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Three Must Read Books Before the End of Summer

August 12, 2023

Dear Gorgeous Book Lovers!

Today I want to share with you the three books I have been telling EVERYONE to read this summer! Make these books happen and enjoy the last licks of summer ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•โฃ
xoxo,โฃ
Kellyโฃ

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๐˜š๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜จ๐˜ฆ ๐˜š๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜บ ๐˜‹๐˜ช๐˜ข๐˜ฎ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ by Liz Nugent- Oh My God, this book was absolutely PHENOMENAL! The story unfolds piece by piece so go in blind to get the maximum reading experience. The weight of this story is heavy, emotionally dark and extremely hard to shake. But I promise youโ€ฆ You will be captivated and invested in Sallyโ€™s story until the very end. Nugentโ€™s writing is absolute perfection!โฃ

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๐˜ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ๐˜ง๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ฆ by R.F. Kuang is the ultimate story for bookworms and writers alike. This present day tale is set in the publishing world and takes on plagiarism, theft, cultural appropriation, and racism with such a clever flare. I loved the unlikeable characters and how thoughtful the twisty storyline was. ๐˜ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ๐˜ง๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ฆ combines fresh with relevance in a magical way!โฃ

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๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜˜๐˜ถ๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ต ๐˜›๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ต by Clemence Michallonโ€”I could not stop reading this book! A serial killer story narrated by the killerโ€™s daughter, his girlfriend, and the victim he spared ๐Ÿ˜ฎ โ€ฆ yes please! This book is dark and twisted and chilled my bonesssssssss!

*Book links provided in todayโ€™s post are affiliate links. Dear Mr. Hemingway makes a tiny commission through books purchased in our storefront. Even better, 20% of purchases made through the Dear Mr. Hemingway storefront go towards an independent bookstore. Thank you so much for all of your support!

BACKLIST BOOKS TO GET A HOLD OF

JULY 3, 2023

Dear Favorite readers!

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

Enjoy sweet friends!

xoxo,

Kelly

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

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

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

*Dear Mr. Hemingway, LLC receives a variety of advance reader copies of books from publishers and authors throughout the year in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are 100% my own. If I donโ€™t like itโ€ฆI donโ€™t share it! 

*Book links provided in todayโ€™s post are affiliate links. Dear Mr. Hemingway makes a tiny commission through books purchased in our storefront. Even better, 20% of purchases made through the Dear Mr. Hemingway storefront go towards an independent bookstore. Thank you so much for all of your support!

#DEARBASICBUDDYREADS MAY & JUNE 2023 SELECTIONS

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

May 3, 2023


Happy Wednesday, Book Friends!

Katie @basicbsguide and I are here to announce the #๐ƒ๐„๐€๐‘๐๐€๐’๐ˆ๐‚๐๐”๐ƒ๐ƒ๐˜๐‘๐„๐€๐ƒ๐’ ๐ฉ๐ข๐œ๐ค๐ฌ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐Œ๐€๐˜ & ๐‰๐”๐๐„. โฃ
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But first, I am so excited to share that after five years of being internet friends and over two years of Co-Hosting our online book club, we are ๐Ž๐…๐…๐ˆ๐‚๐ˆ๐€๐‹๐‹๐˜ ๐ˆ๐‘๐‹ ๐…๐‘๐ˆ๐„๐๐ƒ๐’! Thatโ€™s right! Last week we had a gorgeous lunch in Dallas, TX, and got to know one another on a whole new level! I am grateful for our friendship and canโ€™t wait to spend more time together IRL in the future! โค๏ธโค๏ธโฃ
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๐Œ๐€๐˜โ€™๐ฌ ๐๐จ๐จ๐ค ๐’๐ž๐ฅ๐ž๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง is ๐˜š๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ๐˜ด ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜—๐˜ฆ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ฏ ๐˜๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ by Caroline Frost. This book came out last February and has been on my TBR ever since. โฃ

