Dear Mr. Hemingway Logo

read what you love โ€ข love what you read

#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 #๐ƒ๐„๐€๐‘๐๐€๐’๐ˆ๐‚๐๐”๐ƒ๐ƒ๐˜๐‘๐„๐€๐ƒ๐’ ๐ฉ๐ข๐œ๐ค๐ฌ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐Œ๐€๐˜ & ๐‰๐”๐๐„. โฃ
โฃ
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 ๐Ž๐…๐…๐ˆ๐‚๐ˆ๐€๐‹๐‹๐˜ ๐ˆ๐‘๐‹ ๐…๐‘๐ˆ๐„๐๐ƒ๐’! Thatโ€™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 canโ€™t wait to spend more time together IRL in the future! โค๏ธโค๏ธโฃ
โฃ
๐Œ๐€๐˜โ€™๐ฌ ๐๐จ๐จ๐ค ๐’๐ž๐ฅ๐ž๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง is ๐˜š๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ๐˜ด ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜—๐˜ฆ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ฏ ๐˜๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ by Caroline Frost. This book came out last February and has been on my TBR ever since. โฃ

~ ๐˜š๐˜ฆ๐˜ต ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐Ÿท๐Ÿฟ๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿถ-๐Ÿฟ๐Ÿถ๐˜ด ๐˜›๐˜ฆ๐˜น๐˜ข๐˜ด, ๐˜ข ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ป๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜บ ๐˜ข๐˜ฃ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ข ๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ค๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ต๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ-๐˜ช๐˜ฏ-๐˜ค๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ด๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ฏ’๐˜ต ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ, ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ง๐˜ฆ๐˜ค๐˜ต ๐˜ง๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ด ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ž๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜Š๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ธ๐˜ฅ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ๐˜ด ๐˜š๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ.โฃ
โฃ
๐‰๐ฎ๐ง๐žโ€™๐ฌ ๐๐จ๐จ๐ค ๐’๐ž๐ฅ๐ž๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง is ๐˜๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ต ๐˜‰๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด by Colleen Hoover. I am excited that we found a Hoover book that we both havenโ€™t read yet. This book came out in August 2020, and I am pumped to read it finally.โฃ

~ ๐˜”๐˜ฐ๐˜ท๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ, ๐˜ฑ๐˜ข๐˜ด๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ฆ, ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜ง๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜จ๐˜ฆ๐˜ต๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ฃ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ, ๐˜Š๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ ๐˜๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ’๐˜ด ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ ๐˜ง๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ต๐˜ด ๐˜ง๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฑ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜บ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ง๐˜ง๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต ๐˜ฃ๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ฌ๐˜จ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ๐˜ด ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฃ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฌ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ข ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ค๐˜ฆ, ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜ข๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ง๐˜ถ๐˜ต๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ๐˜ด.โฃ
โฃ
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 Instagramโฃ chat for each book at the end! โฃ
โฃ
xoxo,โฃ
Katie & Kelly โฃ

Click on the book pick to purchase!
Click on the book pic to purchase!

*Book links provided in todayโ€™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. โฃ
โฃ
Megan Tadyโ€™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 canโ€™t find a way to move forward. โฃ
โฃ
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 โ€œdirtโ€ 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. โฃ
โฃ
As a Mainer, I enjoyed the New England setting and adored all the eclectic โ€œspa talkโ€ 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. โฃ
โฃ
I love a mixture of drama and comedy in my books, and ๐˜š๐˜ถ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜‰๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ delivered on this dramedy front. My heart had a weeping moment or two over Joanโ€™s need to seek closure for the death of her Samual. The circumstances of his death and Joanโ€™s โ€œrelationshipโ€ 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. โฃ
โฃ
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 letโ€™s face it, a book that has an author publishing a novel embedded in the story is always a win.
โฃ
๐˜š๐˜ถ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜‰๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐š ๐ฅ๐จ๐ฏ๐ž ๐ฅ๐ž๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ ๐ซ๐ข๐ž๐Ÿ, ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐ข๐ž๐ง๐๐ฌ๐ก๐ข๐ฉ๐ฌ, ๐ฌ๐ž๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ ๐œ๐ก๐š๐ง๐œ๐ž๐ฌ, ๐š๐ง๐, ๐ฆ๐จ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ข๐ฆ๐ฉ๐จ๐ซ๐ญ๐š๐ง๐ญ๐ฅ๐ฒโ€”๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ก๐ž๐š๐ฅ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฉ๐จ๐ฐ๐ž๐ซ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฐ๐ซ๐ข๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐ . New beginnings are on the horizon for Joan, and I am so glad I followed along on her journey. โฃ

