Cover Image: little astronaut

little astronaut

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Member Reviews

When a person becomes pregnant and has a child, everything can change. It can be bewildering and frightening and exciting and painful and challenging and glorious and confusing. To really understand it, you just have to experience it. 

But you can get a glimpse of it by reading descriptions from a talented poet. 

In 2016 J. Hope Stein published a slim volume of poetry about her pregnancy and early motherhood. You may have heard bits of it in the one-man show by her husband, comedian Mike Birbiglia called “The New One” about the same period, or read the longer passages reprinted in the book of the same name. 

Her poems were evocative and brutally honest about being life support and transportation and eventual food for another being. They’re funny and wistful and full of joy and fear. But the book was impossible to find. 

Now “Little Astronaut” has been published in a beautiful hardcover edition with 50 more pages of poetry added, poems continuing in the same themes with more knowledge of early motherhood and early childhood. 

J. Hope Stein has good things to say and interesting ways to say them about taking showers with one foot in the tub and the curtain open to keep an eye on the daredevil baby in the car seat on the bathroom floor, about paying a friend to babysit long enough for hurried, frantic sex, about the baby as aquatic creature raised underwater and walking uncertainly on the land, about living with a baby who sleeps for exactly one International Space Station orbit at a time, about what it was like “to be food.”

People who have birthed children will recognize all of this. People who have not should read this before they do.
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Even this linguini
of drool
that noodles
its way from the interstellar of her mouth
to my nose-tip
(never been kissed like this)
is a connection.

Running barefoot on the beach, learning a new language, and all the other achievements of a new life, of becoming a person, are all depicted in this book. J. Hope Stein elevates the sacred regions of motherhood to their well-deserving ultimate form because the tie between a mother and her child is arguably the most holy covenant we as humans participate in. We readers are more fortunate for Stein’s contributions since they put words to what can only be referred to as a miracle in this book.

This wasn’t a perfect collection but I feel like it’s relatable to mothers. Me having a 7 month old can relate to many of these experiences.
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I enjoyed this book of poetry. It’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea and that’s ok. Poetry (like all art) is meant to be thought provoking and enjoyed.

 A lot of these poems are meant to conjure sleep deprived thinking. When you haven’t slept more than a few hours for days (if not months) your thinking isn’t a straight line or equation (a+b=C) it’s more abstract (a+b= purple) & that’s the way you should enjoy this book. Go into this book with an open mind & analyze the poetry. Feel the poets emotions through their words.
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1 star. I hated this poetry collection and I know that is strong to say because this is an intimate poetry collection on motherhood, but I wasn't feeling it. The writing was cringe and I was unimpressed. I would like to scrub this poetry collection from my mind. More thoughts to come later.
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I have had this ARC for longer than I care to admit. I’d read a couple disappointing books of poetry and decided to put this one aside a while. Now that I’m reading it, I wish I had dug in sooner. 

This is a collection of poetry about the experience of being a new mother. Generally I don’t like to read motherhood themed books because of my own complicated feelings and experiences. In a lot of ways, this is a collection of more of the same old thing. New mom doesn’t get enough sleep. Motherhood becomes identity. Partner has different expectations of parenthood. Strangers bombard you with unsolicited advice. Breastfeeding. 

The space theme gives it a fresh feel. There are space metaphors sprinkled throughout that sort of tie the whole thing together. Yes, it’s a new mom venting about the usual new mom experiences. Some of the poems blend together, a result of their sameness. There is some repetition, but it flows from one space metaphor to another on the inertia from the strong prologue and titular poem. 

⭐️⭐️⭐️ for me. A more sentimental person would probably rate it higher, but like I said, I have complicated feelings on the subject matter. This was a good read though. 

Big thanks to J. Hope Stein, Andrews McMeel Publishing, and NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review. You can pre-order Little Astronaut on Amazon and read it beginning on September 20, 2022. And according to the author’s website, there’s a little something extra in it for you if you pre-order! I love when authors do things like that.
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Not all the poems resonated with me, but that is because motherhood looks differently to everyone and her experience was not my experience. Yet I feel a kinship to the poet after reading this collection. I remember vividly what those early days of motherhood were like and how my life changed so completely to now centre around a piece of my heart and soul that was suddenly outside of my body. 
I would also like to say, that you don’t need to have given birth to relate to these poems. Anyone who has ever found their life shifting so profoundly from any cause will find seeds of connection in these poems, and it is for that reason that I highly recommend it to anyone who loves poetry, and everyone who is looking for something new to read.
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A very sweet and funny collection of poems! This collection is unique and a great representation of the aspects of motherhood. It is quite unlike any collection of poetry that I have ever read. It is beautiful and heartfelt, smart, often witty, and incredibly well written.
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The concept is unique for me because this is the first time I have encountered a collection of poems about pregnancy and having a baby comparing it to outer space, galaxies, and extraterrestrial activities. However, the execution with the way the words and metaphors are used, are not really hitting the mark on me. Some of the word choice and metaphors are confusing and a bit surface-level for me, and some sounded like word vomits on page. I understand that the art of poetry is subjective and other readers might find this really fun and relating to them, but it is just not for me.
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It is quite unlike any collection of poetry that I have ever read. It is not only beautiful and heartfelt, but the poems are smart, often witty, and incredibly well written. Though I am not yet a mother myself, this collection beautifully captures the reality of motherhood, and the often other worldly aspects of it, too.

