Dear Mr. Hemingway Logo

read what you love • love what you read

Cookbooks Extraordinaire

June 14, 2022

Dear Lovely Readers,

I have had a delicious blast sharing all of Abrams Books’ Food and Drink collection this year. Today I am sharing FIVE fantastic cookbooks I’ve been working my way through one scrumptious recipe at a time. I hope you enjoy these yummy treats!

Happy Eating & Drinking,

Kelly

Buy this book here!

Where are all my astrology lovers???? Do I have a book for you! You can officially lean into your “sign” and say CHEERS to extraordinary and meaningful Cocktails designed just for you! 𝘔𝘢𝘳𝘨𝘢𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘢 𝘪𝘯 𝘙𝘦𝘵𝘳𝘰𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘥𝘦: 𝘊𝘰𝘤𝘬𝘵𝘢𝘪𝘭𝘴 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘌𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺 𝘚𝘪𝘨𝘯 by Vanessa Li and Bowen Goh is an absolute Gem!⁣

Learn how to get your home bar in gear and your glassware in order while making astrological cocktails. How fun does that sound? You can’t help but be curious about your sign while flipping through this book. Li and Goh lure you in with their tasty cocktails with quirky names….𝐄𝐲𝐞𝐬 𝗪𝐢𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐚 𝐅𝐚𝐜𝐞, 𝐂𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐌𝐞 𝐃𝐚𝐝𝐝𝐲, 𝐌𝐢𝐬𝐬 𝐏𝐢𝐠𝐠𝐲 𝐅𝐚𝐧 𝐂𝐥𝐮𝐛, 𝗪𝐡𝐚𝐭𝐬 𝐌𝐲 𝐀𝐠𝐞 𝐀𝐠𝐚𝐢𝐧, and so many more. ⁣

𝘔𝘢𝘳𝘨𝘢𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘢 𝘪𝘯 𝘙𝘦𝘵𝘳𝘰𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘥𝘦 is a tiny treasure to add to your cookbook and drink bookshelf. ⁣

𝐒𝐲𝐧𝐨𝐩𝐬𝐢𝐬 ⁣
“Featuring everything from chili-infused tequila for the adventurous Aquarius to an espresso-based cocktail for the unstoppable Virgo, these recipes will give you the tools you need to pay tribute to the sign of your choice, whether you love that sign, hate that sign, or are that sign. With names such as Sorry I Ghosted You, What’s My Age Again?, and Pillow Talk, and featuring ingredients ranging from gummy bears and CBD drops to star anise and oat milk, these tempting cocktails have been expertly tailored to every sector of the zodiac, with four recipes dedicated to each sun sign plus more for various cosmic events. Witty, wise, and welcoming to cocktail makers of all levels, Margarita in Retrograde is a loving tribute and essential resource for every enlightened mixologist.”⁣

Buy this book here!

It’s finally June which means Maine is getting a tiny bit warmer every day. The time has finally come to say goodbye to the cozy soups and stews that have provided us warmth and nourishment during the unbearable winter and to say Hello to everything SALAD. ⁣ I’m kicking off the summer season with a brand new cookbook by Jess Damuck, titled 𝘚𝘢𝘭𝘢𝘥 𝘍𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘬.

The title pretty much sums up what’s between the covers of this bright and shiny book. However, here are a few dishes I have made so far that have wowed me….𝐈𝐦𝐦𝐮𝐧𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐒𝐚𝐥𝐚𝐝 ( we all need this NOW), 𝐌𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐡𝐚’𝐬 𝐌𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐨 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐌𝐨𝐳𝐳𝐚𝐫𝐞𝐥𝐥𝐚 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐘𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐠 𝐋𝐞𝐭𝐭𝐮𝐜𝐞 ( anything with a mango involved works for me), and 𝐂𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐥𝐨𝐮𝐩𝐞, 𝐂𝐮𝐜𝐮𝐦𝐛𝐞𝐫𝐬, 𝐋𝐢𝐦𝐞, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐌𝐢𝐧𝐭 ( ummmmm… perfection).⁣

𝐒𝐲𝐧𝐨𝐩𝐬𝐢𝐬 ⁣
“Delicious and beautiful recipes from Martha Stewart’s personal salad chef and the self-proclaimed “Bob Ross of salads.”⁣
Offering more than 100 inspired recipes, recipe developer and food stylist Jess Damuck shares her passion for making truly delicious salads. Salad Freak encourages readers to discover and embrace their own salad obsessions. With the right recipes, you will want to eat salad for every meal and never get bored. By playfully combining color, texture, shape, and, of course, flavor, Damuck demonstrates how a little extra effort in the kitchen can be meditative, delicious, and fun. “

Buy this book here!

