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Kelly’s Top 10 Books Of 2020

January 4, 2021

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

Happy New Year!  We made it to 2021!  Let‘s face it, 2020 was an absolute doozy!  I personally had a difficult time focusing on reading and was in a perpetual state of ruffled feathers.  This year, quality over quantity was the name of the game and I found myself way more picky with my book selections.  If a book didn’t reel me in from page one or work with whatever my current mood was on that day (or hour 😂😂), I tossed it.  Definitely a bit harsh for me, but I truly needed books that distracted me from my distractions and took me somewhere outside of my quarantined mind.  Here are my Top 10 Books Of 2020 in random order!  Whether I laughed out loud or was completely moved, each one of these books spoke to me in a unique way! Click on the book pictures for their full synopsis or to purchase from your local bookstore.   Here we go….

His & Hers by Alice Feeney (Flatiron) ~ This book was sooooo good! I could not put this down.  I listened to this on audio and the narration was incredible.  This was the ultimate suspense/thriller.  Click here to read my past review.

Admission by Julie Buxbaum (Delacorte Press) ~ Can you say,  juicy tale?  I really enjoyed this behind the scene look at what it takes to get into college and how far families will go to ensure their kids receive the creme de la creme education. Buxbaum explored issues of wealth, race, white privilege and more in her latest book. Though this is a work of fiction, it was inspired by the recent admission scandal this past year. I love how the teenager’s point of view is so prevalent in this story. Admission is an eye-opening read that will have you glued to your seat. It is the perfect book club pick. Discussions galore will come out of it.

Untamed by Glennon Doyle (The Dial Press) ~ This book was hands down, the equivalent to a perfect cup of tea!  I am a huge Glennon fan and her book was the breath of fresh air I needed this year.  Click here to read my past review.  

Green Lights by Matthew McConaughey (Crown Publishing) ~ Such a fun read.  Though Matthew’s life is most definitely different than mine, I strangely found comfort and could even relate to some of his words. I love how green lights, yellow lights, and even red lights are all opportunities to halt what you are doing or move ahead.  It is like the universe is talking to us.  Maybe some things do happen for a reason. Nevertheless, I got quite a few laughs from this charmer. Wait until you read about all of his “dreams”!!

My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell (William Morrow)~ Why all the fuss about this book???? In short, it is the story of a fifteen year old girl and her relationship with her 42 year old HIgh School teacher. It is a book that shines light on things that are strenuous to acknowledge. It is a book that is easier to just not read. It is a book that had my mind twisted every which way. It is a book that never left me, even when my reading time was through. It is a book that made me feel terribly uncomfortable yet completely captivated. It is a book that made my stomach turn and my mind wander. It is a book filled with power. It is a book that is so beautifully written, my heart ached. 

The Girl With The Louding Voice by Abi Dare (Dutton)~ I do not think this book has a star rating less than 5+.  Adunni absolutely stole my heart.  I rooted for her with all my heart and soul throughout her journey.  Dare’s book was powerful and complete perfection! If you have not read this yet, make it happen ASAP.  You will have no regrets.  

Blacktop Wasteland by S.A. Cosby (Flatiron)~  I am so glad I squeezed this book in before 2020 ended.  WOW……this was awesome! Robberies, car chases, drugs and family drama….this book was a 100 mph ride that kept my beating heart in business.  Cosby’s writing was colorful, sharp and seriously captivating.  Enjoy this high speed read!!

The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez (Forever Publishing)~ Oh La La.  Sloan and Jason…need I say more.  This was the super fun and steamy read I needed this 2020. I loved Jimenez’s last book The Friend Zone, and her follow up was equally as fabulous!  Be prepared to swoon.  Consider yourself warned!

Master Class by Christina Dalcher (Berkley) ~ I am obsessed with this book. Dalcher’s contemporary dystopian tale incorporates contentious issues from the past and present into a fictional world where the unimaginable may not be far from the truth. This was a 5 star read for me.  Fans of The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood will be all over this one.  Click here for my past review.

The Roxy Letters by Mary Pauline Lowry (Simon &Schuster) ~ Take it from me, The Roxy Letters is the PERFECT book to slip in your bag when heading to the beach (or pool, or lake, or front porch).  With so many uncertainties in the world, why not escape for a few hours with some much needed laughter and a story that just makes you feel great.  I spent so much of my time reading this book giggling, while my cheeks turned uber pink.  With a heart of gold and a thirst for all things good, Roxy is one to root for. Click here for my past review.

Well my friend, that is a wrap!  Look out for all my bookish love coming your way this 2021.  Until next time…

Your Biggest Fan,

Kelly

P.S.  Click here to read my last post in December.  If you love a good domestic suspense novel, I have got you covered.  

