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April 2021~Buddy Read

The One by John Marrs (Hanover Square Press)

March 23, 2021

Hello fabulous readers!

It is almost spring time here in Maine and I am already thinking about what my spring reading is going to look like. Katie @basicbsguide and I are continuing on with our monthly buddy reads. Itโ€™s all about the backlists for us, so get ready to check your shelves for all those unread books that keep staring you down. This April we will be reading ๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜–๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ by John Marrs @johnmarrs.author This will be my second book by Marrs and I CANโ€™T WAIT! โฃYou can check out what I had to say about What Lies Between Us, RIGHT HERE!

If you didnโ€™t know, ๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜–๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ has been made into a Netflix series. If you havenโ€™t read this yet…. donโ€™t watch the show until You do. ๐‚๐จ๐ฆ๐ž ๐ก๐š๐ง๐  ๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ, ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ ๐š๐ญ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐จ๐ฐ๐ง ๐ฉ๐š๐œ๐ž ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฃ๐จ๐ข๐ง ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐š ๐ฉ๐ซ๐ข๐ฏ๐š๐ญ๐ž ๐š๐ง๐ ๐‰๐”๐ˆ๐‚๐˜ ๐ˆ๐ง๐ฌ๐ญ๐š๐ ๐ซ๐š๐ฆ ๐œ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐š๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ž๐ง๐ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฆ๐จ๐ง๐ญ๐ก…….๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ง ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐ฆ๐ฒ ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ฆ๐ข๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฐ๐š๐ญ๐œ๐ก ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚! โฃ

Email me at dearmrhemingway@gmail.com or message me on Instagram to join in the fun!
โฃ
๐’๐ฒ๐ง๐จ๐ฉ๐ฌ๐ข๐ฌ โฃ
โ€œHow far would you go to find The One?โฃ
โฃ
A simple DNA test is all it takes. Just a quick mouth swab and soon you’ll be matched with your perfect partner–the one you’re genetically made for.โฃ
โฃ
That’s the promise made by Match Your DNA. A decade ago, the company announced that they had found the gene that pairs each of us with our soul mate. Since then, millions of people around the world have been matched. But the discovery has its downsides: test results have led to the breakup of countless relationships and upended the traditional ideas of dating, romance and love.โฃ
โฃ
Now five very different people have received the notification that they’ve been “Matched.” They’re each about to meet their one true love. But “happily ever after” isn’t guaranteed for everyone. Because even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking than others…”

I look forward to chatting books with you!

Kelly

P.S. Click on the book pic below to purchase this book!

March Buddy Read

Betty by Tiffany McDaniel (Knopf) Photo Credit-Kelly Fredericks

March 2, 2021

Dear Gorgeous Readers,

I can not believe it is March already. With a new month comes a new buddy read. This month, Katie (@basicbsguide) are co-hosting a group discussion on Betty by Tiffany McDaniel. Our group discussions are a wonderful and safe place to talk about all things books and reading and sensitive topics. Also, you will most likely make a new reading friend or two along the way. How fabulous is that!!!! Here is how it works….โฃ

1. Read at your own pace โฃ
2. Private Instagram chat at the end of March. Date and Time TBA.โฃ

If you have an instagram account and would like to join in with an awesome group of fellow readers from all over the country, please connect with me via email or message me on instagram. It is simple and a great way to connect with some new readers.

dearmrhemingway@gmail.com

@dearmrhemingway on instagram

Be sure to visit Katie on instagram as well. She is from Texas and has an awesome account. @basicbsguide

Synopsis:

โ€œA girl comes of age against the knife.”โฃ
โฃ
โ€œSo begins the story of Betty Carpenter. Born in a bathtub in 1954 to a white mother and a Cherokee father, Betty is the sixth of eight siblings. The world they inhabit in the rural town of Breathed, Ohio, is one of poverty and violence–both from outside the family and, devastatingly, from within. The lush landscape, rich with birdsong, wild fruit, and blazing stars, becomes a kind of refuge for Betty, but when her family’s darkest secrets are brought to light, she has no choice but to reckon with the brutal history hiding in the hills, as well as the heart-wrenching cruelties and incredible characters she encounters.โฃ
โฃ
Despite the hardships she faces, Betty is resilient. Her curiosity about the natural world, her fierce love for her sisters, and her father’s brilliant stories are kindling for the fire of her own imagination, and in the face of all to which she bears witness, Betty discovers an escape: she begins to write. She recounts the horrors of her family’s past and present with pen and paper and buries them deep in the dirt–moments that have stung her so deeply she could not share them, until now.โฃ
โฃ
Inspired by generations of her family, Tiffany McDaniel sets out to free the past by delivering this heartbreaking yet magical story–a remarkable novel that establishes her as one of the most important voices in American fiction.โ€โฃ

I hope you will join in on the fun!
โฃ

Happy Reading!

