Thank you for coming back to our site! Olivia and I have taken some time away from blogging and social media. This has largely been due to a massive reading slump that came about after a back injury (yes, another one!) that occurred in December. I wasn’t able to do much at all during the month of January as my range of motion was limited. Even reading was painful as I couldn’t find a comfortable position to read. Unfortunately, this caused me to fall behind. Fortunately, I’ve felt better over the last few weeks thanks to physio and feel ready to read again! I’ve even been using the KonMarie method to declutter, organize, and clean my home so that it will be ready for Spring.
Additionally, I’ve been baking up a storm! My parents are bakers and I have learned a lot about the bread making process over the years.
Olivia Update 🐾
Olivia has been doing very well. She’s the best company! She’s been a little suspicious about this new KonMarie method. In particular, the addition of a cat bed for our bedroom, which I thought had the potential to spark joy. While initially hesitant, Olivia has now grown to love it! And she can be seen snoozing on this bed at all times of the day. She might even be there right now.
Thank you to LibroFM and Random House for review copies of Weyward and Brotherless Night!
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!
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 Ghostby 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.
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
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
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!
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:
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 Rezby 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
Jackalby 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.
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
We are behind on comments – catching up this week!
Olivia Update 🐾
October is Olivia’s favourite time of year. She has a few orange/black/white collars for her, but we reserve her Bat collar for the 1st and 31st of October!
Olivia may need a bit of a bib trim since the collar, when positioned properly, is simply covered by fluff. But! For the majority of the month, she will be wearing her candy corn/pumpkin collar since that one is her purrsonal favourite. Super cozy and fashionable.
Physiotherapy has been going well! My back pain is nearly gone and the exercises I’ve been doing have now incorporated some resistance training. It’s been easy for me adhere to doing my exercises daily, I just need to be more consistent with walking so I’ll look for some good audiobooks and podcasts. If you have any recs, let me know!
Shows We’ve Been Watching:
Rings of Power. Last episode was not my fav, but overall enjoying this series.
The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5. What an intense last episode! Also, I’m pretty sure I’m due for a reread of the original HMT and The Testaments.
Sandman. I feel pretty meh about this one.
We now have a Kindle and a Kobo!
This week we completed 2 books!
Witches of Brooklyn by Sophie Escabasse. So cute! This graphic novel was a lot of fun. I enjoyed the concept and am looking forward to reading book two!
Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson. Wow, was this ever an amazing book. Definitely check out my book review and see if it’s a book you’d like to add to your TBR!
Apologies, Olivia and I have missed the last couple of Sunday link ups, but we are happy to join again this week. Thank you for visiting!
Olivia Update 🐾
Olivia is very excited to share how she’s been the last couple of weeks! While I’ve been recovering from my back injury (yes, still!), Olivia has been a constant companion. She supervises my physiotherapy exercises, cuddles during reading time, and makes sure I rest. For her extraordinary efforts, I have happily provided her with extra squeezie treats, catnip, and have ensured that her catnip toys are available for her playtime (they can be challenging to find after an active play session!) Unfortunately, Olivia has developed an aversion to some of her other toys. I think they spook her out a bit and thus will not remain in circulation for now – but, speaking of spooky things, she cannot wait for Halloween! We have her halloween collar ready to go!
Ah, still dealing with that back injury! But there’s been lots of improvements! Physiotherapy has been so helpful. It’s remarkable how long it takes to heal. I hope everyone is staying safe where they are – the weather has been awful in eastern parts of Canada and other countries as well. Wishing you and my family/friends all well!
Shows We’ve Been Watching:
Rings of Power
The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5
We recently hosted the Hello Autumn/Spring readathon, and it was a blast! Thank you to all the participants and cohosts for making this 48 hour readathon so much fun. I cannot wait until December!
Olivia has had quite the week! She’s enjoying her hammock, cat food pizzas, and tuna squeezie treats. A new phenomenon I’ve been noticing is her night-time “skittles.” Now, when I refer to “the skittles,” this means that during the evening, Olivia will chase her toys (especially her soft blue ball) and dash like a bolt of lightning across the room! When this happens, I can hear feet as they scamper about – I call these frantic episodes “the skittles.”
In other news, Olivia has been an excellent reading companion. I’m so grateful for this little bean!
I’ve been so inspired by all of the Fall bookstagram vibes lately! It makes me want to:
Immediately stock up on all Autumn drink ingredients.
Decorate my home with Fall candles, autumn leaves, and tiny pumpkins
Read all of the cozy and spooky books.
Olivia has a collection of seasonal collars and sweaters. One collar is black, orange, and yellow Halloween-themed. I’m saving that one for October!
Unfortunately, I had another back injury this week, but luckily, it has mostly improved. I’ve been trying to heal as best as possible; however, an area of personal growth for me is understanding my limitations. I tend to overestimate my recovery and take on physical tasks when I’m not ready to (e.g., heavy lifting). I need to be a bit more patient with myself. One day at a time!
Check out our August Wrap-Up for an update on how the month went for Olivia and I! We read 12 books in total. Here is our mini reading vlog for Lore by Alexandra Bracken.
Our next reads:
Additionally, we went to the library and signed out many books. As promised, here is part 1 of our library haul:
Let me know if you’ve read any of the books from our haul!
