A new year means you just might be hunting for a new journal. Some journals offer plain blank pages to write whatever you want, but this upcoming journal by Jess Conte offers something better. She provides a wide range of different writing prompts from writing about your childhood, to filling out a never have I ever page, to narrowing down which foods you can’t stand, etc. Sprinkled throughout this journal Jess also offers both heart and health check in pages to gauge how you might be holding up on a particular day.
This journal I feel gives a wide range of different writing prompts. Some were fairly traditional and others were a nice surprise. The one thing that was missing, in my opinion, is more Christian faith content. Jess does have micro spots of a sentence here or there, but there are no Bible verses, prayers, etc. Maybe this journal is more for a general audience rather than a faith based one. Either audience I think would appreciate this journal. I believe Jess captures a writer’s full portrait so to speak with covering so many different topics within this journal.
I received my complimentary copy of Day By Day: A Guided Journal by Jess Conte from EllieClaire.com, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc to provide my honest feedback. Thoughts expressed are my own and of my own choice. Keep an eye out for this pretty soon to be released journal.
Some books burrow a place into your soul. Carry The Dog has done just that. The last page has been read and my brain is reeling from this novel. This novel is NOT for kids or teens. If you are sensitive to dark topics then you may want to proceed with caution. It’s dark. Pitch black, can’t see ANYTHING in front of your face. The only thing you can do is listen to the main character, Bea’s thoughts.
How do you survivea childhood overshadowed bya famous mother? To have a parent whose loved and hated by society for producing what she considers art? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but what if that perspective is twisted and marred?
Bea is on the cusp of the big 60 and her childhood that she thought was ‘normal’ keeps throwing her flashbacks. She’s trying to survive. One cig and drink at a time. Thankfully she has her younger sister, of sorts, Echo to keep her grounded.
When Bea’s ex tries to worm her into agreeing to allow someone to do a documentary on her mom she’s confronted with a past she’s trying forget. How does one process trauma? She thought ignoring it would make it disappear, but when Bea tries to confront her aging father, she realizes sometimes you’ve just got to dive into the pig sty and face crap head-on.
This novel tackles the intricacies of family on a whole different level. What is a family? Can a fractured one be pieced back together? Is it possible to pick up the shards of a disassociated self and make her whole again? How does our own perception morph between childhood and adulthood?
I received a complimentary physical and digital copy of Carry The Dog by Stephanie Gangi care of Algonquin Books and NetGalley. The views are mine and of my own volition. Thank you Stephanie, Algonquin Books and NetGalley. This novel is Gone Girl level on the psychological front. I almost couldn’t stomach it, but I’m glad I did.
Does your child need cheering up? Life has turned upside down for everyone this past year and our old way of life seems to have been left behind in the dust. Hello From Here, is a cute children’s board book about fun ways to communicate now that sadly social distancing and staying home is the norm. Each page offers some unique ways to send messages and is a very cheerfully, colorful children’a book.
I received my complimentary copy of Hello From Here by Pamela Kennedy and Illustrated by Mackenzie Haley from Worthy Kids. The views expressed are mine and my own choice. This little book is for little kids, but parents, siblings and caregivers alike will enjoy this uplifting book. I know we all need things to brighten our day and this gem won’t disappoint.
Who doesn’t love a beautiful journal? I sure do and am a sucker for journals from Tuesday Morning or Ross. When I got asked if I’d like to review a journal and Joyce Meyer was involved I couldn’t say, “Yes, please, ” fast enough. This journal has pretty colored pages with blues, greens and pinks. Joyce Meyer imparts different messages on each page; topics ranging from faith, fear, confidence, trust, the Holy Spirit and Christ.
I think this journal would make a wonderful prayer journal, to write out your prayers to God. It’s a slim volume, so you don’t have to feel intimidated by it being too thick.
I received this complimentary journal from Faith Words. The views expressed are mine and my choice. Be sure to grab a copy this spring. This journal would make a lovely Easter or birthday gift for a friend, mother, sister, aunt, grandmother, etc.
This memoir is a force to be reckoned with. Rachael opens up her heart and soul in this fast paced, hard to put down memoir. I think my mind and heart are recouping from what an amazing life Rachael has lived and is living. She’s a woman warrior that won’t let life’s crap keep her down. No matter where you are at in life, her memoir will have something just for you.
Keep Going is a short book on the topic of creativity. Mr. Kleon talks about different ways we can be creative and how our environment can either encourage it or dissuade from it. Through out the book he offers quotes from different writers and figures throughout history. Mr. Kleon also, includes cartoons.
This is a quick read, but it offers a lot of helpful suggestions in how to live out being creative wether it’s through writing, painting, etc. I like that the author talks about the struggles that come with being creative and how to balance it by getting outside by exercising, gardening, making gifts for others, taking old things and creating something new out of them.
I received my complimentary digital copy of Keep Going by Austin Kleon from Workman Publishing, care of NetGalley. The view expressed are mine only and of my own free will.