Kelly

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

February Buddy Read

Beyond The Point by Claire Gibson (William Morrow)

February 2, 2021

Dear Readers,

I am so excited to share that my friend Katie and I are hosting a buddy read for Beyond The Point by Claire Gibson this month. This is literally the easiest buddy read to participate in. All you need to do is read this book at your own pace and join in the final discussion on Sunday, February 28, 2021 at 8pm EST/7pm CST on an instagram private chat. Our last buddy read (My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell) was wicked successful and probably one of my all time favorite book discussions. The feedback Katie and I received from the group was so tremendous and encouraging that we decided to team up again with a few more books.

If you have an instagram account and would like to join in with an awesome group of fellow readers from all over the country, please connect with me via email or message me on instagram. It is simple and a great way to connect with some new readers.

dearmrhemingway@gmail.com

@dearmrhemingway on instagram

Be sure to visit Katie on instagram as well. She is from Texas and has an awesome account. @basicbsguide

Check out the Synopsis Below…

Three women are brought together in an enthralling story of friendship, heartbreak, and resilience. Set at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, this is an amazing debut novel.

Duty. Honor. Country. Thatโ€™s West Pointโ€™s motto, and every cadet who passes through its stone gates vows to live it. But on the eve of 9/11, as Dani, Hannah and Avery face four grueling years ahead, they realize theyโ€™ll only survive if they do it together.

Everyone knows Dani is going places. With athletic talent and a brilliant mind, she navigates West Pointโ€™s predominantly male environment with wit and confidence, breaking stereotypes and embracing new friends.

Hannahโ€™s grandfather, a legendary Army general, offers a stark warning about the dangers that lie ahead, but she moves forward anyway, letting faith guide her path. When she meets her soul mate at West Point, the future looks perfect, just as planned.

Wild child Avery moves fast and doesnโ€™t mind breaking a few rules (and hearts) along the way. But she canโ€™t outpace her self-doubt, and the harder she tries, the further it leads her down a treacherous path.

The worldโ€”of business, of love, and of warโ€”awaits Dani, Hannah, and Avery beyond the gates of West Point. These three women know that what doesnโ€™t kill you makes you stronger. But soon, that adage no longer rings trueโ€”for their future, or their friendship. As theyโ€™re pulled in different directions, will their hard-forged bond prevail or shatter?

Beyond the Pointย is a heartfelt look at how our closest friends can become our fiercest battle buddies. After all, the greatest battles we fight rarely require a uniform.”

Can’t wait to read and talk about this book with everyone!

๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿฅฐ

Kelly

P.S. Our March Buddy read is Betty by Tiffany McDaniel (Knopf). Reserve this from your local library or order it down below so you are ready to roll.

Click on the book pics below to purchase or read more about them.

“Ernest” Chitter-Chatter

Ernest Chitter Chatter Graphic October 2020

October 2020 Book Discussion

The Wife Who Knew Too Much by Michele Campbell (St. Martin’s Press)

October 1, 2020

Dear Book Friends!

Can you believe that it is OCTOBER??? Wow…fall is in full force, that’s for sure. In my opinion, the best way to kick off October is to read a thriller. This month’s “Ernest” Chitter-Chatter book pick is The Wife Who Knew Too Much by bestselling author, Michele Campbell.

There are two ways to join in. The first is to participate in a private instagram chat (spoilers and all) with me and the book group after reading the book. The second option is to read the book, then join in on an EXCLUSIVE ZOOM with me and Michele Campbell! You can also participate in both options. Check out the details below….

Please Email me at dearmrhemingway@gmail.com or message me on Instagram @Dearmrhemingway to reserve your spot.

October 21, 2020~Instagram Rolling Private Chat

October 22, 2020 7pm EST Zoom with me, Michele Campbell and YOU!

