shelf. My favorite pairing is Poppy & Pout’s Pink Grapefruit Lip Balm and Lip Scrub. To say I am obsessed with this flavor is an understatement. It smells so lovely and fresh, and lip-smacking has never tasted so great! This product combo has been my go-to birthday present to gift my friends this fall, and I have been using them non-stop myself every day. I feel confident that all of the flavors and products from this company will be winners. Have a blast shopping RIGHT HERE!

Synopsis:

“Kate Baer shot into the literary stratosphere with the publication of her debut poetry collection, What Kind of Woman, which became an instant #1 New York Times bestseller.

Kate’s second full-length book of traditional poetry, And Yet, dives deeper into the themes that are the hallmarks of her writing: motherhood, friendship, love, and loss. Taken together, these poems demonstrate the remarkable evolution of a writer and an artist working at the height of her craft, pushing herself and her poetry beautifully and impressively.”

The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music by Dave Grohl (Dey Street Books)

I LOVED THIS BOOK! Grohl’s musical memoir came out near the end of 2021, but I am naming it one of my favorite books read in 2022. You will be very satisfied if you are a music fan and a GenX generation member. Grohl takes his readers on his journey to musical greatest, beginning with his childhood in Springfield, Virginia. From there, Grohl shares his rise to stardom from his time with the punk rock band Scream, Kurt Cobain’s Nirvana, and founding his own band, The Foo Fighters. He shares details of his time on the road, being roommates with the famous Kurt Cobain, and being a father to three beautiful daughters. His writing is intimate, heartfelt, and didn’t feel like an obnoxious celebrity memoir. Despite his musical success, Grohl seems like a down-to-earth guy who loves hard and feels harder. I am obsessed with him and would love to have a cup of coffee with this guy (did I mention he is a coffee junkie?)! Speaking of obsessed, I paired his book with some spectacular socks. Yes, you heard me correctly…socks! Bombas is an incredible company that not only has tremendous socks but also GIVES BACK. For every pair of socks purchased, one is donated. How cool is that? I’ve been wearing Bombas for years in various styles, and I’m gifting them again to the peeps in my life. They are high quality, wash & dry like a dream, and last forever. Shop for all the beautiful feet in your life RIGHT HERE! Be sure to buy Grohl’s book too. You won’t regret it!!!

Synopsis:

So, I’ve written a book.

Having entertained the idea for years and even offered a few questionable opportunities (It’s a piece of cake! Just do 4 hours of interviews, find someone else to write it, put your face on the cover, and voila!) I have decided to write these stories just as I have always done, in my own hand. The joy that I have felt from chronicling these tales is not unlike listening back to a song that I’ve recorded and can’t wait to share with the world, or reading a primitive journal entry from a stained notebook, or even hearing my voice bounce between the Kiss posters on my wall as a child. 

This certainly doesn’t mean I’m quitting my day job, but it gives me a place to shed a little light on what it’s like to be a kid from Springfield, Virginia, walking through life while living out the crazy dreams I had as a young musician. From hitting the road with Scream at 18 years old to my time in Nirvana and the Foo Fighters, jamming with Iggy Pop or playing at the Academy Awards or dancing with AC/DC and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, drumming for Tom Petty or meeting Sir Paul McCartney at Royal Albert Hall, bedtime stories with Joan Jett or a chance meeting with Little Richard, to flying halfway around the world for one epic night with my daughters…the list goes on. I look forward to focusing the lens through which I see these memories a little sharper for you with much excitement.”

Feed These People by Jen Hatmaker (Harvest Publications)

Did someone say NEW COOKBOOK ALERT???? I will never apologize for my endless love for new cookbooks, and I even treated myself to Jen Hatmaker’s debut cookbook, Feed These People. I have been following Jen for quite some time now, and one thing is for sure…she is super funny and feels like a best girlfriend. Her recipes are overflowing with flavor, easy to execute, and are for folks who are not afraid to enjoy a good meal. All I have to say is Green Chile Chorizo Queso (with a block of VELVEETA cheese), Pasta Bake with House Cream Sauce, and Shakshuka (I used fresh duck eggs). Now that I have your attention, please grab this book for the hungry people in your life and pair it with Slack Tide Sea Salt, made right here in good old Maine. “Hand-harvested sea salt made in small batches from the deep ocean waters of Maine, and solar evaporated along York’s tidal river.” Can you say PERFECTION??? I used this salt on many of my Thanksgiving dishes, and it’s simply the best. Shop all their salts RIGHT HERE!!!

Synopsis:

“With five children and a close-knit community of family and friends, bestselling author, podcaster, and inspirational speaker Jen Hatmaker has been sharing her love of cooking and food with her fans for years. Now she’s compiled all her favorite sure-thing recipes into one personal and highly entertaining cookbook, including chapters like Food for Breakfast (or brunch so you can drink), Food for Your Picky Spouse or Spawn, and Food for When You Have No More Damns to Give. This is real food for real people.”

Half-Blown Rose by Leesa Cross-Smith (Grand Central Publishing)

Half-Blown Rose is decadent, indulgent, and seductive as all hell⁣. It’s a woman named Vincent and a man name Loup⁣. It’s everything Paris⁣ and a teeny bit Irish⁣. It’s swift love, deep-rooted love⁣, and an intoxicating affair. It’s altruistic yet considerate⁣ and alarmingly sexy⁣. I could not stop reading this electrifying tale with lovers, family, art, and even a Tuscan Villa. I can not recommend this mouth-watering story enough. By now, you should know that I am a huge fan of all the products that come from Cape Gold. Fresh honey, soaps for days (there is even a Dear Mr. Hemingway Soap), shaving balms, and everything in between. Their latest creation is a Cucumber Honey Lotion that will make your skin feel smooth as butter. This magnificent lotion can be used anywhere on your body but works particularly well on your face and, for me…under my eyes. It is luxury in a bottle made with honey from their hives and other natural ingredients. Grab a bottle of this fantastic lotion to pair with Cross-Smith’s book RIGHT HERE!

