November TBR Game

Hello everyone and welcome to another round of our TBR Game, “Fighting Evil by Book Light!”

RULES

1. Five turns: two spins, each. First: card; Second: prompt
2. Played monthly.
3. If the wheel arrow lands exactly between two pieces, re-spin.
4. Cards updated.
5. Must accept result of each spin. No re-spins.
6. Unfinished books may be carried over to next month (optional)
*7. If participating in a readathon, can modify TBR game for that readathon.

November TBR Game

TBR Video

Today’s Candidates:

NEW RELEASES

  1. Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng
  2. Fayne by Ann Marie MacDonalde
  3. The Theory of Crows by David A. Robertson
  4. Dashing Through the Snowbirds by Donna Andrews
  5. How to Succeed in WitchCraft
  6. Blackmail and Bibingka by Mia P. Manansala

CAT BOOKS

  1. A Cat, a Man, and Two Women by Jun’ichirō Tanizaki, Paul McCarthy (Translator)
  2. Pickles Vs. The Zombies by Angela Misri
  3. Herding Cats by Sarah Andersen
  4. The Eyes of the Cat by Moebius & Jodorowsky
  5. Cat vs. Human Fairy Tails by Yasmine Surovec
  6. The Mutts Autumn Diaries by Patrick McDonnell

FANTASY

  1. Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  2. Blood Like Magic by Liselle Sambury
  3. Babel by R.F. Kuang
  4. Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart
  5. The Witch Haven by Sasha Peyton Smith
  6. Sailor Moon Eternal Edition 6

MANGA/GRAPHIC NOVEL/Or PICTURE BOOKS

  1. Cassandra Steps Out by Isabelle Bottier, Hélène Canac (Illustrator)
  2. Pardalita by Joana Estrela
  3. Amazona by Canizales
  4. The Mutts Autumn Diaries by Patrick McDonnell
  5. Waiting for the Great Pumpkin
  6. Unfamiliar by Haley Newsome

ROMANCE

  1. Blood Like Magic by Liselle Sambury
  2. The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling
  3. By the Book by Jasmine Guillory
  4. Finding Family at Seabreeze Farm
  5. Eight Perfect Hours by Lia Louis
  6. Noelle the First by Nicole Falls

THRILLER/CONTEMPORARY

  1. Black Girls Must Die Exhausted by Jayne Allen
  2. Strangers by Katherena Vermette
  3. The Last Confession of Autumn Casterly by Meredith Tate
  4. To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara
  5. A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay
  6. Murder at the Bookstore by Sue Minix

And we also have rereads and an add a book cards as well!

TBR Game Playlist

Playlist Link

Want to play at home?

Simplified Version:

In this version, the Random Name Picker below will choose your genre cards for you!
Enter the following:

For list of names, enter:
New Releases (Sailor Mercury)
Add a Book
(Tuxedo Mask)
Fantasy
(Sailor Jupiter and Sailor Pluto)
Thriller/Contemporary
(Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune)
Cat Books
(Sailor Venus with Artemis and Sailor Moon with Luna)
Manga/Graphic Novel
(Sailor Moon)
Romance (Sailor Mars Saturn)
Reread
(Sailor ChibiMoon)

Do this five times to select your genre cards and from there, you can pick whatever book you would like to for your TBR! But remember, if “Add a Book” is selected, you will have to add a book! Or, you can delete this option since it can get out of hand pretty quickly! Alternatively, you can pick as many books as you’d like to.

Random Name Picker

If you would instead like to download the genre cards and select your cards in a different way, they are included below.

Genre Cards:

TBR Cards:

Detailed Version:


Before you play this version, download the Combined Genre + Book Cards below and add your own candidates to each card. For your first turn, select your genre card by pasting the following into the random name generator. This will provide you with your genre card.

for list of names, enter:
New Releases
Add a Book
Fantasy
Thriller/Contemporary
Cat Books
Manga/Graphic Novel
Romance
Reread

Random Name Picker

Once you have your genre selected, then roll the dice to select your candidate. Repeat this process five times, or as many times as you would like to in order to pick your TBR. Remember to add a book each time you choose Add a Book.

