Update: Life and Books (2/25/18)


I considered not posting today because I’ve not been feeling great, but this post was already mostly finished. Anyway, it turns out the eye strain I’ve had is merely a symptom of something else since I’ve been having a lot of problems. The problem is, I haven’t been able to pinpoint the actual cause. Usually it’s a new food or vitamin or something like that, but it could be literally almost anything. That’s one of the problems with having a chronic illness though, my body is so easily affected by things anymore, and I already have so many symptoms that it gets harder and harder to figure out if it’s just the usual flaring up, if there’s a specific cause that needs to be addressed, if it’s an entirely new problem I need to worry about… So not only have I been getting bad headaches and other symptoms, I’m also worried I’m never going to figure this out :-/ (If anyone tries to tell me to go see a doctor, I’m just going to respond with a link to this twitter thread.)

I’m still trying to return comments and keep up with bloghopping, but you’ll have to excuse me if I’m a bit slow or not able to visit quite as many posts as usual. It’s just a bummer because I was having a pretty great reading and blogging year so far.

Blog/Bookish Updates:

I finally moved my bookshelves and put all my books into them! (I thought I was just dealing with eye strain, so it seemed like a good way to get off the computer.) I don’t have a lot of books compared to other bloggers from what I’ve seen, but I think my shelves look pretty all the same!


Books I Received for Review:

2/18/18: Nothing!

2/25/18: Nothing!


Books I Finished:

Unbury Carol by Josh Malerman
The Devil's Revolver by V.S. McGrath
Date Night on Union Station by E. M. Foner
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant by Drew Hayes
Undeath & Taxes by Drew Hayes
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling
Bloody Acquisitions by Drew Hayes
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

Since I’ve been taking a break from electronics, I got SO MUCH reading done with print and audio books.

2/18/18: I finished up two more fantasy westerns. I enjoyed both Unbury Carol and The Devil’s Revolver. I did not, however, enjoy Date Night on Union Station very much. I had to suspend my disbelief far too much, and the way the narrator did the dialogue/voices in the audio version drove me crazy. I read the actual graphic novel version of Nimona, so that was cool, getting to see the art that goes with the audio. Fred, the Vampire Accountant was another audiobook I listened to, and it was moderately funny and surprisingly sweet.

2/25/18: I continued with Fred and have been really enjoying the audios for this series. I also started a Harry Potter reread (this is my third time reading it). I’ve been sharing thoughts as I go on Twitter and Goodreads.


What I’m Loving:

This week, what I’m loving is…

I’m in a Comic!

Well, I’m just in the background in one panel. (It was the prize in a contest, I was one of the winners.) But it’s my favorite comic, so it’s still fun to be able to point to it and say, “That’s me!” Lol. I’m the one at the top right sitting at the bar (the full comic is linked above):

Bang! Bang! Boom! Comic


In Case You Missed It:

– I shared mini reviews for three sci-fi/fantasy graphic novels.
– I recommended some sci-fi/fantasy book with no romance.
– I reviewed Apocalypse Alley by Don Allmon, a M/M cyberpunk/urban fantasy with a unique tech-filled world.

– I shared book covers featuring disability.
– I reviewed The Devil’s Revolver by V.S. McGrath, a fun, magic-filled YA western.
– I shared quotes from five of the strangest book reviews I’ve written.
– I reviewed The Tale of the Body Thief by Anne Rice, a slow but interesting addition to the vampire series.


The Sunday Post Link-Up:

Once again, I’m linking up to The Sunday Post at Caffeinated Book Reviewer 🙂


Talk to me!

Have you found any good books lately?
How many times have you read the Harry Potter series (or have you read it at all)?


Your Thoughts


60 thoughts on “Update: Life and Books (2/25/18)

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  1. Greg

    Yeah that sucks. Hopefully things will get better and you can resume your blogging/ reading mojo- ing. 🙂 In the meantime, congrats on being in your favorite comic! Awesmesauce.

    Nice shelfie 🙂

    As for HP, I’ve only read the first book. I know, I know, heresy… but I may read more? At some point?

  2. Annemieke

    Ah I hope the break from electronics is helping with the eyestrain. This flu has brought me such bad headaches this week and it is so hard to keep up with things. I barely read anything so it is great you still managed to get so much read. Yeay for being in a comic.