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

~ ๐˜”๐˜ฐ๐˜ท๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ, ๐˜ฑ๐˜ข๐˜ด๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ฆ, ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜ง๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜จ๐˜ฆ๐˜ต๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ฃ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ, ๐˜Š๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ ๐˜๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ’๐˜ด ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ ๐˜ง๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ต๐˜ด ๐˜ง๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฑ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜บ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ง๐˜ง๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต ๐˜ฃ๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ฌ๐˜จ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ๐˜ด ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฃ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฌ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ข ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ค๐˜ฆ, ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜ข๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ง๐˜ถ๐˜ต๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ๐˜ด.โฃ
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This is an online book club held on Instagram. Please DM me @dearmrhemingway or comment below to join. We will be reading at our own pace throughout the months with an EPIC Instagramโฃ chat for each book at the end! โฃ
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xoxo,โฃ
Katie & Kelly โฃ

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Click on the book pic to purchase!

*Book links provided in todayโ€™s post are affiliate links. Dear Mr. Hemingway makes a tiny commission through books purchased in our storefront. Even better, 20% of purchases made through the Dear Mr. Hemingway storefront go towards an independent bookstore. Thank you so much for all of your support!

Top 5 Reads of 2022

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This was such a THINKER and 1000% book club material. I LOVED the unique exploration of women impacted by a serial killer on death row. A character analysis at ITS FINEST! Definitely going to be a future reread! โฃ

SYNOPSIS FROM THE PUBLISHER:

“Ansel Packer is scheduled to die in twelve hours. He knows what he’s done and now awaits execution, the same chilling fate he forced on those girls years ago. But Ansel doesn’t want to die; he wants to be celebrated and understood. 

Through a kaleidoscope of women–a mother, a sister, a homicide detective–we learn the story of Ansel’s life. We meet his mother, Lavender, a seventeen-year-old girl pushed to desperation; Hazel, twin sister to Ansel’s wife, inseparable since birth, forced to watch helplessly as her sister’s relationship threatens to devour them all; and finally, Saffy, the detective hot on his trail, who has devoted herself to bringing bad men to justice but struggles to see her own life clearly. As the clock ticks down, these three women sift through the choices that culminate in tragedy, exploring the rippling fissures that such destruction inevitably leaves in its wake. 

Blending breathtaking suspense with astonishing empathy, Notes on an Executionpresents a chilling portrait of womanhood as it simultaneously unravels the familiar narrative of the American serial killer, interrogating our system of justice and our cultural obsession with crime stories, asking readers to consider the false promise of looking for meaning in the psyches of violent men.”

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Every star in the sky goes to Hubert Bird. And I mean EVERY SINGLE ONE. My heart was a blubbering mess reading this tender story on aging, family, and loneliness! โฃ

SYNOPSIS FROM THE PUBLISHER:

“In weekly phone calls to his daughter in Australia, widower Hubert Bird paints a picture of the perfect retirement, packed with fun, friendship, and fulfillment. But it’s a lie. In reality, Hubert’s days are all the same, dragging on without him seeing a single soul. Until he receives some good news–good news that, in one way, turns out to be the worst news ever, news that will force him out again into a world he has long since turned his back on. The news that his daughter is coming for a visit. Now Hubert faces a seemingly impossible task: to make his real life resemble his fake life before the truth comes out. 
Along the way, Hubert stumbles across a second chance at love, renews a cherished friendship, and finds himself roped into an audacious community scheme that seeks to end loneliness once and for all . . . Life is certainly beginning to happen to Hubert Bird. But with the origin of his earlier isolation always lurking in the shadows, will he ever get to live the life he’s pretended to have for so long?”

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Everything this author writes is GOLD! I loved EVERY SECOND of her dark psychological thriller with a disturbing cult as a backdrop. BANANAS in the BEST POSSIBLE WAY! โฃYou can read a detailed review from me right here.

SYNOPSIS FROM THE PUBLISHER:

“While in college in upstate New York, Shay Evans and her best friends met a captivating man who seduced them with a web of lies about the way the world works, bringing them under his thrall. By senior year, Shay and her friend Laurel were the only ones who managed to escape. Now, eight years later, Shay’s built a new life in a tony Texas suburb. But when she hears the horrifying news of Laurel’s death–delivered, of all ways, by her favorite true-crime podcast crusader–she begins to suspect that the past she thought she buried is still very much alive and the predators more dangerous than ever.