Alton Brown is Back with his latest cookbook, 𝘎𝘰𝘰𝘥 𝘌𝘢𝘵𝘴 𝟺: 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘍𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘺𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘴. This book is not only delicious but one to totally geek out on. Brown has updated versions of some of his best recipes with all the fun science and food facts along the way. Perfect your pour-over coffee, nail your fried eggs, and make the best damn pressure cooker chili in the universe. OR… be like me and make the Lasagna again (which by the way, is EPIC). No matter what you are in the mood for, Brown has you covered with his fail-proof recipes and cooking instructions galore!⁣

⁣𝐒𝐲𝐧𝐨𝐩𝐬𝐢𝐬 ⁣
“This long-anticipated fourth and final volume in the bestselling Good Eats series of cookbooks draws on two reboots of the beloved television show by the inimitable Alton Brown—Good Eats Reloaded and Good Eats: The Return. With more than 150 new and improved recipes for everything from chicken parm to bibimbap and cold brew to corn dogs, accompanied by mouthwatering original photography, The Final Years is the most sumptuous and satisfying of the Good Eats books yet.”

Buy this book here!

Let’s take a quick peek at my “𝘐’𝘮 𝘵𝘪𝘳𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘪𝘴 𝘮𝘺 𝘴𝘶𝘱𝘱𝘦𝘳” supper!!! 𝐆𝐢𝐧 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐓𝐨𝐧𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐬 (this is what they call it in Spain) 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐒𝐚𝐥𝐭𝐲 𝐒𝐧𝐚𝐜𝐤𝐬 from Colu Henry’s latest cookbook, 𝘊𝘰𝘭𝘶 𝘊𝘰𝘰𝘬𝘴: 𝘌𝘢𝘴𝘺 𝘍𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘺 𝘍𝘰𝘰𝘥. ⁣

Tonic water, good old Bombay Sapphire (that’s what’s in my cupboard), tons of ice, and yes…a lemon in lieu of a lime. Paired with some salty treats, dinner is served…to me!⁣

Lots of fun recipes in this book that are easy, yet look impressive. Perfect when you are so bored with the “same-old-same-old”! 𝐀𝐥𝐦𝐨𝐬𝐭 𝐒𝐜𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐨𝐩 𝐂𝐡𝐨𝐰𝐝𝐞𝐫, 𝐂𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐦𝐲 𝐑𝐢𝐬𝐨𝐭𝐭𝐨 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐂𝐫𝐢𝐬𝐩𝐲 𝗪𝐢𝐥𝐝 𝐌𝐮𝐬𝐡𝐫𝐨𝐨𝐦𝐬, and a 𝐌𝐨𝐫𝐨𝐜𝐜𝐚𝐧-𝐒𝐩𝐢𝐜𝐞𝐝 𝐑𝐨𝐚𝐬𝐭 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐂𝐡𝐢𝐜𝐤𝐩𝐞𝐚𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐇𝐞𝐫𝐛𝐬 are on deck to be cooked and devoured this weekend.⁣

Be sure to check out this mouth-watering cookbook ASAP!⁣

𝐒𝐲𝐧𝐨𝐩𝐬𝐢𝐬⁣
“With 100 recipes and photographs, New York Times Cooking Contributor Colu Henry offers ideas and solutions to get you out of your weeknight routine, explore new ingredients and techniques, build your confidence, and have sophisticated dishes on the table in around 45 minutes.”

Buy this book here!

Sometimes it is a good idea to simply ditch the meat and eat all the vegetables and things from the earth. The Forest Feast Road Trip cookbook by Erin Gleeson is a little slice of heaven for your cookbook shelf. Stunning recipes and photos inspired by the gorgeous state of California are what you will find between the covers of this book. Zucchini Breakfast Sandwiches, Skillet Tofu & Onions, Sunset Stir-fry, and Polenta Lasagna are just a few of the drool-worthy recipes I am obsessed with these days. Gleeson’s book is next-level fabulous and I beg you to grab a copy for your kitchen.

Synopsis:

“For years, Forest Feast fans have loved Erin Gleeson’s effortless California-style vegetarian cooking, made in her beautiful cabin in the woods. Now, Gleeson takes an extended road trip around California, staying in unique cabin dwellings along the way and showing readers the beauty and incredible food of the Golden State she knows so well. From the grapes of the wine country where Gleeson grew up to the avocados of San Diego, California is known for its rich agriculture.The Forest Feast Road Trip showcases 100 vegetarian recipes, all inspired by her family’s journey by car through a stunningly geographically diverse setting. Each chapter “focuses on a different region of California, depicted in Gleeson’s signature aesthetic of atmospheric photography, charming watercolor illustrations, and mouthwatering recipes drawn from the fresh, local produce found in each location. Gleeson visits the giant redwoods on the coast of Mendocino, the desert of Joshua Tree, the mountains of Lake Tahoe, the tropical beaches of Santa Barbara, the cliffs of Yosemite National Park, and everywhere in between. In each location, Gleeson and her family stay in design-forward cabins, host dinner parties, and explore local attractions, providing tips for readers who may want to take a California road trip of their own.”