The Magic of Christmas

In a Holidaze book cover

In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren (Gallery Books)

In a Holidaze book cover

 “We ate breakfast in the old, untasting, gulping, early morning Christmas way, unpacking the stockings, down to the candy mouse in the toe, each made a pile of our things for future gloating. From breakfast we rushed into our clothes and tore down the icy road in the glory of the blue-white glistening alpine morning.”   Ernest Hemingway ~Christmas on the Roof of the World (Toronto Star, 1923)

October 21, 2020

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

Please hear me out before you think I am crazy. I am fully aware that it is the middle of October and the fall mums I love to decorate my yard with have yet to be purchased, while plans for this coming pandemic Halloween are still non-existent. Let’s not mention the fact that Thanksgiving (one of my favorite holidays), is still miles away. As much as I never want to wish time away, I am already excited for the Christmas season. Even though I have been stuck in my house more than usual these days, cozy fires, twinkling lights, and the smell of cookies baking in the oven always bring me peace and happiness.  To add a log to my future cozy fire is Christina Lauren’s latest book, In a Holidaze.  There is no turning back after reading this winter wonder.  A snowy cabin, spiked eggnog, some dreamy “steamy” romance, and a teeny tiny bit of time travel (trust me…this works) is sure to turn any frown upside down.  This smile-inducing story will have you dreaming of Christmas.  

Maelyn (Mae) Jones hates her job, still lives with her parents and has a mad crush on someone very close to her.  The one thing she looks forward to every year is the holidays.  For as long as she can remember, Mae has spent every Christmas vacation at her family’s snowy Utah cabin for the holidays with two other families.  The story opens up at the end of the Christmas festivities.  Presents have been opened, snowy competitions have been won, and boozy bellies can’t fit another bite of turkey. It’s the tail end of the holiday extravaganza and Mae makes a drunken mistake with Theo (her childhood friend) that leaves her head spinning.  With no time for closure, she heads to the airport to thaw her frozen limbs and fly back to her regularly scheduled  life.  On the way to the airport though, Mae gets into a car accident that not only knocks her unconscious, but has her waking up on an airplane heading to Utah to start her Christmas vacation…AGAIN!  Guess what?  She is the only one aware that she just stepped back A WEEK IN TIME.  Will she get to fix her intoxicated mistake, find love with the real man she so desires and turn her unhappy life around?   Time and a few resets will tell. 

I was so happy reading In a Holidaze.  It was the perfect change of pace from all of the October thrillers I have been devouring.  Christia Lauren’s latest rom com is not your typical time travel story.   If you are thinking of  Diane Gabaldon’s Outlander Series or even The Magic Treehousefor that matter, rest assured…this book doesn’t bop through time to that extent.  Instead, Lauren’s book is about second chances…a potential redo ( who doesn’t want that option from time to time?). There may be a slight rewind in time, but nothing to stew and fester over.  Mae seizes this magical opportunity to make things better and take a much needed chance on life for once.  The chemistry between the characters is absolutely fantastic. This book had me grinning from ear to ear from start to finish. With delightful characters, a picturesque atmosphere and a romance that made me swoon, I was in Holiday Heaven reading In a Holidaze

The Holidays are right around the corner.  If you’re looking to get into the Christmas spirit sooner than later, make reading this book happen!  

You will not regret it! 

Until next time my friend!

Your Biggest Fan,

Kelly 

P.S. Click on the book pic below to purchase from your favorite local bookstore.

In a Holidaze book cover

Batteries Not Included

The Roxy Letters Beauty shot with a chicken

The Roxy Letters by Mary Pauline Lowry (Simon & Schuster)

July 24, 2020

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

As I write to you each week, it never escapes me that you too wrote letters. Whether it was to F. Scott Fitgerald, Ezra Pound, or even James Joyce, you were known to write your letters on anything that resembled a piece of paper. To me, there is something so intimate about writing an actual letter as opposed to an email or text (trust me on this one).  Well, Mr. H., I couldn’t help but think of you and even myself when I read Mary Pauline Lowry’s book, The Roxy Letters.  Lowry’s twenty-something protagonist named Roxy scribbles letters to her ex-boyfriend/roommate about the state of her life in Austin, Texas.  If you are looking for a fall over from laughing, I need to escape my life kind of read, look no further…….The Roxy Letters will do the trick. 

Let’s meet our main girl, shall we?  Roxy is in her twenties, works as a deli maid at Whole Foods, is an almost vegan trying to save the animals one face cream at a time, and will do everything in her power to boycott the new LuLulemon store (even though their leggings make her backside look incredible) that just opened in her precious Austin. When paying rent becomes too much for her alone, her ex-boyfriend Everett moves in.  Because they are essentially two ships passing in the night, Roxy decides to vent her discontent with life to Everett via letters.  Her daily correspondences are pretty much a brain dump on paper.  Her every thought is there for the taking and she holds NOTHING back. She cleverly writes to him about her struggles to find a long lasting boyfriend, her desperate need for an orgasm that does not require a battery operated object, and her mission to save Austin, Texas from a corporate takeover.  With her new eccentric friend Artemis by her side and “Dirty-Steve” (her boss from Whole Foods) lingering nearby, Roxy begins to make changes to her mediocre life. 

