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Latest Reads

November 9, 2023

Happy Autumn Reading Sweet Friends!

Today, I am sharing three new books to put on your radar. A spicy rom-com, a father gone missing, and an Air B&B host with a snooping problem are all on tap today. Grab those reading glasses and a cozy blanket, and let’s get reading.

Cheers to Fall Reading!

xoxo,

Kelly

The Guest Room by Tasha Sylva (Henry Holt and Co.)

Tess rents out her deceased sister’s room in her house to help make ends meet. She may appear to be the hostess with the mostess, but she truly is not She has a bad habit of snooping through her tenant’s personal belongings. When she begins reading Arran’s (her latest guest) diary, she is intrigued by his entries and discovers shocking similarities between her and this mysterious woman he continues to write about. As Aaran’s diary entries become darker, Tess begins to wonder who this guy is and how long he is planning to stay. Sylva’s book is a twisted tale that weaves in and out of London’s gloomy streets. Her main character, Tess, drove me crazy with her unreliability, but the constant stalking, slow-burn mystery, and questionable villain kept me entertained until the end. Solid debut!

Business or Pleasure by Rachel Lynn Solomon (Berkley Publishing)

I was a huge fan of Solomon’s The Ex Talk, and her latest was just as tremendous. So when Chandler takes a job ghostwriting a memoir for C-list actor, Finn Walsh, things get very interesting. Think one-night-stand gone wrong, clumsy sex, followed by some very steamy lessons in chemistry. Solomon’s main characters are absolutely worth cheering for. Their relationship is wildly quirky and refreshingly raw. I loved how their vulnerability bled through the pages. Solomon shined her light not only on a lovable Jewish heroine and hero but on the everyday struggles of living with anxiety and OCD. My favorite part of all is that this heartfelt and hilarious story embodies healthy and wicked fun sex in the best possible way! Cheers to Solomon for another winning tale!

Happiness Falls by Angie Kim (Hogarth Books)

Angie Kim’s newest book centers around a biracial Korean-American family who are confronted with the unimaginable. Everything changes when Adam goes missing while hiking with his son, who has disabilities. There is NO WAY this dad would ever abandon Eugene in the woods when he is not only non-verbal but unable to care for himself alone. So what on Earth happened? Kim’s story sucked me in immediately. What follows is a character-driven mystery that slowly builds as you turn each page. Kim’s attention to detail is impeccable. Being a mom myself brought many feelings to the surface during a lot of the scenes. I love how she blended family crises, disabilities, and untethered emotions seamlessly together. As the mystery progresses, Kim brings enormous awareness to the rare genetic disorder called Angelman disorder. As someone who has worked in the field of non-verbal communication and Autism Spectrum Disorders, I found Kim’s writing absolutely fascinating. While this read captured my attention right out of the gate, it did move slowly in the middle. However, the pace gained speed again towards the end, leaving me to ponder the ending.

*Dear Mr. Hemingway, LLC receives a variety of advance reader copies of books from publishers and authors throughout the year in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are 100% my own. If I don’t like it…I don’t share it! 

*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!

Recent Reads

November 3, 2023

Hello, sweet reading friends!

It has been a wicked, busy fall for this reader and writer, but I wanted to update you on some of my most recent reads. Dragons, serial killers, Icelandic noir, and historical fiction are coming your way today. I hope your TBR can handle the extra load!

Cheers to a gorgeous weekend filled with books!

xoxo,

Kelly

ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS CALL by Kerri Maher (Berkley Publishing)

Oh, My Gosh, Kerri Maher has blown me away once again!  Her latest creation is loosely based on an underground abortion clinic from the 1970s called the Jane Collective.  The story takes place in the 1970s before Roe vs. Wade, sadly making it a timely book for 2023.   The characters in her book are trailblazers in the ever-controversial arena of women’s agency and reproductive rights in a male-dominated world.  Maher’s story has an incredible sense of time and place. The pages are filled with fierce female characters who offer peace, empowerment, and the right to choose to fellow women everywhere. With a compassionate hand, Maher wrote an immersive tale that will have your next book club talking! 

KILLING ME By Michelle Gagnon (Putnam)

I was on a serial killer reading kick when I picked up this hidden gem, and boy, was I surprised. The main character is literally on the HOT MESS EXPRESS TRAIN. She escapes a serial killer only to have another run-in with a different killer and, might I add, a more dangerous one.  Gagnon’s book isn’t true crime-esque or overly gruesome, but instead an entertaining thrill ride with a hilarious dark comedic vibe that had me chuckling on more pages than not.  In between laughs, there was a mystery to be solved that left me a delighted reader!  Have a blast with this one.  

FOURTH WING by Rebecca Yaros (Entangled Publishing)

So, this book caught the reading world by surprise in 2023.  Even though fantasy is not my usual cup of tea, I enjoyed this dragon-slaying adventure.  It was like Harry Potter met Danenerys Targaryen at the Hunger Games but with fabulous contemporary dialogue and a lot of romantic spice.  It’s a chunky book—528 pages, so get extra comfy for the ride!