  3. Roberta R.

    I love the shelves – and I want the red hand now! LOL.

    I hope you’ll be able to get better, whatever the (new) problem is. I’ve just read your Twitter thread and I understand your frustration. Even when people mean well, it can be jarring. Anyway, I hope you can go back to your electronic devices soon!

    Congrats on being featured in a comic – I don’t know anyone else who was!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you! I got the hand outside a Ripley’s museum. You literally dipped your hand into melted hot (but not burning) wax a few times, let it harden, then took it out and they filled it with some extra wax, and voila! It’s one of the coolest things I own lol.

      Thanks <3 It's hard not being able to use comp/phone/tv much!

      1. Roberta R.

        So the hand has got an interesting story too…plus, it’s unique! More points LOL.
        (And yes, I saw you have a white one too, but I LOVE red).

  4. chucklesthescot

    I’ve read the Harry Potter series a lot and listened to it a few times on audio cd too. I haven’t actually read it now for about 4 years so a re-read is long overdue. Maybe next winter. I’ve DNFed about 5 books in just over a week so I’m getting a bit bummed with the reading but as soon as March begins I’m back to the apocalypse!

    1. Kristen Burns

      I tried the US audio and couldn’t stand it, gave up before I even got through the first chapter. But yeah, it’s been about 4 years for me too I think! Bummer about all those DNFs :-/ Hopefully you’ll find some better books soon!

  5. Fran

    I’m sorry to hear you haven’t been feeling well, I can imagine it can affect the rest of your everyday routine. All I will say is that I hope you find out what it is.

    Wow, you’re in a comic, that’s awesome!! Feels very important, doesn’t it? 🙂

    Have a wonderful Sunday!

  6. Erica

    I LOVE your bookshelf! I cannot wait to get a house and finally have room for a shelf of my own! Right now my books are scattered all over the apartment wherever we can fit them… lol!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you!! Before I decided to use these shelves for my books, they were just in a section of this larger shelving unit. Then they were kind of haphazardly on these shelves. Then they got put back in containers for months lol. It’s nice when you’re finally able to get your shelves set up all, hopefully you can do that soon too!

  7. Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy

    I can’t wait to start Unbury Carol! I’m sorry you haven’t been feeling well. I hope things look up soon. You have lots of bookish people supporting you! And wow, the comic is cool! I’ve never known anyone before who won a contest to have themselves put into a comic!

  8. Stephanie Jane

    I love that you’re in a comic. That is so cool!

    I didn’t previously know you have a chronic illness (I just liked your book choices!) and don’t really know what to say that won’t be inane or irritating. I guess ‘I hope that your eyestrain & headaches just leave you in peace soon’ 🙂

    1. Kristen Burns


      It’s not like it’s a secret, but I just don’t bring it up unless there’s some reason to, you know? But as long as you don’t give me unsolicited advice, you’re prob not going to irritate me 🙂 Thank you <3

  9. Aleen @ Lampshade Reader

    I agree with your Twitter thread. It’s just iffy ground. But! I always empathize with anyone who is not feeling well, so all I can do is send good wishes. I hope you feel better soon Kristen.

    Being in a comic is awesome, congrats! That is so cool. 🙂

    I love your flower arrangement btw.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah, I think most people don’t really like unsolicited advice in general. Thank you <3

      It is cool!

      Thank you! I think a lot of people don't realize how pretty dried flowers can be!

  10. Lola

    That sounds so tough to deal with :(. And that’s difficult when you find out your eye strain might be related to your chronic illness or it might not be. How do you even figure out wat’s the cause of something like that. I hope you can figure out what’s causing the problems. I feel bad that you’re struggling so much with that as it sounds like it really puts a damper on everything.

    Your shelves look great! I have a lot of books and shelves, but nowadays I mostly get ebooks, so I don’t add as much anymore. But there was a time a few years ago when I only read physical format.

    I think i got the e-format of that Date Night on Union station book, but not 100% sure. I haven’t read it yet, but that doesn’t sound too good with how you had to suspend your disbelief too much. I re-watched the movies of Harry Potter last year and still plan to re-read the books in English eventually as I’ve only read the books in Dutch. I read them when I was much younger and couldn’t read english books yet. I would love to read them in english eventually. I have read the dutch versions multiple times, especially the first 3 books I re-read a lot, book 2 and 3 were always my favorites. The later ones I re-read less often and the last 2 or 3 books I only read once.