Take it from me, The Roxy Letters is the PERFECT book to slip in your bag when heading to the beach (or pool, or lake, or front porch).  With so many uncertainties in the world, why not escape for a few hours with some much needed laughter and a story that just makes you feel great.  I spent so much of my time reading this book giggling, while my cheeks turned uber pink.  With a heart of gold and a thirst for all things good, Roxy is one to root for.  Lowry’s girl is absolutely delightful and her colorful cast of characters surrounding Roxy help shape her into the woman she longs to be. 

Enjoy this breath of fresh air.  I hope you get a few chuckles out of it to brighten your day!

Until next time my friend!

Your Biggest Fan,

Kelly

P.S.  If you are an audio book lover, give The Roxy Letters a go using Libro.Fm and support your local bookstore while listening.  Feel free to use my Referral Code here.  Happy listening!!

Click on the book pic below to purchase The Roxy Letters

Audio Books Worth Your Hours

Audiobooks Worth Your Hours collage

Part 2

Tales From An Audio Book Junkie

June 12, 2020

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

I have written to you about my love of audiobooks before. In my days, they were actually referred to as “books on tape”. I still catch myself saying that from time to time…especially when my kids look at me like I am speaking a foreign language. Anyway, do you know how many times I have fallen asleep listening to your book, The Old Man and the Sea? Well, it feels like a thousand. As much as I adore that particular book of yours, it is my darling husband that plays it over and over again as he drifts off to sleep. Every now and then he throws on the audio version of your book, A Moveable Feast. I have no problem listening to that book over and over again. Falling asleep to your words from this story ensures my dreams will be filled with Parisian streets, salty oysters, and crisp white wine. Anyway, I digress. Today I am sharing some books that I found to be quite entertaining on audio. A little bit of romance, friendship, mystery, memoir, and time travel is coming your way today. Grab your headphones and hit play! Let the listening begin!

Your Biggest Fan,

Kelly

P.S. If you are looking for a way to listen to your books while supporting ANY participating local bookstore, check out Libro.FM. Feel free you use my REFERRAL LINK to get your first month free. Any member can share their referral code. Click on the book pics below to take you directly to their info page.

Abby Jimenez’s book, The Friend Zone, came out last year, and I JUST recently listened to it. I am actually pumped that I was was fashionably late to this fabulous book party. This book was the perfect feel good, pick me up during this uncertain time. Not only did I get to spend the night in bed reading this warm and fuzzy tale, I acquired a new book boyfriend who goes by the name of Josh. Married or not, you can never have too many book boyfriends 😂😂😂. Also, if you end up liking this book, the sequel just came out. It’s called The Happily Ever Playlist.

9 hours 32 minutes

Hachette Audio

Forever Publishing

Synopsis:

“Kristen Peterson doesn’t do drama, will fight to the death for her friends, and has no room in her life for guys who just don’t get her. She’s also keeping a big secret: facing a medically necessary procedure that will make it impossible for her to have children.

Planning her best friend’s wedding is bittersweet for Kristen — especially when she meets the best man, Josh Copeland. He’s funny, sexy, never offended by her mile-wide streak of sarcasm, and always one chicken enchilada ahead of her hangry. Even her dog, Stuntman Mike, adores him. The only catch: Josh wants a big family someday. Kristen knows he’d be better off with someone else, but as their attraction grows, it’s harder and harder to keep him at arm’s length.”

⁣WOW! I’m embarrassed to say that I did not know who Mikel Jollett was or for that matter, who his band, The Airborne Toxic Event was. Well, after listening to his brand new memoir, Hollywood Park I have a pretty good sense of who this writer and musician is! Mikel Jollett narrates his profound journey from his early childhood In the 70’s to present day with an honesty that spares no details! From his early days living in a cult with his family to his unsettled adolescence and young adulthood, Jollett’s journey was rocky to say the very least. He effortlessly brings his readers into his world of family love, loyalty and survival by exploring the intimate most details from his relationship with his parents and older brother. His writing is stunning and his story is absolutely unforgettable. His emotional memoir will no doubt stir your soul and fill your heart with love. ⁣Bonus……Jollett narrates his audio book.

11 hours 44 minutes

Macmillan Audio

Celadon Books

Synopsis:

“So begins Hollywood Park, Mikel Jollett’s remarkable memoir. His story opens in an experimental commune in California, which later morphed into the Church of Synanon, one of the country’s most infamous and dangerous cults. Per the leader’s mandate, all children, including Jollett and his older brother, were separated from their parents when they were six months old, and handed over to the cult’s “School.” After spending years in what was essentially an orphanage, Mikel escaped the cult one morning with his mother and older brother. But in many ways, life outside Synanon was even harder and more erratic.