Happy Reading!

xoxo,

Kelly


โฃ

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 donโ€™t like itโ€ฆI donโ€™t share it! 

*Book links provided in todayโ€™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 readerโ€”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 ยฃ1,300 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 Brooklynโ€”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”โ€”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 Robbinsโ€™ memoir, ๐˜š๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ด๐˜ฉ: ๐˜”๐˜บ ๐˜“๐˜ช๐˜ง๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜๐˜ช๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ, 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 youโ€”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 Jimenezโ€™s leading characters, Alexis and Daniel. They had plenty of chemistry, lots of steam, and developed backstories that added to their โ€œrelationship.โ€ 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 donโ€™t like itโ€ฆI donโ€™t share it! 

*Book links provided in todayโ€™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.  

Robbinโ€™s daily life was an exhausting, infinite loop of chasing the โ€œhighโ€ 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 meโ€ฆyou will devour it quickly), Robbins’ writing is profoundโ€” 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 donโ€™t like itโ€ฆI donโ€™t share it! 

*Book links provided in todayโ€™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!

Rootless

Rootless by Krystle Zara Appiah (Ballantine Books)

March 28, 2023

Hello, sweet reading friends!

Boy, do I have a book club recommendation for anyone in the market for something provocative to read.  Krystle Zara Appiahโ€™s debut novel, Rootless will bring the chitter-chatter to the next level at your book club.  It is literally consuming all my headspace right now, so please read it and come chat with me asap.  Let me share why.

Appiahโ€™s book opens in May 2016 with Sam racing up the stairs of his London flat to discover that not only is his wife (Efe) gone, but their bank account is missing quite a bit of their money.  He finally discovers she is over 4,000 miles away from him and their daughter.  What now?????

The story begins at the end, in 2016, then shifts to the year 1997. From London to Ghana, Appiah carefully unfolds Efeโ€™s and Samโ€™s story year by year, bringing readers closer to WHAT HAPPENED?

Here is the deal, Appiahโ€™s book will land differently with each readerโ€”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 Samโ€™s emotional journey. Be prepared to have strong conversations about this story.  Even though Appiahโ€™s characters have distinct cultural backgrounds, their issues have a universal appeal to them. They represent real people going through tough shit, and their lives left quite a mark on me. 

I am not going to lieโ€”there was so much I could relate to and understand as a mom myself and even as a daughter.  But at times, I was brimming with frustration with EVERYONE to the point I had to put the book down. 

There is an intensity to this story that is difficult to explain. It was emotional to look directly in on the most vulnerable thoughts of two individuals: tender love, heartache, resentment, and utter sadness leak from this book. I desperately tried to get inside the pages because I wanted to connect one-on-one with these characters and give them all I know to be true. 

I cannot recommend this book enough for your next book club because it will undoubtedly induce VERY strong reactions. I can guarantee that some of you will absolutely LOVE it, and some will question my recommendation.  I am ok with that because reading is subjective, controversial at times, and above all, thought-provoking.  No matter where you land with this story, know thisโ€”Appiah bravely gave me a rich and diverse tale of Efe and Sam from the rawest part of their souls. Their story is hard to shake, and I will NEVER STOP thinking of them.  

xoxo,

Kelly

P.S. Content warnings:  difficulties with motherhood, abortion, marital issues, mental health, postpartum

Click on the book pic to purchase!

*Book links provided in todayโ€™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!

The Senator’s Wife

The Senator’s Wife by Live Constantine ~May 23, 2023 (Penguin Random House)

March 12, 2023

Hello Reading Family!