    That’s awesome you’re in a comic, that’s a pretty cool thing to win! i hope you’ll have a great week!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks. That’s exactly it, how do you figure it out? It’s so hard. I’ve cut out diff vitamins and foods and changed air filter and tried opening windows and doing all sorts of things, but so far nothing has helped. It does put a damper on things :-/

      Thanks you! This is all I have, but I’m happy with how it looks at least 🙂

      Eh, I mean, maybe you’d like it more than I did? But yeah, I did have suspension of disbelief issues. I haven’t seen the HP movies, only the first one when it first came out. But oh, that’d be cool to read them in English if you haven’t 🙂 Since I don’t speak any other languages though, I don’t even really know how different a book might be in diff languages.

      Thanks! Same to you!

      1. Lola

        I hate weird symptoms like that, it’s the worst figuring out what’s causing it.

        For the Harry Potter books they actually translated almost all the names and houses and such. Only Harry is still Harry as that’s a dutch name too, you just pronounce it differently in dutch. I had some trouble when I watched the movies in english for the first time remembering who was who because of that. Most of the translations are done well as far as I can tell, but it’s still different. So I really want to read all the books eventually in english as well.

        1. Kristen Burns

          Oh, I had no idea translations would change character names even. Well, you’ll have to let us all know if the books seem different if you ever do read them in English 🙂

  11. Sam@WLABB

    I am sorry your are not feeling well. I hope you are able to find some relief soon. ((HUGS))
    But how cool is it to be immortalized in a comic!

  12. Rebeccah @ The Pixie Chronicles

    You were in a comic! Omg, thats sort of a suuuuper amazing prize! Aaaaah, I don’t even know what that comic I’m weirdly excited about the whole concept of featuring readers in it haha.

    I hope you feel better soon! Definitely try to take it slow and take care of yourself 🙂

    As for HP….I’ve only read it once, and only up to the 5th book. Ahaha…I STILL don’t fully know how the darn thing even ends.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Haha, right? It’s not a well-known comic or anything, but it’s my fave, and I keep trying to make it more well-known cuz I love it lol.

      Thank you <3

      Oh no! You're like my grandma who has watched all the movies except the last one or two, so she doesn't know how it ends either lol.

  13. Let's Get Beyond Tolerance

    I’m so sorry you’re dealing with all those symptoms, or whatever they might be. It’s so awful when something is obviously wrong but you don’t know WHY so you’re not sure how to treat it, or if you can treat it. I hope things look up soon!

    Ooh your new shelves look great. I have so many books but I’m really trying to go through them and get rid of more!

    I’m re-reading the Chamber of Secrets right now in the illustrated form, which I believe we talked about on Twitter. I do recommend checking them out!

    That’s so awesome you’re in a comic. I’d LOVE that.

    I didn’t know Josh Malerman had a new book coming out. I’m so curious now; I loved Bird Box.


    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you <3 <3

      Glad you like my shelves!

      Yeah, I really want to know more about those illustrated books? Like, is the full story written in them, but there are just also some pictures here and there? I really don't know what they're like.

      It is rather neat!

      I haven't read Bird Box, but I know lots of people loved it!

  14. Sarah J.

    I love your shelf! It looks so simple and sleek. I’ve always been a fan of the cube shelves. That is so awesome that you are in a comic! Congrats on winning that! Not many people can say that they have been featured one!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you! I’ve always liked the cubes too. I was using them for other stuff, but they seemed like they’d make good bookshelves, so here we are lol. Thanks!

  15. Barb (boxermommyreads)

    Your shelves look awesome! I really hope you figure out how to feel better and you know your body better than anyone so there is no way I would tell you to go to the doctor (my husband tells me that from time to time but I’m just not one that goes for every little thing and if I’m told to go, I get stubborn and dig my heals in). Guess that tells you something about me huh?

    I can’t wait to read your thoughts on Unbury Carol as I’m really anticipating that one!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! Lol I’ve never been someone to run to the doctor for every little thing either, so I get it.

      Not sure when I’m posting that review since it doesn’t come out until like April I think, but it was pretty unique.

  16. Di @ Book Reviews by Di

    Oh Kristen – I’m sorry you’ve been feeling so down. 🙁 It totally sucks. I hope that you get back to feeling more normal soon and I really hope that you can find some relief.