In his raw, poetic and powerful voice, Jollett portrays a childhood filled with abject poverty, trauma, emotional abuse, delinquency and the lure of drugs and alcohol. Raised by a clinically depressed mother, tormented by his angry older brother, subjected to the unpredictability of troubled step-fathers and longing for contact with his father, a former heroin addict and ex-con, Jollett slowly, often painfully, builds a life that leads him to Stanford University and, eventually, to finding his voice as a writer and musician.”

The Guest List by Lucy Foley is absolutely wonderful on audio. Who wouldn’t want to attend a wedding with friends and family on a small Irish island? The privacy from the outside world, the weekend escape from everyday life, one big hurrah with friends and family to tide you over until someone else’s big day. Sounds like the perfect weekend. The narrators’ Irish accents and the icy cold ocean air will make you feel like you are actually on this Emerald Island. There is a creepy vibe while the bride and groom and all their guests get ready for the ceremony. Family drama and dark secrets from their pasts give this wedding day a very unsettling vibe. Throw in some blood and a dead body and you have one heck of celebration. Foley’s slow burn mystery is an atmospheric treat.

9 hours 53 minutes

Harper Audio

William Morrow

Synopsis:

“The bride – The plus one – The best man – The wedding planner  – The bridesmaid – The body

On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed.

But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes. The groomsmen begin the drinking game from their school days. The bridesmaid not-so-accidentally ruins her dress. The bride’s oldest (male) friend gives an uncomfortably caring toast.

And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why?”

When I think about time travel, my mind instantly goes to The Magic Treehouse or Outlander. In Margarita Montimore’s new book, Oona Lockhart travels to a different time in her life every New Year’s Eve for one year. Can you even imagine revisiting yourself in the past or for that matter, meeting yourself in the future? If given the chance, would you alter your past knowing that in turn, it could change the future? Montimore offers her readers this, and so much more in her unique tale. Oona Out of Order definitely made me think. Between the pages of this compelling read are funny and light hearted moments coupled with self reflection and a giant splash of pop culture (80s and 90s anyone?). Do not think too deeply about the ins and outs of time travel. Simply enjoy Oona’s wild ride!

11 hours 30 minutes

Macmillan Audio

Flatiron Books

Synopsis:

It’s New Year’s Eve 1982, and Oona Lockhart has her whole life before her. At the stroke of midnight she will turn nineteen, and the year ahead promises to be one of consequence. Should she go to London to study economics, or remain at home in Brooklyn to pursue her passion for music and be with her boyfriend? As the countdown to the New Year begins, Oona faints and awakens thirty-two years in the future in her fifty-one-year-old body. Greeted by a friendly stranger in a beautiful house she’s told is her own, Oona learns that with each passing year she will leap to another age at random. And so begins Oona Out of Order...

Hopping through decades, pop culture fads, and much-needed stock tips, Oona is still a young woman on the inside but ever-changing on the outside. Who will she be next year? Philanthropist? Club Kid? World traveler? Wife to a man she’s never met? Surprising, magical, and heart-wrenching, Margarita Montimore has crafted an unforgettable story about the burdens of time, the endurance of love, and the power of family.”

The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon is an all-star treat. Here is my favorite quote….“If sexy and adorable had a baby together, the result would be Daniel Collins.” SOLD! Farrah’s book is filled with sass, class, and a whole lot of smarts… did I mention Daniel Collins??? Women lifting each other up, staying true to yourself, and a tall, dark and handsome man lingering in the background….sign yourself up for this one. Such a perfect summertime listen.

9 hours 41 minutes

Forever

Hachette Audio

Synopsis:

Samiah Brooks never thought she would be “that” girl. But a live tweet of a horrific date just revealed the painful truth: she’s been catfished by a three-timing jerk of a boyfriend. Suddenly Samiah-along with his two other “girlfriends,” London and Taylor-have gone viral online. Now the three new besties are making a pact to spend the next six months investing in themselves. No men and no dating.

For once Samiah is putting herself first, and that includes finally developing the app she’s always dreamed of creating. Which is the exact moment she meets the deliciously sexy Daniel Collins at work.What are the chances?But is Daniel really boyfriend material or is he maybe just a little too good to be true?

I Tumble For You

Head over Heals Beauty Shot

Beach Read by Emily Henry (Berkley)

Head Over Heels by Hannah Orenstein (Atria Books)

May 19, 2020

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

Summertime, summertime, summertime. While you longed for feeling your fishing rod between your hands on a clear Michigan river with endless trout in sight, I ache to feel a book between my hands, my toes in the warm sand, and endless chapters to devour while lounging in my beach chair.  Today, I am focusing on the summertime beach reading scenario (my husband can handle the fishing one another time…if you are interested). Beach Read by Emily Henry (OUT TODAY) and Head Over Heels (OUT JUNE 23) by Hannah Orenstein are two books that you must make time for this summer. Though these books appear to be light and fizzy at first glance (hello, cover love), they both offer a surprise pop of “something more” than your typical rom-com.  Henry and Orenstein give their readers plenty of passion and steam, but they also include characters with complicated pasts and a yearning for self-discovery.  Plan to be swept away to a classic beach town and the competitive world of gymnastics. Friends to lovers, opposites attract, and everything in-between……these books are bursting with goodness. Henry’s and Orenstein’s books will both quench your summer reading thirst.  Bottoms up!!!

