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Heart Talk: Poetic Wisdom for a Better Life

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Goodreads Choice Award
Nominee for Best Poetry (2018)
A beautifully illustrated book from Cleo Wade—the artist, poet, and speaker who has been called “the Millennial Oprah” by New York Magazine —that offers creative inspiration and life lessons through poetry, mantras, and affirmations, perfect for fans of the bestseller Milk & Honey .

True to her hugely popular Instagram account, Cleo Wade brings her moving life lessons to Heart Talk , an inspiring, accessible, and spiritual book of wisdom for the new generation. Featuring over one hundred and twenty of Cleo’s original poems, mantras, and affirmations, including fan favorites and never before seen ones, this book is a daily pep talk to keep you feeling empowered and motivated.

With relatable, practical, and digestible advice, including “Hearts break. That’s how the magic gets in,” and “Baby, you are the strongest flower that ever grew, remember that when the weather changes,” this is a portable, replenishing pause for your daily life.

Keep Heart Talk by your bedside table or in your bag for an empowering boost of spiritual adrenaline that can help you discover and unlock what is blocking you from thriving emotionally and spiritually.

224 pages, Paperback

First published March 6, 2018

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Cleo Wade

9 books354 followers

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5 stars
4,323 (50%)
4 stars
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3 stars
1,272 (14%)
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1 star
73 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 782 reviews
Profile Image for Cheri.
1,800 reviews2,384 followers
February 4, 2018
2.5 Stars
3.5 Stars for Middle Grades / YA

Reading this, I would think this was aimed at age 10-13 year old girls, young enough (perhaps) to still be impressed by these words. Simple thoughts, simple advice that to someone young and struggling would sound profound.

I don’t know anything about the author, but I suspect she has a following of people who like to post feel-good messages around their rooms, their home, their office. And, honestly, there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s good to be reminded of thoughts that speak to our heart and soul.

My thoughts on giving this to a young woman or young man on the verge of or just entering their teen years is that these might be good message for them to hear from someone other than their parents, and probably appreciated by a decent percentage. Whether or not I would buy this for someone in that age group would depend on how mature they were, or that they thought they were.

Cleo Wade’s purpose in this is fairly clear. Her goal is to have the reader feel worthy, loved, needed through phrases and snippets of poetically phrased language sharing such thoughts abound.

”The only way we can make the most of our lives is to make the most of our moments.”

In her dedication, Wade says: ”This is dedicated to every human being who looks different, feels different, and thinks differently. I see you. I feel you. I am you. Stay different. Our world needs the difference we will make.”

She’s right. Everyone needs to feel heard, to feel loved, to know that each and every one of us is unique, and that is part of what makes each and every one of us special. It certainly doesn’t hurt to hear it from another source, but in this case it fell a bit too much on the catch-phrase side for me. For me. Not you, at least not necessarily.

Pub Date: 06 Mar 2018

Many thanks for the ARC provided by Atria Books
Profile Image for Nat K.
427 reviews160 followers
January 30, 2020

It's amazing how inspiration can come from unexpected places.

I've recently re-started yoga to provide a little "balance" in my life. It's been a joy to discover I could still practice & wasn't completely rusty.

Another joy was throughout a recent Friday evening class, the instructor incorporated reading passages from a book. The words were gentle yet powerful. A piece that was read was about "perspectives", and how we can never truly see the world through another's eyes. But if they are willing to share their experience, we can gain try to gain their perspective. It shook me to the core. It hit deep & it hit hard. I cannot say how much it resonated with me.

After class, I had to know which book she was reading from. Susie (the instructor) happily showed me a well read & obviously well loved copy of this book: "Heart Talk".

I'd not heard of Cleo Wade before. As the saying goes, “When the student is ready, the teacher arrives...”. I ordered my copy the next morning and received my copy yesterday. I read snippets at work, and shared some quotes. And in the evening, I read it cover to cover.

This is a mix of poems, musings and thoughts. The layout of the book is a comfy blend of handwritten pages interspersed with standard text. It's a nice mix. It makes you want to mull over the pages. To think about what you've read. To keep going and then refer back to a favourite section. It's a very tactile book which adds to the reading experience.