***Dear Mr. Hemingway, LLC  has proudly PARTNERED with Abrams Books and will be sharing their Fall 2021 & Spring 2022 Food & Beverage books as part of the #ABRAMSDINNERPARTY.

#DEARBASICBUDDYREADS JUNE SELECTION

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo (Flatiron Books)

May 23, 2022

Dear Reading Friends,

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

xoxo,⁣
Kelly

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

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

Scrumptious Cookbooks

Hello Reading Friends!

As you may have gathered, I am a cookbook junkie! I love them, use them, collect them, obsess over them, and basically can’t live without them. Because of this, I am excited to share THREE shiny new books for you to check out. Each one of these beauties is unique in its own way and all of them are absolutely DELICIOUS!

Happy Cooking & Happy Eating!

Kelly

Click on the book pic to purchase!

𝐈 𝐚𝐦 𝐎𝐁𝐒𝐄𝐒𝐒𝐄𝐃 with 𝘉𝘰𝘥𝘺 𝘏𝘢𝘳𝘮𝘰𝘯𝘺: 𝘕𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘪𝘴𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘗𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘵-𝘉𝘢𝘴𝘦𝘥 𝘙𝘦𝘤𝘪𝘱𝘦𝘴 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘐𝘯𝘵𝘶𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘌𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 by Nicole Berrie!

This cookbook is not only stunning but 100% inspiring. It truly makes me want to cook more nutritious, delicious food while eating the rainbow. Berrie’s recipes use Whole Foods and gorgeous ingredients that make healthy cooking and eating feel luxurious. My top three recipes so far are the 𝐃𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐤 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐒𝐮𝐧 juice, 𝐃𝐮𝐥𝐬𝐞 𝐂𝐚𝐞𝐬𝐚𝐫 𝐒𝐚𝐥𝐚𝐝, and the 𝐂𝐡𝐢𝐜𝐤𝐩𝐞𝐚 𝐓𝐮𝐧𝐚 ( pictured here and stuffed into a raw red pepper). I plan on perusing this book 𝐚𝐠𝐚𝐢𝐧 tonight, to plan some yummy weekend meals! ⁣

If you are looking to fuel yourself with some spectacular plant-based recipes…𝘉𝘰𝘥𝘺 𝘏𝘢𝘳𝘮𝘰𝘯𝘺 is for you! This is not only my new “go-to” cookbook but also my “ go-to” gift to give EVERYONE!⁣

Synopsis:⁣
“In 𝘉𝘰𝘥𝘺 𝘏𝘢𝘳𝘮𝘰𝘯𝘺, Nicole Berrie reveals how she personally transitioned from the partying years of her teens and twenties to the fast-paced world of fashion and media, eventually settling into a thriving and balanced life and career in wellness. Sharing recipes, advice, and thoughtful guidance, this book is an inspirational lifestyle manual and cookbook dedicated to those seeking the ever-elusive answer to how to nourish themselves with clean, plant-based foods while still indulging in the joys and delicacies of life.⁣

In the introductory chapters, Berrie outlines the founding tenets of the Body Harmony lifestyle and discusses topics ranging from plant-based cooking and intuitive eating to the importance of nontoxic beauty rituals and self-care. In addition, the book includes more than 50 original vegan recipes for juices, smoothies, salads, soups, and grounding grain-based dishes, all meant to cleanse and nourish the body and soul while keeping the reader both pretty and full.⁣”

Click on the book pic to purchase!

I dove right into Anna Stockwell’s scrumptious book because guess what? It is time to start having dinner parties again. While planning something epic at my home for friends and family, I jumped in with both feet and made the 𝐂𝐢𝐭𝐫𝐮𝐬-𝐂𝐡𝐢𝐥𝐞 𝐒𝐥𝐨𝐰-𝐂𝐨𝐨𝐤𝐞𝐝 𝐏𝐨𝐫𝐤 and I can honestly say….. it was devoured by my entire family (me, husband, two teen boys, and one tween boy). It was even requested to be made again sooner than later. That my friends…is an ABSOLUTE WIN!