YOU CAN’T SEE ME by Eva Bjorg (Orenda Books)

 I had the pleasure of visiting Iceland this summer.  I aimed to soak in as many geothermal hot springs as possible and ride gorgeous Icelandic horses among the dramatic landscape.  My other mission was to discover new Icelandic authors so I could always have a little piece of this fabulous country whenever I opened their books in Maine.  I started with Eve Bjorg’s most recent book, which happens to be the prequel to her Forbidden Iceland series (which I haven’t read yet). Even though this was my first book in this series, I not only loved it but followed along effortlessly.  The story takes place at a new futuristic hotel on the Snaefellsness Penisula (think everything controlled by an app) with a very wealthy family at the helm.  A family reunion is happening, and all the drama begins when everyone is under one roof and someone goes missing.  Bjorg’s book is an atmospheric treat.  The ice-cold, menacing air made me want to linger by the fire under my faux fur blanket.  I loved the closed-in feel and boozy vibes.  The characters were unreliable, with baggage galore, and the pages practically turned themself. I was hooked until the last page and pleasantly surprised at the ending.  I can’t wait to read the rest of her series.  This book was the perfect introduction to Bjorg’s series and an incredible escape back to Iceland!  

*Dear Mr. Hemingway, LLC receives a variety of advance reader copies of books from publishers and authors throughout the year in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are 100% my own. If I don’t like it…I don’t share it! 

*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!

Three Must Read Books Before the End of Summer

August 12, 2023

Dear Gorgeous Book Lovers!

Today I want to share with you the three books I have been telling EVERYONE to read this summer! Make these books happen and enjoy the last licks of summer 💕💕💕⁣
xoxo,⁣
Kelly⁣

Click on the book pic to purchase!


𝘚𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘦 𝘚𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺 𝘋𝘪𝘢𝘮𝘰𝘯𝘥 by Liz Nugent- Oh My God, this book was absolutely PHENOMENAL! The story unfolds piece by piece so go in blind to get the maximum reading experience. The weight of this story is heavy, emotionally dark and extremely hard to shake. But I promise you… You will be captivated and invested in Sally’s story until the very end. Nugent’s writing is absolute perfection!⁣

Click on the book pic to purchase!



𝘠𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘰𝘸𝘧𝘢𝘤𝘦 by R.F. Kuang is the ultimate story for bookworms and writers alike. This present day tale is set in the publishing world and takes on plagiarism, theft, cultural appropriation, and racism with such a clever flare. I loved the unlikeable characters and how thoughtful the twisty storyline was. 𝘠𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘰𝘸𝘧𝘢𝘤𝘦 combines fresh with relevance in a magical way!⁣

Click on the book pic to purchase!


𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘘𝘶𝘪𝘦𝘵 𝘛𝘦𝘯𝘢𝘯𝘵 by Clemence Michallon—I could not stop reading this book! A serial killer story narrated by the killer’s daughter, his girlfriend, and the victim he spared 😮 … yes please! This book is dark and twisted and chilled my bonesssssssss!

*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!

NEW RELEASE FUN

Wednesdays At One by Sandra A. Miller (Zibby Books), Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl by Renee Rosen (Berkley Publishing), & Girls and Their Horses by Eliza Jane Brazier (Berkley Publishing)

July 30, 2023

Dear Book Lovers,

There is a solid month left of summer here in the northeast, which leaves plenty of time to get your hands on some of the latest 2023 books. Today I am sharing a lovely mix of mystery, glamour and rich people behaving badly. Fill your beach bag up with these new releases and get reading.

Cheers to Summer Reading!

xoxo,

Kelly

Click on the book pic to purchase!

Rosen’s latest historical fiction tale combines Estee Lauder’s rise to cosmetic fame during the late 1930s/40s and her friend Gloria Downing’s great success as cosmetic saleswomen turn assistant cosmetic buyer for Saks Fifth Avenue. This was the ultimate “Kelly” book! I love reading about women who went against society’s grain during a time when their proper place was standing beside their husbands as dignified wives and homemakers with no brain of their own. Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl is filled with all the dreamy lotions and potions that I adore. It made me want to dust an outrageous eyeshadow color on my eyelids, brighten my cheeks with rouge, and swipe the quintessential candy apple red lipstick on my lips. This book is about hardworking women in a male-dominated world who didn’t take no for an answer. It has love and loss, family secrets and conundrums, and best of all—Sparkle and pizzazz! My next trip to the Estee Lauder makeup counter will never be the same again!
Make this book happen! It is a delight!

Click on the book pic to purchase!

Wednesdays at One is a slow burn psychological mystery. Dr. Gregory Weber has a successful psychiatric practice and lives in the Boston suburbs with his wife and two kids. Despite how good he looks on paper, he carries a deep dark secret from his past that riddles him with guilt. His past comes back to haunt him when a new patient named Mira starts attending therapy with him every Wednesday at 1pm. This mystery woman becomes more than a weekly client—disrupting his innermost thoughts, family life, and professional boundaries. Who is this woman and why is she here?? 

Miller’s writing is strong and catchy! She created a thick layer of remorse that was truly palpable. She hints at Gregory’s past often and I longed to learn his deep dark secret. She tapped into her characters on a psychological level filled with deep emotion and tremendous intrigue. I will note that I would not put this story in a traditional “thriller” category. There is however, a unique psychological mystery that builds from the beginning making you want to turn the pages. 

If you enjoy reading about characters grappling with moral dilemmas, family emotional drama, and endings with a twisty vibe…Wednesdays at One is for you! 

Click on the book pic to purchase!

GIDDY-UP!!!!!!! I grew up riding horses. I can still remember the distinct smell of the barn, the stiffness of my saddle, the clip-clop sound of the horses walking AND my riding instructor chain smoking Marlboro Reds during our class (can you even imagine?). It wasn’t elite by any means, but it was a place where I learned to love, ride, and respect these magical creatures. 

