Muffins and Mayhem: Recipes for a Happy (if Disorderly) Life

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Overview

"While it’s well known that food and stories make for a great combination, Muffins & Mayhem takes their relationship to a whole new level. Brimming over with the stuff of life, this is a book to curl up with and devour." —JOEL BEN IZZY, storyteller and author of The Beggar King and The Secret of Happiness

Suzanne Beecher’s happy, loving voice has brought more than 350,000 people to her online book club at DearReader.com, where her daily column offers her candid, thought-provoking reflections on life, ...

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Muffins and Mayhem: Recipes for a Happy (if Disorderly) Life

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Overview

"While it’s well known that food and stories make for a great combination, Muffins & Mayhem takes their relationship to a whole new level. Brimming over with the stuff of life, this is a book to curl up with and devour." —JOEL BEN IZZY, storyteller and author of The Beggar King and The Secret of Happiness

Suzanne Beecher’s happy, loving voice has brought more than 350,000 people to her online book club at DearReader.com, where her daily column offers her candid, thought-provoking reflections on life, inspiring countless readers to look at their "ordinary" lives in a new way. By turns funny and poignant, Suzanne is the reassuring friend across the kitchen table with a refreshing, jaunty attitude about life, even in the face of whatever difficulties it may bring.

Suzanne has had her own share of troubles to overcome. Left home alone at an early age, she struggled with difficult and distant parents, dealt with heartbreak, became a hard-working single mom, and overcame two substance addictions and a physical impairment. But along the way, she found comfort in baking and sharing food with her friends and family. She learned to take the good with the bad, and her life is now inspiring proof that faith and persistence are the keys to success.

This beautifully written celebration of food, friends, and family will nourish Suzanne’s numerous fans and those who have yet to discover her simple, homespun magic.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Beecher, the woman behind the online book club DearReader.com, gives her fans a new story to follow - her own - in this recipe-laden memoir of dysfunction and small victories. Inspired by a reader who, having been diagnosed with lung cancer, asked for advice on what to leave her children, Beecher decided to pair a list of nostalgic recipes with the stories behind them. But those hoping for charming tales of afterschool cupcakes or Rockwellian family dinners will be in for a surprise. Beecher’s childhood was far from bucolic: an only child raised by emotionally distant parents, she got pregnant in high school and bounced between jobs and relationships until finding her calling in food. Depending on one’s perspective, this detailed account of her journey will either soothe or grate; her penchant for recounting every setback, minor victory, and anecdote requires either an appetite for drama or consumption in short bites. As for the dishes that close each chapter, they are only there to provide comfort: Funeral Cakes, goulash, and banana bread, while perfectly acceptable, are more plot device than playbook. Photos (June)
From the Publisher
"A fascinating, dramatic life with nourishing lessons for us all."—David Morrell, New York Times bestselling author of The Shimmer.

Loved, loved, loved it! Reading MUFFINS AND MAYHEM was like a visit with your BFF, sitting at the kitchen table over a pot of tea and chocolate chip cookies, sharing secrets, shedding tears, and laughing. Always laughing!” –Barbara Bretton, USA Today bestselling author

From the first laugh to the last tear, Suzanne Beecher had me in her thrall. Part memoir, part cookbook, part comedic romp, This is is a book written with candor bravery and soul on every single page. Be sure to try some of Beecher's recipes- I fell in love with her chocolate cookies - but not as much as I fell in love with her—M.J. Rose, International bestselling author

"What a brilliant little gem of a book! Like a recipe for life, alternately heartwarming, funny, touching and inspiring, Suzanne Beecher's unique voice comes shining through. If you want to learn how to live your life with passion and joy, read this book, right now."—Nate Kenyon, author of The Reach and Sparrow Rock (and devoted DearReader fan)

“What a wonderful book! Suzanne opens up her heart and her kitchen with exuberant stories of love and life. Plagued with a difficult childhood and the resulting lack of self-confidence, she tells the truth about both her failures and her hard-won successes, giving the reader lessons in courage along the way. Her down-home, comfort food recipes will warm your belly while her tales warm your heart.”—Chellie Campbell, author The Wealthy Spirit and Zero to Zillionaire

"A touchingly sweet and honest account of a sometimes difficult life, this quirky autobiography is interspersed with recipes for cookies, cakes - and living."—Virginia Ironside, author of No! I don’t Want to Join a Book Club: Diary of a 60th Year.

While it’s well known that food and stories make for a great combination, Muffins and Mayhem takes their relationship to a whole new level. Brimming over with the stuff of life, this is a book to curl up with and devour.”—Joel ben Izzy, storyteller and author of The Beggar King and The Secret of Happiness

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781439112878
  • Publisher: Touchstone
  • Publication date: 6/1/2010
  • Pages: 233
  • Product dimensions: 7.94 (w) x 5.88 (h) x 0.93 (d)

Meet the Author

Suzanne Beecher has owned a restaurant, founded and published a business magazine, founded a non-profit program to feed the homeless in her area, and homeschooled her youngest son from fourth grade through high school.

Today she writes a daily column at www.DearReader.com; designs book clubs for publishers, booksellers and libraries across the country; and speaks to groups every chance she gets because she loves to tell a great story. Her interests include gardening, writing, reading, storytelling, encouraging other businesspeople, baking chocolate chip cookies, and making pies from scratch. She lives with her husband in Sarasota, Florida.