Synopsis:

“Vincent, having grown up as the privileged daughter of artists, has a lovely life in many ways. At forty-four, she enjoys strolling the streets of Paris and teaching at the modern art museum; she has a vibrant group of friends; and she’s even caught the eye of a young, charismatic man named Loup. But Vincent is also in Paris to escape a painful betrayal: her husband, Cillian, has published a bestselling book divulging secrets about their marriage and his own past, hinting that when he was a teenager, he may have had a child with a young woman back in Dublin–before he moved to California and never returned. Now estranged from her husband, Vincent has agreed to see Cillian again at their son’s wedding the following summer, but Loup introduces new complications. Soon they begin an intense affair, and somewhere between dinners made together, cigarettes smoked in the moonlight, hazy evenings in nightclubs, and long, starry walks along the Seine, Vincent feels herself loosening and blossoming.”

*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~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!

~Barbarians At The Table~

February 10, 2021

Quick and Delicious:  100 Recipes to cook in 30 minutes or Less by Gordon Ramsay (Grand Central Publishing)

Farfalle with Brown Butter, Peas, and Sage

Gordon Ramsay is an absolute hit in our house.  Let’s face it, my boys LOVE watching this guy have outbursts on his television shows while the “F” word rolls off his tongue like it’s nobody’s business. Putting that aside, there is no denying that his recipes and cookbooks are phenomenal. Today I am sharing his latest creation, Quick and Delicious:  100 Recipes to cook in 30 minutes or Less.  This book served my family quite a few easy and delectable meals.  Even better, recipes in this book take under 30 minutes to prepare.  Something I can whip together in 30 minutes without compromising ingredients or taste is what I am always in the market for. This man is officially speaking my love language. 

Prepping my ingredients. A well sharpened knife is key.

The beginning of Ramsay’s cookbook basically sets you up for success. Equipment lists, shortcuts to flavor, and time-saving ingredients (hello pre-cut veggies from the grocery store…..I love you so) are briefly touched upon before he dives into the actual recipes.  His book is then divided up into your basic cooking categories.  Soups and Salads, Fish, Meat, Poultry, Grains, etc.  You get the idea.  I will put it out there from the start that some (not all) of his recipes may seem off the beaten path for the basic home cook, but do not let that intimidate you.  Remember…we are all trying to shake things up and get inspired in the kitchen here. Ramsay’s instructions are crystal clear and his recipes are easy to follow along with as long as you have all the ingredients. 

Double Lemon Chicken.

One of our favorite dishes from this cookbook was the Double Lemon Chicken.  Chicken thighs, lemon, soy sauce, runny honey and a bunch of herbs and spices made this rustic dish feel uber fancy.  I served this with a big loaf of crusty bread and Ramsay’s Green Beans with Tarragon and Pine Nuts.  I’m not lying when I say that this pleased all five of us and was labeled “A Write Down” by the kids.  Such a lovely Sunday dinner that did not require any of us being in the kitchen for hours.  Even better, we had leftovers that made for a tasty lunch for some of us, making this a budget friendly WIN!

Green Beans with Tarragon and Pine Nuts

So I am a huge soup fan.  I personally can make soup my main course with no issues.  My husband and boys, not so much.  They enjoy a bowl of soup, but as a side dish.  I made Ramsay’s Spiced Squash and Lentil Soup as a dinner side dish/potential lunch option.  Butternut squash, red lentils, curry powder, coconut cream and a  bunch of other basic ingredients simmered then were pureed into a smooth, velvety consistency. 

Spiced Squash and Lentil Soup

My husband and I really enjoyed this.  We loved how the coconut cream balanced out the spice and the lentils were a hearty addition making this more of a “ meal” soup for me than a side dish.  All three boys ate the soup which is always a plus, but it wasn’t their favorite.  They typically eat butternut squash soup with no problem and they are not afraid of spicy food.  I think the earthiness of the lentils may have thrown them for a loop.  Still a great soup in my opinion.

Another quick and easy slam dunker was the Farfalle with Brown Butter, Peas, and Sage. With just a handful or so of ingredients, this pasta dish is quick to make and a major step up from your run of the mill buttered noodles with parmesan and peas.  The trick to making this simple, yet elegant dish amazing all comes down to the butter. Heating butter in a pan until in turns a golden brown may seem easy, but one second too long in the pan can basically ruin the whole dish.  I burned my first attempt.  Ramsay’s is very clear about when you should remove the butter from the heat.  When you begin to smell a subtle nutty flavor, remove it immediately from the heat. I personally blew it on that during my first round.  I did not smell anything out of the ordinary and removed the butter from the heat source when it had a very light brown color.  So that was wrong.  Even though I removed the heat, the pan was still hot and quickly turned that golden brown into BLACK.  Not a good sign.  For my second attempt, I took it off the minute I saw the color slightly changing.  PERFECTION my friends.  After that…the dish came together in minutes and was the ultimate crowd pleaser.  I paired this with a big old salad and some trusty crusty bread and this crew was in heaven.  

All in all, Ramsay’s new cookbook is working well for our family.  Up next I am hoping to make the Baked Halibut with Borlotti Beans and Tomatoes for dinner and surprising these Barbarians with some Tiramisu Pots for dessert. 

Cheers To Making a Delicious Mess in Our Kitchens!

Kelly

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