Book Synopsis:

“Meet the first Mrs. Fordโฃ

Beautiful. Accomplished.โฃ

Wealthy beyond imagination.โฃ

Married to a much younger man.โฃ

And now, sheโ€™s dead.โฃ

โฃ

Meet the second Mrs. Ford.โฃ

Waitress. Small-town girl.โฃ

Married to a man she never forgot,โฃ

From a summer romance ten years before.โฃ

And now, sheโ€™s wealthy beyond imagination.โฃ

โฃ

Who is Connor Ford?โฃ

Two women loved him. And knew him as only wives can know.โฃ

Set amongst the glittering mansions of the Hamptons,โฃ

The Wife Who Knew Too Much is a decadent summer thriller about the lives of those who will do anything for love and money. Who is the victim? Who is the villain? And who will be next to die?โ€โฃ

Happy Reading Everyone!!!

I can’t wait to chit-chat!

โค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธ

Kelly

P.S.

Click on the book pic below to purchase!

The Wife Who Knew Too Much

“Ernest” Chitter-Chatter

Ernest Chitter Chatter Book Group Collage

September 1, 2020

Dear Beautiful Book Friends,

I can’t believe it is September! Where did summer go? Well, summer may be on its lasts legs, but we are still going strong over here on Dear Mr. Hemingway. I am happy to announce our September 2020 “Ernest”Chitter-Chatter Book Pick. This month, we will be reading and discussing Fiona Davis’ latest historical fiction book, The Lions of Fifth Avenue.

There are two ways to join in. The first is to participate in a private instagram chat (spoilers and all) with me and the book group after reading the book. The second option is to read the book, then join in on an EXCLUSIVE ZOOM with me and Fiona Davis! You can also participate in both options. Check out the details below….

Please Email me at dearmrhemingway@gmail.com or message me on Instagram @Dearmrhemingway to reserve your spot.

September 24, 2020~Instagram Private Chat

October 1, 2020 7PM EST~ Zoom with me, Fiona Davis and YOU!

The Lions of Fifth Avenue Synopsis

It’s 1913, and on the surface, Laura Lyons couldn’t ask for more out of lifeโ€”her husband is the superintendent of the New York Public Library, allowing their family to live in an apartment within the grand building, and they are blessed with two children. But headstrong, passionate Laura wants more, and when she takes a leap of faith and applies to the Columbia Journalism School, her world is cracked wide open. As her studies take her all over the city, she is drawn to Greenwich Village’s new bohemia, where she discovers the Heterodoxy Clubโ€”a radical, all-female group in which women are encouraged to loudly share their opinions on suffrage, birth control, and women’s rights. Soon, Laura finds herself questioning her traditional role as wife and mother. But when valuable books are stolen back at the library, threatening the home and institution she loves, she’s forced to confront her shifting priorities head on . . . and may just lose everything in the process. Eighty years later, in 1993, Sadie Donovan struggles with the legacy of her grandmother, the famous essayist Laura Lyons, especially after she’s wrangled her dream job as a curator at the New York Public Library. But the job quickly becomes a nightmare when rare manuscripts, notes, and books for the exhibit Sadie’s running begin disappearing from the library’s famous Berg Collection. Determined to save both the exhibit and her career, the typically risk-adverse Sadie teams up with a private security expert to uncover the culprit. However, things unexpectedly become personal when the investigation leads Sadie to some unwelcome truths about her own family heritageโ€”truths that shed new light on the biggest tragedy in the library’s history.”

Can’t wait to chit-chat will all of you!

โค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธ

Kelly

P.S.

Here is what’s ahead!

Reserve your spot for future events!

Click on the book pic to purchase.

Cover of The Lions of Fifth Avenue

Ernest “Chitter-Chatter”

August 2020 Book Discussion

Tiny Imperfections by Alli Frank & Asha Youmans (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

 

July 24, 2020

Dear Beautiful Book Friends,

Last night the Dear Mr. Hemingway Community had their final book discussion and Zoom with Author Abdi Nor Iftin. I am not going to lie…it was incredible. No worries if you were not able to join, there is more chit chatting about books coming your way. The “Ernest” Chitter-Chatter August book pick is Tiny Imperfections by Alli Frank & Asha Youmans. This book is an absolute juicy treat! You will not want to miss dishing about this gem. There are two ways to join in. The first is to participate in a private instagram chat (spoilers and all) with me and the book group after reading the book. The second option is to read the book, then join in on an exclusive ZOOM with me and Alli & Asha! You can also participate in both options. Check out the details below….