All you gymnastic fans out there will love Head Over Heels, the most anticipated hot new release this June.  Orenstein captures the dusty chalk, the intense training, the drive for perfection and the love of the sport with ease. Avery’s Olympic dreams come to an end after an injury occurs during her Olympic trials.  To make matters worse, she is newly single and moving back to her home town in Massachusetts.  In comes Ryan, Avery’s childhood acquaintance and Olympic gold medalist.  When Ryan discovers that Avery is back home, he eagerly asks her to take the job as his assistant coach to Hallie, an up and coming gymnast.   As these two former gymnasts train the next Olympic star, sparks begin to fly on and off the mat. While Ryan struggles with being a male coach during a sexual abuse scandal involving other female gymnasts, Hallie is seeking to figure out how to navigate her life off the mat as a retired gymnast.  Picture twists and turns, switch leaps and layouts and maybe just maybe, some steamy fooling around on a sticky pile of mats.  Head Over Heels has it all…the love of gymnastics, the tension, the hot topics and most of all, the romance.  Can you say… perfect 10!

Lets pirouette over to January Andrews and Augustus (Gus) Everett from Henry’s Beach Read.  These two twenty something college writing rivals are now living next door to one another in their summertime beach houses. January is a romance writer in the midst of the biggest writing slump of her career, while Gus is a successful literary fiction writer managing his own writers’ block.  In order to get out of their respective ruts, Gus challenges January to a writing contest.  Get ready… the competition between the two gets heated, and so does the chemistry.  As they both tussle with the intense urge to be together (and boy do they fight it), they continue to grapple with their thorny pasts. Be ready for January and Gus’ snarky remarks, funny banter and above all, their heartfelt dynamics. The atmosphere of this summer beach town coupled with two hot and heavy novelists on the mission to pen the next great book, equal a book lovers dream.  

If you can’t head to the beach this summer, bring these two summer treats outside with you and take delight in reading them under the warm summer sky.  They will not disappoint!

Happy Reading!!! 

Your Biggest Fan,

Kelly

P.S. Thank you to Atria Books and Netgalley for offering me an advance readers copy of Head Over Heels in exchange for my honest opinion.

P.P.S. I was able to read Beach Read before its publishing date as a Book of the Month Club member. Check them out if you are interested. I’ve been a member for over two years now and adore them.

Click on the book pictures below to purchase and pre-order.

Which Way Should I Swipe?

Husband Material book cover

Husband Material by Emily Belden (Harlequin)

January 3, 2020

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

Welcome to 2020!  A New year with brand new books!  What is not to love? What I choose to read depends on my mood. Sometimes I crave something with twists and turns and utter suspense.  While other times, I have a hankering for historical fiction or a fabulous memoir.  Most recently though, I have been enjoying cuddling up in bed with a warm and fuzzy read.  Something that doesn’t rattle me right before I start to count my sheep. Husband Material by Emily Belden was the perfect comfort read at the end of a long day.   Let me give you the scoop.

Charlotte Rosen is a 29-year-old widow of five years.  She lives in an apartment with her roommate, works as a social media analyst, and is in the process of developing the latest and greatest dating app.  After work one day, Charlotte arrives home to a surprise package containing an urn of her late husband’s ashes. Not only does Charlotte now have to revisit a host of emotions, she has to interact with her “lovely” (not really) mother-in-law.  In addition to her new found drama, Charlotte runs into Brian, her late husband’s best friend. As they reconnect, feelings between the two of them become complicated. Just when she thinks the ice underneath her can’t get any thinner, a truth bomb drops about her late husband’s past that has her questioning their entire marriage.  Will she be able to come to terms with the past while rebuilding her future?

Husband Material is a heartwarming tale.   I loved how Belden tied in Charlotte’s love for mathematical data and algorithms into her personal and professional life.  I am more than happy to report that Charlotte is a lovable protagonist that is easy to root for. The characters around her make up the perfect cast for this delightful story.  Charlotte’s struggle to let go of the past in order to move forward with her future is something that most people can relate to in some shape or form. For a book that revolves around death and loss, Belden did an excellent job at keeping her story light and uplifting with a dab of humor and romance.  Happy Reading Friends!

Talk soon Mr. H.

Your Biggest Fan,

Kelly

P.S. Today’s post is part of Harlequin Trade Publishing Blog Tour:  Romance and Women’s Fiction Winter 2020. Thank you to Harlequin for for inviting Dear Mr. Hemingway on this tour.

If you would like to read this book, check out some of the buying options below!