Recruiting the help of the podcast host, Shay goes back to the place she vowed never to return to in search of answers. As she follows the threads of her friend’s life, she’s pulled into a dark, seductive world where wealth and privilege shield brutal philosophies that feel all too familiar. When Shay’s obsession with uncovering the truth becomes so consuming she can no longer separate her desire for justice from darker desires newly reawakened, she must confront the depths of her own complicity and conditioning. But in a world built for men to rule it–both inside the cult and outside of it–is justice even possible, and if so, how far will Shay go to get it?”

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I am here to share that it is 100% possible not to want a 671-page book to EVER END. To say I savored every word in Backmanโ€™s final book of his Bear Town trilogy is an absolute UNDERSTATEMENT!  #Benjiforeverโฃ

SYNOPSIS FROM THE PUBLISHER:

“Over the course of two weeks, everything in Beartown will change. Maya Andersson and Benji Ovich, two young people who left in search of a life far from the forest town, come home and joyfully reunite with their closest childhood friends. There is a new sense of optimism and purpose in the town, embodied in the impressive new ice rink that has been built down by the lake. Two years have passed since the events that no one wants to think about. Everyone has tried to move on, but there’s something about this place that prevents it. The destruction caused by a ferocious late-summer storm reignites the old rivalry between Beartown and the neighboring town of Hed, a rivalry which has always been fought through their ice hockey teams. Maya’s parents, Peter and Kira, are caught up in an investigation of the hockey club’s murky finances, and Amat–once the star of the Beartown team–has lost his way after an injury and a failed attempt to get drafted into the NHL. Simmering tensions between the two towns turn into acts of intimidation and then violence. All the while, a fourteen-year-old boy grows increasingly alienated from this hockey-obsessed community and is determined to take revenge on the people he holds responsible for his beloved sister’s death. He has a pistol and a plan that will leave Beartown with a loss that is almost more than it can stand.”

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This story tapped into how tragic, messy, and beautiful life can be. Shapiroโ€™s writing is raw and introspective, and I loved feeling ALL THE FEELS while devouring this family drama. โฃ

SYNOPSIS FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Signal Fires opens on a summer night in 1985. Three teenagers have been drinking. One of them gets behind the wheel of a car, and, in an instant, everything on Division Street changes. Each of their lives, and that of Ben Wilf, a young doctor who arrives on the scene, is shattered. For the Wilf family, the circumstances of that fatal accident will become the deepest kind of secret, one so dangerous it can never be spoken. On Division Street, time has moved on. When the Shenkmans arrive–a young couple expecting a baby boy–it is as if the accident never happened. But when Waldo, the Shenkmans’ brilliant, lonely son who marvels at the beauty of the world and has a native ability to find connections in everything, befriends Dr. Wilf, now retired and struggling with his wife’s decline, past events come hurtling back in ways no one could ever have foreseen.”

*Book links provided in todayโ€™s post are affiliate links. Dear Mr. Hemingway makes a tiny commission through books purchased in our storefront. Even better, 20% of purchases made through the Dear Mr. Hemingway storefront go towards an independent bookstore. Thank you so much for all of your support!

Nutcrackers & Handsprings: Books About the Cutthroat World of Ballet and Gymnastics

Swan Dive: The Making of a Rogue Ballerina by Georgina Pazcoguin (Henry Holt & Company)
The Turnout by Megan Abbott (G.P. Putnamโ€™s Sons)
The Happiest Girl in the World: A Novel by Alena Dillon (William Morrow)
Head Over Heels by Hannah Orenstein (Atria Books)