I don't think it matters what age you are, what your preferred genre is, or if you yawn at the thought of reading inspirational words and think they're not for you. This book is a mellow piece of delight that will have you pondering all sorts of thoughts. I truly believe that most everyone can get some peace or solace from it. Sometimes we’re so focused on getting from point A.to B. that we lose sight of ourselves, and what’s really important to us. Cleo’s book reminded me that it’s important to slow down occasionally. We’ll still arrive at our destination. Smile at a stranger. Wave at a neighbour. Be someone’s muse. You never know whose day you could be changing for the better. It's the little things that sometimes matter the most.

This is a book that I'll definitely dip into many times. It just has that type of vibe. It speaks to me. I hope that one day my copy is just as worn & loved as Susie's.

"Life is not supposed to stay the same. We are not supposed to stay the same. Our life, our communities, and our world are always in bloom."

"I was tired
of looking at the world as one big mess
so I decided to
start cleaning it up
and when people ask me if I am exhausted
I tell them no
more than anything
what I got the most tired of
was being tired "

Profile Image for Amina.
409 reviews154 followers
March 14, 2023
Love yourself enough to walk into only the rooms and situations that show care and love for you. Love yourself enough to walk out of the rooms that harm you in any way. Love yourself enough to hold the people who harm you accountable for their words and actions. Love yourself enough to express your wants, your needs, and your desires. Love yourself enough to tell the truth. Love yourself enough to keep yourself safe. Love yourself enough to say enough is enough when enough has become enough

Every single part of this book had meaning. Yes, it's inspirational. Yes, it's witty. Yes, it's kind. Yes, it's worthy.

I knew nothing about Cleo Wade until I heard her speak at the New Orleans Book Festival hosted by Tulane University. She speaks eloquently, poised, with poetic confidence. For no reason, I was brought to tears. I'm not one to be roused by inspirational quotes or poems, but Cleo has something to say. Each word, worthy of profound praise.

I ran and got two of her books as soon as the talk was over. Moved by her magic--inspiring.

Don't be the reason someone feels insecure. Be the reason someone feels seen, heard, and supported by the entire universe

I recommend reading the book--underlining, drawing hearts, circles and squares. I also recommend listening to the audio.

I've already gone through it twice.
Profile Image for Katharine.
233 reviews1,542 followers
February 23, 2020
THIS BOOK. Not a single word is wasted. Listening to it was extra enjoyable because it felt like Cleo Wade was speaking right to you. Perfect for when your soul needs soothing. Because every word is important, it's impossible to absorb it in the first read/listen, so I'll be revisiting this one again and again. Highly recommend.
Profile Image for Colleen Fauchelle.
494 reviews63 followers
January 29, 2019
I was reading a book that was leading me down a rong path so I layed it aside and decided to ignore everything else and read this book and I am glad I did.
Heart Talk is a small square book that gives a lot of food for thought. Its a good book for jourling prompts, to take a deeper look at self but it is done in such a gentle way. At no stage did I feel the need to chuck the book across the room, yes I have done that to the odd self help book. This is a very kind book. Each person who reads this will get something different out of it and everytime I read it I will get something different out of it. Its not a Christian book but you can alow God to speak to you through it and that is the way I read it. I wish I had this when I had so much self hatred and when I was angry and lost. It talks about self love and self acceptance and how that moves on to thoes around us. I will be reading this again.

"To be unique is to be a living thing" pg 47

"Lean into the tough stuff growth is not always comfortable. This is why we call them growing pains not growing pleasures." pg 172
Profile Image for Lara Maynard.
373 reviews150 followers
February 13, 2018
200 plus pages of repetitive “love yourself” platitudes which could have been reduced to a line of half a dozen “inspirational” greeting cards. Some of this spiritual-ish wisdom-y stuff might have appealed to tweenage me. Grown up me finds it not very deep, not very poetic, not very original, very not for me.

Writing this on the eve of Valentine’s Day, I wish I could show Heart Talk more love, but [insert a platitude about honesty here].

I read an ARC courtesy of Simon & Schuster Canada. Thanks.
Profile Image for Nadia Awadi.
190 reviews247 followers
December 5, 2018
Recomended for anyone who deals with anxiety and self-hatred. RTC.
Profile Image for Siqahiqa.
455 reviews77 followers
March 7, 2019
I loved this book so much! Repeat reading all the poems and prose. So beautiful, meaningful, and positive heart talk about self-love and life ❤️❤️
Profile Image for Nikita (thebookelf_).
200 reviews73 followers
February 14, 2021
Perfect day (14.02.21) to read this book
Reinforces why self love and self care is so important, why it’s important for you to be your own cheerleader and give yourself a pep talk every morning.