Random Number Generator

Combined Genre + Book Cards:

TBR Cards:

QOTD: Will you be playing along?
Let us know your TBR picks for November!

My Bookstagram account is hacked! UPDATE: it’s back!

Hi everyone, I’m currently hacked out of my bookstagram account. I don’t know what’s going on but if you receive any odd messages from @sarasreadingnook it’s not me. It looks like Instagram has frozen my account so hopefully the hackers haven’t done much damage. I’m hopeful that it can be restored within the next day before my November reading prompt challenge!

UPDATE:

I got it sorted out!
Basically, if anyone gets hacked out, make sure your phone hasn’t blocked Instagram in your blocked contacts list (32665). If it has, unblock and wait 24 hrs before trying to get the SMS code. That worked for me ✅

November bookstagram Photo Prompts

Hello everyone!

Olivia and I have decided to make a photo prompt/reel challenge for November. It’s my birthday month and I was inspired to celebrate things I love during this time of year. The warm colours, the yellow birthstone, grabbing warm mugs of peppermint tea! And spending time with family and friends, and of course, my cat Olivia.

Please join us! You can do as many or as few prompts as possible. And, of course, feel free to combine days together (I may be doing this as well!)

If you’d like to participate:

  • Use the hashtag: #ReadingWithSaraAndOlivia when completing the prompts to join!
  • Add your bookstagram posts to the linkup below so we can see them!
  • If you would like to blog with our prompts, add your blog links to the linkup below
  • Comment with your bookstagram handle
  • Enjoy!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

QOTD: Do you enjoy using prompts?
Let us know!

Where to find us: Blog | Bookstagram | Twitter | Booktube | BookTok | Storygraph | Pinterest

Ten Books With Spooky Season Vibes

We are excited to link up with Top Ten Tuesdays, hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl.

Most books Olivia and I read during this time are either cozy or scary. Here are our picks for books with Spooky Season Vibes!

Cozy Vibes

Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks (Illustrator). Read this one for the coziest Autumnal vibes and the most delicious treats.
CW
Watch our Pumpkinheads Reading Vlog here!

Chapter and Curse by Elizabeth Penney. Read this one to enter a fantastic cozy mystery series that features cats, The Cambridge Bookshop Series.
CW

(Note: Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for Chapter and Curse. All opinions are my own).

Horror

The Lighthouse Witches by C.J. Cooke. Spooky! This book was a five-star read for me. Read this one for witchy vibes but beware – it’s dark.
CW

The Weight of Blood by Tiffany D. Jackson. This book is a Carrie retelling that I highly recommend! Make sure to read the content warnings.
CW

Watch our Lighthouse Witches reading vlog here!

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. This book is a wild ride! It’s a mixture of gothic, mystery, historical fiction and horror. It’s also one of my favourite books, though it’s not for everyone. If you like atmospheric reads, this may be for you.
CW

Watch our Mexican Gothic Reading Vlog here!

Lost Boy by Christina Henry. This book is a Peter Pan retelling told from the perspective of Captain Hook and I think it’s brilliant. There are lots of content warnings, but I do recommend it if you’re ready for a viewpoint that challenges thoughts on Peter Pan.
CW

Horror Manga

Lovesickness by Junji Ito. This manga is packed with scary and graphic scenes that make you want to scream! Read this if you are ready for a spook.
CW

Deathnote by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata (Art). A haunting and cunning chess game that challenges good vs. evil vs. ethics.
CW

Cozy Graphic Novels

Séance Tea Party by Reimena Yee. Adorable! And tugs on your heartstrings.
CW

Witches of Brooklyn by Sophie Escabasse. It reminds me a bit of Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Quirky, cute, and a perfectly cozy read.
CW

Watch our Wrap-Up for these two books here!

@sarasreadingnook

Thank you to everyone who cohosted and joined the Hello Autumn/Spring readathon! Here is our vlog and recap. Olivia and I made a Fall bucket list: to carve pumpkins, have pumpkin pie, go on lots of outdoor walks (Olivia to hang out on the catio), and to read lots of witchy books! #ReadathonVlog #48hrReadathonVlog #48HourReadathon #cozyBooks #MysteryBooks #HelloAutumnSpringReadathon Cohosts @Abigail @kaylasbookishlife @Ruby G Chiara Bianca

♬ original sound – Sara’s Reading Nook – BookTok

QOTD: Have any books caught your interest? Let us know!