I am so lucky to have read this collection and cannot wait for it to be released in September. Put this at the top of your preorder list!!
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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.
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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC of this collection in exchange for an honest review!

This was just not my jam. 
I've really become a poetry lover these last few years, and I'm always eager to check out a new author/collection. This one just unfortunately missed the mark for me. 
As a mom myself I was excited to potentially see some more relatable issues within the poems, and while there were a few moments I appreciated, a lot of this felt like a long winded rant. Many of the poems were repetitive and about the same things, and a ton were about the struggles the author had with breastfeeding. By the halfway point I knew it wasn't gonna be for me, and that's okay.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for my gifted eARC.

This is a collection of poetry that meets you in new motherhood. Honestly this was one of the more strange collections of poetry that I have read. I felt a tinkling of relatability but most of the time it felt lost on me. This book felt very strange and sad, which are things that motherhood can be, however I did not personally connect. I would recommend this collection to someone who enjoys quirky writing ( and maybe has a bigger imagination than I )
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Thank you to Netgalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for providing me with a digital arc of this book, in exchange for an honest review. 

This poetry collection acts as a representative of the raw and emotional part of life which is motherhood. It follows the perspective of a mother who has recently given birth to her baby girl, and she is overwhelmed with emotional disturbances and she attempts to navigate the turbulence of new-found experiences and sentiments that she must adapt to. Maternal love is a recurring theme throughout this poetry collection and its avid descriptions of the mother-daughter relationship are expressed in the deepest of ways that evoke a myriad of emotions in the readers.

I have always been a fan of any piece of literature that expresses the thematic concern on the issues of motherhood, so this beautiful poetry collection immediately piqued my interest. The meaning behind each poem is beautifully written in ways that captivate the reader's attention, but I found myself not as invested as I hoped. I found that some of the poems either dragged on or were too short and when I assumed that I would be emotionally invested and adoring this entire book, I ended up losing interest in the parts that constantly expressed the same thing multiple times and I didn't feel the main tug on my heartstrings that I was initially hoping for. I still thoroughly enjoyed it but not enough to reach the 4 star rating that I was expecting to give. 

Overall, this poetry collection is unique and a great representation of the aspects of motherhood. While it didn't resonate with my heart as much as I had hoped, I would still highly recommend that more people check out this book, because it has meanings that everyone could appreciate in their own way. It truly was a sweet collection of poems to experience and I am grateful to Netgalley and the publishers for providing me with the opportunity to read this lovely book.
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little astronaut is a poetry collection by the critically acclaimed poet J. Hope Stein. It’s about being new at motherhood, and when you’re experiencing something that is both human and otherworldly. 

Hm, I don’t know where to start, other than this book was confusing for me to understand. In other words, this poetry collection was not for me. I love simple, and strange books, but I felt like I didn’t understand half of what I read in this collection. So unfortunately, I skimmed most of the pages, and marked it as ‘dnf’ (did not finish). 

At the same time, don’t let my low rating make you not pick up this book! That’s the beauty of reading: we all have different taste. For me, this was not it sadly. 

Happy reading!♥️
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****Thanks to NetGalley and the author for providing me an ARC of this book in exchange of an honest review****

If i’m being honest this is the weirdest book that i have read this year. i didn’t even know what was this poemary about. i just looked at the cover and the title and decided that i wanted to read it. 
it talks about motherhood and all the difficulties about being a mother, the writing was beautiful and it was kinda sad?
why did i rate this book a 2 stars? because it was not for me, it was not meant for me to read it, or not yet, but it’s not bad, if you don’t have child’s and want to have, this would be perfect for you.
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***I thank NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an advanced reader copy of this book in return for an honest review***

‘little astronaut’ is a very raw collection of poems. It’s theme revolves around the metaphorical depiction of a life of a mother. However, I did not find myself enjoying this book and there were some points where I argued with the writer. 
Nevertheless, it is a new revelation of idea in poetry, and I hope someone else loves it more than I do. <3
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A heartbreakingly beautiful set of poems, all to make your heart bleed. 

I adored this entire book, and whilst I have no children, I have nieces and nephews who I adore as my own, so this resonated with me HARD. 

Book 2 please!!
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Thank you to NetGalley and Andrew McMeel Publishing for granting me an early access to this revised/updated book coming out in September 2022.

I personally didn’t feel like I connected with a lot of these poems. Although there were the odd few lines that stuck out to me, many of the poems blended into one and weren’t particularly memorable.

However, I did like the fact that there was quite a raw and honest vibe throughout, especially on topics like breastfeeding which I feel like isn’t something I’ve read a lot of in poetry.
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This book is so cute and thought provoking. As cute as it is, it really dives into what it is like to be a mom and how a mom sees her child grow. 
As a woman with no children, I can not say that I understand what the author is saying about the idea of pregnancy and having a child, but I understood it from the outside. 
The entire book is beautiful, written from a mother's perspective on what it is like to wait for a child's arrival, to carry the child to term, and what the child signifies to them all while just reflecting on life in general and its twists and turns. 
I would highly give this to to a friend if they were expecting just for them to have something to read and reflect over. I would also give this to mommies who have seen their child grow and then be able to look back on what that meant for them. 
Overall, this was a beautiful book and I hope that this author continues to write beautiful poetry on the joys of life.
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A poetry collection about the beautiful and disorienting period of new motherhood, exploring an experience both otherworldly and very, very human.
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