Please Email me at dearmrhemingway@gmail.com or message me on Instagram @Dearmrhemingway to reserve your spot.

๐€๐ฎ๐ ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐Ÿ๐ŸŽ, ๐Ÿ๐ŸŽ๐Ÿ๐ŸŽ~Private Instagram Chat with Kelly and Book Groupโฃ

๐ŸŒนโฃ

๐€๐ฎ๐ ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ’, ๐Ÿ๐ŸŽ๐Ÿ๐ŸŽ ๐Ÿ•๐ฉ๐ฆ ๐„๐’๐“~ZOOM with Kelly, Alli & Asha and YOU! โฃ

๐ŸŒนโฃ

๐’๐ฒ๐ง๐จ๐ฉ๐ฌ๐ข๐ฌโฃ

โ€œAll’s fair in love and kindergarten admissions.โฃ

At thirty-nine, Josie Bordelon’s modeling career as the “it” black beauty of the ’90s is far behind her. Now director of admissions at San Francisco’s most sought-after private school, she’s chic, single, and determined to keep her seventeen-year-old daughter, Etta, from making the same mistakes she did. โฃโฃ

But Etta has plans of her own–and their beloved matriarch, Aunt Viv, has Etta’s back. If only Josie could manage Etta’s future as well as she manages the shenanigans of the over-anxious, over-eager parents at school–or her best friend’s attempts to coax Josie out of her sex sabbatical and back onto the dating scene.โฃ

As admissions season heats up, Josie discovers that when it comes to matters of the heart–and the office–the biggest surprises lie closest to home.โ€œโฃ

I am also hosting a GIVEAWAY of this fabulous book. There will be 2 lucky winners. You can enter on Instagram right here OR, leave a comment on this post and you will be entered to win.

Can’t wait to chit-chat will all of you!

โค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธ

Kelly

P.S. Here is what’s ahead!

Reserve your spot for future events!

Click on the pic below to purchase the book!

 

July Discussion Read

Ernest Chitter Chatter Collage with Call Me American with Abdi Nor Iftin

Call Me American by Abdi Nor Iftin

June 29, 2020

Hello Lovely Readers,

I hope everyone is having a wonderful start to their summer. Over here at Dear Mr. Hemingway, I am constantly developing new bookish ways we can all connect over our love of reading. This month, I am hosting a book discussion on an extraordinary memoir by Abdi Nor Iftin…Call me American. Abdi was born in Somalia and shares his story from living in war torn Mogadishu to becoming an American citizen. What’s even better, Abdi lives here in Maine very close to me ๐Ÿค—!

For the month of July, The Dear Mr. Hemingway community will be reading Call Me American. On July 9th and July 23rd, I will be facilitating a private group discussion on this memoir over on Instagram. To participate, all you need is an instagram handle. It is super easy and really fun. BONUS……….At the end of July, I am hosting a ZOOM Session with Abdi with everyone who is in our book group (Date TBA).

Here is what you need to do to participate……

  1. If you have an Instagram account, simply DM me on there @dearmrhemingway, and I will add you to the group. You will automatically be alerted to the Zoom Session.
  2. If you do not have Instagram, but would like to join in on the Zoom Session with Abdi to ask all of your questions, please email me dearmrhemingway@gmail.com, writing BOOK DISCUSSION in the subject line. I will add you in.

Check out the Synopsis in the postscript!

I look forward to our discussion.

โค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธ

Kelly

P.S.

Synopsis

“Abdi Nor Iftin first fell in love with America from afar. As a child, he learned English by listening to American pop and watching action films starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. When U.S. marines landed in Mogadishu to take on the warlords, Abdi cheered the arrival of these Americans, who seemed as heroic as those of the movies.Sporting American clothes and dance moves, he became known around Mogadishu as Abdi American, but when the radical Islamist group al-Shabaab rose to power in 2006, it became dangerous to celebrate Western culture. Desperate to make a living, Abdi used his language skills to post secret dispatches, which found an audience of worldwide listeners. Eventually, though, Abdi was forced to flee to Kenya.In an amazing stroke of luck, Abdi won entrance to the U.S. in the annual visa lottery, though his route to America did not come easily. Parts of his story were first heard on the BBC World Service and This American Life. Now a proud resident of Maine, on the path to citizenship, Abdi Nor Iftin’s dramatic, deeply stirring memoir is truly a story for our time: a vivid reminder of why America still beckons to those looking to make a better life.”