The Sunday Post #14 and More!

Hello, everyone! Today we are linking up with

Olivia Update 🐾

Olivia is the best company and this week was no exception. Although I was ill earlier in the week with a cold, she cuddled with me and has been incredibly sweet. She would curl up into a ball beside me each day and wouldn’t leave my side.

Olivia likes to go on evening tours in the apartment. I pick her up so she can see everything in the apartment that is eye-level for me (e.g., countertops, bookshelves, windows, etc.). She’s not a climber and is about 14.5 years young, so I like to ensure she doesn’t miss out on the sights!

Watch Olivia with our current read here.

Reading/Watching Update

Reading

CW = Content Warnings (if available)

Night of the Living Rez by Morgan Talty. I am still reading and enjoying this short story collection.
CW

A Winter’s Promise by Christelle Dabos with Hildegarde Serie (Translator). I am enjoying this one so far. This book is a buddy read with @officiallyreads!
CW

Recently Read

Indigenous Relations: Insights, Tips & Suggestions to Make Reconciliation a Reality by Bob Joseph and Cynthia F. Joseph. I thought this was a highly valuable read. I picked it up from the library and couldn’t stop flipping through it. I have requested 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act for further reading.

The next three books are eARCs received from NetGalley and their respective publishers this week. All opinions are my own. Reviews are to come for Hungry Ghost and Cat Family Christmas closer to their release date, but we suggest you keep all three titles on your radar.

Hungry Ghost by Victoria Ying. This book is an informative YA/contemporary/graphic novel focusing on mental health, eating disorders, and family relationships and influences. I’m so thankful to NetGalley and First Second Books for this title.
Release Date: April 25th, 2023
Review to come
CW

Cat Family Christmas by Lucy Brownridge and Eunyoung Seo (Illustrations). This children’s book is an engaging advent lift-the-flap book that displays over 140 doors to open. It shows the Cat Family decorating, baking, and preparing the house for the holiday. Thank you to NetGalley and Frances Lincoln Children’s Books for this title.
Release Date: November 8th, 2022

Cat’s Don’t Like Christmas by Andy Wortlock and Nahum Ziersch (Illustrator). Olivia and I loved this one. Thank you to NetGalley and Splash Books for this title.
Click here to see the full review.

DNF

Olivia and I decided to DNF Our Crooked Hearts by Melissa Albert. Although the story was decent, there was content we weren’t comfortable reading, so we decided to pass.
CW

Watching

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5. We just finished episode 7. At this point, I’m ready for The Testaments.
CW

Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. Catching up on this show next week.
CW

The Watcher. This show is about a family that moves into a stunning house in a new and “safe” community; however, soon after their arrival, they receive a suspicious letter from a stalker who is watching the family. Almost finished, and I have some theories!
CW

The Haunting of Bly Manor. I rewatched this series with Olivia and it was definitely worth the rewatch. There are so many easter eggs to find.
CW

This Week on the Blog

Next Week on the Blog

  • Book reviews
  • Top Ten Tuesday

QOTD: What did you read this week? let us know!

Where to find us: Blog | Bookstagram | Twitter | Booktube | BookTok | Storygraph | Pinterest

top ten portuguese words i love

We are excited to link up with Top Ten Tuesdays, hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl.

I’m so excited to share my top 10 Portuguese words I love with you all! My family comes from the Azores, and some of these words will be food related, but I hope you enjoy learning them. When I last visited Porto, I was amazed by how many dishes from my childhood were being made 🍃. If you ever visit Portugal, make sure you taste some of these wonderful foods!

I tried to do the pronunciation as best as I could for these haha. And although I speak Portuguese, it is rusty and needs to be improved!

