Update: Life and Books (12/30/18)


It’s December 31st! One year is ending, and a new one is beginning. Call me what you will (some would go with pessimist, I say realist), but I’m not feeling very positive about it, not when all my problems from this year are just carrying over into the new one. But I know no one wants to end their year by listening to me complain, so luckily I do have some good things to share about the past four weeks!

Blog/Bookish Updates:

Congrats to my two City of Brass giveaway winners, Sabrina and Nicole! If either of you are reading this and wondering where your prize is, I haven’t had the chance to mail them yet, but I’ll get to it this week!

I myself also won a giveaway, for an ebook copy of Alizarin Crimson by Erica Millard (that book about manipulating the color red that I shared in my Nov/Dec releases post)!

Alizarin Crimson by Erica Millard

And I got bookmail! Thank you to Penguin Books for The Municipalists! Thank you to Brain Mill Press for The Devil’s Pact!

The Municipalists by Seth FriedThe Devil's Pact by V.S. McGrath

Funny story about how I got a copy of The Municipalists. When I requested it on Edelweiss, I tweeted about it because I was excited/nervous about requesting it. A few days later, I got denied. I then tweeted about that because I was sad. A few minutes after that tweet, my first tweet got replied to by someone at Penguin asking if I got a copy and offering to send me one if I didn’t! That kind of thing never happens to me! So anyway, I was very excited, my sadness was short-lived, and now I have an ARC πŸ™‚

Also, my stuff from the Bang! Bang! BOOM! Kickstarter I backed arrived! It’s all so pretty!

Last but not least, here’s one more reminder that I have a 2019 blog schedule template spreadsheet that you can download if you’re trying to make your blogging more organized!


Books I Received for Review:

Shriek by Jennifer M. BarryThe Municipalists by Seth FriedThe Devil's Pact by V.S. McGrathCaptain by Artie Sievers

Shriek is from the author. The Municipalists, The Devil’s Pact, and Captain are from the publishers.


Books I Finished:

Binding Blood by Daniel de LorneThe Kingdom of Copper by S.A. ChakrabortyTrinkets, Treasures, and Other Bloody Magic by Meghan Ciana DoidgeOutcast by Lexi BlakeHiddensee by Gregory MaguireBang! Bang! BOOM! by Melanie Schoen & Del BorovicAnna and the Apocalypse by Katharine Turner

Binding Blood was a great ending to the Bonds of Blood series. The Kingdom of Copper was a phenomenal sequel! Trinkets, etc. was another good audio book in the Dowswer series. Outcast was better than the previous book in the Hunter/Thieves series even though I still had some issues. I just realized I read a lot of series books in the past month lol. Hiddensee started just ok for me, but I enjoyed it more as it went on. I finally got to reread B!B!B! in print, all the way through in one go, and it was amazing! Anna and the Apocalypse was a great idea, but not a great execution, at least not for my tastes.


What I’m Loving:

This month, what I’m loving is…



I don’t how I found this YouTube channel, but I love it! It’s a group of cartoon illustrators drawing weird things and being hilarious the whole time. It’s somehow simultaneously completely inappropriate and lovably wholesome. It’s like they’re never inappropriate in the way you expect them to be inappropriate. It’s just great. You should watch some of their videos. Here (or above) is the first one I stumbled upon that got me hooked.

Cryaotic’s Unravel Let’s Play


I didn’t used to watch Let’s Plays on YouTube, but I’ve found they can be a fun way to enjoy a game that I wouldn’t normally play myself. What’s so wonderful about this series is that the game is absolutely beautiful, and Cry’s voice is so nice and calming, and he just kinda rambles about whatever, and altogether these are the most relaxing, stress-relieving videos. They’re just so pleasant to watch.


In Case You Missed It:

My arms hurt too much to type everything, so here are some highlights:

– I shared more Nov/Dec sci-fi fantasy book releases.
– I shared my favorite book covers from 2018 and my runners up!
– I shared my favorite characters from 2018!
– I shared my favorite books (and games and movie and show) from 2018!
– I shared an update on my 2018 bookish goals.


Talk to me!