September 21, 2021

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

Like so many young girls, I wanted to be a famous ballerina AND an Olympic gymnast.  I was little, so both professions seemed like reasonable career goals even though I could barely touch my toes. Images of me gracefully dancing across the stage in a white nightgown clutching a wooden nutcracker or sticking a round-off back handspring on a balance beam filled my wandering mind.  I, of course, only saw what was directly in front of me.  Beauty, elegance, strength, and perfection were what graced the stage and gym mats for all the dreamers like me who dared to dream.  Little did I know what the making of an elite athlete indeed looked like.  Today I am sharing four books that capture the fierce passion and wild side of ballet and gymnastics.  Scandal, abuse, injuries, eating disorders, and love fill the pages of todayโ€™s reads.   The lineup is dripping in all of the blood, sweat, and tears that we love to read about.   And GUESS WHAT?  Legwarmers and leotards are entirely optional.   You can be captivated by these stories from the comfort of your living room couch wearing sweatpants and a baggy t-shirt.  How great is that!!!! 

Point shoes and tutus, anyone??? I LOVED Georgina Pazcoguinโ€™s memoir, Swan Dive. Pazcoguin was the first Asian American soloist in the New York City Ballet.  Her story from leaving her small town in Pennsylvania at age 16 to train in New York City was mind-boggling.  Pazcoguinโ€™s memoir is a backstage pass into the making of a true ballerina.  She is brutally honest with the highs and lows of the profession.  From bloody toes to dancing with injuries to the abuse and racism she experienced, Pazcoquinโ€™s story of dancing in the ballet to performing in the Broadway musical CATS is exceptionally enchanting.  I could not put it down.

While we are still in the mood for tortured ballerinas and scandal galore, letโ€™s move on to a work of fiction that takes place against the provocative backdrop of a ballet school and its yearly performance of The Nutcracker.  The Turnout by Megan Abbott is one heck of a page-turner.  Sisters Maria and Dara Durant run their familyโ€™s ballet school.  Things unravel when they hire a contractor to rebuild part of their studio that recently caught fire.  All I can say is that this man is more significant than he lets on. Nutcracker drama, family secrets, irresistible sexual encounters, razor blades in point shoes, and even a dead body fill the pages of this โ€œun-put-downableโ€ book.  I officially know what a “turnout” is and OUCH! The Nutcracker will never be the same again!

All you gymnastic fans out there will love Head Over Heels by Hannah Orenstein.  Averyโ€™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 hometown in Massachusetts.  In comes Ryan, Averyโ€™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.  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 allโ€ฆthe love of gymnastics, the tension, the hot topics, and most of all, the romance.  Can you say perfect 10!

Alena Dillonโ€™s book, The Happiest Girl in the World is a work of fiction reminiscent of the recent sexual abuse scandals in gymnastics.  Sera and her best friend Lucy are training for the Olympics.  Everything changes for these two when Lucy reports to the authorities that the team doctor sexually abused her during treatment sessions.  Sadly, Sera denies these facts to protect her career and destroys their friendship.  Dillonโ€™s book is overflowing with dusty chalk and intense training but also takes a deep dive into the byproduct of sexual abuse and the ultimate drive for perfection in the cutthroat gymnastics world.  Reading this book felt very timely, especially with the 2021 summer Olympics still in the rearview mirror.  

Now that I have filled your To Be Read pile with pirouettes, flips, and spins, itโ€™s time to get reading!

Until next time my friend!

Your Biggest Fan,

Kelly

P.S. When I was little, my sister and I used to pretend the black lane lines in our community pool were balance beams.  In between swimming around, we would put together gymnastic routines and perform them in the pool, making sure to always stick our landings on the lane lines.  So much fun!

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February Buddy Read

Beyond The Point by Claire Gibson (William Morrow)

February 2, 2021

Dear Readers,

I am so excited to share that my friend Katie and I are hosting a buddy read for Beyond The Point by Claire Gibson this month. This is literally the easiest buddy read to participate in. All you need to do is read this book at your own pace and join in the final discussion on Sunday, February 28, 2021 at 8pm EST/7pm CST on an instagram private chat. Our last buddy read (My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell) was wicked successful and probably one of my all time favorite book discussions. The feedback Katie and I received from the group was so tremendous and encouraging that we decided to team up again with a few more books.

