Dear Mr. Hemingway Logo

read what you love • love what you read

dear mr. hemingway’s 2021 holiday books & pairings 

Festive Foodies in the Wild

Finding Freedom:  A Cook’s Story; Remaking a Life From Scratch by Erin French (Celadon Books)

Erin French is the owner and chef of the critically acclaimed restaurant, 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐋𝐨𝐬𝐭 𝐊𝐢𝐭𝐜𝐡𝐞𝐧, a 𝘛𝘐𝘔𝘌 world dining destination, in Freedom Maine. In her new memoir, Finding Freedom: A Cook’s Story; Remaking a Life from Scratch, French shares how her world-famous restaurant came to be. To say her story is inspiring is an absolute understatement.  EMPOWERING, HEARTBREAKING, and absolutely SCRUMPTIOUS is more like it to me! Every foodie will be obsessed with this book.  


Long before The Lost Kitchen became a world dining destination with every seating filled the day the reservation book opens each spring, Erin French was a girl roaming barefoot on a 25-acre farm, a teenager falling in love with food while working the line at her dad’s diner and a young woman finding her calling as a professional chef at her tiny restaurant tucked into a 19th-century mill. This singular memoir—a classic American story—invites readers to Erin’s corner of her beloved Maine to share the real person behind the “girl from Freedom” fairytale, and the not-so-picture-perfect struggles that have taken every ounce of her strength to overcome, and that make Erin’s life triumphant.  

In Finding Freedom, Erin opens up to the challenges, stumbles, and victories that have led her to the exact place she was ever meant to be, telling stories of multiple rock-bottoms, of darkness and anxiety, of survival as a jobless single mother, of pills that promised release but delivered addiction, of a man who seemed to offer salvation but in the end ripped away her very sense of self. And of the beautiful son who was her guiding light as she slowly rebuilt her personal and culinary life around the solace she found in food—as a source of comfort, a sense of place, as a way of bringing goodness into the world. Erin’s experiences with deep loss and abiding hope, told with both honesty and humor, will resonate with women everywhere who are determined to find their voices, create community, grow stronger and discover their best-selves despite seemingly impossible odds. Set against the backdrop of rural Maine and its lushly intense, bountiful seasons, Erin reveals the passion and courage needed to invent oneself anew, and the poignant, timeless connections between food and generosity, renewal and freedom.”

P.S. Pair this Maine treasure with a hand-carved wooden serving spoon made right here in Maine. I am hoping this lands in my stocking this year 🤞🤞.

Taste:  My Life Through Food by Stanley Tucci (Gallery Books)

Gahhhhhhhh!  I LOVED this book to the moon and back.  Tucci’s memoir is absolutely heartfelt, chucklesome and so incredibly delicious.  He shares how food played a part in his life from when he was little to the present day.  Oh, did I mention he shares mouth-watering recipes along the way?  Tucci’s book is an absolute delight and I did not want it to end.  I would love to have a homemade meal and fabulous cocktail with this guy.  One can dream!


Stanley Tucci grew up in an Italian American family that spent every night around the kitchen table. He shared the magic of those meals with us in The Tucci Cookbook and The Tucci Table, and now he takes us beyond the savory recipes and into the compelling stories behind them.​

Taste is a reflection on the intersection of food and life, filled with anecdotes about his growing up in Westchester, New York; preparing for and shooting the foodie films Big Night and Julie & Julia; falling in love over dinner; and teaming up with his wife to create meals for a multitude of children. Each morsel of this gastronomic journey through good times and bad, five-star meals and burned dishes, is as heartfelt and delicious as the last.”

P.S.  Your salt is just a pinch away in this Herringbone Salt Cellar.  This ceramic beauty is made right here in Maine.  I think Mr. Tucci would approve of this tasty pairing. I hope my husband sees this 🤞🤞.

In the Weeds: Around the World and Behind the Scenes with Anthony Bourdain by Tom Vitale  (Hachette Books)

The late Anthony Bourdain’s director and producer, Tom Vitale shares behind the scene moments working and traveling with Bourdain.  This book was not only a cultural experience, but an intimate experience of day-to-day life with Bourdain.  I was absolutely moved and fascinated by Vitale’s bok.  Fans of Bourdain will really appreciate what feels to be, the last glance at his life.  


In the nearly two years since Anthony Bourdain’s death, no one else has come close to filling the void he left. His passion for and genuine curiosity about the people and cultures he visited made the world feel smaller and more connected. Despite his affable, confident, and trademark snarky TV persona, the real Tony was intensely private, deeply conflicted about his fame, and an enigma even to those close to him. Tony’s devoted crew knew him best, and no one else had a front-row seat for as long as his director and producer, Tom Vitale.

Over the course of more than a decade traveling together, Tony became a boss, a friend, a hero and, sometimes, a tormentor.In the Weeds takes readers behind the scenes to reveal not just the insanity that went into filming in some of the most far-flung and volatile parts of the world, but what Tony was like unedited and off-camera. From the outside, the job looked like an all-expenses-paid adventure to places like Borneo, Vietnam, Iran, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Libya. What happened off-camera was far more interesting than what made it to air. The more things went wrong, the better it was for the show. Fortunately, everything fell apart constantly.”

P.S.  You can’t fail pairing a book around food adventures with handmade chocolates from Maine.  I can assure you…these chocolates are phenomenal.  I have not only enjoyed them but gifted them as well.

Dear Mr. Hemingway’s 2021 Holiday Books & Pairings

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


Join my mailing list!

and never miss a blog post