I am officially making my guest list!

⁣Synopsis:
“Stockwell has written a cookbook for a new way of entertaining that’s simpler, better, healthier, and more fun. Organized by season and full of helpful hosting advice, Stockwell provides accessible and modern menus; each is built around two large platters to pass around the table and includes suggestions for no-recipe side dishes. Dinner parties don’t have to be formal or fussy, or even a lot of work, to be celebratory and gratifying. This book teaches you how to plan and prepare great-tasting and impressive-looking menus that are easy to pull off, as well as offers expert advice on toasts, prep-ahead strategies, and tips on handling guest lists and dietary restrictions. “⁣

Click on the book pic to purchase!

Emily Meggett’s (M.G.), 𝘎𝘶𝘭𝘭𝘢𝘩 𝘎𝘦𝘦𝘤𝘩𝘦𝘦 𝘏𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘊𝘰𝘰𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 is the ultimate comfort cookbook. Fresh biscuits and popovers, fish cakes, squash casserole, and sausage and gravy are just a few satisfying recipes I made straight away. But of course, when I see a new version of the beloved banana bread… I must make it! Can you say YUM??? The best part of M.G.’s cookbook is that I learned all about Edisto Island in South Carolina and the Gullah and Geechee people. What an absolute treat!⁣

𝐒𝐲𝐧𝐨𝐩𝐬𝐢𝐬 ⁣
“The history of the Gullah and Geechee people stretches back centuries when enslaved members of this community were historically isolated from the rest of the South because of their location on the Sea Islands of coastal South Carolina and Georgia. Today, this Lowcountry community represents the most direct living link to the traditional culture, language, and foodways of their West African ancestors.⁣

Gullah Geechee Home Cooking, written by Emily Meggett, the matriarch of Edisto Island, is the preeminent Gullah cookbook. At 89 years old, and with more than 50 grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Meggett is a respected elder in the Gullah community of South Carolina. She has lived on the island all her life, and even at her age, still cooks for hundreds of people out of her hallowed home kitchen. Her house is a place of pilgrimage for anyone with an interest in Gullah Geechee food. Meggett’s Gullah food is rich and flavorful, though it is also often lighter and more seasonal than other types of Southern cooking. Heirloom rice, fresh-caught seafood, local game, and vegetables are key to her recipes for regional delicacies like fried oysters, collard greens, and stone-ground grits. This cookbook includes not only delicious and accessible recipes but also snippets of the Meggett family history on Edisto Island, which stretches back into the 19th century. “

***Dear Mr. Hemingway, LLC  has proudly PARTNERED with Abrams Books and will be sharing their Fall 2021 & Spring 2022 Food & Beverage books as part of the #ABRAMSDINNERPARTY.

Cleopatra’s Dagger & An Honest Lie

April 26, 2022

Hello Gorgeous Readers!

Today I am sharing two books that couldn’t be more different from one another. On tap is a psychological thriller that will knock your socks off and a slow-burn historical mystery with a few dead bodies floating around. Let’s take a peek at these spring 2022 releases, shall we?

Cleopatra’s Dagger by Carole Lawrence (Thomas  & Mercer)

Cleopatra’s Dagger was a delight to read.  Lawrence immediately transported me to New York City circa 1880.  Her writing is rich in detail and showcases a feminist journalist way ahead of her time. A serial killer, mysterious dead bodies, and an Egyptian flair fill the pages of this book. I went into this novel anticipating gruesome details and an unsettling storyline; however, I found her writing more intriguing than disturbing.  There were twists along the way that kept me guessing and a “whodunnit vibe” present throughout the book.  I believe that historical fiction and mystery lovers will equally enjoy this slow-burn historical mystery.

Synopsis:

“New York, 1880. Elizabeth van den Broek is the only female reporter at the Herald, the city’s most popular newspaper. Then she and her bohemian friend Carlotta Ackerman find a woman’s body wrapped like a mummy in a freshly dug hole in Central Park–the intended site of an obelisk called Cleopatra’s Needle. The macabre discovery takes Elizabeth away from the society pages to follow an investigation into New York City’s darkest shadows.

When more bodies turn up, each tied to Egyptian lore, Elizabeth is onto a headline-making scoop more sinister than she could have imagined. Her reporting has readers spellbound, and each new clue implicates New York’s richest and most powerful citizens. And a serial killer is watching every headline.

Now a madman with an indecipherable motive is coming after Elizabeth and everyone she loves. She wants a good story? She may have to die to get it.”

