All Aboard the ARC: Little Astronaut: Poems by J. Hope Stein

***Note: I received a free digital review copy of this book from NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing in exchange for an honest review. I have not received compensation for the inclusion of any links for purchase found in this review or on any other page of The Voracious Bibliophile which mentions Little Astronaut: Poems, its author, or its publisher.***

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Review

A lot of small joys are captured herein: running barefoot on the beach; discovering language for the first time; and all the other triumphs of new life, of becoming a person. The bond between a mother and her child is perhaps the most holy covenant we as humans partake in, and J. Hope Stein restores the hallowed realms of motherhood to their much-deserved apotheosis. In this collection, Stein has given words to what can only be described as a miracle, and we as readers are more the blessed for her contributions. I don’t think I could recommend this collection highly enough, and I’m looking forward to putting it in the hands of my customers.

The bond between a mother and her child is perhaps the most holy covenant we as humans partake in, and J. Hope Stein restores the hallowed realms of motherhood to their much-deserved apotheosis.

Little Astronaut: Poems by J. Hope Stein

Little Astronaut: Poems is due to be released on September 20th, 2022 by Andrews McMeel Publishing and is available to preorder wherever books are sold.

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

All Aboard the ARC: unlock your storybook heart by Amanda Lovelace

unlock your storybook heart by Amanda Lovelace

***Note: I received a free digital review copy of this book from NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing in exchange for an honest review. I have not received compensation for the inclusion of any links for purchase found in this review or on any other page of The Voracious Bibliophile which mentions unlock your storybook heart, its author, or its publisher.***

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Review

Reading a book by Amanda Lovelace is kind of like settling in for a nice heartfelt chat with a friend that you’ve not gotten to talk to in a long time.

Reading a book by Amanda Lovelace is kind of like settling in for a nice heartfelt chat with a friend that you’ve not gotten to talk to in a long time. There’s familiarity, kinship, and the kind of confessions you can only make when you know someone truly and deeply. When I first found out I had been approved to read a galley of unlock your storybook heart, which is the third and final book in Lovelace’s you are your own fairy tale series, I immediately texted a friend who also loves her work and intentionally filled them with jealousy. Evil? Perhaps, but it was worth it.

You’re already the prize you’ve won.

I enjoyed every page of this collection. Its truths bear repeating and Lovelace expands upon her themes with each successive page. Throughout this collection, and indeed throughout all of Lovelace’s work, we see that the most profound truths and the best practices for living one’s life to the fullest are not complex at all. All you really need to do is let go, trust your inner voice, and chart your own path. It’s nice to have a partner to share that journey with, but as Lovelace often shares, you only need yourself. You’re already the prize you’ve won. You don’t need a charming prince in a fortified castle or a knight in shining armor. You can slay the dragon yourself and ride off into the sunset as your own hero and that’s perfectly okay.

You can slay the dragon yourself and ride off into the sunset as your own hero and that’s perfectly okay.

unlock your storybook heart will be released by Andrews McMeel Publishing on March 15th, 2022 and is now available to preorder wherever books are sold.

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

All Aboard the ARC: The Moonflower Monologues (Revised and Expanded) by Tess Guinery

The Moonflower Monologues (Revised and Expanded) by Tess Guinery

***Note: I received a free digital review copy of this book from NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing in exchange for an honest review. I have not received compensation for the inclusion of any links for purchase found in this review or on any other page of The Voracious Bibliophile which mentions The Moonflower Monologues, its creator, or its publisher.***

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Review

Before reading Tess Guinery’s newest collection The Moonflower Monologues, I didn’t know anything about night flowers. I didn’t know that there were even such flora in existence. These nocturnal beauties, these children of the moon, bloom only under the cover of night, illuminated by nought but pale slivers of moonlight. Because they bloom only at night, they cannot be pollinated by the usual insects. Bats and moths, then, being nocturnal creatures themselves, are primarily responsible for pollinating these fragrance-heavy flowers. These flowers, as you can see, easily lend themselves to metaphor.

These nocturnal beauties, these children of the moon, bloom only under the cover of night, illuminated by nought but pale slivers of moonlight.

In The Moonflower Monologues, Tess Guinery illuminates for us a simple but complex truth: It is only in our darkest moments that we see what we are truly capable of, that we become who we were meant to be. Truthfully, we can only become the best version of ourselves after having been through the kind of reflection and introspection that she details in her book. I must admit, I read this collection through one of the darkest periods of my life. Having survived COVID-19 and been forced to live with my own limitations after the fact, I really needed something bright and beautiful to pull me out of my malaise. I needed, as one of my favorite authors Cheryl Strayed has said before, to be put in the way of beauty.

It is only in our darkest moments that we see what we are truly capable of, that we become who we were meant to be.

Part of putting yourself in the way of beauty more often than not requires getting out of your own head and admiring the wonder of creation around you. It requires you to do the deep and laborious work of excavation, to get at the truth of the wonder of life. What is that truth? For me, and I’m sure for Tess Guinery as well, it’s love.

What is that truth? For me, and I’m sure for Tess Guinery as well, it’s love.

The Moonflower Monologues was published by Andrews McMeel Publishing on January 4th, 2022 and is now available to purchase wherever books are sold. This collection is perfect for fans of Rupi Kaur, Amanda Lovelace, and Lang Leav.