1. As Queijadas (de leite)

Pronunciation: Kay-sha-das

The word “Queijada” makes me SO incredibly hungry. And that is because I am reminded of these creamy milk tarts my mother used to make when I was growing up. I love them so much and with some adaptations I can make these at home.

2. (Um) Guardanapo

Pronunciation: Gwer-de-nah-pu

It literally just means napkin haha. But I love saying it!

3. (Uma) Biblioteca

Pronunciation: Bib-lee-oh-tek-uh

Can you guess?

A library!

4. (Uma) Formiga

Pronunciation: For-mee-guh

An ant! I love how this one sounds!

5. (Um) Golfinho

Pronunciation: this one’s a bit hard for me to type, so I’ll link google translate!

A dolphin!

6. (As) Batatas

Pronunciation: Bah-tah-tas

The potatoes!

I absolutely love potatoes. Roasted, fried, in soup. You name it!

7. Puxar

Pronunciation: Pu-shar

This is actually the verb “to pull”! Very useful to learn this one quickly.

8. Saudade

Pronunciation: best to hear this one.

This is a very complex word. Saudade is a very deep feeling of melancholy/sadness/nostalgia.

9. (O) Gato / (A) Gata

Pronunciation: Gah-to; Gah-tah

Cat! Olivia’s request 😸

10. (Um) Beija-Flor

Pronunciation: Bay-jah-flor

Hummingbird.

QOTD: How do you like to eat batatas?
Let us know!

The Sunday Post #13 & More!

Hello, everyone! Today we are linking up with

Olivia Update 🐾

Like many of us, Olivia has loved the extra treats associated with the holiday season. We may have given her an extra squeezie or two over the past couple of weeks – she is still enjoying her cat food pizzas! And catnip. There has also been extra playtime with her catnip banana toy.

Now, Olivia has a new habit. When my partner and I sit down, she will jump up on the couch beside us and make a little “peep,” which means she would like us to place a pillow upon our laps. Then, she jumps up and lies on the cushions. Extra comfort!

Life Update

I cut my own hair last week! It took a long time, but I’m pretty happy with the result! You can check out the final result here:

Reading/Watching Update

Reading

Currently, Olivia and I are reading Our Crooked Hearts by Melissa Albert. We are enjoying it, though it is darker than we thought it might be for a YA Fantasy/Mystery/Horror. There is a page that details harm done to an animal, and we couldn’t read that section. Nonetheless, the story overall has been good, though if there is more of this type of material, we will DNF.
Content Warnings

Night of the Living Rez by Morgan Talty. This book is a collection of short stories which are also dark and reflective. They take place on an indigenous reservation in Maine. It makes for good night-time reading, and I’m so happy I acquired this title from my library. 
Content Warnings

Jackal by Erin E. Adams. Recently, I finished this audiobook – review to come! It’s a story about missing girls and has commentary on racism, poverty, classism, etc. It was also quite scary at times and was a great debut novel.
Content Warnings

I haven’t requested/received new ARCs this week.

Watching

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5. We just finished episode 6. I enjoyed the last episode and the focus on Esther, Lydia and Serena’s stories, in particular. I’m curious to see what the next episode will be like, and of course, as the series has one season remaining, we are looking forward to watching The Testaments and how it will compare to the book.
Content Warnings

Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. I haven’t watched an episode this week, but I’m sure we’ll get back to it next week. I didn’t care for where it ended last. 
Content Warnings

The Watcher. Pretty intriguing so far! This book is about a family that moves into a beautiful house in a new and “safe” community; however, soon after their arrival, they receive a suspicious letter from a stalker who is watching the family. Even more terrifying, it’s based on a true story. I remember watching the relevant Buzzfeed Unsolved episode years ago, so I’m curious to see how it will unfold.
Content Warnings

The Midnight Club. We just finished this one and enjoyed it! Classic Mike Flanagan. This thriller is about a group of terminally ill teens staying at a hospice who regularly meet to tell each other spooky stories. They also make a chilling pact: the first to pass away must provide a sign from the afterlife. It starts off feeling more like horror but has softer stories as well. It was great, and I’m looking forward to Fall of the House of Usher by Mike Flanagan!
Content Warnings

This Week on the Blog

Next Week on the Blog

  • Book Reviews
  • Top Ten Tuesday

QOTD: What have you recently
been watching/reading? Let us know!