Girls and their Horses dives into the competitive world of horseback riding. Say goodbye to the local barn up the street where generic rubber riding boots are the style, your parents wait in the car until your lesson is done, and everyone gets a ribbon for participating in the show. Its time to say HELLO to beguiling showjumping, crazy-ass moms, and epic stables where riders stop at nothing to win it all. Dead body anyone?

Heather Parker moves to an exclusive part of Southern California for a chance to give her daughters everything she never had, including a prestigious riding career. With all the money you can dream of and a bit of determination, she sets up her family in the the most sought after equestrian community. She will stop at NOTHING to make her daughters the best of the best! The stakes are high and she is not the only cutthroat one—the girls are just as devious with an extra helping of backstabbing. 

From sports, to academics, to musical endeavors—moms who will do anything to ensure success for their kids are WILD to read about. Brazier trades “dance-mom ” for “barn-mom” in the best possible way. Her story is fresh and entertaining with a novel subculture I have not come across in my fiction reading. I was immersed in all that goes into competitive horseback riding. Brazier captures the equestrian world with precision and ease making her story uber believable. High end boots and stylish breeches, a famous coach and overpriced horses, and rich people behaving very badly—ALL THE INCREDIBLE DETAILS ARE ON POINT. Throw in supreme family drama, an endless supply of a cash, and a whole bunch of fabulous, yet unreliable characters, and you have yourself a posh murder mystery to be solved. Toss this bad boy in your beach bag and get reading!

*Dear Mr. Hemingway, LLC receives a variety of advance reader copies of books from publishers and authors throughout the year in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are 100% my own. If I don’t like it…I don’t share it! 

*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!

BACKLIST BOOKS TO GET A HOLD OF

JULY 3, 2023

Dear Favorite readers!

July is here and it is time for me to start catching you all up on the amazing reading I have been doing. I love reading backlist books. First, there is nothing better than chipping away at my endless TBR. Second, backlist books are typically easier to get at the local library. And lastly, the paperback edition is usually out, making them cheaper to buy. Today I am sharing two backlist beauties to grab for your summer reading!

Enjoy sweet friends!

xoxo,

Kelly

Click on the book pic to purchase!

This was our May #DEARBASICBUDDYREAD selection and it did not disappoint. In my opinion, Shadows of Pecan Hollow sort of fell through the cracks when it debuted in 2022. This under the radar book should not be missed though. It starts off in the 1970s when Kit Walker is abducted at age 13 by Manny Romero. Sadly, Kit welcomes his sense of security and he becomes the closest thing to family she knows. Before long, Kit becomes his partner -in-crime—one robbery after another. Their robberies become famous in the area and they are referred to as the Texas-Twosome. Things get deeper between the two of them and Kit finally reaches a point where his darkness feels like a threat— leading her to not only abandon him, but to start fresh on her own in the small town called Pecan Hollow. Kit sinks into small town living and the close-knit community for thirteen years, making a life for her and her daughter until Manny shows up at her doorstep. 

This book started off with a dark and gritty vibe. Lack of family, living on the go, robberies, and Kit and Manny’s relationship left me with an icky feeling. I had it in my head that this was the trajectory, but was surprised when the story shifted to more of a small-town story where everyone knows everyone and always has your back. Pecan Hollow had a “slight” Stars Hollow feel with a darker edge. Manny coming back into the picture wasn’t as dim as I imagined and the story progressed in a satisfying manner. Frost did such a great job of capturing the atmosphere throughout the story and having a unique group of characters that added their own flare to what was going on. I highly recommend this book. The audio version is also well-done!

Click on the book pic to purchase!

This was my first Katherine Center book and certainly not my last. What I thought would be a straight-up rom-com turned out to be so much more. An old crush turns up as the new school principal at Samantha’s school, where she is the librarian, but he is not the same guy she dreamed about each night before she went to bed. This once fun-loving guy was now an absolute straight-edge jerk, and Sam wants to know what happened. What I love about this story is that it has all the classic rom-com elements we know and love but with some added baggage. The beauty of romance books is that they follow a classic prescription of two people who are going to end up with one another in some way. But of course, before that happy ending, they need to get over the obstacle or obstacles that are preventing them from sealing the deal. What You Wish For most definitely has those roadblocks, and they are ones I haven’t read about in a rom-com. Center blended into her story health issues and tragedies that are sadly relevant and, in some cases—all too common. The biggest takeaway from this gorgeous story was to CHOOSE JOY…and that made me happy!

*Dear Mr. Hemingway, LLC receives a variety of advance reader copies of books from publishers and authors throughout the year in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are 100% my own. If I don’t like it…I don’t share it! 

*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!

Get Your Read On

June 1, 2023

Hello Book Family!

Happy June! Boy, time is flying by so fast, and summer is FINALLY within our grasp! I am excited to share a handful of books today, perfect for the “spring-into-summer” transition. Rich people misbehaving, friendships and a few funerals, the ultimate small-town gay wedding, and something to really get your heart rate up! Go snag yourself a copy of one of these books and GET YOUR READ ON!

xoxo,

Kelly

Click on the book pic to purchase!

