By Carol Balawyder 5 stars
More Than Coffee is a tribute of love to her family. It is an intimate look at her thirty-two-year-old marriage – a husband whom she met serendipitously by selling a fridge.
The book is a mixture of prose and poetry with some touching lines.
For example, she describes meeting her husband as “All wrapped up in one handsome and charming package.”
More Than Coffee is a love story and pretty much a fairy-tale.
Other sweet lines sprinkled throughout the book include from the poem Belonging:
Time is but a memory. Its existence leaves no trace on the path where we tread. There is only you, me, and the intensity of belonging to each other.
From The Gift the poet offers: …our time here is a gift, and when we depart, the gift will belong to someone else.
And the tenderest line of all in the poem To My Babies: You are a new bloom in our family garden.
More Than Coffee is about a strong marriage, parenting, empty nests and a legacy to her family.
…the magic is knowing my love travels wherever your dreams may guide you.
By Sara Kjeldsen 5 stars
A lovely read
This is such a beautiful tribute to the author’s family. I enjoyed the parts about her parents meeting for the first time. Memories are powerful because nothing can ever change them or take them away. This was a great collection of poems and prose to honour one’s loved ones.
By Alex Craigie 5 stars
This collection of poetry and short stories is described by Lauren Scott as ‘memories in verse and prose’. She has captured the mood and experiences so well, they resonated and reminded me of my own.
The author writes about simple, everyday moments. In The Right Time her poem about letting go of things contains a familiar note of caution – “some things do need to be held onto.
To let go of everything/would be like watching a balloon/ escaping into the big blue sky/ slowly fading away.”
These short pieces delight, comfort, amuse, and paint grief and longing as effectively as a full-length novel. Laughing Spiders made me chuckle with recognition (as an arachnophobe) whereas The Phone Call is a poignant piece about empty nesters. 1989 tells of falling in love but carries a warning:
“Don’t ever think you can change someone. Accept them for who they are or move on.” This advice could save many a relationship!
The selection is personal but the truths captured within them speak to everyone. There are references to family life and the grief of losing parents, but also to well-observed moments including backpacking and camping trips, singing in concert halls and falling in love.
Two of my favourite pieces are Simple Existence and The Gift – both are syllabic poems and the writing is exquisite. These are poems that made me stop and take stock. They gave me goosebumps.
By DGKaye 5 stars
A beautiful book of short slices of poignant moments of life in the author’s life, enhanced with poetic snapshots of life.
Scott invites us into her gratitude, loving memories and pieces of time that were stepping stones to her growth in life and relationships. I could relate to her stories, even though they were her stories. How legend Barbra Streisand was her idol and spurred on her love for music and singing into her hair brush microphone, how in a moment she knew her husband would become the love of her life and how time played out until their meeting was ripe.
Memories in verse and prose of personal times and achievements in romance, love growth, like when the nest became empty, love and loss with her father in law, pushing limits to go backpacking in later years. Written in a personal telling as though the author opened up her heart and shared memories, inviting us into her slices of life that many of us will find relatable in our own lives. This book is a love letter of gratitude of a life well lived and felt.
By Darlene Foster
I enjoy the natural, easy-to-relate-to, style of Lauren Scott’s writing. In the preface, she mentions that – “Whatever roast I sip, it’s the people, places, experiences, and memories that matter most to me-coffee just happens to be a bonus.” I’m sure I will be forgiven for relaxing with a cup of tea as I relaxed and devoured her collection of short vignettes and poems inspired by her life, past and present. Some of my favourite pieces include “Silver Heirlooms”; memories of parents no longer with us. “Red Lipstick” which made me recall watching my own mother put on her make-up. “Belong” is a perfect poem for couples in love; perfect for Valentine’s Day. “97 Years” is a wonderful legacy of a man of substance and made me think of my dear mom and how she had to deal with the loneliness of the pandemic. “The Phone Call” reminded me of my daughter and our lengthy phone calls discussing everything and bringing us closer in spite of an ocean between us. There is something for everyone in this well-written collection which is definitely more than coffee.