It is damp and cold here in Maine with more snow on the way. What better way to dream of springtime than to put on your radar a May new release book to pre-order. Not only will you have blooming tulips to look forward to, but also a new book in your mailbox.

Liv Constantine’ latest book, The Senator’s Wife comes out May 23rd and its wildly entertaining. This writing duo knows how to get their domestic thriller ON! I loved the backstory of how Sloane and Whit came to be married. The relationship between them and their deceased spouses was rich in history and dirty buried secrets. The story is told through multiple point of views and I was constantly questioning the reliability of all the characters. I wish I could offer ALL my thoughts on the players in this twisted tale, but canโ€™t without giving anything away. I will share that I enjoyed Sloane’s POV. The potency of her confusion and paranoia was made abundantly clear through Constantineโ€™s fantastic writing. Her frustration of being trapped in her bedroom while her health rapidly deteriorated BLED from the pages in the best possible way. I was literally fiddling about in my reading chair. I adored the political backdrop and of course LOVED the extra โ€œmoney to spareโ€ being thrown around (Naughty Powerful Rich Peopleโ€ฆyes please). The craziness of ALL the mind games played MADE this story a wicked BLAST to read. On a side note, Sloane, Whit, and Athena gave me “Mrs. Parrish” vibes and it worked 100% for me.

The Senator’s Wife is a slow burn, snappy domestic thriller-perfect to read at the beach or poolside this summer! It kept me guessing every step the way.

Pre-order this book ASAP!
xoxo,
Kelly

Synopsis:

โ€œAfter a tragic chain of events led to the deaths of their spouses two years ago, DC philanthropist Sloane Chase and Senator Whit Montgomery are finally starting to move on. The horrifying ordeal drew them together, and now they’re ready to settle down again–with each other. 

As Sloane returns to the world of White House dinners and political small talk, this time with her new husband, she’s also preparing for an upcoming hip replacement–the latest reminder of the lupus she’s managed since her twenties. With their hectic schedules, they decide that hiring a home health aide will give Sloane the support and independence she needs postsurgery. And they find the perfect fit in Athena Karras. 

Seemingly a godsend, Athena tends to Sloane and even helps her run her charitable foundation. But Sloane slowly begins to deteriorate–a complication, Athena explains, of Sloane’s lupus. As weeks go by, Sloane becomes sicker, and her uncertainty quickly turns to paranoia as she begins to suspect the worst. Why is Athena asking her so many probing questions about her foundation–as well as about her past? And could Sloane be imagining the sultry looks between Athena and her new husband?โ€

Click on the pic to pre-order this book!

*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 donโ€™t like itโ€ฆI donโ€™t share it! 

*Book links provided in todayโ€™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!

The Boyfriend Candidate

The Boyfriend Candidate by Ashley Winstead (Graydon House)
Pub Day~May 9, 2023

March 7, 2023

Hi Book Lovers!

Today I am jumping ahead and sharing one of my FAVORITE author’s upcoming novel. Ashley Winstead, author of In My Dream I Hold A Knife, Fool Me Once, and The Last Housewife has a brand new romance novel coming out May 9th called The Boyfriend Candidate, and I can’t wait for everyone to get their hands on it. 

The Boyfriend Candidate is a “spin-off” to Winstead’s debut romance novel, Fool Me Once, and it did not disappoint.  I LOVED Fool Me Once, so reading about Alexis Stone was such a treat.  First things first, The Boyfriend Candidate can be read as a stand alone novel with ease.  However, Winstead’s previous love birds (Lee & Ben) are the cherry on top!  They make more than a few cameo appearances, and references to their “love story” are peppered throughout.  If you haven’t read their story it is OK. It simply is an IYKYK situation, which made me feel pretty cool.  

 Winstead is back at it blending a classic romance trope with a touch of Texas politics. It is so evident in her writing that she herself is a lover of books and words.  She adds in with purpose two things I am passionate about…, a teacher’s room romance book club and standing up for banned books,  Let’s not forget a few music mentions like Wreckless Eric’s song, Whole Wide World, and of course, Amarillo By Morning…a nod to all the cowboys and maybe even the 4-H kiddos (Logan). You need to read the book for that part to make sense.  She is so great at effortlessly bringing awareness to hot topics while at the same time teasing readers with an off the chart romance! 