If you have an instagram account and would like to join in with an awesome group of fellow readers from all over the country, please connect with me via email or message me on instagram. It is simple and a great way to connect with some new readers.

dearmrhemingway@gmail.com

@dearmrhemingway on instagram

Be sure to visit Katie on instagram as well. She is from Texas and has an awesome account. @basicbsguide

Check out the Synopsis Below…

Three women are brought together in an enthralling story of friendship, heartbreak, and resilience. Set at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, this is an amazing debut novel.

Duty. Honor. Country. Thatโ€™s West Pointโ€™s motto, and every cadet who passes through its stone gates vows to live it. But on the eve of 9/11, as Dani, Hannah and Avery face four grueling years ahead, they realize theyโ€™ll only survive if they do it together.

Everyone knows Dani is going places. With athletic talent and a brilliant mind, she navigates West Pointโ€™s predominantly male environment with wit and confidence, breaking stereotypes and embracing new friends.

Hannahโ€™s grandfather, a legendary Army general, offers a stark warning about the dangers that lie ahead, but she moves forward anyway, letting faith guide her path. When she meets her soul mate at West Point, the future looks perfect, just as planned.

Wild child Avery moves fast and doesnโ€™t mind breaking a few rules (and hearts) along the way. But she canโ€™t outpace her self-doubt, and the harder she tries, the further it leads her down a treacherous path.

The worldโ€”of business, of love, and of warโ€”awaits Dani, Hannah, and Avery beyond the gates of West Point. These three women know that what doesnโ€™t kill you makes you stronger. But soon, that adage no longer rings trueโ€”for their future, or their friendship. As theyโ€™re pulled in different directions, will their hard-forged bond prevail or shatter?

Beyond the Pointย is a heartfelt look at how our closest friends can become our fiercest battle buddies. After all, the greatest battles we fight rarely require a uniform.”

Can’t wait to read and talk about this book with everyone!

๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿฅฐ

Kelly

P.S. Our March Buddy read is Betty by Tiffany McDaniel (Knopf). Reserve this from your local library or order it down below so you are ready to roll.

Click on the book pics below to purchase or read more about them.

Murders & Mysteries & Madness…Oh My

Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson (William Morrow)

What Lies Between Us by John Marrs (Thomas & Mercer)

May 12, 2020

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

MURDER! Is it madness, or maybe, just maybe, a curated act that offers on a silver platter, a mystery to be solved? Today I am talking about Peter Swansonโ€™s latest book, Eight Perfect Murders, and John Marrsโ€™ new book, What Lies Between Us. While Swansonโ€™s book pays tribute to eight brilliant fictional murder mystery novels, Marrsโ€™ book takes a deep dive into a strained (ok…demented) mother-daughter relationship…murder included! Though they are two completely different reads, they both invite you on a rollercoaster of a ride that will surely make your heart skip a beat. Beware…sharp and twisty turns ahead!

Let’s start with Eight Perfect Murders. According to Swansonโ€™s protagonist, Malcolm Kershaw, it is quite possible to commit the perfect murder.  In fact, Kershaw published a blog post for his bookstore a few years ago citing eight works of fiction that in his opinion, showcase the most seamless and unsolvable murder mysteries to date. The title of his post, โ€œEight Perfect Murdersโ€, included Agatha Christieโ€™s A. B. C. Murders, Patricia Highsmithโ€™s Strangers on a Train, Ira Levinโ€™s Death Trap, A. A. Milne’s Red House Mystery, Anthony Berkeley Cox’s Malice Aforethought, James M. Cain’s Double Indemnity, John D. Macdonald’s The Drowner, and Donna Tartt’s A Secret History. Lo and behold, his blog post comes back to haunt him when the FBI contacts him about a string of recent murders and their possible links to the eight books he wrote about.  As Malcolm shares his reasonings with the FBI, he also plays the part of a sleuth behind their back, only to discover more than he bargained for. Is it truly possible to mimic a murder found between the pages of a book?  Plan on relishing this literary dream.  Swansonโ€™s bookish tale is the perfect bedtime story for every crime fiction lover out there. While a local bookstore and the smell of old books set an atmospheric backdrop for the inner bibliophile in you, literary deaths are brewing on every page of Swansonโ€™s book.  He does a phenomenal job intertwining fictional works from the past with present-day crime.  The pages are oozing with secrets, lies, and memories from a time long ago. Sink deep into your couch for this one.  You wonโ€™t move until you finish!