The positive affirmations makes the reader feel good immediately. We all deserve to be loved and the best place to start is to start with loving yourself. Must read for those who aren’t feeling to good about themselves.

Must read!!!!
Profile Image for Michelle.
653 reviews182 followers
April 3, 2018
Cleo Wade has been heralded as the "Oprah for the millenial generation".

This social media maven puts forth a platform of self love and being a positive influence for others. Heart Talk contains life-affirming poems, personalized annotations by the author along with positive self-speak.

While I find that this book would certainly be well received by younger generations, as someone who has read a lot of personal growth books it seems as if I have heard this all before:
* self-love ~ Iyanla Vanzant
* accepting failure as part of success ~ John Maxwell
* being a positive muse and the universe will reward you with positive things ~ Rhonda Byrne

Although it may seem redundant, books like Heart Talk do serve a greater purpose. You never know which book "speaks" to someone in need. My favorite part of the book was Wade's original poetry.

While looking up Ms. Wade I came across this Ted Talk that you might enjoy.
Profile Image for Danielle.
311 reviews
April 23, 2018
'Heart Talk' is a simple collection of inspirational quotes, aphorisms, reflections and poetry, grouped loosely together under certain themes. I'm not going to pull any punches - I loathed this book. I know this sounds strange for a book that is essentially about positivity and self-love, but I had a lot of problems with it. Firstly, I think I was generally disappointed as the book does not in any way match the hype with which it has been promoted. There is nothing original here nor particularly inspiring. It follows an odd structure with an inspirational quote being followed by a reflection on the essence of this inspirational quote (as if we weren't smart enough to fully understand the wisdom imparted by the quote itself). To add insult to injury, Wade underlines or unnecessarily annotates the passage - just in case we needed further explanation. This is not only repetitive, but treats the readers like idiots. These pieces are broken up with some of Wade's poetry, which isn't terrible, but it isn't great either.

Wade began much of this writing through her Instagram account, which is an interesting idea in terms of how and where we write these days, as well as the nature of self-publication. The problem with this however is that these inspirational quotes are a dime a dozen on Instagram, Facebook and about a million Googleable memes. Many of Wade's quotes feel like rip offs from what has already been written. For example, "No one's day is what you think it is. Be extra loving if you can" is a beautiful thought, but essentially the same as "Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about". Similarly, there are lots of quotes and reflections about the importance of being grateful, which is an excellent point, but practicing daily gratitude is already a booming industry being reproduced in a tonne of apps as well as modern psychology.

Overall, I feel like my frustration with this book is that it is being lauded as something unique, original and profound, where to me it just doesn't fit that bill. To be fair, I don't think I'm the intended audience. I would happily give this book to tweens or teens, particularly those who are struggling with their identity or self-esteem. It speaks well to these sort of readers for whom this may offer something new, and I can imagine them sticking these quotes up in their bedrooms and finding something here to open their minds to the capacity for self-love. But to be sold to an adult audience with the fan fare it has? I don't get it.
Profile Image for Ivy.
985 reviews54 followers
April 22, 2022
This little book really is something.

"Try not to avoid pain too much. There is a certain type of magic that comes through pain, for it is where we learn of our power to keep going no matter what we go through."

It's a good mix of poems, thoughts and cute illustrations that can seem somewhat repetitive but some words just hit home, while others give food for thoughts, need time to absorb and had me coming back to my bookmarks, leaving me like "whoa, that's deep".

Loved it.
Profile Image for Elena Handtrack.
23 reviews1,688 followers
February 9, 2020
I got this as a gift and although it's definitely readable, I think I prefer books which are more intentionally written! It is definitely just a taste issue for me since this book is a collection of notes the author wrote to herself in her apartment.

For me, the text seemed to lack the depth I would expect from poetry but it is probably simply because I prefer a different style!