By Michele Lee Sefton. 5 stars A Charming Read
Reading the poems and stories found in More than Coffee, by Lauren Scott, felt like being served a combination of delicious home-cooked food, with hot coffee of course, engaging in conversation with a friend, and strolling through family photo albums. If you are in the mood for a wholesome read about family, written by a writer who comes across as grateful, sentimental, and compassionate, then I recommend Scott’s charming memories in verse and prose.
By Annika Perry 5 stars
‘More than Coffee’ by Lauren Scott is a beautiful and reflective celebration of life; a book of poems and prose that flows with ease between memories of the author’s life, of the six decades of a loving marriage of her parents and of her family, to present day hiking trails, between the wonder of nature and the seasons to the amusing encounter with spiders!
The pieces are imbued with warmth, love, light humour and sadness; overall togetherness. Life in all its facets is explored and ensures that the reader reflects on their own lives and those closest to them, reminding us of the treasures within even the most insignificant of items or events.
A late-comer to hiking and camping, Lauren captures the magic and enriching moments of being in the wonder of solitude in nature.
‘It’s about those quiet, nostalgic moments sitting on a smooth slab of granite, captivated by the sights and sounds of wilderness surroundings.’
The book begins with her first ever hike in her fifties and in ‘Silver Heirlooms’ she describes setting out her mother’s silverware which brings moving reflections on how this previously normal household cutlery is now filled with nostalgic significance and poignancy as her grief over the loss of her parents eases to help her move forward.
The power of nature is captured throughout and it is a privilege to join her on the trail, pausing to appreciate that ‘listening to the whispers/among the trees/our time here/is a gift.’ Just as Lauren Scott feels that the ‘tranquility embraces’ so the reader is enveloped in a heartwarming embrace.
The book fulfils the promise of being a ‘snapshot of memories’ and one of my favourites could easily be turned into a novel, I feel. ‘Ninety-seven candles’ is a beautifully penned piece about her father-in-law Wil and his extraordinary life. During his nigh hundred years of life, Wil has twice been joyously married yet endured two heartbreaking losses. However, his positive attitude and gentle humour still shine through.
A humour shared by her father, who when asked the secret to reaching his nineties, declared with aplomb, ‘the olive in the martini’.
Through her gifted writing, Lauren captures the fun first meeting with her husband; who knew selling a fridge could be so life-changing! On their first date, it was ‘as though we’ve danced together a million times before’. Lauren has a gift for seeing beyond the ordinary and in ‘Cake’ she weaves in descriptions of her bridal shower, her parents and children – the universal force of love and life is re-affirmed.
Since singing is part of Lauren’s being it is perhaps not surprising that the powerful and intense poem ‘Belonging’ is a love song to her husband and soulmate, Matt.
‘Do you trust me? Will you
take my hand and let me
lead the way to a place
transcending the boundaries
of our reality? Let us get
lost in the tranquility –
dancing to the majesty of
the surroundings, feeling the
rhythm vibrate through our
bones. For as long as our
hearts desire, this is our
destination. For time is
but a memory. Its existence
leaves no trace on the path
where we tread. There is
only you, me, and the
intensity of our belonging
to each other.‘
‘The Phone Call’ especially resonated with me as a recent ‘empty-nester’; I related to the gems of long chats with children moved away, the love and pride as they make their way into the world, but the pain too. As Lauren’s son is soon to embark upon his path across the country he tries to reassure his parents and show them how this is a positive experience for them – a comment that had me laughing out loud and so typical! ‘Mom and Dad can reap the benefits of having the house to themselves.’
In ‘More than Coffee’ Lauren realises her dream to be ‘the narrator of my own stories’ and it is with gratitude, joy and chuckling that I could sit down, with a cuppa, and join in this wonderful, uplifting and absorbing collection; peace settling upon me. I only hope I will learn to collect my memories with equal clarity, wisdom and warmth, to reach a deeper understanding of life and its joys and tragedies. ‘More than Coffee’ is a true tonic for the soul and I cannot recommend this book highly enough!