Harlequin: https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781525805981_husband-material.html

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Husband-Material-Emily-Belden/dp/1525805983

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/husband-material-emily-belden/1129908343?ean=9781525805981#/

Indie Bound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781525805981

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/husband-material-12

Google Books: https://books.google.com/books/about/Husband_Material.html?id=0sR6DwAAQBAJ

Post Summer Catch Up With Kelly

A stack of books viewed from the side

September 5, 2019

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

It has been weeks since my last letter to you. Time flies by when you are on vacation, spending time with friends and family, and reading wonderful books! Nevertheless, summer is over 😢😢 and fall is in the air 😁😁. Today, I thought it would be great to recap a bunch of books that I’ve read recently. Now is the time to get everyone’s fall TBR piles stacked and ready to go. I look forward to writing to you often this fall Mr. H.

Until Next time!

Your Biggest Fan,

Kelly

P.S. I am looking forward to everyone’s comments on this post. I would love to know what everyone is reading!


The Perfect Wife
by JP Delaney is a fantastic read. What started off as a thriller, quickly turned into so much more. Abby, a mother, surfer, and artist wakes up one day dazed and confused. She has no idea who she is or where she is. Her husband gently informs her of an accident that happened many years ago. Before I go any further, The Perfect Wife is the kind of book to read without knowing too much going into it. I was pleasantly greeted with surprises, twists, and sharp turns along the way. Without divulging too much information, I will say that this book is filled to the brim with mystery surrounding Abby and her tech-savvy husband. Delaney’s story is so intriguing that you will be hooked from page one. It is the perfect blend of domestic noir with a splash of sci-fi and the unconditional love of a mother. I had an extremely difficult time putting this fast-paced novel down. I highly recommend this read. It is crazy different and crazy good! Thank you to Random House (Ballantine Books) via Netgalley for an early look at this book. It is out now!!!!!

P.S. Click here to purchase The Perfect Wife by JP Delaney

Wow!!!!!! The Unbreakables by Lisa Barr was an amazing read for me this summer. First of all, the cover alone had me at “Hello”! In addition to my cover love, Barr’s book was overflowing with passion, betrayal, and self-discovery (this is my jam). The story follows Sophie Bloom, a 42-year-old mother who discovers on her birthday that her husband has been having multiple (and I mean multiple) affairs. So what does she do??????? Sophie takes off for France to rediscover who she really is and what her life is now going to look like. Cheating husbands and marriages falling to pieces are not new themes in the world of fiction (or nonfiction). Barr manages to take it a step further by untangling the roles of infidelity, love, and friendship with her characters. Mt recommendation is to jump right on in with this book. It is fast, engaging, and “unputdownable”. Go grab it now!!!!

P.S. Click here to purchase The Unbreakables by Lisa Barr.

I am an absolute sucker for the classic frenemies turn lovers romance story. Nina Bocci’s new book, On the Corner of Love and Hate, met my romance reading needs this summer. Emmanuelle and Cooper have been friends since they were kids. Now that they are back in their childhood hometown and working in the same office, Emmanuelle realizes just how much of a grudge she holds against Cooper. When Cooper decides to run for town Mayor, Emmanuelle takes on the difficult job of managing his campaign and his personal life. Bocci’s story follows these two bickering “friends” as they both navigate the campaign trail and their feelings towards one another. As it gets closer to voting time, Emmanuelle needs to make some personal decisions that will have an impact on moving forward with Cooper and the race to a campaign victory.

I absolutely adored On the Corner of Love and Hate by Nina Bocci. I loved all the characters in this small town romance story. The political backdrop was the perfect setup for Emmanuelle to figure out her true feelings for Cooper. Their relationship had the exact amount of wit, charm, and sarcasm to keep the pages turning. The romance was sweet and the steam level was extremely mild. Bocci’s story is an easy-breezy read that will leave you grinning from ear to ear. I look forward to future books from this author. Thank you to Gallery Books via Netgalley for the advanced read of this book in exchange for an honest review.

P.S. Click here to purchase On the Corner of Love and Hate by Nina Bocci

All you Great Gatsby Lovers out there are going to devour Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda: The Love Letters of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Fitzgerald. I am so amazed that the letters between F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda Fitzgerald were found and preserved. Even more impressive is that these letters were pieced together to form an intimate look at the personal life of this literary couple. On the outside, Scott and Zelda appeared glamorous and put together. Cocktails, great food, and artistic friends were only a small part of the equation though. Their attractive lifestyle was filled with alcoholism, health issues, mental illness, and financial struggles. I didn’t realize until I read this book, that Scott and Zelda lived a good portion of their lives apart. With Zelda in and out of mental health institutions and Scott traveling for work, caring for their daughter, and managing his own health issues, their relationship truly depended on their letters to one another. Even though their life together was filled with heartbreak, Scott and Zelda managed to hold on to hope and dreams for a better tomorrow.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is a lover of literature and the works of great American writers from the 20th century. It was an honor to get an inside peek into the once private letters of such an iconic couple. Thank you to Scribner via Netgalley for the advanced read of this book in exchange for an honest review.

