Review: Interesting Facts about Space

Interesting Facts about Space
Interesting Facts about Space by Emily R. Austin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book in the beginning but somewhere in the middle it lost me. For some reason I didn’t find myself wanting to come back to it. But I stuck it out and was grateful to have done so by the end. Many many others loved this much more than I did so I would urge you to read their reviews 🙂

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Review: Middletide

Middletide by Sarah Crouch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This slow-burn novel is about a mystery. A woman is found dead. Is it a suicide or is it a murder? If it’s a murder, who did it? How come the details seem to match a novel that was written a long time ago?

But really, at its heart, it’s not about the mystery. Sure there’s some of that.

What there’s much more of is the story of coming back home, the story of regret and trying to make amends. The story of loss and grief and deep sadness. The story of small towns vs big cities. The story of how we can lose ourselves and how we can find ourselves. And the story of what it means to be believed.

If you come into this story for the mystery, you will not like it. It’s a slow slow slow burn. But if you come into it to enjoy the characters, the beautiful setting and the humanity, you will love it.

with gratitude to Atria and netgalley for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review

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Review: In Universes

In Universes
In Universes by Emet North
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“But the truth is that time is neither a river nor an arrow. It is a dimension, and our lives stretch across it, each of us a four-dimensional shape, taking up some small space in the universe. All moments existing at once and forever.”

The poetic exploration of kaleidoscopic parallel universes in this book makes it hard for the literal reader to weave a single thread through the plot. You are not meant to read this story, you’re meant to fall into the worlds the author puts together and follow the journey with your heart.

“I loved him like my left hand, without which it would be difficult to tie my shoes or chop an onion. But I would still be able to make circles around stars. The days I woke to find myself weightless”

There’s so much beauty, so much grief, so much joy, so much self-exploration in this story. Just when you think you know what’s going on, things shift. New openings, new perspectives, and new unknowns welcome you.

“It doesn’t take so much to make a life. A small group of kind people. Work that leaves a body tired enough for sleep. A little house with a bed and a chair. Food grown in the fields or gardens. Letters I write to the people I love, even knowing I can’t send them.”

I loved following Raffi’s journey, I loved the writing, I loved the journey that the book took me on.

with gratitude to Harper and netgalley for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review

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Review: Instructions for Traveling West: Poems

Instructions for Traveling West: Poems
Instructions for Traveling West: Poems by Joy Sullivan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“The last time I felt lucky was in fifth grade and my teacher was giving away a goldfish. She put all our names in a hat and miraculously drew mine. I was so excited, I cried. The fish only lived two weeks but, I loved him. It was years before I realized my teacher likely rigged the draw. Moments before, she had, in fact, whispered rather conspiratorially, that it just might be my lucky day. I was such a lonely kid and having a hell of a time adapting to the U.S. after living abroad and I think Mrs. Edelstein figured I could use a win. Of course the universe is full of deep magic, but I think most miracles can be traced back to someone’s profound and quiet kindness.”

This collection of poems beautiful, thought-provoking, deeply emotional and full of joy. It was honest and raw. Each time I read something that makes me feel less alone in the world, I am grateful for the bravery of the author to share a piece of themselves in a way that reminds us that we are all connected and suffering and joyful together.

“What curses us are rarely witches. Instead, it’s the stories the shape of someone else’s fear.”

There’s so much beauty in these poems, so much rawness and honesty. Regardless of where you are in your journey to self, I am confident you will find something here that resonates with you.

“In the Office We wear thin armor, as if approaching war. During a meeting, a man explains why his ideas are good, perhaps brilliant. The days rifle past, full of paper cuts, nerves, and filing cabinets. The copier, a monstrosity, glares in the corner and waits to break. In the lobby, there is enough sugar to kill a horse. At the company party, the receptionist gets drunk and begins to weep. We sneak our joy in slices—on holidays and weekends, sandwiched between calendars and PTO. Vacations smear at the edges. Traffic eats us like ants. Work-life balance, someone says. Outside, our lives ring, unanswered.”

Here’s to answering the call of our lives.

with gratitude to Random House and netgalley for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review

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Review: One

One by Eve Smith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I read this fast-paced thriller in one sitting. It has the pacing and setting of the YA dystopian thrillers from a few years ago that were so popular. This book tackles many serious themes around climate change, infertility, government overreach, motherhood, and more. Sadly, many of the themes explored are not very far from today’s reality.

with gratitude to Independent Publishers Group, Orenda Books and netgalley for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review

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The Joy of Art – February 16, 2024 at 07:57AM

Don’t look back you’re not going that way.

#art #watercolorjournal #watercolorlandscape #watercolorseascape #artfun #joy #art #kolbieblume #thiswritingdesk #loveyourimperfectletters #etchr #practicingwatercolor #practicinglettering #practicingart #learningtowatercolor #learningtoletter #learningtopaint #landscapes #watercolorjournal #watercolors #watercolor #watercolorlandscape #watercolorsunset #landscapeart #seascapes #etchrsketchbooks #etchrsketchbook

The Joy of Art – February 13, 2024 at 09:48AM

Your idea of me is not my responsibility to live up to.

#art #kolbieblume #thiswritingdesk #loveyourimperfectletters

The Joy of Art – February 12, 2024 at 11:58AM

First page in my new watercolor relaxation journal. @willa.wanders makes it look easy when it’s not! But it’s so joyful and meditative anyway.

#art #willawatercolors #watercolorforrelaxation #wendysolganik #artjournaling #watercolorfun #watercolors #watercolor #joy #color #triangles #geometric

The Joy of Art – February 08, 2024 at 08:25AM

Enjoy the little things in life…

#art #kolbieblume #thiswritingdesk #loveyourimperfectletters #etchr #practicingwatercolor #practicinglettering #practicingart #learningtowatercolor #learningtoletter #learningtopaint #landscapes #watercolorjournal #watercolors #watercolor #watercolorlandscape #watercolorsunset #landscapeart #seascapes #etchrsketchbooks #etchrsketchbook

Some Art Videos – January 2024

I’ve loaded these to instagram this month so I wanted to make sure they were here too.

Review: Mercury

Mercury by Amy Jo Burns
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was more like a 3.5 and almost 4 but for me it went on a little longer than I wanted. I loved every single one of the characters and I loved how real and 3-dimensional they were. I loved that by the end of the book, I could relate to each and every one of them and my heart broken for almost each of their stories. So many themes explored here around family, marriage, sibling relationships, marriage, single-motherhood, young-motherhood, small towns and more. Beautiful story.

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Review: Your Wish Is My Command

Your Wish Is My Command
Your Wish Is My Command by Deena Mohamed
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Absolutely excellent. Especially the first wish. But i loved all of this book and the worldbuilding and the idea behind it. I can’t recommend it enough!

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