Switching gears ever so slightly, John Marrsโ€™ new book, What Lies Between Us takes a strenuous mother-daughter relationship to the next level. Maggie has always protected her daughter Nina, no matter the cost.  From birth, through a very trying adolescence, Maggie has done everything in her power to shield her daughter from the cruel and unusual world she lives in.  So why…why, is Maggie chained up in the attic bedroom of her adult daughterโ€™s home?  This my friend, is a question I cannot answer.  How could I, without spoiling the biggest psychological thriller out there. I will tell you this…Marrsโ€™ book is absolutely bonkers!  And I mean that as a compliment. I was hot glued to my seat reading the pages of this book faster than I could turn them. Maggie and her daughter Nina not only narrate the story in alternating chapters but using dual timelines. The past and the present from both narrators slowly merge together offering an ending that will blow your mind.  Their individual stories are oh so twisted and completely insane. I had to actually pick my jaw up off the floor several times during this book. There is absolutely no getting off this ride until the very end.  Buckle up!  You will need to read this in one sitting!

Enjoy these two crazy gems!  

Until Next time Mr. H.

Your Biggest Fan,

Kelly

P.S. If you have not read or are planning on reading any of the eight books mentioned in Swansonโ€™s book and The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie, be forewarned.  There are major spoilers.  

P.P.S.  I Love you Mom!

Click on the book pics below to purchase!

 

***The chick featured in the photograph is Eleanor. She was a week old when this picture was taken. She is a White Crested Black Polish Bantam. โค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธ

My Dark Vanessa

My Dark Vanessa book cover

By Kate Elizabeth Russell

Instagram Chat Group

(William Morrow)

April 20, 2020

Dear Readers,

My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell. Some of you have read it. Some of you are currently reading it. Some of you are contemplating reading it. Some of you have never even heard of this debut novel.  

If anyone is interested, I am hosting a Discussion Group with my friend Katie from Texas about this heartbreaking novel.  If you would like to read this book or have already read it and need a place to talk, I invite you to hop on Instagram and DM me to be added to one of the chat groups.  You do not need to have a public account to join. The groups are currently being formed and an open discussion will be held now through the end of May. It is a safe space to help us all process this complicated, brilliantly crafted story.  

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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 a light on things that are strenuous to acknowledge.  It is a book that is easier to just not read. It is a book that has my mind twisted every which way. It is a book that never leaves me, even when my reading time is through. It is a book that makes me feel terribly uncomfortable yet completely captivated.  It is a book that makes my stomach turn and my mind wander. It is a book filled with power. It is a book that is so beautifully written that my heart is aching. It is a book that I NEED TO TALK ABOUT NOW!

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*** Warning*** This book is NOT for everyone.   Trigger warnings are abundant… sexual assault, pedophiles, grooming, strong sexual content, suicide, and emotional trauma, just to name a few.  Take care of you!

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Be sure to use our handy dandy #mydarkvanessachat and tag us if you like!  We would love to hear from you.

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Synopsis…

โ€œ2000. Bright, ambitious, and yearning for adulthood, fifteen-year-old Vanessa Wye becomes entangled in an affair with Jacob Strane, her magnetic and guileful forty-two-year-old English teacher.

2017. Amid the rising wave of allegations against powerful men, a reckoning is coming due. Strane has been accused of sexual abuse by a former student, who reaches out to Vanessa, and now Vanessa suddenly finds herself facing an impossible choice: remain silent, firm in the belief that her teenage self willingly engaged in this relationship, or redefine herself and the events of her past. But how can Vanessa reject her first love, the man who fundamentally transformed her and has been a persistent presence in her life? Is it possible that the man she loved as a teenagerโ€”and who professed to worship only herโ€”may be far different from what she has always believed?โ€

Look forward to chatting with everyone!