With another season ahead of us, we are running the Hello Autumn / Spring Readathon from September 17th-18th! I host the readathon along with several of my friends. To learn more about the readathon and our cohosts, here is our bookstagram post. We’d love it if you could participate with us!
Very brief post today! Resting and recovering from a busy weekend. Thank you for stopping by!
Olivia Update 🐾
Olivia had another wonderful week! She enjoyed spending lots of time with my partner and myself, as we were on staycation. We still have another couple of days off, and Olivia is excited for even more cuddle time.
Today is the first day I’ve felt relatively okay since my back injury. It’s been rough, but I’m happy to have spent time resting and recovering. That said, energy is a bit low today, but I’m sure it will return this upcoming week!
For a video recap of our week, and our progress on the ARCathon readathon please check out our youtube video! ARCathon is hosted by Marti and Britt!
Olivia’s had a great week. She was eagerly awaiting and preparing for the arrival of one of our close friends who she hasn’t seen in about a year or so! He used to cat-sit for my partner and I and so they are good friends.
We have also given Olivia a bib-trim. Her mane was getting a little bit too long and was starting to cause a bit of trouble while eating and drinking. Now that she’s had the trim, it’s a bit easier for her. And I’m sure it may help with cooling her down during the hot summer.
I am recovering right now from a back injury so today’s update will be short.
In better news, we’ve started a TikTok! Let me know your thoughts – I may try to do mini reviews and share them here when I upload my ARC reviews. I like this challenge because it gives me an opportunity to enhance my verbal review skills.
Linking you to my Friday Reads post for the books Olivia and I have read this week. We finished reading 8 books. With my back injury, it’s been nice to cuddle with her and get some reading in.
We’re still working through Lore and The Nine: Origins. Unfortunately, there have been a few issues with The Nine: Origins I’ve encountered – perhaps it would have benefitted from more feedback from others with different experiences. Of course, I’ll share my honest opinions when I’ve finished but may review this as part of my August wrap up instead of a full feature post.
We are in a bit of a sticky situation right now – from our Libby app, we’ve signed out The Family Remains – one of our most anticipated reads of the year! But we have SO many books to read, so perhaps we’ll read this next month. But gosh, we’re so excited to read it.
Olivia has been doing very well – such a big appetite and lots of books to read! And we did read two cat books which she and I absolutely loved (more below).
Last night, however, Olivia became quite concerned – somehow, a moth flew into our apartment! Olivia was not impressed. Whatsoever. In fact, it made her so anxious that she was yelling at this moth for quite some time. In an attempt to assist her, we were about to evacuate said moth; however, by the time we went to the lamp where it was situated, the moth had already flown away, nowhere to be found. Because Olivia is terrified of insects (as am I), we snuggled for quite some time afterwards, consoling both her and I. The location of the moth is still unknown, but we’d like to think it happily flew away sometime last evening or this morning. Now our Olivia is all settled – with a little bit of extra catnip to pep her step.
A few highlights:
My partner and I went for a long walk a few days ago and found a really cool area in the city nearby that we had not visited before! There were lots of stores and even a new bistro that we will visit in the future.
We finished Netflix: Keep Breathing. Although I did enjoy some episodes, overall I would rate it around a 6/10. I enjoyed: the survival aspect, the main character, and how the story was revealed. Being from Northern British Columbia, I liked that this was filmed BC and gave an insight into the beauty we are fortunate to be surrounded by in Canada. I did not enjoy: the constant flashbacks, some plot and emotional mechanics used, the romantic element, and some of the overall plot points. I would recommend giving the first 2-3 episodes a shot, and if you like them, it gives a pretty clear indication if you may enjoy the rest of the show. I will say I thought that Yellowjackets was my favourite survival-type show watched this year (also filmed in BC).
Keep Breathing Trailer:
We are doing the ARCathon, hosted by Marti and Britt! And we are reading our TBR game picks, which overlap. Our NetGalley feedback ratio is something we have been working on and we are happy to say it is currently at 94%.
In general, we’re very conservative with requests, opting to read and review many “read now” titles that we simply don’t want to wait for and get to reading them immediately! We have found so many amazing books this way. Although sometimes the request bug does bite, too!
We currently have two requests pending. A book we’ve requested is A Cat Cafe Christmas – if we receive an eGalley, Olivia and I will be so happy! But we will also happily request from the library if it doesn’t come our way – it looks absolutely purrfect! And I’d love to give our insight from a feline and cat lover purr-spective.
The second book we’ve requested is Hungry Ghostby Victoria Ying. It is a YA graphic novel, and it just looks and sounds stunning. It discusses difficult topics, such as disordered eating and mental health. Again, I will need to read this book, regardless of my pending request – very much looking forward to reading and reviewing this one.
We’ve finished several books this week from NetGalley (see below, thank you to NetGalley for providing review copies). I will discuss these more in future reviews and/or wrap ups; however I do want to say that the manga for Anne of Green Gables, Baker And Tale and the Mystery Cats, A Treacherous Tale, and The Ghosts of Rose Hill were just great! You can see reviews for Anne of Green Gables and The Ghosts of Rose Hill below.
We are enjoying and finishing The Kindest Lie tonight and continuing Lore forward!