I love every book Steven Rowley has written. THE CELEBRANTS was no different. Once again, Rowley’s writing is a dreamy concoction of heart and humor with a splash of GenX that, in my opinion, can not be matched. Yes, this extraordinary tale had me blotting my damp eyes on MANY pages, but most importantly, it reminded me to live my life fully and to love my people fiercely. Cheers to Steven, “The Scale of Courtneys,” and ALL the Karen Carpenter songs. 

Publisher’s Synopsis: “It’s been a minute–or five years–since Jordan Vargas last saw his college friends, and twenty-eight years since their graduation when their adult lives officially began. Now Jordan, Jordy, Naomi, Craig, and Marielle find themselves at the brink of a new decade, with all the responsibilities of adulthood, yet no closer to having their lives figured out. Though not for a lack of trying. Over the years, they’ve reunited in Big Sur to honor a decades-old pact to throw each other living “funerals,” celebrations to remind themselves that life is worth living–that their lives mean something to one another if not to themselves. But this reunion is different. They’re not gathered as they were to bolster Marielle as her marriage crumbled, to lift Naomi after her parents died, or to intervene when Craig pleaded guilty to art fraud. This time, Jordan is sitting on a secret that will upend their pact. A deeply honest tribute to the growing pains of selfhood and the people who keep us going, coupled with Steven Rowley’s signature humor and heart, The Celebrants is a moving tale about the false invincibility of youth and the beautiful ways in which friendship helps us celebrate our lives, even amid the deepest challenges of living.”

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Oh My Gosh…BIG GAY WEDDING is my first Byron Lane book. I will be fixing this situation ASAP by grabbing A STAR IS BORED. His new novel has it ALL—A swoony male couple, a small town family farm filled with a motley crew of well-loved animals that had me at “Elaine,” and an INCREDIBLE cast of characters that won me over. Lane’s tale follows Barnet and his hope to marry the man of his dreams at his family’s farm. This is an honest tale of a mom holding on to tarnished beliefs (Hello, Catholic Guilt & dead husband). Lane did a phenomenal job capturing the tender yet wobbly relationship between Barnet and Chrissy. Yes, Chrissy grapples with her son being gay, but ultimately, she is a mama who doesn’t want to lose her baby boy to anyone. This is the greatest “romance” and “family” to root for. Lane’s storytelling bubbles over with hope and a profound sense of joy that truly made me smile. And let’s face it…How FABULOUS is a BIG GAY WEDDING?

Publisher’s Synopsis: “Two grooms. One mother of a problem. Barnett Durang has a secret. No, not THAT secret. His widowed mother has long known he’s gay. The secret is Barnett is getting married. At his mother’s farm. In their small Louisiana town. She just doesn’t know it yet. It’ll be an intimate affair. Just two hundred or so of the most fabulous folks Barnett is shipping in from the “heathen coasts,” as Mom likes to call them, turning her quiet rescue farm for misfit animals into a most unlikely wedding venue. But there are forces, both within this modern new family and in the town itself, that really don’t want to see this handsome couple march down the aisle. It’ll be the biggest, gayest event in the town’s history if they can pull it off, and after a glitter-filled week, nothing will ever be the same.”

Click on the book pic to purchase.

T.J. Newman’s sophomore novel DID NOT DISAPPOINT! Her latest flight tale is Big Screen reading with this BLOCKBUSTER, action-packed story. A plane goes down and sinks into the ocean with passengers still alive. Will they be rescued before they run out of oxygen 😬? High octane page turning GEM! Your adrenaline will be OOC with this one! ⁣

Publisher’s Synopsis: “Six minutes after takeoff, Flight 1421 crashes into the Pacific Ocean. During the evacuation, an engine explodes and the plane is flooded. Those still alive are forced to close the doors–but it’s too late. The plane sinks to the bottom with twelve passengers trapped inside. More than two hundred feet below the surface, engineer Will Kent and his eleven-year-old daughter Shannon are waist-deep in water and fighting for their lives. Their only chance at survival is an elite rescue team on the surface led by professional diver Chris Kent–Shannon’s mother and Will’s soon-to-be ex-wife–who must work together with Will to find a way to save their daughter and rescue the passengers from the sealed airplane, which is now teetering on the edge of an undersea cliff. There’s not much time. There’s even less air. With devastating emotional power and heart-stopping suspense, Drowning is an unforgettable thriller about a family’s desperate fight to save themselves and the people trapped with them–against impossible odds.”

Click on the book pic to purchase!

Laura’s book is the ultimate guide to all friendships. She takes a deep dive into all the different kinds of friends we have in our lives and how each one not only has a special place in our hearts but fulfills a role like none other. Whether you have many or a few friends or are searching for more friendships, Laura’s book is for you. It is wonderful on audio as well—read by the author herself.

Publisher’s Synopsis: “You’d love to have a “ride or die” posse like you see on social media, but instead, you have a host of really good . . . acquaintances. After all, trying to find a soul friend in the midst of dirty dishes, deadlines, and, oh, a crazy busy life can be overwhelming. But what if developing great friendships was actually easier than we thought? And what if finding a “soul friend” wasn’t necessarily our highest goal?

In The Life Council, Laura Tremaine–the writer and podcaster behind 10 Things to Tell You–tells us what we’ve been hoping was true all along: making, keeping, and even releasing friends doesn’t need to be as hard as we make it. This fun and practical guide gives you what you need to: 

  • Create your own “life council” with the friends you already have
  • Understand the ten kinds of friends every woman needs–and how to find them
  • Learn how to evaluate your friendship circle for what’s working and what might need to change
  • Navigate tough conversations with friends
  • Get excited again about the possibility of new friendships

The Life Council will give every woman the help she needs to think about friendships in a new way and find true connection, freedom, and joy in her relationships.”