An Honest Lie by Tarryn Fisher (Graydon House)

An Honest Lie is my second Tarryn Fisher book, and what can I say…I am a fan.  This novel is a story of survival, redemption, and everything in-between. It is written in two different timelines with a horrific cult as the backdrop. I adored the complexity of Fisher’s characters and was captivated by each messy layer that was slowly unpeeled. I was pulled in many directions, which kept me briskly turning the pages to see what happened next.  One minute I was lingering in sadness, and the next minute I felt like I was on an over-the-top roller coaster ride. Most importantly, though, Fisher kept me wildly entertained while I basked in the sun poolside over spring break.

Synopsis:

“Lorraine–“Rainy”–lives at the top of Tiger Mountain. Remote, moody, cloistered in pine trees and fog, it’s a sanctuary, a new life. She can hide from the disturbing past she wants to forget.

If she’s allowed to.

When Rainy reluctantly agrees to a girls’ weekend in Vegas, she’s prepared for an exhausting parade of shots and slot machines. But after a wild night, her friend Braithe doesn’t come back to the hotel room.

And then Rainy gets the text message, sent from Braithe’s phone: someone has her. But Rainy is who they really want, and Rainy knows why.

What follows is a twisted, shocking journey on the knife-edge of life and death. If she wants to save Braithe–and herself–the only way is to step back into the past.”

Happy Reading my friends!

xoxo,

Kelly

Click on the book pic to purchase.
Click on the book pic to purchase.

May #DEARBASICBUDDYREADS SELECTION

Necessary People by Anna Pitoniak (Little, Brown & Company)

April 25, 2022

Hello Beautiful Readers,

The month of May is just around the corner, and Katie @basicbsguide and I have selected 𝘕𝘦𝘤𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘢𝘳𝘺 𝘗𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦 by Anna Pitoniak for our next Buddy Read! ⁣

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

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

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

xoxo,⁣
Kelly⁣

𝐒𝐲𝐧𝐨𝐩𝐬𝐢𝐬:⁣

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

Stella and Violet are best friends, and from the moment they met in college, they knew their roles. Beautiful, privileged, and reckless Stella lives in the spotlight. Hardworking, laser-focused Violet stays behind the scenes, always ready to clean up the mess that Stella inevitably leaves in her wake.⁣


After graduation, Violet moves to New York and lands a job in cable news, where she works her way up from intern to assistant to producer, and to a life where she’s finally free from Stella’s shadow. In this fast-paced world, Violet thrives, and her ambitions grow — but everything is jeopardized when Stella, envious of Violet’s new life, uses her connections, beauty, and charisma to get hired at the same network. Stella soon moves in front of the camera, becoming the public face of the stories that Violet has worked tirelessly to produce — and taking all the credit. ⁣


Stella might be the one with the rich family and the right friends, but Violet isn’t giving up so easily. As she and Stella strive for success, each reveals just how far she’ll go to get what she wants — even if it means destroying the other person along the way.”

Click on the book pic to purchase.

Listen Up

Good Rich People by Eliza Jane Brazier (Berkley Publishing + Penguin Random House Audio)
In the Shadow of the Mountain:  A Memoir of Courage by Silvia Vasquez-Lavado (Henry Holt & Co + Macmillan Audio)

March 24, 2022

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

Spring is officially in the air, and my reading life feels wonderfully on point.  I constantly switch up genres to keep up with my ever-changing mood, and it’s the #1 reason I hardly ever get bored with my books.  Today I am sharing two books that could not possibly be more different from one another, yet both were captivating in their unique way.  A memoir about healing from trauma while climbing Mount Everest and a work of spectacular fiction that involves dead bodies and over-the-top rich people is what I am talking about today, so listen up.

In the Shadow of the Mountain:  A Memoir of Courage by Silvia Vasquez-Lavado was phenomenal.  I had the pleasure of listening to this book on audio read by the author.  Vasquez-Lavado leads a group of sexual assault survivors on a trek to Mount Everest basecamp as part of their healing process. Her journey was far from over after reaching base camp, though.  She then joined up with another climbing group and took a shot at summitting the highest mountain on Earth.  Vasquez-Lavado shares her story alternating between her traumatic past and her epic climb.  I was moved to tears by the intimate details of the sexual abuse she experienced as a child and the fallout from these horrific events.  On the flip side, my heart was pounding out of my chest as she climbed for weeks and weeks in unfathomable conditions. Charged with brutal honesty, rich in unique culture, and filled with hope, Vasquez-Lavado’s memoir is a must-read/listen.