โค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธ

Kelly

P.S. Check out my Instagram page

https://www.instagram.com/dearmrhemingway/

Click on the book pic below to purchase!

Guest Writer ~ Kate Quinn

Guest Writer Graphic for Kate Quinn

Author Edition

 

Guest Writer, Author Kate Quinn

January 8, 2020

Dear Fellow Book Lovers,
Today is a great day. Kicking off the GUEST WRITER~AUTHOR EDITION is none other than the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of Historical Fiction, KATE QUINN.  Yes, you heard me correctly, Kate Quinn has written a letter to Mr. Hemingway. Of course, you already know that Kate Quinn is the author of The Alice Network (A Reeseโ€™s Book Club pic for July 2017) and most recently, The Huntress.  Did you also know that she has written four books in the Empress of Rome series, two books in the Italian Renaissance series, and a host of other publications?  With more books in the works, this author is on fire. I hope you enjoy her post today! I thank Kate from the bottom of my heart for participating in this project.

Happy Reading!

Kelly

P.S.  Rumor has it that Kate Quinn is a ROCKIN good singer! Check out all of Kate’s fabulousness over on her Websiteโ€ฆ
http://www.katequinnauthor.com
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Dear Mr. Hemingway,
You never forget your first, do you? The book that hooks you forever.
I was ten. My librarian mother put a hefty tome into my hands: โ€œJubilee Trail,โ€ by Gwen Bristow. โ€œHistorical fiction set in early California,โ€ she said. Being a California girl, I was intrigued enough to curl up on the sofa and start reading. I fell through the pages into a new world: this was my first adult historical novel, the book that converted me into a passionate, lifelong lover of stories set in the past.

Everything in it spoke to me. I loved learning about pre-Gold Rush California’s three-tiered society, where proud Spanish rancheros existed side by side with Yankee traders and Mexican citizens, and US statehood was just a glimmer on the horizon. My guide to this new world is Bristow’s heroine Garnet, an adventurous New York society girl who dreams of more than dull, polite city life. She marries Oliver, a handsome trader who sweeps her on a headlong journey to California, and I loved the idea that a book could start with a marriage rather than ending with oneโ€”that a girl’s life didn’t end once she became a wife. I loved the best friend Garnet picks up along her journey: Florinda, a beautiful blunt-spoken showgirl fleeing murder charges and perhaps something even more sinister, stealing every scene she appears in. Their friendship is the rock that sustains Garnet when she reaches California and realizes the dreadful secrets her husband has been hiding from her, and I learned something I’d carry into adulthood: that female friendships are every bit as important as romantic relationships, and deserved to be showcased.

Moreover, a woman’s journey to independence is every bit as important as the simpler question of โ€œWho does she fall in love with?โ€ Garnet grows from an adventurous girl to steel-spined heroine as she battles through motherhood and widowhood, poverty and luxury, frontier shoot-outs, and deadly family feuds. It’s a journey that had my ten-year-old self cheering, and still does whenever I reread โ€œJubilee Trail.โ€ Something about the combination of flawed and interesting women, meticulously researched history, and a writing style as clear as a pane of glass have stuck with me over the years. It wasn’t long after reading โ€œJubilee Trailโ€ that I began writing my own books…and to this day, I think my own heroines have something of Bristow’s Garnet in them. Nina in โ€œThe Huntressโ€ has her ferocity when backed into a corner, Eve in โ€œThe Alice Networkโ€ has her flinty enduranceโ€”and all my heroines have her capacity for friendship.

Talk to you again soon, Mr. H!