 Alexis and Logan stole my heart. The 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.   I loved how Winstead kept their “fake” relationship piping hot with conflict and a whole lot of sexual tension.  She created  a significant amount of “anticipated steam” that kept the pages turning and turning all day long until I reach the end …SWOON!.  I was DYING for these two to pull-it-together and just get together!!!! .  

The Boyfriend Candidate is a must read this spring! I am hoping there is a third book in this Texas romance world Winstead created and…I even have bets on who it will be about!!!!

Be sure to pre-order this gem down below and check out my thoughts on ALL of Winstead’s books RIGHT HERE!

xoxo,

Kelly

Click on the book pic to Pre-order

*I received an advance reader of this book from the author/publishers in exchange for my honest review. My opinions are 100% my own. If I donโ€™t like itโ€ฆI donโ€™t share it!

*Book links provided in todayโ€™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!

How To Sell A Haunted House

How to Sell a Haunted House by Grady Hendrix (Berkley)

March 6, 2023

Hello Reading Family,

Happy Monday! Today I am kicking off the week with a book that falls a bit out of my comfort zone. Can you say HORROR???

So here is the scoop. Over the past few years, I have reintroduced the โ€œhorrorโ€ genre into my reading life.  The Sun Down Motel, The Whisper Man, Mexican Gothic, and Lock Ever Door are all Horror picks that have worked for me.   Grady Hendrix is a โ€œnew to meโ€ author.  I know of his work but, for whatever reason, never got around to reading him until this year.  How to Sell a Haunted House was an excellent horror read.  Unlike some of the previous titles mentioned or the works of Stephen King or Catriona Ward, Hendrixโ€™s latest book has a campy feel, which I loved. Donโ€™t get me wrong, his puppets and dolls are the epitome of creepy, and the thought of a stuffed animal crawling up my bed to attack me has not left my head (and probably never will). However, his graphic scenes are exaggerated, and borderline absurd in the best possible way.  He made it possible to feel terrified while chuckling all at the same time.  My kind of horror.  Hendrixโ€™s characters and storyline are believable, and I enjoyed the puppeteerโ€™s backstory.  Die-hard Horror fans and newbies alike will enjoy his latest. The buzz in the online reading world led me to this book AND this author and I am now officially tackling his backlist books while waiting for his next release.  

Cheers to a fabulous new week!

xoxo,

Kelly

P.S. If you want to try another fun Horror story, CLICK HERE to read all about what I had to say about Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia.

Synopsis:

โ€œWhen Louise finds out her parents have died, she dreads going home. She doesn’t want to leave her daughter with her ex and fly to Charleston. She doesn’t want to deal with her family home, stuffed to the rafters with the remnants of her father’s academic career and her mother’s lifelong obsession with puppets and dolls. She doesn’t want to learn how to live without the two people who knew and loved her best in the world. 

Most of all, she doesn’t want to deal with her brother, Mark, who never left their hometown, gets fired from one job after another, and resents her success. Unfortunately, she’ll need his help to get the house ready for sale because it’ll take more than some new paint on the walls and clearing out a lifetime of memories to get this place on the market. 

But some houses don’t want to be sold, and their home has other plans for both of themโ€ฆโ€

Click on the book pic to purchase!

*Book links provided in todayโ€™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 MARCH & APRIL 2023

March 4, 2023

Dear Wonderful Readers,

Happy Saturday! Katie @basicbsguide and I have selected the ๐Œ๐š๐ซ๐œ๐ก & ๐€๐ฉ๐ซ๐ข๐ฅ ๐ฉ๐ข๐œ๐ค๐ฌ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ #๐๐ž๐š๐ซ๐›๐š๐ฌ๐ข๐œ๐›๐ฎ๐๐๐ฒ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐๐ฌโ€”just a reminder; these book chats take place on Instagram. You do need to have an account to participate.
โฃ
We are embracing all things YA for the win! I donโ€™t typically gravitate towards this genre (probably because I have a bunch of teenage boys roaming around my house 24/7), but these two books sound AMAZING and pretty much guarantee something to talk about! โฃI canโ€™t wait ๐Ÿ˜ƒ!!! 