After immersing myself in Vasquez-Lavado’s profound journey, it was refreshing to switch it up with an over-the-top read about bored rich people who lie, scheme, and kill for entertainment.  Good Rich People by Eliza Jane Brazier is dripping in cash AND blood and I loved every second of it. Lyla and Graham are incredibly wealthy and enjoy playing games with people.  I’m not talking monopoly or a spicy pickleball competition, mind you.  Nooooo, I am talking about recruiting innocent self-made successful people to live in the guest house that they can destroy financially and maybe even kill if the spirit moves them. How fun is that??? Brazier’s story is a fast-paced, mannerless tale that had me wildly entertained.  Her writing is striking and razor-sharp. Her cast of characters is a spectacular melody of stunning and loopy all in the same breath and I had no problem gobbling up this juicy delight. I listened to Good Rich People on audio, and I must shout out the fabulous narrators who brought this wicked fun story to life.  Karissa Vacker and Sophie Amoss crushed the narration 100%!!!!

Well, my friend…I hope you enjoy experiencing these two incredible books one way or the other. 

Until next time!

Your Biggest Fan,

Kelly


P.S. I enjoy listening to my audiobooks via Libro.fm.  My audio purchases support an independent bookstore of my choice, which is something to cheer about.  Please feel free to use my member link to get started.

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

#DEARBASICBUDDYREADS APRIL SELECTION

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys (Penguin Random House)

March 23, 2022

Dear Fabulous Readers,

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

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

I can honestly say… I have only heard great things about this book and I am wicked excited to dive in with everyone! If you want to join our lively group for this read, please reach out to me on Instagram @dearmrhemingway and I will add you to April’s group chat.

Check out the synopsis below! ⁣

xoxo,⁣
Kelly

𝐒𝐲𝐧𝐨𝐩𝐬𝐢𝐬 ⁣
“World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, many with something to hide. Among them are Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in each other tested with each step closer to safety. ⁣

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

Click on the book pic to purchase!

@freethetruth

Truth and Other Lies by Maggie Smith (Ten16press)

March 10, 2022

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

I am so thrilled to be writing to you about a brilliant debut novel that completely captivated me.  Truth and Other Lies by Maggie Smith is Women’s Fiction at its finest.  Politics, journalism, and family dynamics line the pages of Smith’s book and I happily read every word.  Let’s take a peek, shall we?

Twenty-five-year-old Megan Barnes is the leading lady of Smith’s debut tale. After losing her job at an NYC newspaper and finding her boyfriend in bed with another woman, she heads back to Chicago and reunites with her mother who surprisingly is running for congress. Because Megan and her mom have opposing political views, supporting her campaign is not only frustrating but hinders her from getting a job at virtually any newspaper during election season. However, once in Chicago, Megan meets her professional idol, Jocelyn Jones, an award-winning journalist.  This twist of fate encounter lands her a job working for Jones and promoting her upcoming memoir.  A job like this may not exactly be in Megan’s wheelhouse, but this connection to the world of high-stakes journalism is just what she needs to move forward with her career. Things take a wild turn when an anonymous TWEET is exposed jeopardizing Jone’s reputation.  Megan’s investigation into this allegation reveals more than she bargained for and before she can catch her breath, she finds herself in a snarled mess of lies, secrets, and scandal involving her mentor and her mother’s campaign.  Can she discover the real truth and will it, in the end, set everyone free? 

Smith’s debut novel was an absolute delight to read. I loved how this story was simultaneously dripping in ambition and soiled with secrets. With each page I turned, a new layer was slowly peeled away leaving me happily swimming in muddy water questioning everything.  Truth and Other Lies is a relevant story that showcases highly driven women and hot topics galore. Abortion, political views, sexual assault, and feminism are all touched upon with dignity and grace. As a daughter, wife, mother, and friend (who is in her late forties), it was refreshing that I could relate to the different generations of women represented in Smith’s book. In addition to being progressive women with agendas to finalize, Smith’s characters were carriers of complicated pasts that were difficult to outrun.  As the story unfolds, I enjoyed watching Megan and her mom develop and blossom as women while their relationship matured.  I adored Megan’s loyalty to her best friend and her ability to make toilsome decisions in order to protect her. Most of all, I love how the ending of this book left me with a craving for a deep conversation about what the future holds for these characters.  To me…that is perfection!   Cheers to a fabulous book!

Until next time my friend!

Your Biggest Fan,

Kelly

P.S. Check out Maggie Smith and all her fabulousness RIGHT HERE!

Click on the book pic to purchase!