Click On the book pic below to purchase!

My Dark Vanessa

My Dark Vanessa book cover

By Kate Elizabeth Russell

Instagram Chat Group

(William Morrow)

April 20, 2020

Dear Readers,

My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell. Some of you have read it. Some of you are currently reading it. Some of you are contemplating reading it. Some of you have never even heard of this debut novel.  

If anyone is interested, I am hosting a Discussion Group with my friend Katie from Texas about this heartbreaking novel.  If you would like to read this book or have already read it and need a place to talk, I invite you to hop on Instagram and DM me to be added to one of the chat groups.  You do not need to have a public account to join. The groups are currently being formed and an open discussion will be held now through the end of May. It is a safe space to help us all process this complicated, brilliantly crafted story.  

๐Ÿฆ‹

Why all the fuss about this book???? In short, it is the story of a fifteen-year-old girl and her relationship with her 42-year-old HIgh School teacher. It is a book that shines a light on things that are strenuous to acknowledge.  It is a book that is easier to just not read. It is a book that has my mind twisted every which way. It is a book that never leaves me, even when my reading time is through. It is a book that makes me feel terribly uncomfortable yet completely captivated.  It is a book that makes my stomach turn and my mind wander. It is a book filled with power. It is a book that is so beautifully written that my heart is aching. It is a book that I NEED TO TALK ABOUT NOW!

๐Ÿฆ‹

*** Warning*** This book is NOT for everyone.   Trigger warnings are abundant… sexual assault, pedophiles, grooming, strong sexual content, suicide, and emotional trauma, just to name a few.  Take care of you!

๐Ÿฆ‹

Be sure to use our handy dandy #mydarkvanessachat and tag us if you like!  We would love to hear from you.

๐Ÿฆ‹

Synopsis…

โ€œ2000. Bright, ambitious, and yearning for adulthood, fifteen-year-old Vanessa Wye becomes entangled in an affair with Jacob Strane, her magnetic and guileful forty-two-year-old English teacher.

2017. Amid the rising wave of allegations against powerful men, a reckoning is coming due. Strane has been accused of sexual abuse by a former student, who reaches out to Vanessa, and now Vanessa suddenly finds herself facing an impossible choice: remain silent, firm in the belief that her teenage self willingly engaged in this relationship, or redefine herself and the events of her past. But how can Vanessa reject her first love, the man who fundamentally transformed her and has been a persistent presence in her life? Is it possible that the man she loved as a teenagerโ€”and who professed to worship only herโ€”may be far different from what she has always believed?โ€

Look forward to chatting with everyone!

โค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธ

Kelly

P.S. Check out my Instagram page

https://www.instagram.com/dearmrhemingway/

Click on the book pic below to purchase!

Listen Up

Kelly with her chicken and the book "You're Not Listening"

You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters by Kate Murphy (Celadon)

February 18, 2020

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

Earlier this month, I led a discussion group on Instagram with my friend Sue on Kate Murphy’s new book, You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters. As promised, I am sharing some of the conversations we had on this extremely relevant book and URGING you to read it. Our discussion covered some of the highlights in the book but certainly did not cover everything. Let’s jump right in!

Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel here, I am going to share with you the publisher’s synopsis.

“Despite living in a world where technology allows constant digital communication and opportunities to connect, it seems no one is really listening or even knows how. And itโ€™s making us lonelier, more isolated, and less tolerant than ever before. A listener by trade, New York Times contributor Kate Murphy wanted to know how we got here.

In this always illuminating and often humorous deep dive, Murphy explains why weโ€™re not listening, what itโ€™s doing to us, and how we can reverse the trend. She makes accessible the psychology, neuroscience, and sociology of listening while also introducing us to some of the best listeners out there (including a CIA agent, focus group moderator, bartender, radio producer, and top furniture salesman). Equal parts cultural observation, scientific exploration, and rousing call to action that’s full of practical advice, You’re Not Listening is to listening what Susan Cain’s Quiet was to introversion. Itโ€™s time to stop talking and start listening.”