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

All Aboard the ARC: New Names for Lost Things by Noor Unnahar

New Names for Lost Things by Noor Unnahar

***Note: I received a free digital review copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.***

A poet’s heart is a populous grave. Bodies turned stories turned / guilt turned into a mouth. I am trying to be lonely again.

Noor Unnahar, [A Poet’s Heart]

In New Names for Lost Things, Noor Unnahar’s newest collection of poetry and visual art, she speaks in her own inimitable voice about the achingly familiar: love, loss, grief, death, memory, and forgetting. She writes with emotional clarity in an economy of language that doesn’t waste words. This collection is exactly what it needs to be, nothing more and nothing less, and that is the highest compliment one can pay a poet.

…she [Unnahar] speaks…about the achingly familiar: love, loss, grief, death, memory, and forgetting.

Major themes recurring throughout New Names for Lost Things include family memory, the opportunity cost of our chosen versus our lost or unchosen futures, and the way(s) in which what we choose to keep, both material and immaterial, come to define us not only to ourselves but to the rest of the world. While Unnahar’s first collection, yesterday i was the moon, was luminous in its own right, New Names for Lost Things is in a category entirely its own. Put simply, if yesterday i was the moon were a single star, New Names for Lost Things is its own galaxy. This is one of the best collections I’ve read this year and I want everyone I know to read it.

New Names for Lost Things was published by Andrews McMeel Publishing on October 19th, 2021 and is available to purchase wherever books are sold.

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

Poem for the Day: October 29th, 2021

when we empower ourselves, we inspire others to empower 
themselves. step up & lead the way for others to follow in your
footsteps. encourage them to do better than you were able to,
because hope can never be lost as long as the future rests in
the hands of our sisters & siblings.

—be the light.

Today’s poem is from shine your icy crown by amanda lovelace. She is the author of several bestselling poetry collections, among them the titles in the “women are some kind of magic” series, the “you are your own fairy tale” trilogy, and the “things that h(a)unt” duology. shine your icy crown was published in January 2021 by Andrews McMeel Publishing and is available to purchase wherever books are sold.

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

All Aboard the ARC: My Greenhouse: Poetry by Bella Mayo

My Greenhouse: Poetry by Bella Mayo

Review

***Note: I received a free digital review copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.***

Is there anything that burns as bright in embryo or scars as deep in the aftermath as first love?

Is there anything that burns as bright in embryo or scars as deep in the aftermath as first love? I think Bella Mayo, the author of My Greenhouse, would be inclined to answer no. And I would be inclined to agree with her.

As we grow up we become jaded, conveniently forgetting the potency and primacy of the feelings we had when we were young and in love. I don’t believe there’s ever a time a person is more alive than when everything is blossoming for the first time—the first time you feel someone else’s lips on yours as well as the first time someone takes your heart and shreds it like so much dirty confetti.

My Greenhouse leaves no stone unturned and no leaf unfurled, showing that healing after heartbreak is indeed possible—even if you have to dig everything up and plant it somewhere else.

Mayo catalogs all of these feelings and presents them as a blueprint for moving on when the one you thought would never leave decides they can’t stay. My Greenhouse leaves no stone unturned and no leaf unfurled, showing that healing after heartbreak is indeed possible—even if you have to dig everything up and plant it somewhere else.

My Greenhouse: Poetry is due to be released on September 21st by Andrews McMeel Publishing and is now available to preorder wherever books are sold.

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter and Instagram @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

All Aboard the ARC: Flower Crowns and Fearsome Things by Amanda Lovelace

Flower Crowns and Fearsome Things by Amanda Lovelace

Review

***Note: I received a free digital review copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.***

In her newest standalone collection of poetry, Amanda Lovelace makes Persephone of Greek mythology her muse, exploring through her the dualities inherent in femininity as well as the fragmented self that we must all contend with—the self we are with others and the self we are when we’re alone, and the result is nothing short of brilliant.

…Lovelace makes Persephone of Greek mythology her muse, exploring through her the dualities inherent in femininity as well as the fragmented self that we must all contend with—the self we are with others and the self we are when we’re alone, and the result is nothing short of brilliant.

Also tackled herein is the COVID-19 pandemic and the ways it has changed and remade us, from the reasons why wearing a mask is an act of love and respect but also an act of defiance to telling her beloved how close she’ll be able to come to them when the world stops ending. God, that phrase is one I can’t stop turning over and over in my mind. When the world stops ending, when the world stops ending, when the world stops ending….Because isn’t that how it feels right now? As if every day is being lived in survival mode with no end in sight? Thank God we still have poetry to get us through.

Because isn’t that how it feels right now? As if every day is being lived in survival mode with no end in sight? Thank God we still have poetry to get us through.

All in all, Flower Crowns and Fearsome Things is a stellar collection sure to please new readers of Lovelace’s work as well as her longtime fans. The gorgeous illustrations by Janaina Medeiros complement Lovelace’s words perfectly, giving them more depth and clarity. I feel safe in saying this is a title I’ll be hand-selling to my customers who enjoy poetry.

Flower Crowns and Fearsome Things is due to be released on October 5th, 2021 by Andrews McMeel Publishing and is now available to preorder wherever books are sold.

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter and Instagram @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.