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Muffins and Mayhem: Recipes for a Happy (if Disorderly) Life Hardcover – June 1, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone (June 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439112878
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439112878
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.8 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,134,331 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From 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
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Review

"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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About 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 for DearReader; 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.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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I enjoyed the book immensely and will be trying some recipes.
Heather
Suzanne writes about personal successes and failures and what each taught her about life, love, and her capacity to persevere.
Andrea Schultz
As a longtime member of 2 of Suzanne's book clubs, I was very excited to read her first book and was not disappointed.
Shelley in Brier

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By N. Kenyon on June 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Suzanne Beecher's voice is so unique, personal and heartfelt--there's no one else like her. One of the reasons [...] has been so successful is her daily columns, and this book brings the same immediacy, fun-loving nature and wisdom to each and every page. Life is big, messy and full of the unexpected, and Suzanne's message is all about enjoying what comes with her trademark energy and enthusiasm. I loved it and you will too.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Andrea Schultz on August 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover
One of my favorite book genres is the memoir. And one of my favorite daily emails to receive is the Zondervan Breakfast Club email from Suzanne Beecher. When I discovered Suzanne had a book coming out, I knew it was a must-read for me!

Here is the synopsis of `Muffins and Mayhem: Recipes for a Happy -if Disorderly - Life':

In Muffins and Mayhem, Suzanne Beecher, creator of the online book club, [...] ([...]), combines her life story with 30 of her favorite recipes. With striking candor, Suzanne takes readers on a journey from her lowest moments to her greatest joys and personal victories. Suzanne writes about personal successes and failures and what each taught her about life, love, and her capacity to persevere.
Scattered throughout Suzanne's memoir are favorite recipes, and each is accompanied by a personal anecdote. Suzanne believes that recipes are more than just a mix of ingredients: they're food for the soul, and she doesn't leave readers hungry. From humorous tales about avoiding her mother's liver dishes as a child (and Mom's Thanksgiving meals as an adult!) to a reverent account of how a childhood hero touched her life through frosted meat loaf, Suzanne's food-filled memoir warms the heart as well as fills the stomach.
Gathering thirty wonderful recipes and the memories surrounded them, Suzanne shows us the author as a child who learned to cook when she was just eight years old while singing backup to the Monkees, a woman who struggled with difficult parents, a hardworking mom who loved making cookies for her kids, a recovering addict, and a writer who has learned much along the way by remembering that love is the most important thing in life.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jessica B. Keener on June 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Suzanne's storytelling gift is her ability to seize the smallest details of daily living and empower them with universal truths and appeal. Yes. You will laugh out loud at her zany moments (vacuuming up roaches, getting earrings stuck in her teeth), but you will cry, too, because underneath it all, Suzanne recognizes that painful, embarrassing moments are opportunities for deeper revelations about complex family relationships and, ultimately, how we perceive ourselves. I loved this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cheryl V. on February 16, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Suzanne Beecher hosts a Dear Readers book club online. She presents books in many genres that are soon to be released or already published. It is a great way to read several chapters before making the commitment to buy it. But the best part of her club/blog is her own writing. She entertains through humor, introspection and cooking. This book and her blog contain personal favorite recipes interwoven with anecdotes of her life, daily adventures, interviews with authors and any topic that interests her. There are pictures, chocolate chip cookie giveaways, book giveaways, and bubble machines. Reading her blog and this book are like sitting with a best friend, sharing memories, insights and the important stuff of life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Louise Jolly on July 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Suzanne Beecher has written a real winner! Being one of her faithful followers at her [...] site, I was quite anxious to read this book and I wasn't disappointed.

Sadly, Suzanne has had her share of troubles throughout the years. She left home at an early age, coped with parents who were complex and distant, overcame two addictions, a physical impairment I'd never heard of before and became a single Mom. However, none of this was about to stop our dear Suzanne.

She owned and operated a restaurant, published a magazine, homeschooled her son and founded a non-profit program to feed the homeless, but Suzanne finally found solace and comfort in cooking and baking!! She finally found her niche where she could be Suzanne and shine like a Hollywood star! She learned to take the good with the bad all the while sharing food with friends and family and has been honing her skill since an early age.

I was particularly intrigued to learn that Suzanne doesn't seem to remember much of her childhood and neither do I. I don't remember my first day of school or my first time on ice skates or any of the other celebratory type milestones that most people seem to remember. I don't have enough fingers to count the times someone has said "...remember when...?" I look at them like they're a three-eyed monster and say: "Huh? Are you sure that was me?" So, I feel a sense of kinship to Suzanne in this regard.

This is a book EVERYONE must read! A true story of persistence, failure, courage, faith, audacity, tenaciousness, love, and respect. Way to go Suzanne!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Virginia Campbell VINE VOICE on December 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
"Muffins and Mayhem: Recipes for a Happy (if disorderly) Life" is a wonderful read. It's as refreshing, endearing, honest and unexpected as its delightful author, Suzanne Beecher. I don't know how she does it all, but she does it so well! Suzanne is one of your best friends that you've never met. She is like a favorite relative who adds color and light and amazing scents and flavors whenever she visits! Her book is as funny, sweet, touching and forthright as her column, "Dear Reader". The recipes are so delicious, they make one feel like Oliver Twist: "Please, Suzanne, could we have some more?" Suzanne is famous for baking and gifting her scrumptious chocolate chip cookies. She is also known for recipes such as "Skunk Beans" and "Whoops! Banana Bread". Her recipes, like her vivid personality, are colorful and interesting, and the stories that accompany the recipes are also a treat. "Company Fare Pork Chops", "Shrimp Salad", "Northern Maine Oatmeal Bread", and "Mrs. Creswick's Frosted Meatloaf" are among my favorites. Suzanne writes with real heart, and I particularly enjoy reading about her relationship with her husband. They have a true partnership. Suzanne Beecher is one-of-a-kind, and so is her fun, fabulous, fascinating book.

Review Copy Gratis Simon & Schuster
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