Woody Allen’s Hemingway is handsome and gruff, macho and bombastic. He talks like he writes, or talks as if he’s writing as he’s speaking. The effect is hilarious, which is precisely the point. Allen’s film is a comedy, and the simplest version of Hemingway is definitely the funniest. At one point he barks, “Who wants to fight?” to everyone and no one in particular. But even as I laughed, I found myself thinking, this isn’t my Hemingway. After years spent researching his life and work, I do feel a proprietary interest in Hemingway, and have ultimately come to believe that the real man was infinitely complex, with “more sides to him than any geometry book could ever chart,” as his first wife Hadley once said.


The most delicious element of Allen’s film is that it’s a time machine. We’re there in the Jazz-Age, that singular time in history when writers and painters and composers rubbed against each other in the cafes, creating sparks that ricocheted through their work, and then through history. Gil Pender’s time travel begins when he steps into a buttery Peugeot that transports him to a Parisian nightclub where Cole Porter is singing “Let’s Fall in Love.” Mine started in a micro-suede chair in my local Starbucks as I read Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast. I fell into that world and didn’t want to leave it. Who would?


I don’t think our collective love affair with 1920’s Paris will ever be truly over—and this is partially due to Hemingway’s gorgeous and indelible remembrances of that time. He’s forever fixed there for us—just as he would have it, I’m sure.

0 Kudos

Guest Author

Categories: guest author

Who doesn’t love chocolate?  Is there any better way to celebrate the most important women in your life than by baking some delicious milk chocolate cupcakes with dark chocolate icing offered to Unabashedly Bookish readers exclusively from Sandra Lee?  Happy Mother’s Day everyone.


Milk Chocolate Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Icing

Sandra Lee


1 box (18.25 ounces) box milk chocolate cake mix

3 eggs

1¼ cups chocolate milk

1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil

1 bag (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips (divided)

½ cup heavy cream

Small silver dragées for decorating


Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a 12-cup cupcake tins with silver foil paper liners.


In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, eggs, chocolate milk, and oil. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping down the bowl to be sure batter is well incorporated.


In a microwave at 10 second intervals, melt ½ cup of the semisweet chocolate chips. Add 1 cup of the batter to the melted chocolate and stir well to combine. Place into a plastic releasable bag and cut off the corner. Take a small ice cream scoop and fill each cupcake liner with 1 scoop of cake batter, about a quarter of the way up the sides. Pipe about 1 tablespoon batter with melted chocolate in each batter filled cup. Top each with another scoop of the remaining cake batter.


Bake for 12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 1 minute before removing and cooling completely on a wire cooling rack.


To Make the Icing: Heat the cream in a saucepan over low heat to a simmer. Remove from the heat and stir in remaining chocolate chips until completely combined. While still slightly warm dip the tops of cupcakes in the chocolate icing. Place back on the wire rack, sprinkle with dragées, and allow icing to set.


Yield: 12 cupcakes

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes


Sandra Lee’s newest cookbook Sandra Lee Bake Sale Cookbook, and her many other Semi-Homemade cookbooks, are available for purchase at your local Barnes & Noble or visit BN.com to purchase on-line.

0 Kudos

Guest Author

Categories: guest author

Bestselling author James Patterson joins us today to answer some questions about his newest Michael Bennett thriller, Tick Tock.

0 Kudos

Author and guest blogger Frank Cottrell Boyce discusses the film adaptation of his bestselling novel, Framed.

0 Kudos

On Mortality

Categories: guest author
I am comfortable with the idea of mortality, or at least I always have been, up until now. Read more...
I just wanted to take a few minutes to thank you all for making Physick Book such an amazing success. Read more...
More and more, I've come to believe that difference between kids with high self esteem and those with low self esteem is an engaged parent. Read more...
0 Kudos
I've spent a lot of time cataloging suffering. Even before I was sick, I tried to sort out which was worse -- depression or estrangement, being left or being widowed, extreme poverty or extreme narcissism. Read more...
0 Kudos
I am interested in faith and people who have it. I often write about it (essays, outlines for a novel, character sketches, a screenplay?) and think about it most days of the week. Although I am skeptical, I do pray. I do not go to church. I will always be Catholic (like I will always have brown eyes) but may grow into something else as well. Read more...
Mother years are like dog years, so much changes year to year. When I wrote The Middle Place, my girls were in diapers. Now they're in elementary school. Read more...
About Unabashedly Bookish: The BN Community Blog
Unabashedly Bookish features new articles every day from the Book Clubs staff, guest authors, and friends on hot topics in the world of books, language, writing, and publishing. From trends in the publishing business to updates on genre fiction fan communities, from fun lessons on grammar to reflections on literature in our personal lives, this blog is the best source for your daily dose of all things bookish.