A Trio of Books Just For You

The Selfless Act of Breathing by JJ Bola (Atria Books)

The Prynne Viper by Bianca Marais (Audible Original)

Woman on Fire by Lisa Barr (Harper Perennial)


March 7, 2022

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

I have three books for you today and they are all so very different from one another. These three works of fiction each have their own unique vibe and I am thrilled to share them with you. I am offering up a man in search of his soul, a courtroom drama set way into the future, and a mystery around some Nazi stolen artwork. I can honestly say that I was swept away by all three of the books below. I was shocked, entertained, made to think, and above all…simply wowed by these three authors. I do believe there is something for everyone in today’s round-up. Happy reading and listening!

Until next time dear friend!

Your Biggest Fan,

Kelly

Click on the book pic to purchase.

First up is The Selfless Act of Breathing by JJ Bola. All I can say is that I absolutely LOVED this book.  Bola’s writing knocked my socks off, that is for sure.  His main character Michael truly lost his way and my soul literally ached for him.  His journey is beyond profound and left me with a feeling of sadness that was hard to shed.  I was mesmerized by his introspection and oftentimes found myself drifting off into my own world of ruminating and reflecting on life, love, and loneliness.  The connections with the people he met along the way truly highlighted his internal needs and fears and I was in absolute awe of how Bola could take on the heavy themes of suicidal thoughts, race, culture, and family using a poetic tone.  The Selfless Act of Breathing is a raw and powerful read and I highly recommend it.

Synopsis:

“Michael Kabongo is a British-Congolese teacher living in London on the cusp of two identities. On paper, he seems to have it all: He’s beloved by his students, popular with his coworkers, and the pride and joy of a mother who emigrated from the Congo to the UK in search of a better life. But behind closed doors, he’s been struggling with the overwhelming sense that he can’t address the injustices he sees raging before him—from his relentless efforts to change the lives of his students for the better to his attempts to transcend the violence and brutality that marginalizes young Black men around the world.

Then one day he suffers a devastating loss, and his life is thrown into a tailspin. As he struggles to find a way forward, memories of his father’s violent death, the weight of refugeehood, and an increasing sense of dread threaten everything he’s worked so hard to achieve. Longing to escape the shadows in his mind and start anew, Michael decides to spontaneously pack up and go to America, the mythical “land of the free,” where he imagines everything will be better, easier—a place where he can become someone new, someone without a past filled with pain.

On this transformative journey, Michael travels everywhere from New York City to San Francisco, partying with new friends, sparking fleeting romances, and splurging on big adventures, with the intention of living the life of his dreams until the money in his bank account runs out.”

Click on the book pic to purchase.

Next up is Woman on Fire by Lisa Barr. Run, don’t walk to grab yourself a copy of this literary gem.  The dazzling art world, high-stakes journalism, and the history of Nazi stolen artwork during the Second World War are well framed in this remarkable literary mystery. Barr’s story is teeming with intricate details and a chic background that pairs well with her multi-layered and quite juicy characters that undeniably lit up the pages of this book.  The combination of unparalleled research weaved into modern-day fiction was THE creme de la creme for me.  Every luscious page I read made me more ravenous for the next because I simply had to know what happened next. I refused to cease my reading adventure until I reached the wicked satisfying ending the Barr so meticulously delivered.  At the end of the day, there is nothing better than being immersed in a world where the past meant everything and secrets kept everyone in the game.  Woman on Fire was an absolute pleasure to read. 

Lisa Barr’s stunning creation is the true work of art here and SHE is… The Ultimate Woman on Fire!

Synopsis:

“After talking her way into a job with Dan Mansfield, the leading investigative reporter in Chicago, rising young journalist Jules Roth is given an unusual—and very secret—assignment. Dan needs her to locate a painting stolen by the Nazis more than 75 years earlier: legendary Expressionist artist Ernst Engel’s most famous work, Woman on Fire. World-renowned shoe designer Ellis Baum wants this portrait of a beautiful, mysterious woman for deeply personal reasons, and has enlisted Dan’s help to find it. But Jules doesn’t have much time; the famous designer is dying.

Meanwhile, in Europe, provocative and powerful Margaux de Laurent also searches for the painting. Heir to her art collector family’s millions, Margaux is a cunning gallerist who gets everything she wants. The only thing standing in her way is Jules. Yet the passionate and determined Jules has unexpected resources of her own, including Adam Baum, Ellis’s grandson. A recovering addict and brilliant artist in his own right, Adam was once in Margaux’s clutches. He knows how ruthless she is, and he’ll do anything to help Jules locate the painting before Margaux gets to it first.”

Click on the book pic to purchase.

