Dear Mr. Hemingway Logo

read what you love • love what you read

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.  

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

Join my mailing list!

and never miss a blog post