By Smitha Vishwanath 4 stars
If I had to describe Lauren’s book in one line, I would say, ‘the book is a quick read on the author’s life that leaves you feeling warm, like ‘Peiskos’ ( the feeling of sitting in front of a fire enjoying its warmth).
She begins the book, ‘More than coffee’ by talking about the brew- that coffee is more than a beverage. She says, ‘The meaning lies deeper than a caffeine fix. It encompasses early mornings together, outside tables in the sunshine, and the productivity and frustrations of work.Its about those quiet, nostalgic moments sitting on a smooth slab of granite, captivated by the sights and sounds of wilderness surroundings.” These lines spoke to me as it would to anybody who enjoys the brew for the same reason. Drinking a cup of coffee is slowing down, taking a break in a fast-paced life to talk, think and share one’s thoughts.
‘More than coffee’ is a book that celebrates life and everything it encompasses for the author.
In this book of sixty pages, Lauren Scott pays a tribute to everybody and everything she loves in life- her parents, her husband of 34 years, her children, her new-found love for camping- a love that she found in her fifties although her husband was always an avid camper, her parents in-laws, her children, her dog, Copper, her music and Nature. Her love for nature, and the strength she derives from it, is reflected in the scattering of short poems throughout the book which are a pleasure to read.
The author reminisces her parents relationship- how they met, fell in love and had a beautiful marriage spanning seven decades. It will leave the reader wishing for a marriage like that. She goes on to talk about her own marriage of thirty-two years and says, it’s important not to enter into a relationship hoping the person you’re in love with will change eventually but to go into a relationship with a person whom you do not want to ever change because you love everything about them. I especially loved the chapter on her father-in-law, Will. It brought back memories of my dad- being a caregiver for his wife who had cancer, the loneliness after losing his wife and later moving into a senior home and how difficult the pandemic was on him. The only difference was that Will had to be a caregiver twice as his second wife also suffered from dementia after 19 years of marriage. She says, “Optimism and an easy-going attitude are in his DNA. Taking what comes and going with the flow is how he has always lived life, regardless of any boulders rolled in his path. His ninety-seven years have not been devoid of heartbreak and strife, but he would be the first to tell you that his life has been blessed.” I couldn’t help rooting for Will to finish a 100 and more- there’s a lot one can learn about living life, from Will.
In the last chapter, Lauren talks of her second child moving out and how the ‘Empty Nest’ feels. It’s a sentiment close to my heart, as in a month’s time, my second child will be leaving home, too. Lauren says, “Here’s my take-away: we love our children so much-sometimes to the point that it hurts. Parenting doesn’t get easier as our children grow older- with each new phase develops new sets of worries…Such is life. However, knowing they love us just as much is something so much bigger to be thankful for that keeps our hearts calm.”
In ‘More than Coffee’, Lauren talks of the good things that life gave her; it sounds like an idyllic life. She mentions there were downs too but, she does not talk about it in the book. The book will leave you feeling warm, grateful and counting all that life has given you, too.
The best part of the book was the poetry- I loved it. Lauren’s poems are soft and tender and touch the heart like a gentle snowflake. I found it hard to choose which ones I liked best but here are three of the many I like, so you can get a taste of her poems.
Magic (this poem is when her second child moves away from home)
I watch your car fade
into the sunrise
as distance broadens
to be pursued.
We crave the chase.
When you capture yours,
hold it like a new puppy,
wiggling with excitement.
You are in my heart.
Feel the joy emanating.
You know the rain may linger…
Oh, but the magic is knowing
my love travels wherever your dreams
may guide you.
A cup of Spring
Miss Spring sips her tea
as we anticipate her arrival.
She says, “Be patient, I will
soon bring you colors
so pleasing and new life, delightful.
But first, Mr Winter must finish
acting out his scene.
It’s a postage-stamp dwelling
with a few chips and dents,
but within the walls lie
giggles and imaginations.
Love enfolds itself
into every crevice…
a wealth much greater.
If I say anything more, I would be giving out the book as it is like I said, just sixty pages. If you’re in India and you’d like to buy the book, you can click here. It’s priced at INR 428.41 on kindle. If you’re outside India, you can pick the book here. It costs USD 8.58 for the paperback version.
