August Wrap up

Hi everyone! Olivia and I are excited to share our August reading wrap-up with you. We’ve read 12 books and enjoyed most of what we read.

This month, we participated in the #ARCathon and did our best to manage our NetGalley reviews. Currently, we are sitting at an 85% feedback ratio and are happy with our progress.

So, let’s dive into this wrap-up!

Reading Wrap-Up and Stats

@sarasreadingnook

What was your favourite read of August? See any books on our list you’d like to check out? Let us know! Note all @NetGalley books were provided for an honest review. Thank you to the publishers and to NetGalley. #ReadingWrapUp #ReadingStats #AugustBooks #BookTok

♬ Oke work that imaged the Ghibli-like forest – CRAFT SOUND STUDIO

Reading Statistics

In terms of overall mood, we mostly read mysterious and emotional books with dashes of adventure, reflection, and lightheartedness. Our books were all medium pace, which is quite a shock. Usually, there is a range, so it’s curious how this happened.

Correction – 11/12 books were fiction. And most of my books were in the > 300-page range. Again, not typical, but I have been trying to read more of a mixture between children’s and YA/adult fiction on NetGalley, which may have resulted in this trend.

Another active month! With the TBR game, Readathon, and our Top Shelf Society buddy read, August was quite a productive time! Also, my back injury has made it challenging to be active, so reading has been welcome this month. Olivia has very much enjoyed cuddling and reading together.

Reading Wrap-Up and Mini Reviews

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 in exchange for an honest review – all opinions are my own.

The Daughter of Doctor Moreau by Silvia Moreno-Garcia.
Published: July 19th, 2022.
(5 stars) This book was my favourite book of the month! Silvia Moreno-Garcia has an impressive ability to provide atmospheric, entertaining reads that hook me in from the first chapter. She creates captivating stories while weaving social and political commentaries into her novels. Spectacular. Historical fiction, Sci-fi, Fantasy, Horror.
Content Warnings.


Baker and Taylor and the Mystery of the Library Cats by Candy Rodo.
Release Date: September 5th, 2022.
(5 stars) This picture book features two cats, Baker and Taylor, as they try to discover the mystery of the famous library cats. Magnificent read and so much fun! Children’s, Picture Books, Animals. (NG)


Anne of Green Gables by Manga Classics.
Published: November 10th, 2020.
(4.75 stars)This manga is the most entertaining, fun, and creative adaptation I’ve read of AOGG. It stayed true to the original book highlighting pertinent events. It was excellent to read. Manga, Classics, Graphic Novel, Historical Fiction. (NG).


A Treacherous Tale by Elizabeth Penney.
Published: August 23rd, 2022.
(4.25 stars). This sequel is a terrific, cozy mystery and is book #2 of The Cambridge Bookshop Series. Honestly, I enjoyed book two even more than book one. There are fairy tale vibes and a page-turning mystery present. Oh, and there are cats! Cozy Mystery, Fiction. (NG).
(Suggested CWs: death, murder, missing/?captured persons.)


The Ghosts of Rose Hill by R.M. Romero.
Published: May 10th, 2022.
(4 stars). This book is a haunting and enchanting story about a biracial Jewish girl sent away to stay with her aunt in Prague. I read/listened to this book and enjoyed it. I highly recommend this book, especially if you love poetic writing. Fantasy, YA, Magical Realism, Historical Fiction, Poetry. (NG)
Content Warnings.


The Kindest Lie by Nancy Johnson.
Published: February 2nd, 2022.
(3.75 stars). This is a contemporary fiction novel about Ruth, an Ivy-League Black engineer who is eager to start a family with her husband; however, she had to give up her baby years ago. And now, to move forward, she needs to make peace with her past. Overall, I enjoyed this book quite a bit. I think that Nancy Johnson did such an impressive job of setting the timeline and in crafting Ruth’s story. There are two points of view and Ruth’s POV was my favourite. Recommended if you’ve enjoyed books such as Little Fires Everywhere. Fiction, Contemporary, Mystery.
Content Warnings.


Underneath the Earth’s Crust. Trip to the Core of our Planet by Mack Van Gageldonk.
Release Date: November 29th, 2022.
(4 stars). Informative nonfiction children’s book that covers material about the earth’s crust. There is a lot of information packed in here! The earth’s layers, underground animals and plants, gemstones, thermal springs, etc.! And there are lots of drawings and images to keep kids involved. I enjoyed reading and learning from this one! Children’s, Nonfiction, Science. (NG)

Lucky Cat by Melody Cheng; Helen Wu; Janet Wang.
Release Date: September 20th, 2022.
(3.25 stars) This picture book features a good story about the struggle of immigrant families trying to run a business in a new country. The illustrations are so beautiful in this one and my favourite aspect. I wanted a bit more from this story, and some themes could have been explored differently; however, it was a good read overall. Children’s, Animals. (NG)

The Gravity of Existence by Christina Sng.
Release Date: December 5th, 2022.
(3 stars). This poetry book has many poems about sirens, ghosts, fairy tales, myths, and other topics. Not every poem was a hit for me, and many were short. My favourites were poems about myths and fairy tales. Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Poetry. (NG)
Content Warnings.