The cover is colorful. Julianna Zobrist loves color. Her picture on the front of her book makes me think of Lady GaGa due to the creative outfit she’s wearing. Her memoir Pull It Off is a short book filled with how we view our identity shapes us and our confidence.
She is not preachy, but Julianna shows through Biblical scripture our identity is in Christ. Julianna doesn’t harp on us being perfect, but on learning to accept our imperfections and allowing God to work through that. She provides stories from her life and what it’s like to be married to her professional baseball player husband.
This memoir was light hearted with nuggets of Biblical truth sprinkled in. Julianna is not your typical Christian living genre type author. She thinks and expresses herself outside the box. The chapter where Julianna describes how her home is decorated made me sit in awe. Think of Candy Land throwing up decorations all over her home. Yes, it’s that colorful and fun. The allegory about the dandelion at the end was emotionally powerful.
I received a complementary copy of Pull It Off by Julianna Zobrist from Faith Words. Opinions expressed in this review are my own. If you love Christian books that are helpful, but not bossy in tone then you may enjoy this book. I hope Julianna will write more books.
The title was different. LaLa Lovely. What kind of book would this be? Author, Trina McNeilly, compiles a collection of her essays about life and what it looks like to find beauty in life when all you feel you can see is pain. Her essays range from topics on friendship, family, creativity, self care, doubt, faith and more. Each chapter is graced with photos from her life. This book felt like a warm blanket on a chilly night. It keeps you warm, but eventually certain topics become too, hot, so you have to throw the blanket off and be honest with yourself. These essays are poetic, heart wrenching, inspiring and most of all written with love.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Faith Words. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. If you love memoirs, or essays on the above topics you will treasure this beautiful book. Thank you for sharing your heart Trina.
I didn’t quite know what I’d get into when reading The Crows Of Beara by Julie Christine Johnson. This book captured my heart. This novel follows Annie, a freshly out of rehab PR Rep who begs to be allowed to do an assignment in Ireland. Her boss is leery of her not being quite up to the task decides to allow her when her colleague has to back out at the last minute. Annie is excited to be back in Ireland where she previously vacationed with her husband, Stephen. The difference now is that her marriage is on the rocks. Annie hopes this time away will give her a chance to regroup.
When Annie gets to Ireland on her assignment she meets the local hiking guide named Daniel. They seem to have some inexplicable connection. Annie waves it off as nothing, but when her assignment in Ireland seems to be turning ugly she realizes there’s more to the assignment than she thought. Is there more to Daniel than meets the eye? Is Annie ready to fully face her demons?
If you like Ireland, love suspense, some possible romance this novel might be perfect for you. I received a free copy of it from TLC Book Tours in exchange for my honest review. This book was sweetly written, scenery spot on and the storyline hard to put down. I couldn’t help myself by YouTubing Beara. Yes, it is a real place in Ireland. This book does it justice with its description. Now I want to go visit it. For further information on the author, click here and if you are interested in purchasing a copy click here. The icing on the cake for me was the character being from Seattle and the nice shout out to Cafe Vita.
I’ve been fascinated by Anais Nin for years. I’ve always meant to read her diaries, but for some reason that’s never happened. When I saw Apprenticed To Venus as an option to review the ARC for I couldn’t help myself. This memoir is about the author Tristine whose godmother was a friend of Anais and asked Tristine to bring Anais something. This errand is what sprouted a friendship between Tristine and Anais. Tristine’s memoir is about her friendship with Anais and what it was like to be mentored by her.
I was in awe of Anais. I thought she was sophisticated, pretty, elegant, sensual and quite the muse for a number of people. Once I read this book my opinion of Anais changed. She comes across as a manipulative opportunist. Then I got to thinking aren’t we all that way to some extent? Some of us are more obvious about it than others. Anais just peppered hers with flattery and support through offering her friendship.
Tristine is enamored by Anais and yearns to be like her, to gain her approval. This brought to mind that we all have one person in our lives who we admire and want approval from. We spend our lives kowtowing to said individual and in the process we lose who we are. We are so caught up in wanting to be like this particular person our own sense of self goes right out the window. I, myself have had such a friend I was enamored with. I was so focused on getting her to like me, shower me with her praise that I ceased being me. Not until I backed away from this deep friendship did I start to rebuild who I was apart from her. It’s too, easy and convenient to fall back into the groupie mentality and not develop who are, so we can compliment the other person. This memoir explores this topic in-depth and shows how much of our life can be so wrapped up in another we lose who we are as an individual for years. Lost years we can’t get back.
This book also, discussed that no matter how a close friend may wound you, you can still love them fiercely and not give up on their friendship. Tristine’s account is raw, moving and honest. Her account of Anais’ life is spellbounding. I know my thoughts about Anais fluctuated throughout the book. Just when you want to throw in the towel Anais pulls you back in to insist you still love her.
If you are interested in Anais Nin I do recommend this book. It goes on sale this month on the 11th. I was provided the ARC care of NetGalley in exchange for my review.