Tiffany D. Jacksonโ€™s debut is Allegedly, and Iโ€™ve ONLY heard fabulous things about it. Katie put None Shall Sleep by Ellie Marney on my radar, AND the sequel, Some Shall Break, comes out in June, so we will be READY FOR IT! 
โฃ
As always, this is a read-at-your-own-pace situation with a private group chat at the end of each month. You can join us for both books or just oneโ€ฆ itโ€™s up to you! โฃ
โฃ
๐๐จ๐ง๐ž ๐’๐ก๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐’๐ฅ๐ž๐ž๐ฉ~ ๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜š๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ค๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜“๐˜ข๐˜ฎ๐˜ฃ๐˜ด ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ต๐˜ด ๐˜š๐˜ข๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ด๐˜บ๐˜ค๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜จ๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ญ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ข๐˜ฃ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ข๐˜จ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ถ๐˜ฑ ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ฉ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜๐˜‰๐˜ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ฌ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ซ๐˜ถ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ข๐˜ญ ๐˜ฌ๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ด.โฃ
โฃ
๐€๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ž๐ ๐ž๐๐ฅ๐ฒ~ ๐˜–๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜จ๐˜ฆ ๐˜๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜•๐˜ฆ๐˜ธ ๐˜‰๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ฌ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ต๐˜ด ๐˜ž๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜‹๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ ๐˜”๐˜บ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ’๐˜ด ๐˜”๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜จ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ต๐˜บ, ๐˜ต๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜บ, ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฃ๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ฃ๐˜บ ๐˜›๐˜ช๐˜ง๐˜ง๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜บ ๐˜‹. ๐˜‘๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ฌ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ข๐˜ฃ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ข ๐˜จ๐˜ช๐˜ณ๐˜ญ ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ท๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ฎ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฌ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜ถ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ด๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ท๐˜ช๐˜ท๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ง๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ข ๐˜จ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ฑ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ.โฃ
๐˜”๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜บ ๐˜‰. ๐˜ˆ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฌ๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ข ๐˜ฃ๐˜ข๐˜ฃ๐˜บ. ๐˜ˆ๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜จ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ๐˜ญ๐˜บ. โฃ
โฃ
DM me over on Instagram @dearmrhemingway, or leave a comment to join!โฃ

xoxo,

Kelly

Click on the book pic to purchase!
Click on the book pic to purchase!

*Book links provided in todayโ€™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!


โฃ

DAISY JONES & THE SIX

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Ballantine Books)

March 3, 2023

Hello Sweet Book Friends!

HAPPY DAISY JONES & THE SIX DAY! Today is the day, so many of us have been waiting for. Taylor Jenkins Reid’s 2019 smash hit, Daisy Jones & The Six is officially out for all of us TO WATCH ON TV!!!!!!! That is right. We can watch the first three episodes right now on PRIME VIDEO, then patiently wait each Friday for the next one to drop.

If you haven’t read Daisy Jones & The Six, hop to it. This book is an absolute MASTERPIECE! I highly recommend listening to the audiobook. The cast of narrators is phenomenal, and Jennifer Beals as Daisy Jones is the ultimate treat. The rock n’ roll scene of the 1970s saturates the pages of Reid’s book in the most excellent way possible. To say she captured this iconic era that dripped in music, drugs, and flower power with preciseness would be an understatement. Daisy Jones isn’t written in a traditional format. Instead, it is told in a series of interviews, making it totally unique. This oral account of the making and breaking of a legendary band allowed me to get inside the head of every single one of the characters and added depth to the already sizzling and emotionally charged relationship between Daisy Jones and Billy and Camila Dunne.

Daisy Jones & the Six is a brilliant work of fiction that 100% reads like a true story (with a similar ring), is wildly entertaining, full of passion, and should have front-row parking on your bookshelf!

Make this book happen!

Happy reading, listening, & watching!

xoxo,

Kelly

Click on the book pic to purchase!

*Book links provided in todayโ€™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!

Join my mailing list!

and never miss a blog post