    Yous shelves are VERY pretty and I have even less books than you do! Traveling so much for work in the past meant that I didn’t acquire too many physical books and I got rid of a few that I did have. I’m only just starting to build up a small collection again.

    I love that you’re re-reading HP!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you <3

      Thanks! I just always see people sharing photos where they have floor to ceiling shelves and stacks everywhere and just hundreds upon hundreds of books. But all that matters is that we read, not how many books we actually own 🙂

  17. S. J. Pajonas

    I’m sorry to hear that you’re having a rough problem lately with eye strain and headaches. (I re-read the Twitter thread, thanks for linking!) Any chance it could be environmental? Maybe a new soap or cleaning solution? I’m excited to see you’re reading a lot of Harry Potter lately. I’ve been meaning to re-read them and I hope to get started on them again later this year. 🙂

  18. Daniela Ark

    I just fell in love with you all over again
    and with that new bookshelf even sexier 🙂
    It is the definition of beauty. All square and symmetrical and full f beautiful books all lined up so pretty!
    I was trying to zoom in to see what series is to the left of Twilight. I had to smile when I saw Twilight 🙂

    1. Kristen Burns

      Aww wifey, you so sweet :-* Glad you like my bookshelves! Honestly I don’t even remember Twilight but it’s one of the only complete series I have, and all HC, so I don’t want to get rid of it. The one next to it is Pendragon by DJ MacHale, another one from when I was younger.

  19. Victoria Grace Howell

    Aw. I hope you feel better. I hate it when random things act up and you don’t know what’s wrong. I had that happen recently where I got an unexplained rash. After some sleuthing, I figured out I’m allergic to cashews. Fun stuff. 😛

    Also, I’m reading Harry Potter right now too! Yay! And your bookshelf looks great!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you <3 It's just so hard to figure these things out sometimes. Sorry about the cashew allergy.

      Oh how funny we're both rereading HP at the same time! Thank you!

  20. Litha Nelle

    I always knew you belonged in a comic! 😉
    I can relate to the eye strain issue- I’ve been having double vision since last year, and it’s likely the side effect of a med I’m on. Anyways, it definitely slows down reading/blogging/responding to comments. Luckily, I won’t be blogging at super speed anytime soon, so don’t feel bad if you don’t get around to commenting! 🙂
    ~Litha Nelle

    1. Kristen Burns

      Lol if only I were in more than that one panel 😛

      Yikes, double vision sounds like a real pain to deal with. I can definitely see how that makes reading/blogging difficult. I’m managing with the comments, slowly but surely. I’ve been feeling a bit better the past couple days 🙂

  21. Danya @ Fine Print

    Oh Kristen, I’m so sorry to hear that you’re having such a difficult time tracking down the cause of your eye strain. I can’t even imagine how frustrating that must be. Your shelves are definitely pretty! I wish mine were that stylish — they look a bit chaotic, honestly. And hooray for Nimona, such a good graphic novel! I think it was one of the first ones I ever read, actually.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you <3 About the eye strain and the shelves! You probably have more books than me, so it's fair if your shelves are chaotic. I just have a small enough # that it's easy to organize them lol. Nimona was sweet!

  22. Tizzy Brown

    Sorry you’ve been having a rough time with your health. My mum and sister both have chronic illnesses and I know how difficult it can be to figure out what’s wrong when you get a symptom and also to get your doctor to take it seriously. Definitely make self-care a priority over keeping up with blogging, your readers will all understand that you need to look after yourself.

  23. Olivia Roach

    I still haven’t read the Harry Potter series through all the way yet. I read the first three books but I didn’t like them. So who knows if I will continue 😛

    I’m so sorry you’ve been feeling so unwell lately :/ I really hope you can find out whatever it is soon – or at least that it will go away and not plague you too much. I guess the upside is reading more print books and audiobooks though! You managed to read quite a few in February DD: And your bookshelf looks absolutely beautiful all neatly arranged like that 😉 It’s not the amount of books that make a bookworm, after all. It’s the love of books <3

    1. Kristen Burns

      Oh no! I mean, they get better as they go, definitely. The first three are still mostly light and funny. But if you didn’t like the first three at all… then idk.

      Thanks <3 Yeah, I have gotten more reading done lol. Thanks! And yes, it's def about the love for books, not the numbers 🙂