Are you looking forward to 2019?
What's one good thing that happened to you in 2018?
Have you found any good books lately?


Your Thoughts


26 thoughts on “Update: Life and Books (12/30/18)

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  1. Greg

    That’s pretty awesome about The Municipalists! Yay Twitter lol. Cool cover on that one (and for Shriek as well, actually). The Kickstarter stuff looks nice too.

    Happy New Year!!!!

  2. Sophie

    Dang for carrying your problems to 2019! That sucks! But maybe something will happen? Something good I mean. And that’s when you can feel the eternal optimistic rearing her head here… Seriously I wish you luck and happiness for the next year!

  3. Roberta R.

    Wow, so Twitter CAN be a place of miracles sometimes! Penguin offering you an ARC copy after your tweet was pretty neat.

    I understand how you feel about the new year. But at least there’s a festive occasion ahead, so I won’t complain πŸ˜‰. Me and the hubs are going to spend New Year’s Eve at a couple of friends’ house, armed with board and card games…and pizza, and other unhealthy items LOL. Then I have a job-free day on the 1st (not the hubs though – he’ll do the 14-22 shift at the local hospital’s switchboard. Well, at least he got a free day on the 31st this year!). Anyway…I hope 2019 will be the year when your teeth problems get fixed (hopefully before it ends!!!) and you get to feel better…and you also get all the books your heart desires. Happy New Year then!

    1. Kristen Burns

      It was very exciting for me!

      That sounds like a wonderful way to spend NYE! I’ve spent it playing board games and snacking on a couple occasions, that’s always a good time. Thank you <3 Happy New Year!

  4. Sam@wlabb

    I love when something good comes as a result of social media. I heard Penguin doesn’t grant access to bloggers via EW. Back in 2016 I used to get their books that way, but it’s rejections all around now. I am happy you got the book though. Yeah!

  5. Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra

    That’s so cool that Penguin reached out when they saw your tweet. I love it when things like that happen. I hope you enjoy the read.

    Thanks for the link to your post scheduling sheet too. I really like your system. It’s simple and looks very effective.

  6. Crystal @ Lost in Storyland

    Your story about how you received a copy of The Municipalists is so cool! I’ve enjoyed how I read double the number of books I expected to in 2018 (being a grad student at the start of the year). Something I’m looking forward to in 2019 is all the new fantasy releases, especially the number of asian-inspired fantasies that I’ve been seeing.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I was so excited! Oh wow, that’s great that you doubled your expectations! It does seem Asian inspired fantasy is becoming bigger, and that’s so awesome!

  7. Daniela Ark

    oh yeah for print ARCs and for Penguin offering and ARC because of your tweet πŸ™‚ I’m happy to hera book 2 of City of Brass is good too. and congrats to Sabrina and Nicole! πŸ™‚

  8. Lola

    I almost feel bad for saying I actually had a great year as 2018 seemed to have been a hard year for many. And sadly problems never stop suddenly stop when a new year starts as you would like, I was in that situation a few years ago and it’s hard to get excited about a new year and feel the new start when all your problems are still there. I hope 2019 will be a great year for you and you can resolve some of the things that are troubling you at least.

    I remember you mentioning that book in your anticipated releases post, how awesome you won a copy. I hope it’s a good one. The Bang Bang Boom kickstarter stuff looks great too!

    I never really watched Let’s Play movies, but I can imagine that if you find the right video and a game you might not play yourself that it can be fun.

    Happy new year!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Lol you’re allowed to have had a great year! But yeah, it’s too bad our problems from the previous year don’t just poof away. Thank you <3

      I'm excited to give it a try! Also excited about my Kickstarter stuff! Just have to figure out where to put the keychains and things.

      I haven't watched a ton, but it can be nice to see games that are pretty or interesting but that would be too stressful to play myself.

      Happy New Year!

  9. Olivia Roach

    Yay for receiving lovely new print ARCs. I hope you will be able to enjoy reading those five new books <3 I know what you mean about problems just carrying over and that being a bit daunting. But I really hope next year will be the year where you get to have some improvements or successful help when it comes to your teeth and health issues :/ I really really hope so!