Click on the book pic to purchase.

This backlist beauty is a wicked fun tale combining a mom trying to find friends and fit in and rich people behaving badly. Needy and obnoxious characters, a small town setting, and a dead body…so much fun. Easy-peasy read that moves fast and is wildly entertaining. 

Publisher’s Synopsis: “The Hunting Wives share more than target practice, martinis, and bad behavior in this novel of obsession, seduction, and murder. Sophie O’Neill left behind an envy-inspiring career and the stressful, competitive life of big-city Chicago to settle down with her husband and young son in a small Texas town. It seems like the perfect life with a beautiful home in an idyllic rural community. But Sophie soon realizes that life is now too quiet, and she’s feeling bored and restless. Then she meets Margot Banks, an alluring socialite who is part of an elite clique secretly known as the Hunting Wives. Sophie finds herself completely drawn to Margot and swept into her mysterious world of late-night target practice and dangerous partying. As Sophie’s curiosity gives way to full-blown obsession, she slips farther away from the safety of her family and deeper into this nest of vipers. When the body of a teenage girl is discovered in the woods where the Hunting Wives meet, Sophie finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation and her life spiraling out of control.”

*Dear Mr. Hemingway, LLC receives a variety of advance reader copies of books from publishers and authors throughout the year in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are 100% my own. If I don’t like it…I don’t share it! 

*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 MAY & JUNE 2023 SELECTIONS

Kelly Fredericks (left) & Katie Augustine (Right) in Dallas, Texas

May 3, 2023


Happy Wednesday, Book Friends!

Katie @basicbsguide and I are here to announce the #𝐃𝐄𝐀𝐑𝐁𝐀𝐒𝐈𝐂𝐁𝐔𝐃𝐃𝐘𝐑𝐄𝐀𝐃𝐒 𝐩𝐢𝐜𝐤𝐬 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐌𝐀𝐘 & 𝐉𝐔𝐍𝐄. ⁣

But first, I am so excited to share that after five years of being internet friends and over two years of Co-Hosting our online book club, we are 𝐎𝐅𝐅𝐈𝐂𝐈𝐀𝐋𝐋𝐘 𝐈𝐑𝐋 𝐅𝐑𝐈𝐄𝐍𝐃𝐒! That’s right! Last week we had a gorgeous lunch in Dallas, TX, and got to know one another on a whole new level! I am grateful for our friendship and can’t wait to spend more time together IRL in the future! ❤️❤️⁣

𝐌𝐀𝐘’𝐬 𝐁𝐨𝐨𝐤 𝐒𝐞𝐥𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 is 𝘚𝘩𝘢𝘥𝘰𝘸𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘗𝘦𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘏𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘰𝘸 by Caroline Frost. This book came out last February and has been on my TBR ever since. ⁣

~ 𝘚𝘦𝘵 𝘪𝘯 𝟷𝟿𝟽𝟶-𝟿𝟶𝘴 𝘛𝘦𝘹𝘢𝘴, 𝘢 𝘮𝘦𝘴𝘮𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘻𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘺 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘢 𝘧𝘪𝘦𝘳𝘤𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘮𝘢𝘯 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘯𝘦𝘳-𝘪𝘯-𝘤𝘳𝘪𝘮𝘦 𝘴𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘯’𝘵 𝘦𝘴𝘤𝘢𝘱𝘦, 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘧𝘦𝘤𝘵 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘥𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘞𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘊𝘳𝘢𝘸𝘥𝘢𝘥𝘴 𝘚𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘝𝘢𝘭𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘦.⁣

𝐉𝐮𝐧𝐞’𝐬 𝐁𝐨𝐨𝐤 𝐒𝐞𝐥𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 is 𝘏𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘵 𝘉𝘰𝘯𝘦𝘴 by Colleen Hoover. I am excited that we found a Hoover book that we both haven’t read yet. This book came out in August 2020, and I am pumped to read it finally.⁣

~ 𝘔𝘰𝘷𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘱𝘢𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘦, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘶𝘯𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘨𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘦, 𝘊𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘏𝘰𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳’𝘴 𝘯𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘭 𝘧𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘰𝘸𝘴 𝘵𝘸𝘰 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘥𝘶𝘭𝘵𝘴 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘭𝘦𝘵𝘦𝘭𝘺 𝘥𝘪𝘧𝘧𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘣𝘢𝘤𝘬𝘨𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘴 𝘦𝘮𝘣𝘢𝘳𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘰𝘯 𝘢 𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘳𝘰𝘮𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦, 𝘶𝘯𝘢𝘸𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘸𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘧𝘶𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘩𝘰𝘭𝘥𝘴.⁣

This is an online book club held on Instagram. Please DM me @dearmrhemingway or comment below to join. We will be reading at our own pace throughout the months with an EPIC Instagram⁣ chat for each book at the end! ⁣

xoxo,⁣
Katie & Kelly ⁣

Click on the book pick to purchase!
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!