Your Biggest Fan,

Kate

P.S.  Click on the books below to purchase!
Jubilee Trail
The Alice Network
The Huntress

Jackson & Marais ~ Authors To Love

Book Covers for Never Have I Ever and If you want to make God Laugh

Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson & If You Want To Make God Laugh by Bianca Marais

July 15, 2019

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

I have said it before and I will say it againโ€ฆsummer reading is simply the best. Letโ€™s face it, time seems endless on a sweltering hot day. What makes this summer feel so exceptional is that all of the new release books are over the top marvelous. The authors are strong, their writing is spot on and the stories are unique. Today I am going to share two new books I just recently finished for this July that are completely disparate. The first one is a heartfelt drama that takes place in South Africa by Bianca Marais. The second one is a contemporary American thriller by Joshilyn Jackson. If you have never read anything by these authors before, then now is a great time to start. Both of these books are perfect for reading on a sandy beach, poolside, or with the windows open on a warm summer night. So without further ado, let me share with you these two ladiesโ€™ latest creations.

Joshilyn Jacksonโ€™s Never Have I Ever is her ninth novel.  Let me be clearโ€ฆ…her books rock!.  Here is the set up. Amy Whey is hosting book club for all of her suburban neighbors.  Her evening of cocktails with the ladies and some casual book talk about their latest read turns extremely bizarre when a new neighbor shows up to the party with an agenda that does not include discussing House of Mirth.  Roux is the new girl in town renting a house in the neighborhood with her teenage son.  Even though she doesnโ€™t know anyone at Amyโ€™s house, she takes it upon herself to make herself at home and hijack the party with her uproarious behavior and a game of โ€œNever Have I Everโ€.  Before Amy knows it, her predictable book club has turned into an intoxicated mess with secrets oozing out of everyoneโ€™s mouth. Once the neighborhood crew is gone, Roux reveals her true self to Amy.  She unexpectedly drags up Amyโ€™s dark and secretive past, blackmailing her and threatening to ruin her perfectly happy life with her husband, step-daughter and infant son. Amy needs to decide if she should pay her the money to keep her past a secret or find another way around it.  Without giving too much a way, Jacksonโ€™s book is a flawless cat and mouse suspense offering readers the exact amount of thrill to keep the pages constantly turning. Family love and friendship with a side of skeletons in the closet equal a tremendous read. This fast paced novel comes out July 30th, so pre-order it NOW!!!!!!

Shifting gears a bit now.  My next July read for you is Bianca Maraisโ€™ new book, If You Want To Make God Laugh (This comes out TOMORROW).  Be prepared for a whole different experience with this highly emotional book.  Maraisโ€™ story is set in South Africa post Apartheid during the 1990โ€™s. With Nelson Mandela about to be elected and the AIDS epidemic on the rise, the backdrop of Maraisโ€™ story is intense.  Her book follows three different characters in alternating chapters. Zodwa is a seventeen year old black girl living in poverty. Not only is she eight months pregnant and caring for her dying mother, but she also is carrying a very unsettling secret.  Ruth and Delilah are two estranged middle-aged sisters who reunite unexpectedly at their familyโ€™s old home. Delilah is a former nun whose past continues to haunt her. Ruth, in the process of a divorce, is trying to figure out her new life. While the sisters are sorting out the details of their family home and individual baggage, they are surprised one evening when a newborn black baby is left on their doorstep.  The story gradually unfolds with Marais delicately revealing how each of these three womenโ€™s lives are connected and eventually come together. She tackles many sensitive subjects including corruption in the church, racism, AIDS, and homophobia, while shining light on the political atmosphere of South Africa at that time. Be prepared to have your heart strings pulled in all different directions while reading this book.  The characters will absolutely melt your heart and water your eyes. For an added bonus, fans of Maraisโ€™ Hum If You Donโ€™t Know The Words will be surprised at the cameo appearances in her story. I hope you enjoy this read.  It is truly a beautiful story.

Well my friends, be sure to put these two delights on your TBR list for this summer.  Be on the look out for more wonderful summer reads in the weeks to come.

Happy Summer and Happy Reading!!!!

Until next time Mr. H.

Your Biggest Fan,

Kelly

P.S.  Thank you to William Morrow and G.P. Putnam’s Sons for giving me the opportunity to read these two books in advance in exchange for an honest review.  It was an absolute pleasure!!!!!!

Click here to purchase Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson

Click here to purchase If You Want To Make God Laugh by Bianca Marais

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