By Paula Light 5 stars – Feels like you’re old friends
Sometimes a writer has such an engaging style that you feel you’re old friends after reading them. That’s the way I feel about Lauren Scott after finishing her memoir More than Coffee. Her vignettes and poetry are so honest and vivid that it seems she must have shared the stories in person, over coffee of course. I teared up when I read her parents’ love story, and I was right there with Lauren when she found a tarantula in her house (eek!). Lauren and I are about the same age with adult children who have moved away (though happily both of mine are only around an hour’s drive), so I can relate to many of the emotions she describes about being a parent and transitioning from living with your children to helping them leave the nest.
I’ve followed Lauren’s blog for a while, but like many of us I lazily read her posts as they appeared in my reader without actually visiting her site. Thus, I did not even know she had books for sale until she posted the link to a review by Mark Bierman. The review intrigued me so much I bought Lauren’s book, and I am glad I did. It was such a pleasure to savor this rich and tasty brew, redolent with love, loss, adventure, hope, and, above all, family bonds.
Thank you for sharing your life so beautifully with your readers, Lauren.
By Mark Bierman 5 stars
A love letter to Life
The title gets it right. This book is about far more than coffee, more than a journal; it’s a love letter to Life. An exquisite and heartfelt testament to a life well lived.
Every anecdote and poem is a window to a different season that is relatable to anyone who’s been on this journey for more than a decade. The stories and poems are thoughtfully crafted and wonderfully penned. They complement each other nicely and capture the intense emotions of those moments and milestones.
I smiled at the tales about her bouts with arachnophobia, but not because I’d wish that on anyone. It reminds me of my own, ‘tour of duty’ in the defense against spiders when I had to “save” my youngest daughter. Then again, I feel the same way about snakes.
I highly recommend this book for those who savor each day!
Touching, funny, and reflective
This volume is a delightful collection of observations about life and of the small, ordinary things viewed through fresh eyes. Some of the stories and poems made me chuckle, others were reflective and some were poignant and moving. This is one of those selections that is perfect for dipping into when the mood takes you. (If you’re an arachnophobe, you’ll enjoy Laughing Spiders!)
By Sally Cronin at Smorgasbord Book Reviews 5 stars
This is a delightful collection of prose and poetry reflecting on a life tinged with sadness but also a great deal of love and humour. The author celebrates moments from her early life and marriage of over thirty years with stories that will entertain and also bring the reader’s own experiences to mind.
Sometimes it is the simplest things that evoke the warmest memories, such as a silver cutlery set, a toy frog called Sam, a yellowed kitchen chopper and the first time baking a traditional family birthday cake.
We are invited to concerts as a teenager overcomes self-doubt to solo in front of an audience of 2000 and fulfil a dream inspired by her idol Barbra Streisand. There are moments with spiders that might have you looking around your immediate surroundings, but you will also find yourself in some wonderful wilderness areas offering moments of reflection and a dip in a mountain pool.
Love is a central theme beginning with her mother and father’s love story that endured for nearly 70 years having begun in WWII with all its uncertainty and lengthy periods apart, and the author’s own fateful meeting with her husband, involving a kitchen appliance!
The loss of parents, even after a long and wonderful life, leaves a hole in our hearts. Their stories and poetry dedicated to them in this collection are heart-warming and reinforce the extent of their loving influence on the generations that followed.
The final part of the collection reflects on the changes that come when children leave the nest, and whilst this is obviously a time of sadness, there is also pride and delight as new lives are forged with future adventures to look forward to.
I enjoyed all the stories and poems in the collection and I am hard pushed to pick just one favourite but this one touched my heart.
I stare at this page, milk white as the
blanketed ground in winter’s staging
where are the syllables?
I fear they have flown to faraway places,
across desert dunes and boundless oceans
and might not return so that I may tell him
(again) how irreplaceable he is.
Instead, I’ll touch his lips with mine
and steady myself in the arms of a man
who is satisfied with my simple existence.
I can highly recommend this collection to read in one sitting or to dip into when you are in need of gentle and uplifting moments.