Super Bloom

Super Bloom by Megan Tady (Zibby Books)

May 2, 2023

Hello Sweet Reading Friends,

Happy May! I am hoping that all of the April showers are going to deliver on those May flowers because this bibliophile is ready for some spring reading. Today is new book Tuesday, and I am wishing a very Happy Pub Day to Megan Tady’s debut novel, Super Bloom. ⁣

Megan Tady’s debut novel takes place at a luxury spa in Vermont. Massage therapist Joan is stumbling through life, grieving the accidental death of her boyfriend two years ago. Her misery impacts her job and friendships, and she can’t find a way to move forward. ⁣

Everything changes when Carmen, an uber-famous romance author, comes to the spa and offers Joan a unique opportunity. She will pay a handsome sum in exchange for all the inside spa drama and “dirt” to include in her next best seller. What starts out as a way to earn extra money quickly turns into much more. Joan reignites what she thought was an outdated passion for writing. Her writing obligation to Carmen not only becomes the ultimate gateway to healing but a love story for all the world to read. ⁣

As a Mainer, I enjoyed the New England setting and adored all the eclectic “spa talk” and humorous tales from the massage table. Sprinkle in some maple-scented lotions, crisp fall leaves, and a chakra bowl or two, and I just found heaven. ⁣

I love a mixture of drama and comedy in my books, and 𝘚𝘶𝘱𝘦𝘳 𝘉𝘭𝘰𝘰𝘮 delivered on this dramedy front. My heart had a weeping moment or two over Joan’s need to seek closure for the death of her Samual. The circumstances of his death and Joan’s “relationship” with his family tugged at a few loose heartstrings. But no worries, Tady balanced out my emotions with lots of giggles along the way. My cheeks hurt from all the goofy smiles her writing gave me. ⁣

Tady penned her tale with the softest touch making Super Bloom easy-peasy to read. The wicked cool spa backdrop and quirky characters made this a delight to read. And let’s face it, a book that has an author publishing a novel embedded in the story is always a win.

𝘚𝘶𝘱𝘦𝘳 𝘉𝘭𝘰𝘰𝘮 𝐢𝐬 𝐚 𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞 𝐥𝐞𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐨 𝐠𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐟, 𝐟𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐩𝐬, 𝐬𝐞𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐝 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞𝐬, 𝐚𝐧𝐝, 𝐦𝐨𝐬𝐭 𝐢𝐦𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐥𝐲—𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐩𝐨𝐰𝐞𝐫 𝐨𝐟 𝐰𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠. New beginnings are on the horizon for Joan, and I am so glad I followed along on her journey. ⁣

Happy Reading!

xoxo,

Kelly


Click on the book pic to purchase!

*I received an advance reader of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. My opinions are 100% my own. If I don’t like it…I don’t share it! 

*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!

March Highlights 2023

April 6, 2023

Happy Thursday, Sweet Friends!

April Showers Bring May Flowers…but first, let’s talk about my March reading life. Four debut novels, tons of audiobooks, a favorite author, and some backlist beauties paired with a cozy cup of tea filled all my bookworm needs. Here are some of the books I read and where I landed with each of them.

Whether you read one or 21 books this March, I hope you feel delighted with all the words you consumed!

xoxo,

Kelly

George’s debut novel, Maame, absolutely stole my heart, and the audio version was fantastic. Maddie is a character that I want to hug through the pages of the book. This delayed coming-of-age story lived up to the hype and gave me all the feels.

SYNOPSIS:

“It’s fair to say that Maddie’s life in London is far from rewarding. With a mother who spends most of her time in Ghana (yet still somehow manages to be overbearing), Maddie is the primary caretaker for her father, who suffers from advanced-stage Parkinson’s. At work, her boss is a nightmare, and Maddie is tired of always being the only Black person in every meeting. When her mum returns from her latest trip to Ghana, Maddie leaps at the chance to get out of the family home and finally start living. A self-acknowledged late bloomer, she’s ready to experience some important “firsts” She finds a flatshare, says yes to after-work drinks, pushes for more recognition in her career, and throws herself into the bewildering world of internet dating. But it’s not long before tragedy strikes, forcing Maddie to face the true nature of her unconventional family and the perils–and rewards–of putting her heart on the line.”

Here is the deal, Appiah’s debut novel will land differently with each reader—heavy themes relating to motherhood, marriage, and expectations in life are deeply explored. She did an exemplary job exposing the darker side of parenting by not sugarcoating Efe or Sam’s emotional journey. Be prepared to have profound conversations about this story.

SYNOPSIS:

“On a Spring afternoon in London, Sam hops the stairs of his flat two at a time. There’s £1,300 missing from his and his wife, Efe’s, shared bank account, and his calls are going straight to voicemail. When he finally reaches someone, he learns Efe is nearly 5,000 miles away as their toddler looks around and asks, “Where’s Mummy?” When Efe and Sam met as teens headed for university, it seemed everyone knew they were meant to be. Efe, newly arrived in the UK from Ghana and sinking under the weight of her parent’s expectations, found comfort in the focused and idealistic Sam. He was stable, working toward a law career, and had an unwavering vision for their future. A vision Efe, now a decade later, finds slightly insufferable. From the outside, they’re the picture-perfect couple everyone imagined, but there are cracks in the frame. When Efe and Sam are faced with an unplanned pregnancy, they find themselves on opposing sides. Fatherhood is everything he has dreamed of, but Efe feels stuck in a nightmare. And when a new revelation emerges, they are forced to confront just how radically different they want their lives to be. Already swallowed by the demands of motherhood and feeling the dreams she had slipping away once again, Efe disappears.”

Hello, filthy rich people. Bea is on a mission to marry for MONEY and have it all. Being a con artist is in her blood, so lying and scheming is as simple as an obnoxious air kiss with people you despise. I LOVED this debut. It was juicy and entertaining and the perfect distraction from the busyness of life.