P.S. Click here to purchase Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda: The Love Letters of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Fitzgerald

If you are looking for an intimate read with unlimited depth, then On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong is the book for you. Vuong’s main character and speaker in the story is named Little Dog. In his twenties, Little Dog tells his life story and his family history through letters he has written to his mom (who can’t read). He holds absolutely nothing back in what he has to say. In addition to talking about his mother’s past living in Vietnam during the war, he also describes their complex relationship and how it impacted his life. He also dives deep into his own sexuality and coming of age as a Vietnamese boy growing up in Connecticut. Vuong’s writing is extremely raw and profoundly tender. Not surprising considering he is also a published poet. I had the pleasure of meeting and listening to Ocean Vuong at Print Bookstore in Portland, Maine this summer. It was a beautiful evening filled with words, passion, and wonderful people. His new book, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is beyond stunning. His writing is lyrical, poetic, and breathtaking. When I finished Vuong’s book, I was completely speechless. I highly recommend picking up this book. It is truly a work of literary art.

P.S. Click here to purchase On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

If you have read anything by Blake Crouch, then you have a pretty good idea of how his books flow. If this is your first Crouch book…buckle up, it is a wild ride. The premise of his new book revolves around something the media is calling, False Memory Syndrome. Basically, individuals are having vivid memories of a former life they never lived. The memories are so strong and disturbing, that the victims of this syndrome are literally going mad, even resorting to suicide to escape the insanity. In comes Barry Sutton, a NYC cop who is investigating this phenomenon, and neuroscientist Helena Smith, who is working on developing technology to preserve one’s most important memories. Memories, the physics of time, and many twists and turns will have you on the edge of your seat! Warning…this book moves fast. Once you start, you are in it to win it. Crouch’s Dark Matter rocked my world, and Recursion rocked it again! Happy reading!

P.S. Click here to purchase Recursion by Blake Crouch

GIVEAWAY FOR SUBSCRIBERS

UnHoneymooners Subscriber Giveaway Graphic

May 14, 2019

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

I am so excited that The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren is coming out TODAY! To celebrate the release of this Funny Romantic Comedy, I have a special giveaway for my wonderful subscribers. The winner and the friend they refer will each receive a brand new copy of this fabulous new release. Can you say BUDDY READ?? How cool is that? Here is how to enter…

1. Subscribers refer one friend to subscribe to Dear Mr. Hemingway for one entry.

2. Email me the name of the person you referred dearmrhemingway@gmail.com

3. That is it!!!!!!!

4. One entry per Subscriber

5. Giveaway closes on Sunday, May 19, 2019 11:59pm EST

6. For a full list of rules, check out the privacy policy here.

7. Everyone must be subscribed in order to win.

8. U.S. only

Have fun and Good Luck!

Your Biggest Fan,

Kelly

P.S. This is a personal giveaway. This giveaway is not affiliated with the publisher or author.

April Showers Bring More Books and Pairings! Happy May Reading!

April 29, 2019

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

Spring is finally in the air. Not only do April showers bring May flowers, but they also bring shiny new books. Today I am sharing four books that will be coming your way this May. I am also including my 2019 May book pairings that will complement and embellish your lovely new reads. Enjoy this special spring post Mr. H. Happy shopping and happy reading!

Your Biggest Fan,

Kelly

P.S. This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. My links are not affiliate links. I do not make compensation from these links. Some links may be in collaboration with a book store solely for exposure.

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren (May 14, 2019)

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren is the quintessential rom-com read for this May. I adored this book with all of my heart and reading soul. Olive’s identical twin sister is getting married. At the wedding, the entire wedding party except for Olive and the best man (Ethan) get severe food poison. Here is where the plot thickens. Olive’s sister’s honeymoon to Hawaii can not be canceled or they lose the trip entirely. In order to not let this trip of a lifetime go to waste, Olive and Ethan go on the trip together instead. Here is the scoop though……..they despise each other. The story follows them on their Hawaiian adventure pretending to be the married couple by sharing the honeymoon sweet and participating in all of the honeymoon activities together. The Unhoneymooners is light and funny with a fantastic Hawaiian backdrop. Christina Lauren does an incredible job transporting readers to this island getaway. Readers will be flipping the pages as fast as they can to see how Olive and Ethan manage this trip together as sworn enemies. Will these two pseudo love birds end up surviving this trip together with their ever-changing emotions? Can they maintain this lie throughout their stay? Will they maybe even learn to like each other? Pack your suitcases readers…….. you are going to Hawaii. Enjoy your trip!!!!!!!!

**This ARC was provided by Gallery Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

P.S. I highly recommend protecting your new book with a gorgeous book sleeve by NERDFACESLEEVES. Warning…these book sleeves are adorable. You may find yourself ordering more than one.

