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 had a wonderful week! One evening, I decided to give her a little treat. So I created a little triangle out of her cat food and called it a “cat food pizza.” There is no pizza – it’s just her soft food that I shape into a triangle. But she really likes it! Somehow, perhaps this makes it more exciting for her.
It’s been super busy this week. But here are a few highlights:
Went out to eat with my partner last night. It’s a 20 minute walk away, so we decided to get some exercise by walking to and from dinner. I think the walking was super useful!
The weather has been cooling. We’ve had some rain, which I adore.
Watching a show on Netflix called “Keep Breathing.” Enjoying it so far – have you seen it?
This past week really got away from us and we are now trying our best to catch up, alas The Sunday Post is being posted on a Monday. Hope you enjoy it!
Olivia Update 🐾
A major update of our week is reading the book, “I am a Cat” by Sōseki Natsume. When we started the book, she was very happy to have found a feline protagonist. As the book went on, unfortunately, there was less and less cat in the book and she had quite a few issues with that. The book instead started to revolve around our cat’s owner and his friends, at times with very little cat insights thrown in.
While we certainly agree that Sōseki is a great writer, we are highly conflicted about this one due to the lack of cat content in the book. We also found the book difficult to read because of some of the content warnings which we should have read beforehand – there was a whole lot of body shaming and misogyny in the book (while we understand that this book was written over a century ago, we were very alarmed by the high volume of this sort of content). Most alarmingly, there was animal cruelty, so you can imagine my dismay reading these portions with Olivia (I was at a loss of how to comfort her – all I could do was provide her with her favourite tuna squeezie treat while I skipped these parts.) The plot was very minimal as well and it could be a bit tiresome to read at times. However, it is not all bad – Sōseki is able to blend silliness with beautifully analytical and philosophical writing. We laughed out loud so many times during this book that we made a thread of some of our favourite quotes!
As well, some of the philosophical questions had Olivia and I deeply invested. Through both our nameless feline protagonist and the various characters, the book discusses a wide range of topics: God, creation, death, Westernization, and existence, to name a few. So I will sit with our thoughts on the book for some before committing to a review and star rating. We are comfortable saying that this book is not for who are looking for cat content since it’s so sparse, or for those who have a difficult time reading literature with any of the issues mentioned above.
In other news, Olivia also had a good time being on bird watch this week! There were quite a few spottings, which she alerted me of with a few cackles and chirps to sound the alarm.
What a busy week this was! Our entire week of blogging and booktube went straight out the window, but for a good reason. This month we had a family member visit us so we had a marvellous time eating at cafés, attending some highly important events, visiting the ice cream shop (they have some vegan flavours!), and exploring the city together. With work thrown into the mix, all of our days were full with varying degrees of business. We are so happy to have hosted our family member and the outdoor plants have really enjoyed the sun! Temperatures should be a bit cooler this week – I hope they are going to drop for you all in the hot destinations as well.
A major help this week was ordering some vegan salads from a local shop nearby. Here you can see a few of them: Kale Tabouli Salad, Summer “Pasta” Salad, and Beet Poke Salad. Of these, the Summer Pasta Salad was such a win! And the selection really inspired us to get creative with our salad combinations moving forward.
As you can see from the Olivia Update, we read I am a Cat by Sōseki Natsume and had a very conflicted feel about the book.
I finished Always Never by Jordi Lafebre, read via my Hoopla app. Last week, I mentioned that I was very lukewarm about this read, and that feeling never went away. My biggest issue with the book again lies within the content warnings (I’m starting to think that I really need to pay a bit more attention to those moving forward) and the illustration style. However, my opinions are not necessarily what the majority of readers thought as the book is very highly rated on Goodreads and Storygraph, so don’t let my review throw you off too much!
We started A Lot Like Adiós by Alexis Daria and we are enjoying it so far! It is a second chance romance and is book #2 in the Primas of Power series. I’ve only read the first chapter, but have found it intriguing so far and can’t wait to learn more about Michelle and Gabe.
We are so happy we were approved for A Treacherous Tale by Elizabeth Penney! This is book #2 of the Cambridge Bookshop Series and it follows our protagonist Molly Kimball who runs a bookshop in England. Thrilled because we very much enjoyed book #1, Chapter and Curse. We’ve only read the first chapter but are loving it so far. Olivia especially loves cats Puck and Clarence!
Immediately next, we want to finally start Lore by Alexandra Bracken! Our TBR game has been difficult to complete this month, and we are afraid that some books will have to be read in the month of August. We will be doing a TBR game in August as well! Haha but at least it should be fairly quiet this month and so we hope to finish all of our books – crossovers and new additions, alike!
We’ll see … but The Daughter of Doctor Moreau is looking pretty enticing right about now … how can I possibly focus when there are so many great books to read? I supposed you could say we’re overbooked 😹. We are so happy we received this gorgeous book mail earlier this week!