SYNOPSIS:

“Like any enterprising woman, Bea knows what she’s worth and is determined to get all she deserves–it just so happens that what she deserves is to marry rich. Filthy rich. After years of forced instruction by her mother in the art of swindling men, a now-solo Bea wants nothing more than to close and lock the door on their sordid partnership so she can disappear safely into old-money domesticity, sealing the final phase of her escape. When Bea chooses her ultimate target in the fully loaded, thoroughly dull, and blue-blooded Collin Case, she’s ready to deploy all of her tricks one last time. The challenge isn’t getting the ring but rather the approval of Collin’s family and everyone else in their 1 percent tax bracket, particularly his childhood best friend, Gale Wallace-Leicester. Going toe-to-toe with Gale isn’t a threat to an expert like Bea, but what begins as an amusing cat-and-mouse game quickly develops into a dangerous pursuit of the grisly truth. Finding herself at a literal life-and-death crossroads with everything on the line, Bea must finally decide who she really wants to be. Like mother, like daughter?”

Another debut filled with grandiose living and the ins and out of being rich. Pineapple Street was delightful to listen to on audio. If you are in the mood to bop around inside someone’s head a meander around their life in gorgeous Brooklyn—this one is for you.

SYNOPSIS:

“A deliciously funny, sharply observed debut of family, love, and class, this zeitgeisty novel follows three women in one wealthy Brooklyn clan Darley, the eldest daughter in the well-connected old-money Stockton family, followed her heart, trading her job and her inheritance for motherhood but giving up far too much in the process; Sasha, a middle-class New England girl, has married into the Brooklyn Heights family, and finds herself cast as the arriviste outsider; and Georgiana, the baby of the family, has fallen in love with someone she can’t have, and must decide what kind of person she wants to be.”

None Shall Sleep was our #DEARBASICBUDDYREADS March selection. I am calling this Silence of the Lambs “light”—perfect for the YA reader in your life. I enjoyed this one on audio!

SYNOPSIS:

“In 1982, two teenagers–serial killer survivor Emma Lewis and US Marshal candidate Travis Bell–are recruited by the FBI to interview convicted juvenile killers and provide insight and advice on cold cases. From the start, Emma and Travis develop a quick friendship, gaining information from juvenile murderers that even the FBI can’t crack. But when the team is called in to give advice on an active case–a serial killer who exclusively hunts teenagers–things begin to unravel. Working against the clock, they must turn to one of the country’s most notorious incarcerated murderers for help: teenage sociopath Simon Gutmunsson. Despite Travis’s objections, Emma becomes the conduit between Simon and the FBI team. But while Simon seems to be giving them the information they need to save lives, he’s an expert manipulator playing a very long game…and he has his sights set on Emma.”

Laura Cathcart Robbins’ memoir, 𝘚𝘵𝘢𝘴𝘩: 𝘔𝘺 𝘓𝘪𝘧𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘏𝘪𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨, is her unimaginable story of addiction and journey to sobriety. Page by page, she details what her daily struggles with Ambien and alcohol looked like back in the day. This book BLEW MY MIND! Incredible on audio!

SYNOPSIS

“After years of hiding her addiction from everyone–from stockpiling pills in her Louboutins to elaborately scheduling withdrawals between PTA meetings, baby showers, and tennis matches–Laura Cathcart Robbins settles into a complicated purgatory. She learns the hard way that privilege doesn’t protect you from pain. Facing divorce, the possibility of a grueling custody battle, and internalized racism, Robbins wonders just how much more she can take. Now, with courage and candid openness, she reveals how she managed to begin the long journey towards sobriety and unexpectedly finding new love. Robbins harrowingly illustrates taking down the wall she built around herself brick by brick and what it means to be Black in a startingly white world.”

Alexis and Logan stole my heart. They both truly came into their own as their stories unfolded. Their fake dating, political dilemmas, and personal baggage make them so much more than a hot politician running for governor and a small-town school librarian. EEEEKKKK…LOVED THIS! Out May 9th!

SYNOPSIS:

“As a shy school librarian, Alexis Stone is comfortable keeping out of the spotlight. But when she’s dumped for being too meek–in bed!–she decides she needs to change. And what better way to kick-start her new, more adventurous life than with her first one-night stand? Enter Logan, the gorgeous, foul-mouthed stranger she meets at a hotel bar. Audacious and filterless, Logan is Alexis’s opposite–and boy, do opposites attract! Just as she’s about to fulfill her hookup wish, the hotel catches fire in a freak lightning storm. In their rush to escape, Logan is discovered carrying her into the street, where people are waiting with cameras. Cameras Logan promptly–and shockingly–flees. Alexis is bewildered until suddenly, pictures of her and Logan escaping the fire are all over the internet. Turns out Logan is none other than Logan Arthur, the hotshot candidate challenging the Texas governor’s seat. The salacious scandal is poised to sink his career–and jeopardize Alexis’s job–until a solution is proposed: he and Alexis could pretend to be in a relationship until election day…in two months. What could possibly go wrong?”

WOW! Charlotte Perkins Gilman was the original feminist. If the history of mental health pertaining to women fascinates you—this is a must-read. The intense imagery blew me away, and Gilman captured her protagonist spiraling into “madness” with an eerieness that I just can’t shake. Freaking brilliant!