The Nine Origins by Kes Trester.
Release Date: October 11th, 2022.
(2.25 stars). A YA fantasy book. Set in modern times, within this novel are nine gifts that a select few individuals possess. Our main character is about to embark on a journey to discover what her gift means for her. It sounded like a good synopsis; however, the characters were quite stereotypical, the story did not feel fleshed out, and I think that it could have benefitted from having different perspectives provide feedback on this book. Some language was off-putting as well. I did like several components of the overall story and learning about the nine gifts. Fantasy, YA.

The Unbalanced Equation by H.L. MacFarlane.
Release Date: September 15th, 2022.
(2 stars). Initially, I was looking forward to this book and thought it would be fun and cute. There are some tropes here I think readers may enjoy, like dual perspectives, forced proximity, and others. Unfortunately, this book wasn’t for me due to the presence of some very off-putting behaviours, language, and scenarios that occurred. Romance, Contemporary.
Content Warnings.

A Nico Colored Canvas by Nao Shikita.
Published: June 21st, 2022.
(2 stars). This manga is about a “free-spirited” art university student as she is learning how to perfect her craft. I was looking forward to it, but it wasn’t for me. The story felt rushed. Additionally, I encountered some very off-putting scenarios and rude language, so it just missed the mark for me. I think the overall art style was at an appropriate level as it reminded me a bit of Lovely Complex. Manga, University. (NG)

So, that is my Wrap-Up! Overall, we enjoyed many of our books, and while not every book was a hit, I hope this wrap-up provides some beneficial information for you and encourages you to check out some excellent books!

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

July Reading Wrap Up

Hi everyone!

Today we will be sharing our reading wrap up for the month of July. We hope that you had a fantastic month!

During the month of July, I read a lot of very informative and lighthearted reads. This isn’t surprising as many of my books were children’s books or middle grades up for review. Though, many of them were also emotional.

I tended to enjoy reading medium paced books but I do like that there were some fast and slow paced books thrown in.

We were craving and loving so many nonfiction reads!

And of course, many of the books we read were children’s literature and therefore on the shorter page limit.

We took a break from readathons this month – it sure was a busy month. I worked quite a bit and didn’t have too much time extra time. Plus we had family visiting! I wanted to join Grinchathon in July. This is hosted by Izzy from Punk Rock Girl PA – we had a lot of fun participating last year and hope to next year!

We reviewed 8 electronic Galleys from NetGalley – 7 of these were advanced reader copies. We only completed 4/7 July TBR game books; however, we are completing the fifth one tonight, DNFing one for now, and transferring over Lore to August.

Yes, here are our 12 books! All of our NetGalley books have a little sticker on them the image above.

Below are full reviews of all of the books for which I have reviews that haven’t been posted yet.

If I have already reviewed them, I’ve provided the link.

And there are some outstanding reviews are still to come.

Enjoy!

Reviews:

How Science Saved the Eiffel Tower
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 stars)

Storygraph | Goodreads

Click here for review

With the Right to Fight: Planting Peace
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 stars)

Review:
What a beautifully illustrated nonfiction book!

The book beautifully illustrates the story of Wangari Muri Maathai from childhood to adulthood, where we go from Kenya to the USA, then back back again. Themes include the importance of nature, education, resourcefulness, imagination, community, ingenuity, and female empowerment.

I’m such a fan of the art style and the composition of the book. It flows, reads, and illustrates the story’s beautifully.

I think that this book should be read in as many classrooms as possible! I wish I learned Wangari Muri Maathai’s story and her amazing Novel Peace Prize achievement much earlier. This is an inspirational and informative book perfect for young readers (and adults, too!)

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
(5 stars)

Review:
Beautiful book filled with various illustrations and descriptions of diverse women throughout history and their accomplishments/works of advocacy.

There were a lot of women that I learned about from this collection! I love that this is now in board book format. Each of the illustrations are so uniquely drawn yet the colour palette is consistent throughout, with bright and bold colours.

I definitely recommend this one!

Lola and the New School
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
(4.25 stars)

Storygraph | Goodreads

Click here for review

Surviving the City
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
(4.25 stars)

4.25.

This was an impactful graphic novel about very important topics. You are introduced to the main characters Miikwan (Anishinaabe) and Dez (Inninew) who are both best friends. Dez’s grandmother falls ill and Dez is told she’s not able to live at home with her anymore and the threat of having to live in a group home is looming. Dez, overwhelmed, runs away and goes missing and Miikwan is desperate to find her.

I found the story to be quite emotional and impactful. The illustration style is very beautiful and the writing is well done. It is a fairly quick read but I think it’s an important story that includes a dialogue on missing and murdered indigenous women.

Content Warnings (via Storygraph)

Wildseed Witch
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
(4 stars)

Storygraph | Goodreads

Click here for review.

From Eve to Dawn
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
(4 stars)

Storygraph | Goodreads

Review to come …
See our interim thoughts here.

Yasmin the Detective
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
(4 stars)

Storygraph | Goodreads

Click here for review

Radium Girls
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
(3.6 stars)

Storygraph | Goodreads

Review to come …

Shoo!
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
(3.5 stars)

Storygraph | Goodreads

Review to come …

Always Never
⭐️⭐️
(2 stars)

Review:
Honestly, this one just fell completely flat for me. The art style and story.

Content Warnings via Storygraph

I am a Cat
*undecided*

Storygraph | Goodreads

I am not sure how to review this one. I’ll need some time before I do!

That’s everything for our wrap-up!

Note: Chart data collected from Storygraph; graphs constructed using Canva.

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