I can’t reiterate enough the importance of this book. Murphy says, “You learn when you listen.” Yes, this is true in class or with an audio book, but are we really learning about one another in our conversations? How much can we learn from a text, email or social media account? True listening occurs, face to face…..the old fashioned way. Back in the day (not that long ago), we hung out with our friends/family on the front porch, over long Sunday dinners and even at more frequent social gatherings. We talked, we connected, we actually listened to one another and knew one another. I am old enough to remember those days. Long phone calls from my land line (I still do that….EVERYONE KNOWS THAT I LOVE LONG PHONE CALLS), car rides that included conversations (is that possible?), and lastly… LESS DISTRACTIONS. There is no doubt that technology plays a huge role in this drama. But is it all technology’s fault???

First of all, technology is a double edged sword. I think everyone agrees on this. It distracts us, distorts reality and takes away from meaningful conversations. It also informs us, connects us to friends and family far away and makes things in our lives so much easier. And guess what…… it is here to stay. Because of this, we need to figure out a way to cohabitate together. I sometimes think (others agreed as well) it is more obvious to those of us that have lived with it and without its extreme presence, to see the huge impact this technological era has made. Whether I am wrong in my assumption or not, listen to what this author is saying. Murphy talks about the increase in loneliness, depression, and even suicide (up 30% since 1999). Generation Z (our kids) are the first generation to be truly raised on “screens”. iPads and iPhones were not out right when I had my boys so I lucked out with not having the option to hand them one of those devices from the start. However, it is a big part of their lives now, even if I do not always like it. EVERYTHING is done via text, email, google calendars, etc. Social media is everywhere as well, no matter how hard you try to keep your kids off of it. Where I do see kids/teens using these platforms appropriately, I also see a lot of negativity a damaging behavior. Murphy talks about how loneliness and depression is high among 8th graders. I can totally see how this is possible (having an 8th grader myself). If your head is buried in a phone or on a device, you are not making meaningful connections. You are isolating yourself from human contact. I try so hard to model and teach my boys the importance of friendships and relationships. You need to put work into them to keep them strong. Go bowling, bike riding, skiing, shoot some hoops, etc. Do activities that help connect people. Good old fashioned fun works (easier said than done). I think we all agreed in the discussion that finding a balance is a real struggle. Like many, I do not want to give up the beauty of technology. It’s fun, it’s convenient and it is part of life. I do continue to work on boundaries and the personal impact it has on me, my family and the relationships we have. Sifting out only what serves me in a positive way is my goal. Not only is this an evolving skill, but it will be different for everyone!

We can’t blame technology for everything though. Another topic discussed by Murphy is our eagerness to get to know new people, a stranger if you will. Our heads are constantly down, eye contact is a lost skill and our desire to really get to know other people is lacking. Why? Murphy talks about how when we meet new people, it is common to mentally put someone in a category….almost prejudging. Whether itโ€™s by skin color, activity, sexual preference, homeless, billionaire….you get my drift. By doing this, we are โ€œselectively โ€œ listening to what our preconceived notions are. I hate that this is true. Whether we are the ones prejudging or receiving the prejudgment, it doesn’t feel very great! Everyone has a story to tell and everyone’s story is NEVER what we presume. “You can’t judge a book by its cover” will always be true!

Busy lives have taken over. Overbooking ourselves, having kids with unbelievable schedules, work lives being our only lives…. who has time to connect with friends and family? Robin Dunbar, a British anthropologist and evolutionary psychologist said, “a primary way we maintain friendships is through “everyday talk”. This seems so obvious, but difficult to achieve. During our instagram discussion, many who have kids agreed that their social lives were more abundant when their children were younger. They had time for more playdates and adult time. They claimed that as their children got older and had more school/sport activities, their friendships took a back seat and free time to spend with friends became more of a luxury. Sadly, some relationships fizzled due to lack of engagement ๐Ÿ˜ข. Whether you have kids or not, there is no arguing that the pace of life is too FAST.

One part of Murphy’s book that the discussion group found particularly interesting talked about how GOSSIP has a positive social function and makes up “60%” of adult conversations ๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿค”! Murphy mentions how gossip helps us decide who is trustworthy. โ€œListening to gossip contributes to our development as ethical, moral members of societyโ€. If you really stop to think about this, it makes sense. Think about how hard you listen and absorb information from another person when they are “talking” about another person of interest. You can use this information many ways. You can hear what is being said to learn information about another person (true/untrue) or understand the person who is talking (hmmmm). Nevertheless, pay attention to what is being said. Do you see this percentage accurately reflected in your own conversations?