Where to find us: Blog | Bookstagram | Twitter | Booktube | BookTok | Storygraph | Pinterest

September Reading Wrap up!

Hi everyone! Here is our September Reading Wrap-Up!
September was a good reading month with lots of 4 star reviews, and some 5 stars as well. As many of you know, I had a back injury in September, so reading some good books was a must for me this past month!

Reading Statistics

Olivia and I decided to read lots of fast/medium-paced books with emotion, adventure, and mystery! Generally speaking, that is our vibe during the fall months, so not too surprised! Some books were dark and tense, again, what I would expect to see during Autumn since I love thrillers. We also had some cozy reads, too (not shown on graph, but you’ll definitely find some in our ratings slides).

During Autumn, we love to read fiction – I think it’s the upcoming whimsical vibes in the air that does it for us! And most books were above 300 pages. I’m very happy about that.

This month, we hosted the Hello Autumn/Hello Spring Readathon which was a blast! And we managed to read 5 arcs. Unfortunately, we were not able to do our TBR game (filming was just not in the cards for me this month due to the injury). But we managed to get some 5 star reads this month!

Below, you’ll find our reading wrap-up and mini reviews. Ratings are rounded either up or down (E.g., a 4.5 star rating = 5 stars on sites that use whole numbers or for infographics.) There are still a few upcoming full reviews to come, so look out for those!

Reading Wrap-Up and Mini Reviews

Books 1-6.

Book Cover images link to Goodreads. Highlighted Book Titles link to book reviews. Content Warnings link to The Storygraph, if available. Books with an “NG” were from NetGalley & “B” were from Booksirens in exchange for an honest review – all opinions are my own.

Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi, Mattias Ripa (Translator)
Published: June 1st, 2004
(5 stars) I’m so thankful this book exists. I learned so much about the Iranian revolution and the social impacts it had on daily life and as a whole. It has humour, joy, love, and heartbreak. Definitely recommend this one, I really loved learning about Marjane and her family as well and enjoyed the illustrations so much.  Graphic Novel, Nonfiction.
Content Warnings.


The Weight of Blood by Tiffany D. Jackson.
Published: September 6th, 2022.
(4.5 stars) I don’t think there’s a book by Tiffany D. Jackson I haven’t enjoyed. This one is no exception – The Weight of Blood is such an amazing Carrie retelling, one I enjoy even more than the original story. It highlights important social issues and racism while giving us a fantastic, layered story. There are numerous perspectives and timelines. Definitely check out the content warnings, but I highly recommend this book. YA, Horror, Thriller, Retelling.
Content Warnings.


Dark Room Etiquette by Robin Roe.
Release Date: October 11th, 2022.
(4.5 stars) This book is highly unsettling as it shows teenager named Sayers and his struggle to stay alive after being kidnapped as well as the trauma that takes hold on his life. It’s such an emotional, memorable, and intense read that I highly recommend it; please take note of the content warnings due to the subject matter. YA, Thriller, Horror. (NG)
Content Warnings.
Full review to come.


Séance Tea Party by Reimena Yee.
Published: September 15th, 2020.
(4.25 stars). Oh, was this ever cute! I honestly loved the illustrations in this book so much. They were warm, cozy, and had all the Autumn vibes you could ever hope for. The story was very cute, and I definitely recommend it. Middle Grade, Graphic Novel, Fantasy.
Content Warnings.


Seven Years: Poems on Heartbreak and Healing by Alyssa Harmon
Release Date: October 11th, 2022.
(4 stars). This was a lovely collection of poems by Alyssa Harmon that span over 7 years, during which the synopsis notes that the body regenerates. I feel that this collection will definitely resonate with many readers and recommend it. Poetry. (B)


Bait and Witch (Witch Way Librarian Mysteries #1) by Angela M. Sanders
Published: September 15th, 2020.
(4 stars). I love a cozy mystery – and this one has cats and witchcraft – purrfect combination! I listened to the audiobook and read the physical copy, both of which are great. I am definitely looking forward to reading more of this series. Cozy Mystery.
Content Warnings.