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Table of Contents

The Recipe for This Book ix

Introduction: Does Anybody Else Feel Like This? 1

1 A Budding Chef 9

2 Main Street 15

3 Loose Wires 27

4 Pretending My Way to Success 46

5 Failure That Was Good Enough 55

6 The Boogeyman Just Might Be Under My Bed! 67

7 In-a-Pickle 77

8 A Not-So-Perfect Piecrust 86

9 Bull-Puckey, I Can Do This 95

10 Please, Give This Woman a Job! 102

11 He Loves Me, He Loves Me a Lot 114

12 Somebody Should Have Told Me About This! 131

13 Muffins and Mayhem 136

14 May I Please Have This Dance? 147

15 I Miss My Mother 157

16 Still In-a-Pickle and It's Not What Miss Manners Would Do 172

17 Home for the Holidays 183

18 Did Somebody Bring the Cookies? 203

19 Seasonings: The Ingredients of a Small-Town Girl 213

20 Writing the Recipe for My Life 219

One Last Note from the Author 229

Acknowledgments 231

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 19 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 18 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 7, 2010

    Great Author

    I am a member of Suzanne Beecher's Dear Reader book club and I love it. The book reviews are great but the best part is receiving a personal email from her M-F that makes me laugh out loud, cry sometimes, or ponder life. I can't wait to read her book. I know that I will NOT be disappointed.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 15, 2010

    Like chatting with a friend over tea

    As a longtime member of 2 of Suzanne's book clubs, I was very excited to read her first book and was not disappointed. I enjoyed every page, even going through the tough times with her. I've tried several of her recipes -- they're keepers! Reading her down-to-earth style is like chatting with a friend over tea. This would be a good gift book for someone who needs encouragement.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 29, 2010

    Muffins & Mayhem is the best book I have read in quite awhile (and I read a lot)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Suzanne is a wonderful person. She makes you feel like you are a special friend. I was so excited when she told her DearReader folks that she was writing a book. I preordered it as soon as I could and waited very impatiently until it arrived. I love her book because she is so open and honest with everything she writes. I laughed, I cried. I have tried some of the recipes and they are great. I loaned my copy to a friend who is saying the same thing I did. I recommend you buy the book for yourself and buy copies for friends and family. This one is definately a keeper.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2010

    Wonderful Book!

    I absolutely fell in love with this book. Each morning before I started my day and each evening before I went to bed, I read a chapter of Suzanne's life affirming book "Muffins & Mayhem." It truly felt like Suzanne was there with me talking, laughing and even crying - sharing her recipes for life and her recipes for some truly wonderful food. I have recently been faced with a difficult life challenge. Suzanne's book has helped me make it through some very tough days. Her humor, warmth and wisdom shine through every page. I am truly looking forward to Suzanne's next book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 21, 2010

    Much awaited and a Must Read!

    I just LOVED Muffins and Mayhem! The stories and anecdotes that Suzanne tells of her life make us realize that 'stuff' happens to everybody, and though things may look bleak at one time, things have a way of working out in the end. She has a tendency of seeing the sunny side of life and an ability to laugh at herself that makes the reader smile, ready for more, and sad when the book is at its end. Can't wait for the next one, where hopefully she will feature her cats!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 21, 2010

    Like reading a friends journal

    This book is like curiling up with a good friend and chatting about life.. then going to the kitchen to laugh and eat ... great recipes,great stories, and a real life affirming nudge saying hey your ok being you... there are some great life lessons and cooking lessons all rolled into one!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 14, 2010

    Awesome as expected!

    I finished reading Muffins & Mayhem ten days ago. I've been 'digesting' it ever since. It is wonderful and unique; I was amused, teary-eyed and I laughed out loud. Suzanne has such a knack, a gift, for expressing her feelings and for figuring out what they are in the first place. She makes it so easy for me as a reader to identify things within myself that maybe I hadn't been able to put a handle on.

    I see myself re-reading Muffins & Mayhem over and over again. I knew I would love the book, but it is even more than I had anticipated!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2010

    Ebook

    Muffins and Mayhem was written by Suzanne Beecher, who is a very neat
    author and although this book just recently came out its very neat and
    a welcome addition to anyone's book collection.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 10, 2010

    Fill your heart and your tummy

    Suzanne Beecher's book is wonderful. It made me laugh, made me cry, uplifted me and thoroughly delighted me. And the recipes are fabulous, several of which are now some of our family's "standards" and will be included in the next update of our family cookbook.

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  • Posted June 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Bridget's Review

    I had never read any of Suzanne's column at www.DearReader.com, so I had no idea what to expect from this book. Suzanne is one of the busiest women in the world. In her past, she owned a restaurant, published a magazine, worked with the community and homeschooled her son. Today, Suzanne works in many areas when it comes to books.

    Suzanne has lived a very full life and she is an amazing writer. Her story brings a fresh new outlook to the life of a woman who is doing exactly what she wants. Whether it's cooking up a fantastic meal or spending time in the sun with her hands in the dirt, she knows how to balance the finer things in life. Reading this book can give you a new perspective and give you the ability to start doing more of what you want to instead of what you have to.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 20, 2010

    Delightful!

    Muffins & Mayhem is a delightful potpourri of essays, photos, recipes and wit. Suzanne Beecher regales with a memoir that's uplifting and hopeful, yet always honest and vulnerable. I was thoroughly charmed!
    ~Deborah Raney, author of Almost Forever and the Clayburn Novels.

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    Posted August 27, 2010

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    Posted May 14, 2010

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    Posted July 1, 2010

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    Posted August 31, 2010

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    Posted June 28, 2010

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    Posted August 30, 2010

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    Posted July 4, 2010

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