If you have a similar taste, I would recommend buying Lang Leav's poetry instead!
Profile Image for Giulia.
707 reviews105 followers
November 11, 2018
Unpopular Opinion Time 🐸☕️

A rather repetitive collection of poetry.
After a while the self-love message - for as much as it is important and vital - got repetitive.
I personally also thought that it was a bit preachy and I was not a fan :/

Favourite Poem:
Be kind.
It shakes the world.
Profile Image for Cathryn.
323 reviews2 followers
February 5, 2019
I don't really think this is poetry, but I found a lot of the lessons to be inspiring and I'll be adding a few passages to my quote journal.
Profile Image for Katie.
200 reviews7 followers
April 24, 2020
Simply beautiful! I will purchase a hard copy for a keepsake!
Profile Image for Never Without a Book.
468 reviews98 followers
May 20, 2020
This is a book that could be read several times and every time you will get something new out of it.
Profile Image for Sophia.
94 reviews45 followers
May 15, 2023
What an amazing book. These pages are filled with so much love, wisdom, and encouragement. I don’t read very much nonfiction but when I do it’s the kind that inspires me to grow emotionally, mentally, spiritually. This is the kind of book I want to gift to all the people I love so that they can also feel as inspired and loved as I do ❤️ I borrowed this from the library but I will definitely be purchasing so I can read it over and over again
Profile Image for Roula.
523 reviews147 followers
January 12, 2022
with yourself
in a
so deep
the oceans
get jealous

Profile Image for Iqra M..
555 reviews2 followers
March 24, 2020
This is my third audiobook this month. I loved everything about it. The author's narration was smooth and comforting. Although listening to the audiobook meant that I had to miss the illustrations and aesthetics, I enjoyed it, still. It made me realise that there are a lot of things that I need to apply in my daily life - gratitude, positivity, self-love and many more. However, it was a tad repetitive therefore I am giving it 4 out of 5 stars.

It was a great read and I highly recommend listening to the audiobook narrated by the author itself.
Profile Image for Sjournee.
4 reviews
February 5, 2018
I found this book to be the start of something to go further, it's direct and clearly articulated. Often self-help books are considered corny, which I typically would agree, Cleo Wade however is aware of this as she describes it being a hard line to walk - but necessary. Although simple, I feel that the simple gestures are the ones I needed a reminder of which this book achieves- especially with poetry. I give it a five, because I can see where this book could go if it went deeper into the harsh talk that we sometimes experience in our everyday and current atmosphere. Consider this book a discussion with your auntie full of mantras and poetry - the kind you didn't know you needed till ya heard it.
Profile Image for Vanessa.
57 reviews2 followers
May 18, 2018
This was a really cute book that was given to me by one of my closest friend, Sarah. Thank you ♥️

I’m rating it 3 stars cause It was repetitive,
I don’t recommend reading this book in one go. Take your time with this book. Read a random page once a day.

I’ll definitely be reading this again when I need some motivation or inspiration.

March 9, 2018
The book was ok at best, I don't feel like its geared towards adults, teenagers more so I think, there's a lot of repetition, but if a teenager is reading it, its probably what their heart needs! I'll probably give it to my niece 🤔
Profile Image for Leslie.
342 reviews13 followers
July 31, 2018
Despite my age and overall general cynicism that being older can sometimes hasten, I liked this book. I liked all that love talk. Sometimes it’s just what you need to hear, whether brand new to the world or a seasoned veteran. Who cares.
Profile Image for Jo.
107 reviews9 followers
May 20, 2018
An absolute dribble of a book. Accumulating positive affirmations from Instagram would be more interesting that this book.
Profile Image for Valerie.
88 reviews49 followers
April 2, 2018
As is the case with her social media presence, Cleo Wade brings words together to create an oasis for those in need with Heart Talk. If you're familiar with her already, I'm sure what's shared here will be in line with what you're expecting. From my perspective, her main focus here was encouraging readers to understand the change that can come with a change in mindset, the importance of establishing a relationship with self, and how that pours into everything else.

It's a quick, enjoyable read. I jotted down several excerpts to share with those in my life and keep for myself in those moments where a visual reminder can help.
Profile Image for Michelle.
514 reviews21 followers
February 15, 2019
Cleo Wade created an outstanding collection of self-help poetry that is begging to be read by today's society. This was very impactful and can be related to so many different portions of your life. I urge you to pick up this book and take a better look at all that is good in your life.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 782 reviews

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