Breath of Joy!

Simply Summer

Non-Fiction - Travel
40 Pages
Reviewed on 11/27/2017
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Radio personality, Kathy Joy, a favorite D.J. in Colorado, turned her phrases to catch and tickle ears.

Life as she knew it turned upside down when she lost her husband by sudden cardiac arrest. Tragedy multiplied as this grief led to the additional loss of the family farm. Quite alone, raising her children became a daily feat. During the sorrowing process, she wrestled with difficulty and looming days of depression.

In fact, this little coffee-table book amazes the reader with a hope that is born out of grief.

Yet, her God-given creative mind kept nudging her forward. She began to notice at least three beautiful images every day. Intentionally, she'd jot down these memories to acknowledge the good moments.

Speaking wonder became the thread of Kathy Joy's Everyday Celebrations.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Ashley Tetzlaff for Readers' Favorite

Hold on to your sun hat as Kathy Joy takes you on a journey in her newest book Breath of Joy! Simply Summer! After Kathy was suddenly widowed, she learned to cope by finding three beautiful images every day to savor. And thus this book was born. Filled with image after image, mostly in sets of three, Kathy brings poetry to life through her words and pictures. A wonderful coffee table type book just for the pictures, but combined with poetic language it is a book for every room and everyone you know. Perfect for all ages, from the pre-reader child to the retired adult.

I read the description of Kathy Joy’s book, Breath of Joy! Simply Summer and was intrigued by the fact that she used three images of beauty a day to help herself overcome the grief and trauma of her husband’s sudden death. I cried when I read Breath of Joy! The words and pictures were so beautiful. I found myself taking time to focus on each page and just breathe in the sights and roll the words over the taste buds of my mind. I just cannot get over how beautiful it is. Savor this example: “Tree-trimmed, brick-cobbled streets… wide, uncomplicated beaches… and daddies cooking dinner while whistling.” Now combine that with crisp, color-filled images, and you catch a breath of joy. I hope that Kathy puts out similar books for the other three seasons: spring, fall, and winter. The perfect book for anyone who loves words or pictures or who needs cheering up. Birthday or Christmas gift, anyone? Well done, Kathy Joy!

Kayti Nika Raet

Breath of Joy! Simply Summer is an image driven book of poems by radio personality and Colorado DJ Kathy Joy. Each piece of work delves into the mundane and turns it into the extraordinary. After the tragic loss of her husband and family farm, Joy tasked herself with observing three things each day that brought her joy. Now with Breath of Joy! Simply Summer she invites the reader on a journey of wonder and favorite things as she dives into what truly makes us human and connects all of us together. As I was reading Breath of Joy! Simply Summer, I felt each line evoke an image in how they were arranged and the cadences employed. I feel that Joy's experience as a radio host really shows through in her ability to find just the right word to bring about a mood.

Joy keeps the focus on summer throughout  Breath of Joy! Simply Summer with a tone that is lighthearted, but lets each simple poem carry a lot of emotional impact. Joy uses a minimalist approach though, and manages to capture the essence of her thoughts and convey them to the reader without weighing them down in torrent of florid prose. In Breath of Joy! Simply Summer, Kathy Joy crafts a simple collection of words and images that is sure to sit with the reader long after the last page. I enjoyed every passage and feel that Breath of Joy! Simply Summer by Kathy Joy would be a great read for anyone looking for a casual read to tickle the senses.

Jack Magnus

Breath of Joy! Simply Summer is a nonfiction collection of travel photography and poetry written and photographed by Kathy Joy. This work is dedicated to the memory of her late husband, Roger Hoffner, who had always urged her to “write it all down” and aspired to live in the moment. What is summer? Joy answers the question with each photograph found within this book. There are the moments shared with two happy youngsters reveling in the freedom of the summer, an hour spent rapt in a good book on a long, lazy afternoon, and the endless summer feel of the shorelines that curve around blue vistas of curling waves. Throughout this collection is the theme of the road trip, the car loaded down for an adventure, complete with camper top, navigating along “rain-soaked ribbons of black pearl,” and following “the lazy, winding licorice of a vacation highway.” And, though it always does seem to be an endless summer with its long lazy days, the “swirling dry leaf” and profusion of fallen leaves in vibrant hues seems to signal the coming of autumn and its attendant magic.