Book 7-12

Witches of Brooklyn (Witches of Brooklyn #1) by Sophie Escabasse.
Release Date: September 1st, 2020.
(4 stars). I thought this was a fun graphic novel about our main character, Effie, who must live with her aunts and discovers she’s a witch! The book gave me Sabrina The Teenage Witch vibes, especially the episode where Sabrina meets Britney Spears! But it’s completely distinct and has its own cute story. Enjoyed it! Middle Grade, Fantasy.
Content Warnings.

Ghostcloud by Michael Mann.
Release Date: September 6th, 2020.
(3.75 stars) Full Review. Middle Grade, Fantasy, Ghosts. (NG)
Content Warnings.

The Family Remains (The Family Upstairs #2) by Lisa Jewell.
Release Date: August 9th, 2022.
(3 stars). This was a bit of a disappointment for me! I was hoping to absolutely be thrilled by this book, however the story really didn’t do it for me. I think that the crafting of the book was excellent, though. Classic Lisa Jewell. Mystery, Thriller.
Content Warnings.

A Cat Cafe Christmas by Codi Gary.
Release Date: October 4th, 2022.
(3 stars). Full Review. Romance, Holiday. (NG)
Content Warnings.

The Lost Witch by H.L. MacFarlane.
Release Date: December 27th, 2022.
(3 stars). Overall, I think this is a good story. The prologue and earlier chapters hooked me. I was fascinated to learn more about Brigid, Knightly, Dove, and others. As the book progressed, especially in the middle third, it became challenging to understand what was happening. Fortunately, in later chapters, the narration improved for me. I would recommend this to readers interested in a mixture between fantasy and romance; however, be wary if any of the points mentioned are an issue. Fantasy, Romance, Paranormal. (NG)
Content Warnings.
Full review to come.

Lore by Alexandra Bracken.
Published: January 5th, 2021.
(3 stars). Full Review. Fantasy, Mythology, YA.
Content Warnings.

QOTD: What was your favourite read this September?
Let us know!

Review | a cat cafe christmas

Description (from Goodreads)

Veterinarian and animal lover Kara Ingalls needs a Christmas miracle. Opening the Meow and Furrever Cat Café to find loving homes for adorable, adoptable cats was a dream come true—but with more cats than customers, it’s quickly turning into a nightmare. If Kara can’t figure out some way to get the café out of the red, it won’t last past the holidays.

Marketing guru Ben Reese may be annoyingly smart and frustratingly bossy, but when he hatches a plan to put the café in the “green” by Christmas, Kara realizes that she’d be a fool to turn down his help. And so what if he turns out to be an excellent problem solver and nerdy-hot—he can’t even handle fostering one little kitten. She needs to keep their relationship professional and focus on saving the cafe.

But if Ben and Kara can set aside their differences—and find homes for all the cats by Christmas—they might discover that, by risking their hearts, they’ll have their own purr-fect holiday . . . together.


Review

My cat Olivia and I were looking forward to this book as it was a romance during Christmas featuring cats!

However, unfortunately I felt the romance fell pretty flat as did the plot. I think this would have benefitted from more editing and care into formulating characters/names/descriptions/etc. The resolution of the book, as well, left me feeling underwhelmed.

We really enjoyed the cafe, the cats, and the fundraising ideas. Chaos was such a cool cat to learn about!

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an advanced review copy- all opinions are my own.

Content Warnings

This Book in Three Words

Cats

Christmas

Challenges

Values/Themes

  • New horizons
  • Christmas
  • Romance
  • Friends
  • Family

Favourite Part

The best part about this book was definitely the cats – I loved learning about every single one of them.

Feelings

  • Romantic
  • Cute
  • Lighthearted

My Ratings:

Writing Style: 3
Characters: 3
Plot Development: 3
Originality: 3
Engagingness: 2.5
Inisightfulness: 2.5
Comprehensiveness: 2.5
Impactfulness: 3

Overall Rating

Numerical Rating: 3 stars

QOTD: Do you enjoy book set
during Christmas time?