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Ernest Hemingway was born in July on the cusp of the 20th century, and the summer month would prove to be a pivotal time for the writer throughout his life. Here are some key July moments in the Hemingway timeline:

July 21, 1899 – Hemingway made his debut in Oak Park, Illinois, a middle-class Chicago suburb where he spent the first 18 years of his life. He
spent his early childhood years in a grand turreted, Queen Anne-style home, now the Ernest Hemingway Birthplace Museum.

July 1918 – While driving an ambulance for the Red Cross on the Italian front lines during World War I, 18-year-old Hemingway was seriously
wounded by mortar fire. His shrapnel wounds were tended to by a nurse, Agnes von Kurowsky, with whom he fell in love. Their relationship inspired his novel about a doomed wartime romance, A Farewell to Arms.

July 1923 – The insatiable traveler attended his first bullfight during Pamplona’s legendary running of the bulls, returning nearly every year for the rest of the decade to witness the death-defying spectacle. His Spanish sojourns inspired his 1925 novel The Sun Also Rises, which takes place during the annual Fiesta of San Fermin and follows a dissolute band of expats who spend their days drinking brandy and absinthe at Café Iruna. (A statue of Hemingway at the bar at Café Iruña is in the photo above.)

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350 years ago this week, Samuel Pepys, a member of the English Parliament and a naval administrator, began keeping his now-famous diary. He started his chronicle on January 1, 1660, writing: “Blessed be God, at the end of the last year I was in very good health, without any sense of my old pain, but upon taking of cold…. My own private condition very handsome, and esteemed rich, but indeed very poor; besides my goods of my house, and my office, which at present is somewhat uncertain.” (The full text is available at ProjectGutenberg.org.)

Pepys’ diary includes accounts of major events of the era, such as the Great Plague of 1665 and the Great Fire of London in 1666. The diarist is thought to have watched the city burn from the Anchor pub (34 Park Street ; 44 207 407 1577) on the south side of the River Thames. “When we could endure no more upon the water, we [went] to a little alehouse on the Bankside…and there staid till it was dark almost and saw the fire grow,” recalled Pepys.

Still serving pints to thirsty travelers and locals alike, The Anchor has a prime riverside location next to Shakespeare’s revitalized Globe Theatre. A sprawling beer garden offers patrons spectacular views of the City of London and the dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral.

[Photo of The Anchor: ©Flickr/Ewan-M]

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My new favorite bookstore: Rough Draft in Kingston, NY, where the page-turners are plentiful and a stellar selection of craft beer and cider is on tap. Situated in a historic building with exposed brick and stone walls, Rough Draft has a welcoming vibe that invites people to linger, browsing the shelves, relaxing on one of the comfy couches, or having a drink and a chat at the bar. #dreamyplaces #roadtrip #hudsonvalley #bookstores #indiebookstore #booksandbeer #literarytravel #kingstonny #roughdraftbarandbooks @roughdraftny
“The Secret Garden was what Mary called it when she was thinking of it, and she liked still more the feeling that when its beautiful old walls shut her in no one knew where she was. It seemed almost like being shut out of the world in some fairy place.” 🌸 #bookclubpick Had fun revisiting a childhood favorite for this month’s selection. And now I desperately want a return trip to Yorkshire, where the story is set. #thesecretgarden #franceshodgsonburnett #bookclub #books #igreads #bookstagram #booksofig #readinggroup #classicliterature #booksofinstagram #bibliophile
💜 this novel. It’s fast-paced historical fiction, both comic and serious, with quirky, witty characters and terrifically vivid writing. Chapters alternate between the past, slowly revealing why, as the story opens, Alice “Nobody” James is on a train headed west, fleeing New York City in 1921 with a bullet wound and a suitcase full of cash, and the present, where she becomes embroiled in a mystery in Portland, Oregon. She hides out at the city’s only all-black hotel, the Paragon, where even with a knack for going unnoticed she stands out as the sole white woman on the premises. Meanwhile, the KKK has arrived in Portland, spreading violence and hate. When a child from the Paragon goes missing, Alice is determined to help her new friends find him, leading to disastrous consequences and the unraveling of long-held secrets. Paired with #EmpressGin. Although the story takes place during Prohibition, the cocktails flow behind closed doors. #theparagonhotel #lyndsayfaye #igreads #bookstagram #books #booklove #novels #pageturner #booksofinstagram #bibliophile

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