SYNOPSIS:

“The Yellow Wallpaper is regarded as an important early work of American feminist literature, illustrating attitudes in the nineteenth century toward women’s physical and mental health. The story also has been classified as Gothic fiction and horror fiction. The story is written as a collection of first-person journal entries written by a woman whose physician husband has confined her to the upstairs bedroom of a house that he has rented for the summer. She is forbidden from working and has to hide her journal entries from him so that she can recuperate from what he calls a “temporary nervous depression-a slight hysterical tendency,” a diagnosis common to women in that period. 

Her husband controls her access to the rest of the house. In the end, she imagines that there are women creeping around behind the patterns of the wallpaper and comes to believe that she is one of them. She locks herself in the room, now the only place where she feels safe, refusing to leave when the summer rental is up.”

This story was wonderful. I loved Jimenez’s leading characters, Alexis and Daniel. They had plenty of chemistry, lots of steam, and developed backstories that added to their “relationship.” Jimenez always manages to write great love stories that have an extra layer of drama and difficult subject matters. This time around, she brought attention to domestic abuse. She did a fantastic job incorporating a heavy topic in a gentle and sensitive manner. The cherry on top was not only a happy ending but a baby goat in PJs! Another winner from this auto-buy author of mine!

SYNOPSIS:

“After a wild bet, a gourmet grilled-cheese sandwich, and cuddling with a baby goat, Alexis Montgomery has had her world turned upside down. The cause: Daniel Grant, a ridiculously hot carpenter who’s ten years younger than her and as casual as they come–the complete opposite of sophisticated city girl Alexis. And yet their chemistry is undeniable. While her ultra-wealthy parents want her to carry on the family legacy of world-renowned surgeons, Alexis doesn’t need glory or fame. She’s fine with being a “mere” ER doctor. And with every minute she spends with Daniel and the tight-knit town where he lives, she’s discovering what’s really important. Yet letting their relationship become anything more than a short-term fling would mean turning her back on her family and giving up the opportunity to help thousands of people. Bringing Daniel into her world is impossible, and yet she can’t just give up the joy she’s found with him, either. With so many differences between them, how can Alexis possibly choose between her world and his?”

I threw in some personal development this month. Dr. Hyman has been around for quite some time now and he is the guru on clean and wholesome eating. Despite it being very repetitive, I took away some new tips and ideas for my own health and wellness.

SYNOPSIS:

“The key to losing weight and keeping it off is maintaining low insulin levels. Based on Dr. Hyman’s groundbreaking Blood Sugar Solution program, The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet presents strategies for reducing insulin levels and producing fast and sustained weight loss. Dr. Hyman explains how to: activate your natural ability to burn fat — especially belly fat; reduce inflammation; reprogram your metabolism; shut off your fat-storing genes; de-bug your digestive system; create effortless appetite control; and soothe the stress to shed the pounds. With practical tools designed to achieve optimum wellness, including meal plans, recipes, and shopping lists, as well as step-by-step, easy-to-follow advice on green living, supplements, medication, exercise, and more, The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet is the fastest way to lose weight, prevent disease, and feel your best.”

*I received some of today’s books as advance reader copies from the author/publishers in exchange for my honest review. My opinions are 100% my own. If I don’t like it…I don’t share it! 

*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!

Stash: My Life in Hiding

Stash: My Life in Hiding by Laura Cathcart Robbins (Atria Books)

March 29, 2023

Dear Memoir Lovers,

I have got one hell of a book for you. Be prepared to feel all the feels with this one. Laura Cathcart Robbins’ memoir, Stash: My Life in Hiding, is her unimaginable story of addiction and journey to sobriety.  Page by page, she details her daily struggles with Ambien and alcohol.  I love how there is some distance between when Robbins’ addiction was in full swing and when her memoir was published. I truly enjoy following her on social media and seeing how joyful her life is now.

A huge thank you to the publisher for the gifted finished copy and to CAREBLACKAGE for all the gorgeous self-care products that not only amplify Black voices but highlight Black-owned brands.  

Robbin’s daily life was an exhausting, infinite loop of chasing the “high” secretly. The lengths she went to stay high, all while crafting new ways to conceal her addiction, BLEW MY MIND. She gives us the ultimate peek into what it looks like to top off liquor bottles with water, hide Ambien in her designer shoes, and function as a wife, mother, and active member of society while under a dark stationary cloud of Ambien.  I must add that Robbins took copious amounts of notes on the whereabouts of all her hidden pills, how much she drank, which liquor bottles were diluted with water and how much, and then some because she could not rely on her drug-fueled mind to recall this stuff in a time of need.  Her maternal need to share custody of her kids with their father and keep taking pills was a brutal battle consumed with guilt and paranoia that broke my heart.  Her anguish DOMINATED the pages, and it felt like she was being forced to solve a puzzle without any solution. 


I did a combination of reading and listening to Stash.  Listening to a memoir read by the author brings their story to life in the most authentic way and is always a win for me. Reading the physical copy allows me to highlight and take notes, which is very important. However, no matter how you devour this book (and believe me…you will devour it quickly), Robbins’ writing is profound— exposing her innermost thoughts with evocative imagery. She deep dives into a murky sea of survival with significant vulnerability. By sharing her story and trek to sobriety, she shines the light on race, privilege, and motherhood in the eyes of addiction. I can not urge you enough to read this memoir.

xoxo,

Kelly

Click on the book pic to purchase!

*I received an advance reader of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. My opinions are 100% my own. If I don’t like it…I don’t share it! 

*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!

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