By Jane Sturgeon – More Than Coffee: So Much More Than a Memoir of Verse and Prose 5 stars
I loved every word in this book. Scott’s style and loving expression took me into the heart of life and to what truly matters. Her thoughts of Wil, her father-in-law, are compassionate and delightful in equal measure. Scott’s love for her family and the life she and Matt have built for their children shine through. Belonging and Riding With The Wind are two of my favourite poems.
More Than Coffee is a delight from start to finish and I highly recommend it to anyone who needs a dip into the magic of life.
By Scott Mitchell – Deep and Inspirational
My favorite poet does it again in this publication. Lauren Scott is a deep end creative soul that finds the very words to pull in the reader. I’ve enjoyed her work for about 10 years.
By Resa at Graffiti Lux Art & More (Resa’s review included her art work, so click on the link to see the full, amazing review: https://graffitiluxandmurals.com/2021/11/23/more-than-coffee-by-lauren-scott/) 5 stars
As a person who enjoys poetry and coffee, the decision to read Lauren’s well written book was a no-brainer. As a matter of fact, I languished over every poem and bit of prose. For 33 mornings, I read one piece with my coffee. Each day’s reading brought me warm thoughts, stirred feelings and created a desire to be creative. What a great and positive way to start the day. In this intimate look at her and her family, nature plays a huge part in stirring memories of irreplaceable experiences, both uplifting and occasionally heartbreaking. All emotions are expressed beautifully in positive light. I couldn’t resist picking my favourite poem.
This poem is an experience I share with Lauren. She could have been writing about me and my mom. I am deeply moved.
There is no copy and paste from the ebook. I wrote this out, and proofed it many times. It seems the word program likes to correct non-mistakes. In the final proof, much to my amazement I saw the title was in blue. All the titles are in blue. Yet, I believed this title was in red. Lauren, I hope you are okay with me keeping the red!
She may have been speaking of her daughter, yet I see Lauren in those words. It’s as though I could have just used those words about her book, about herself.
By Stephanie Eder – There’s something to take away from each page! 5 stars
More than Coffee: Memories in Verse and Prose is a heartwarming collection of poetry and short stories about love, loss, nature, parenting, and so much more, all with the best friend of coffee close by. My name is Stephanie, and I am Lauren’s daughter. While I have heard these stories told before, written or expressed verbally, and have helped with the editing process along the way, reading these stories and poems hit me in a different way. I was sitting on my couch in the apartment I share with my husband, reading my mom’s newest book, crying hysterically. Every page I turned, re-reading and even re-living through these moments provoked tears. I cried for my mom losing both her parents, but mostly on the short story ‘Ascent;’ I cried on the short story titled ‘1989,’ about my parents meeting even though I’ve heard it told many times before. Lastly, I cried while reading ‘The Way It Was,’ about my mom’s choir and solo singing opportunities encouraged by her teacher, that catapulted me, her daughter, in sharing that same passion for singing and love for Barbra Streisand. There is much more but those are a few examples that capture the raw emotions, authenticity and vulnerability she shares with the reader – aspects to life everyone can relate to. My mom has published two solely poetry books prior, but the amalgamation of the short stories and poems is a fine-tuned balance, one she has hit her mark on. I couldn’t be any prouder! Do her the honor of purchasing and reading this book with a mug of coffee or your preferred drink of choice; you surely won’t be disappointed!
By Pamela Wight – The Sweetness of Life Poured Through the Pages 5 stars
In the midst of all the strive and ugliness and turmoil “out there” in our world, comes lilting lovely prose and poems reminding us that the simple things of life – a cup of coffee, a hug from a child, sweetheart romance, hugging a tree, walking through the forest – these symbolize the reality of most of our lives. Peace amidst the worry, love amidst the stress, and Mother Nature, always Mother Nature here to nurture us. Lauren Scott helps us return to our own selves as we read in her sweet memoir those incidents that cause her peace and laughter and love. Even with an aversion to spiders, Lauren finds a way to smile and helps us readers nod our heads and say yes, yes, this is the sweetness of life.