Books and Pairings for The Unhoneymooners:

Click here to check out these wicked cool book sleeves

Click here to purchase The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

Things My Son Needs to Know About The World by Fredrik Backman (May 7, 2019)

Here we go, readers. Everyone who knows me knows that I LOVE Fredrick Backman. I will read absolutely anything this man writes. His new book, Things My Son Needs To Know About The World is a heartfelt read on the joys and fears of parenting. Having three sons of my own, I was instantly attracted to this book. Backman’s book is essentially a letter to his newborn son in the form of short essays about what his son needs to know about life. His writing is beautifully crafted and pulled hard at my ever dangling heartstrings. He essentially emptied his brain on the pages of his book with his own parenting fears, mistakes, and hopes for the future. He writes of the everyday dealings with newborn poop and sleepless nights to the importance of finding your people, the benefits of being in a band, and of course.…soccer. His love for his son is bursting through the pages of this book. Not only does his writing offer his son unique advice and raw explanations of life thus far, but it is also (most definitely) a love letter to his beautiful wife. Be prepared to laugh your face off, cry your eyes out, and be left with a warm and fuzzy feeling after reading the last page of this short, but sweet book. Backman delivers another effortless read.

**This ARC was provided by Atria Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

P.S. There is no doubt that you will want to highlight everything that Backman has to say. To keep track of your favorite parts of the book, check out these Book Darts by MODERN MRS. DARCY.

Books and Pairings for Things My Son Needs To Know About the World:

Click here to check out MODERN MRS. DARCY’S Book Darts

Click here to purchase Things My Son Needs To Know About The World by Fredrik Backman

How Not To Die Alone by Richard Roper (May 28, 2019)

How Not To Die Alone is Richard Roper’s debut fiction novel, and let me tell you this…it is GOOOOOOD! If you enjoy books with offbeat lead characters that need a little extra cheering for, this is your read. Andrew works in the field of public health. Trying to find the next of kin for someone who died alone is a job that is anything but cheerful. His only interactions are with his co-workers and his online friends who have shared interests in electric trains. Living alone as a middle-aged man is draining for Andrew. Sick of answering questions about marriage, girlfriends, and kids, he spontaneously lies during his interview for his current job by saying he has a wife and two kids. This little lie was easy to keep up at first but becomes increasingly difficult to manage as time goes on. When a new co-worker named Peggy joins his team, things get tricky. What appears to be an outlandish lie on the outside, may in fact be Andrew’s way of coping with his gloomy past. What I love about this story is that so much light shines through the dark undertones. With death and funerals lingering in the background, Roper still manages to lighten the load with his lovable characters and unique storyline. It is impossible to read this book and not be rooting for Andrew and Peggy. Fans of Fredrik Backman’s Britt-Marie Was Here and Gail Honeyman’s Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine will cherish this quirky read.

**Thank you to Putnam Books for sending me an advance copy of this book to read, review and share on Dear Mr. Hemingway!

P.S. If you want to enjoy the smell of May Flowers from the April Showers all year long, snag yourself the candle…NICE STEMS (smells like fresh flowers and green leaves) from NUBBLE LIGHT CANDLE COMPANY. You will not regret it.

Books and Pairings for How Not To Die Alone:

Click here to check out NUBBLE LIGHT CANDLE COMPANY’S NICE STEMS Candle.

Click here to purchase How Not To Die Alone by Richard Roper

Passion on Park Avenue Book Cover
Passion on Park Avenue by Lauren Layne (May 28, 2019)

Passion on Park Avenue by Lauren Layne is the perfect New York City romance. Who doesn’t love NYC in the springtime? This book has it all. Cocktails, Central Park, to die for Manhattan apartments, and above all…Love in the Big Apple. Naomi Powell is the CEO of one of the biggest jewelry companies in the country. With a successful company and the financial freedom she worked so hard for, Naomi now mingles with Manhattan’s elite. Despite her success, Naomi’s rag to riches tale leaves her feeling insecure in her professional and private life. Her life becomes a bit more complicated when she moves into a new, but very familiar apartment building. Naomi quickly runs into a gentleman (Oliver) in her building that is not only gorgeous but turns out to be someone from her childhood she deeply despises. How will she deal with their daily interactions and secretive past? With a dilemma on her hands and two new girlfriends (she uniquely meets) to help her navigate the muddy waters, Naomi embarks on a journey of self-discovery, friendship, and love. Layne’s writing is delightful and quite touching to read. Her story has a dash of snark, a sprinkle of wit, and a whole lot of NYC charm. Passion on Park Avenue is a romantic comedy filled with lovable characters that you can’t get enough of. Buckle up your stilettos and put on your sunglasses…you are about to strut down Park Avenue. Enjoy this easy breezy read.

**This ARC was provided by Gallery Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

P.S. Mark your place in your book with a gorgeous Elastic Jewelry Bookmark from BOOK ART BOOKMARKS. So long paper bookmarks. Dress your book up in style with this one of a kind page saver. Park Avenue deserves a little bling!!!!

Books and Pairings for Passion on Park Avenue:

Click here to check out these fabulous bookmarks

Click here to purchase Passion on Park Avenue by Lauren Layne

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