There will never be a “lastly” to this post, because in all honesty, we can talk about it all day. However…Lastly, I was fascinated by Murphy’s information regarding confident people and listening to opposing views. Whether we express them or not, most of us have an opinion or a view on something in life. From book club, to the political arena, to a conversation with a spouse, conversing with someone who has an opposing view happens ALL the time. In Murphy’s book, a Harvard law professor’s students said “they worry that if they really pay attention or really understand the other side’s point of view, they will lose sight of what matters to them”. What I personally found telling was the nationwide survey of college and university students conducted by the Brookings Institution. Listen to how alarming this is. Student protestors often times feel “unsafe” when listening to an opposing view. “Fifty-one percent think it is “acceptable” to shout down a speaker with whom they disagreed and a disturbing 20 percent supported violence to prevent a speaker from delivering an address.” Wow! Murphy said, “we only become secure in our convictions by allowing them to be challenged. Confident people don’t get riled by opinions different from their own, nor do they spew bile online by way of refutation.” Think about all of the online debates, etc. People who lack confidence can seek their own point of view and ignore what they don’t want to hear online. An easy way out. This chapter in Murphy’s book also draws attention to the political world. Is anyone really listening to one another? Think of all the chaos our world has faced through the decades, centuries. Have you ever listened closely to a presidential debate? Does any of this ring true? Yup….it sure does. It is kind of scary at the end of the day. If you “feel” strongly about something, but put up a defense when challenged, something is not lining up correctly. Becoming a better listener will help people stay informed so they can express their own opinions with confidence. I am pretty sure the people running our world need to take a page from this chapter…..don’t you think?

Well readers….I hope you enjoyed that chaotic summary of our Instagram discussion. I hope it prompts you to read this book and have your own book club discussions. Everyone wants to be heard. Let’s start Listening!

All my best to you Mr. H.

Your Biggest Fan,

Kelly

P.S. “Listening is essential to being funny. A vast body of evidence indicates humor is an asset in forming and maintaining relationships both professionally and personally”. The friends that make you laugh…………are listening โค๏ธโค๏ธ

Click here to purchase You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters by Kate Murphy

Discussion Read~Instagram

Discussion Read Graphic for Book You're Not Listening

You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters (Celadon Books)

By Kate Murphy

January 13, 2020

Dear Book Lovers,

LISTEN UP!!!!! I want to invite you over to my Instagram page to join in on what is going to be a wonderful discussion. On February 6th, my book-loving friend from Colorado (Sue) and I are Co-Hosting a discussion read over on Instagram. The book we will be conversing about is Kate Murphy’s book, You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters.

Here is the synopsis from the publisher: “Despite living in a world where technology allows constant digital communication and opportunities to connect, it seems no one is really listening or even knows how. And itโ€™s making us lonelier, more isolated, and less tolerant than ever before. A listener by trade, New York Times contributor Kate Murphy wanted to know how we got here.

In this always illuminating and often humorous deep dive, Murphy explains why weโ€™re not listening, what itโ€™s doing to us, and how we can reverse the trend. She makes accessible the psychology, neuroscience, and sociology of listening while also introducing us to some of the best listeners out there (including a CIA agent, focus group moderator, bartender, radio producer, and top furniture salesman). Equal parts cultural observation, scientific exploration, and rousing call to action that’s full of practical advice, You’re Not Listening is to listening what Susan Cain’s Quiet was to introversion. Itโ€™s time to stop talking and start listening.”

Why Instagram??? I have chosen this platform for a group discussion because it accommodates a large number of people and is easy and quick to comment on anytime of day/night. If you are not on Instagram, you do not need to post anything on your account to join in on the conversation. The best example I can share is my mom. My mom has no desire to be on social media. She did however make a private account to follow me and a few others and have access to make and read comments. โค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธ. Anyway, no pressure. Just wanted to share. I will have a conversation on Facebook as well on February 6th. Because this is Co-hosted, it will not have the full conversation. No social media at all………No Problem. I will post the highlights of the conversation on the blog after February 6th.

I hope to HEAR from you on February 6th.

All the Best,

Kelly

P.S. Click here to reach my Instagram post announcing the group read.

Click here to purchase Kate Murphy’s book

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