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


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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: 0.8 x 5.7 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,207,033 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 laughed, I cried when I read Suzanne's book.
ginger
She really writes from her heart and life and touches her readers, sometimes with humor, sometimes with a story that brings a tear to your eye.
jupow
Scattered throughout Suzanne's memoir are favorite recipes, and each is accompanied by a personal anecdote.
Andrea Schultz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 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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5 of 5 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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2 of 2 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Samantha J on July 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Muffins and Mayhem: Recipes For a Happy (if Disorderly) Life by Suzanne Beecher is a part memoir, part cookbook of Suzanne's truly disorderly life. With absent parents, a teenage pregnancy, drug addictions, and a physical impairment, Suzanne's story of how to overcome so many obstacles makes her novel an inspiring and emotional read. While she highlights the many pitfalls in her life, along with the glory days of opening her own restaurant and finding her husband, readers can see her compassion for baking and cooking, and how her love for the kitchen helped her along the way. Suzanne is a beautiful writer, even comedic at times, but I thought the plot jumped around a little too much for my taste. There are so many events and people that she wants to touch on, that at times the characters got all jumbled around. I did like the many recipes she shares with readers (I hope to try a few out myself) and the wisdom Suzanne evokes. I would recommend Muffins and Mayhem on that alone, but it also is an entertaining, quick read that I think chick lit fans could enjoy.
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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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By maksim kovalev on February 7, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
For those who daily reads Suzanne's blogs she seems a rather happy-go-lucky lady: baking, making bubbles with her famous bubble machine and spending time with her grandsons. The book shares another perspective: it is honest and emotional just like the blogs but it talks about things dark and deep and even tragic. The thing that really amazed me was the honesty really, since it takes courage to share your mistakes and missteps so openly and at the same time so simply, without any excuses or pretences. I really think this story will be a great read for people who feel like their past is their future, that a person like them just can't and will never be happy and carefree, for people who are afraid to relax and have fun and give themselves a childhood they never had. This book brings understanding, so much needed tears and most important hope - as well as some great laughs and recipes. Even if you are alone right now this book will be your friend - gently tap you on the shoulder and say "Hey cheer up it WILL get better". Thank you, Suzanne, for being brave, honest and being yourself.
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