Last but never ever least is The Prynne Viper by Bianca Marais. Marais, author of Hum if You Don’t Know the Words and If You Want to Make God Laugh is back with something 100% fresh.  This time around she is not writing about South Africa, the Apartheid, or the Soweto Uprising.  Instead, she wowed me with a short story offered as an Audible Original. The Prynne Viper is a futuristic tale (yes, you heard me correctly) that left me thinking long and hard about the fate of humanity if left in the hands of some crazy predictive software. I was transfixed by this terrifying world and the idea that mankind could be predetermined by a courtroom jury haunted me for days.  Don’t let the length of this story fool you though.  Marais’ magnificent storytelling, the full cast of narrators, and an extremely pleasing ending all neatly fit into a unique two-hour listen. Marais’ ability to switch writing gears by seamlessly transitioning to a completely different genre was wicked impressive and she will forever be an auto-buy author for me.

Synopsis:

“In a futuristic world where predictive software can map out the lives of every living person and their descendants, Naomi Prynne is on trial. The charge: endangerment by way of a pregnancy.

Thirteen jurors will determine whether Naomi is allowed to carry the pregnancy to term, but the jurors are also all plaintiffs, the software having predicted how Naomi Prynne’s child will affect each of them in life-changing ways. Among them: a history professor who has given up on her own dreams for the sake of the greater good; a student participating in his first-ever trial who’s about to discover an earth-shattering truth; and a former mathematician, who knows all too well the dark machinations of the state, but is prohibited from speaking out against them. The future of the Prynne Viper – an acronym for “viable person” – is in their hands.

But this Prynne Viper is unlike Naomi’s other pregnancies. This time, Naomi Prynne is carrying a secret, one with the power to alter the future into something incalculable, and therefore, unpredictable.”

Crocodile Rock

The Duchess Countess: The Woman Who Scandalized Eighteenth-Century London by Catherine Ostler (Atria Books)

February 22, 2022

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

Today I am wishing a VERY Happy Pub Day to The Duchess Countess by Catherine Ostler!!!  To say I was a happy camper reading this book would be an understatement.  Give me anything related to a scandal, royal courts, and an adventurous woman during any century prior to cell phones or electronics and I am in heaven.  This magnetic biography was my first introduction to  Elizabeth Chudleigh and certainly won’t be my last. Let me share with you why I am officially obsessed with this beguiling woman from the Georgian era. 

How I have never heard of Elizabeth Chudleigh until now is beyond me. While America was on the brink of Independence in 1776, the British papers were not filled with reports of this monumental change, but instead were dripping in stories of Chudleigh’s trial at Westminster where she was found guilty of bigamy. Ostler shares this piece of history with her readers then takes us through Chudleigh’s life beginning with her humble start. It is not long before she reveals her secret marriage to Augustus Hervey followed by her time at court as maid of honor to the Princess of Wales and her second marriage to Evelyn Pierrepont, the 2nd Duke of Kingston.  Osler’s book is chock-full of facts, intricacies, and then some piecing together Chudleigh’s two marriages and the dispute of their validity.  Her unabridged biography takes readers on Chudleigh’s never-ending escapades in England, France, and even Russia leaving no stone unturned. She brilliantly highlights why Chudleigh’s life was so controversial and who was impacted by her endeavors.

Ostler’s book has become my new obsession. Meeting Elizabeth Chudleigh for the first time has left me with a hankering to analyze and discuss her two marriages, her inheritance, and every element in-between. I am still in awe over her trial and the spectacle it was. It is crazy that it cost just as much or even more than a queen’s coronation and that it was an actual ticketed event that women and men alike dressed to the nines to attend. Osler’s book began very fact-driven but quickly read more like historical fiction than biography.  I was swept away by the Georgian era and the exquisite details of all the hierarchies, fashion, and laws of the lands.   Chudleigh’s ability to fight for a place in society and re-invent herself after every fall was astonishing. There was so much transgression, so much hearsay that deciphering what was true and what was false kept me on the edge of my seat. I predict my own ceaseless adventure going down the Elizabeth Chudleigh rabbit hole.

I love how Ostler brought to life this truly forgotten woman from eighteenth-century London. Her work is well researched and truly was a delight to read. This is the perfect cup of tea for all the  Georgian era and Regency era fans out there like me. Not only am I looking forward to Bridgerton Season two coming out,  but I am now officially dreaming about Elizabeth Chudleigh coming to a big screen…a historical fiction mini-series is what I so desire. Maybe Ostler can help make that happen!!!!

Until next time my friend!

Your Biggest Fan,

Kelly

P.S. If you like this time period, guess what??? The Regency era overlaps with it and had some fabulous cocktails to boot. Check out this book for some delicious concoctions!

Click on the book pic to purchase!

Join my mailing list!

and never miss a blog post