By Robbie Cheadle – A bright ray of sunshine 5 stars
This lovely book is a mix of a memoir about the author/poet’s life with some beautiful freestyle poems included after each prose section to enhance the emotion and moments shared. The memoirs are relatable and cover delightful memories of family brought back through inherited items and stories shared by family members as well as the author’s own life experiences including achievements, romance, parental love, and overcoming fears. The author’s personality and humour comes through strongly in her writing and poetry, as well as her joy and pleasure in the simple things in life.
My favourite poem in this collection and the one that summarised for me the spirit and essence of this book is Fulfilled.
Let me drink from the gaze in your eyes
Eyes that have me wildly mesmerized
Mesmerized under their vivid piercing spell
Spell which only you many cast over me
Me, with a heart madly in love
Love, a whirlwind of euphoric emotions so true
True in not only our hearts, but in our minds
Minds, fully aware of their endless thoughts
Thoughts so amorous of us entwined
Entwined in each other’s arms eternally,
Eternally, still to few seconds for our time together.
I recommend this book to people who enjoy basking in the bright rays of happiness in life.
By D.W. Peach – Lovely, personal memories from the author 5 stars
This highly recommended and quick read is a compilation of a number of Scott’s personal and precious memories conveyed in both short prose and freeform poetry. A lot of those memories come with the luxury of a hot cup of coffee, but not all. They capture bits of time from idolizing Barbara Streisand as a kid to camping in the Sierras, and lifelong encounters with spiders. Embedded within many of the stories are heartfelt relationships with parents, spouse, and children.
Some of my favorite stories were “Silver Heirlooms” about how simple hand-me-downs become filled with meaning, “Ascent” about grief and the solace of nature, “Laughing Spiders” about big hairy arachnids, and “1989” a romantic relationship initiated by, of all things, an old refrigerator.
I’ve read poetry books by Scott in the past, and the poems in this collection are some of my favorites. They follow along the same lines as the prose pieces and are in many cases reflections of the same topic. My favorite poems were: “The Right Time”, “Simple Existence”, “To My Babies” and…
Its canary boldness
rises up to the sun
alone, yet not lonely,
but wearing bravery
on each petal –
standing tall with spirit
in lean green attire
as if soaking up the day’s
By Holly Moseley – Extremely Heartwarming 5 stars
These stories will make your heart and soul “do a little dance.” They are reminders about the simple things in our lives that mesh together to make us, well us. Lauren Scott is able to capture these moments in her own life so everyone can relate. You feel like you are sitting around a campfire, drinking coffee and laughing with an old friend. I highly recommend!
By Beth – Uplifting 5 stars
More than Coffee is a heartwarming collection of memories and anecdotes in which the author reflects on her early life, her marriage, her love for family and friends, and her appreciation for the great outdoors. In poetry and prose she writes poignantly (and often humorously) of love, loss, sadness and joy, and I found myself relating to each section. The overall feeling I had after reading More than Coffee was one of optimism and upliftment. A wonderful book!
By Balroop Singh – Heart-warming and delightful memoir 5 stars
More than Coffee: Memories in Verse and Prose by Lauren Scott is a heart-warming memoir that captures lovely moments of childhood, of parents’ love, of attachments, of campfires and hiking with the love of her life. The blissful moments come alive as Scott revels in the good times, letting nostalgia transport her into time machine, to watch the reel unfold like “pictures on a camera roll.” She talks about the value of some priceless gifts that are handed down from one generation to another; she takes pride in the stories that such “gems” tell to evoke fond memories of parents. Only the happy times have been shared in this book.
Written in a simple and straight-forward style, Lauren’s poetry is realistic. ‘To My Babies’ tugged at my heart and I am sure all mothers can relate to this delightful poem. Fragrant memories of “Earthquake Cake” made me smile. ‘Simple Existence’ is thought-provoking and made me pause to comprehend the depth of words that dance across “desert dunes and boundless oceans.” ‘Forever Steady’ too gives you a reflective message to take a breather, look at magical wilderness of nature and see how “delightfully birds sing and trees welcome our company.”
I loved this book and finished it within an hour. If you value relationships and family bonding, this book is for you.