Kathy Joy’s nonfiction collection of travel photography and poetry, Breath of Joy! Simply Summer is a lovely homage to that favorite season of all -- summer. Her nature photography is both inspired and inspiring. I especially appreciated her ocean and shoreline photographs whose compositions make it feel as though one could walk down that rustic boardwalk and touch the waiting wavelets, or traipse carelessly along the water’s edge for miles. Joy’s photography is an harmonious blend of shapes and colors that often imply sound. One can hear the waves whispering as they recede and hear the cows lowing as they head off on their trail. The bathers’ scene at the ocean’s edge posits the brightly colored beach umbrellas against the beiges and taupes of sand and rocks, all offset by the deep aqua ocean and the attention of the bathers, their delight at their play obvious as they swim, chat or just float lazily along. Joy answers the question of what summer is with each photograph in her collection, and she does so very well indeed. Breath of Joy! Simply Summer is most highly recommended.

Bruce Arrington

Breath of Joy! Simply Summer by Kathy Joy is a 40-page color-filled book of invites. That is, the pictures invite you to stop and take a moment in those special places we might see each day or every season, yet may not take the time to think about or appreciate. I found this to be a refreshing and delightful book. Carefully chosen words evoke pleasant memories of the past, or hopeful ones to come. The photography is nothing short of stunning… beautiful. The text coupled with the pictures set up an eye-catching, emotion evoking experience from start to finish. This book could complement a coffee table space, where one could read to oneself or a child. Each page is worth pondering, with careful thought and quiet enjoyment.

With the hustle and bustle of our lives today, the small things are often drowned out by the urgent demands screaming at us, whether those demands are important or not. But this book is important, mainly because, if we listen to its message and allow ourselves to slow down, we can enter once more into what we might have once considered a “boring” moment as a youngster, yet feel the peace and relaxation it brings. But the book doesn’t scream. It invites us, like a soothing yet excited voice. It’s worth reading over and over. Breath of Joy! Simply Summer by Kathy Joy is a book most anyone could, and should, read. For the young yet to experience all the pleasures described inside, and for the old, who need to get away once or twice more.

Divine Zape

A brilliant combination of poetry and photography, Breath of Joy! Simply Summer by Kathy Joy is the thing you need when you stop to recharge, when you’re looking for a spark of inspiration. The book features short poems, catchy phrases, and images that will flood the reader’s mind and soul with positive energy, communicating life and unique sentiments of joy. The reader is introduced to a cornucopia of delighful images captured in times of summer, the blossoming flowers, the beaches, breathtaking views, and the instances that are inspiring and that most of us often pass by without paying much attention.

This book will remind readers that there is always something beautiful to celebrate, that life isn’t about the big successes, but the little moments when we allow ourselves be surprised by the beauty that surrounds us. Such beauty is captured in these pages. This book will bring joy to your heart and remind you of what makes you human. Some of the lines are so pertinent that they make you stop to think about life. Some will arrest your attention, compelling you to feel the life that flows through your veins. Here is a stanza that describes an eye-catching image, a moment of pure joy:

Horizons dipped in pale
first light,
trees cloaked in whispers
of summers past,
and the joyful abandon of play.

Kathy Joy’s Breath of Joy! Simply Summer is a generous offering that will inspire readers and prompt them to reconnect with their creative spirit. I found gorgeous ideas on what to do for vacation. It’s a breezy read, but you can’t finish it quickly. I found myself stopping on images and contemplating them. If you want an escape from the busy, somewhat stressful routine of today’s life, then this book will offer you the best respite.

Sue Summers

What a beautiful and precious book! The images and words lifted my spirits and made me smile. This is a great gift book for anyone in your life. It is one of three Breath of Joy! books: Ah, Autumn, Simply Summer, and now Singing Spring. WOW! I love all of these books!!!