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dear mr. hemingway’s 2020 holiday books & pairings 

Greetings to you & books that are true

A wrapped gift being handed off

Greenlights by Matthew Mconaughey (Penguin Random House)

What 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”!!

From the publisher:  “I’ve been in this life for fifty years, been trying to work out its riddle for forty-two, and been keeping diaries of clues to that riddle for the last thirty-five. Notes about successes and failures, joys and sorrows, things that made me marvel, and things that made me laugh out loud. How to be fair. How to have less stress. How to have fun. How to hurt people less. How to get hurt less. How to be a good man. How to have meaning in life. How to be more me.

Recently, I worked up the courage to sit down with those diaries. I found stories I experienced, the lessons I learned and forgot, poems, prayers, prescriptions, beliefs about what matters, some great photographs, and a whole bunch of bumper stickers. I found a reliable theme, an approach to living that gave me more satisfaction, at the time, and still: If you know-how, and when, to deal with life’s challenges—how to get relative with the inevitable—you can enjoy a state of success I call “catching greenlights.”

So I took a one-way ticket to the desert and wrote this book: an album, a record, a story of my life so far. This is fifty years of my sights and scenes, felts and figured-outs, cools, and shameful. Graces, truths, and beauties of brutality. Getting away withs, getting caught, and getting wet while trying to dance between the raindrops.”

P.S.  I think Matthew McConaughey would approve of these Cognac & Cigar socks from Alapage…don’t you? 

My Life as a Villainess: Essays by Laura Lippman (William Morrow)

Laura Lippman, the New York Times best-selling author of crime fiction and thrillers (who I love, mind you) wrote this funny and heartfelt memoir.  From having a baby in her more mature years to what it takes to be a good friend, Lippman had me at hello.  As a fellow woman, parent, wife, and friend, I could relate on so many levels to her stories.  I LOVED this book. Also, I am that friend who would help bury the body!

From the publishers:  “In this collection of new and previously published essays, New York Times bestselling author Laura Lippman offers her take on a woman’s life across the decades. Her childhood and school years, her newspaper career, her experiences as a novelist—Lippman find universal touchstones in an unusual life that has as many twists as her award-winning crime fiction. 

Essays include:

• Men Explain The Wire to Me • Game of Crones
• My Life as a Villainess
• My Father’s Bar
• The 31st Stocking

These candid essays offer long-time readers insight into the experiences that helped Lippman become one of the most successful crime novelists of her generation.

P.S.  Raw local honey from Ginkgo & Sage is perfect to put in your mug of tea while reading this memoir.

The Beauty in Breaking: A Memoir by Michele Harper (Riverhead Books)

Dr. Harper is an African American, Harvard-educated ER doctor. In her book, Dr. Harper not only shares tales from the ER, but from her personal life as well. Dr. Harper brings to light the racism and sexism she experienced and witnessed in her career and reveals the flaws that exist in our healthcare systems today. Her writing is intellectual, thought-provoking, and filled with compassion. I am thrilled to have Dr. Harper’s book on my bookshelf. ⁣

From the publisher: “The Beauty in Breaking is the poignant true story of Harper’s journey toward self-healing. Each of the patients Harper writes about taught her something important about recuperation and recovery. How to let go of fear even when the future is murky: How to tell the truth when it’s simpler to overlook it. How to understand that compassion isn’t the same as justice. As she shines a light on the systematic disenfranchisement of the patients she treats as they struggle to maintain their health and dignity, Harper comes to understand the importance of allowing ourselves to make peace with the past as we draw support from the present. In this hopeful, moving, and beautiful book, she passes along the precious, necessary lessons that she has learned as a daughter, a woman, and a physician.”

P.S.  Trust the Journey and pair this book with a gorgeous journal by Be Rooted.  Gorgeous pair! 

Dear Mr. Hemingway’s 2020 Holiday Books & Pairings

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