Update: Life and Books (6/17/18)


Long time no talk! I have not done one of these posts for a month. I normally do them every other weekend, but I just wasn’t feeling up to it. I’ve been feeling stressed, anxious, and rundown because of health stuff. I kind of didn’t even feel like posting one today. But I like to show what books I’ve gotten and read, and they pile up too much if I wait too long, so here I am.

I watched some movies since we last talked, most notably The Covenant. Someone mentioned on Twitter that a movie about hot, half-naked male witches was available on Netflix, so I watched it. (Don’t worry, there were hot, half-naked girls too, so something for everyone!) It was good in an overdramatic, B-movie, trying-too-hard-to-be-edgy sort of way. The magic special effects were really cool.

When I told my grandma about the movie, we started talking about nudity in movies, and then she told me that she and a friend went to a play together once when they were younger only to find out when they got there that all the actors were naked. She didn’t remember what the play was about, just that the actors rolled around a lot. πŸ˜‚ #GrandmaWisdom #OkNotReallyWisdomButStillAGreatStory #IWantToGoToANakedPlayNowItSoundsFun

And that’s about it for my random, un-newsworthy news. Onto the books!

Blog/Bookish Updates:

I actually have lots of good bookish news! I won three giveaways since my last update, and I have some print ARCs coming my way that I’m excited for! (I honestly get so excited every single time I get approved for a print ARC.) I don’t have any of the books yet, but I can at least say thank you to Daniela @ Nocturnal Devices for the $10 Amazon gift card I got for being the top commenter on her blog πŸ™‚

Also, you might’ve noticed I haven’t been doing many discussions lately. I’ll get back to doing more eventually! I just haven’t had the energy for them.


Books I Received for Review:

Amendments by HM Lynn
Sleepless by Sarah Vaughn & Leila del Duca
Lovesick Titans by Amanda Meuwissen
Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa
The Gilded King by Josie Jaffrey

5/27/18: Amendments was from the author. Sleepless Vol. 1 was from Edelweiss (a download one that you don’t need approval for, so go grab a copy if you’re interested).

6/3/18: Lovesick Titans was from the author. Shadow of the Fox was from NetGalley.

6/10/18: Detox in Letters was from the publisher. The Gilded King was from the author.

6/17/18: Nothing.


Books I Finished:

Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones
Sleepless by Sarah Vaughn & Leila del Duca
American Hippo by Sarah Gailey
The Gorgon Bride by Galen Surlak-Ramsey
Lovesick Titans by Amanda Meuwissen
This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel
Such Wicked Intent by Kenneth Oppel

All in all, I’ve had some fantastic reading in the past month! Two 4.5-star books, and my first 5-star of the year!

5/27/18: Mongrels was amazing and totally satisfied my werewolf mood! Sleepless Vol. 1 was diverse and an enjoyable graphic novel, just not quite to my tastes.

6/3/18: I was hesitant about American Hippo since I wasn’t sure it’d be SFF-enough for me, but I really liked it! The Gorgon Bride disappointed me because the gorgon was hardly in it :-/ Lovesick Titans was super angsty but adorable, and I loved it.

6/10/18: The Frankenstein retellings continue! I was totally gripped by This Dark Endeavor and Such Wicked Intent.

6/17/18: I was honestly starting to think there would be no 5-stars this year, or that maybe I was just getting too hard to impress, but Detox in Letters blew me away! I’m so excited for my review, but it’s gonna be a couple months since the cover hasn’t even been revealed yet.


What I’m Loving:

This week, what I’m loving is…

Liam from Monster Prom

(Click anywhere on the tweet to open it in Twitter.)

I was gonna go with just Monster Prom in general, but my Liam appreciation tweet didn’t get any love, so I shall now force it upon all my blog readers πŸ˜› Seriously though, he’s great, and the whole game is a lot of fun. I’ll be reviewing it on Friday.


In Case You Missed It:

– I reviewed Dead Indian Wars by Clark Casey, an inappropriately fun paranormal western.
– I talked about how I love character description and asked if you like it too.
– I reviewed Bloom by Desdemona Wren, a sweet F/F paranormal romance with a nymph.

– I shared June/July/August sci-fi/fantasy releases to get excited about.
– I reviewed Djinn City by Saad Z. Hossain, a humorous yet dark story with lots of djinns.
– I reviewed American Hippo by Sarah Gailey, a diversity-filled alternative history with hippos in the Old West.

– I did the “You’re Not Good Enough” book tag, which I promise is not as mean as it sounds.
– I reviewed The Reign of the Departed by Greg Keyes, a strange but fun urban/high fantasy mash-up.
– I reviewed Lovesick Titans by Amanda Meuwissen, a sweet M/M duology finale about a superhero-villain romance.

– I recommended 10 LGBT+ sci-fi/fantasy books written by LGBT+ authors.
– I reviewed The Grey Bastards by Jonathan French, a rowdily fun high fantasy about half-orcs.
– I talked about my current bookish infatuations.
– I reviewed Pack by Mike Bockoven, an urban fantasy about a werewolf pack in a small town.


The Sunday Post Link-Up:

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


Talk to me!

I need to focus on some positives right now, so tell me something good/fun/funny that's happened recently!


Your Thoughts


86 thoughts on “Update: Life and Books (6/17/18)

I'd love if you'd share your thoughts, too!


Reading your comments makes me a very happy blogger!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Julia

    Congrats on winning the giveaways, that sounds so exciting! I haven’t read a good werewolf story for a while now and Mongrels has caught my attention, I might give it a go. And something good that’s happened lately is that 17 baby chicks hatched over the last week with potentially more in the next few days to come (I raise chickens – only for eggs!! – and was hoping for some baby chicks) I can’t believe how many there are they’re totally adorable!! Hope you have a wonderful weekend <3

  2. Olivia

    I’ve spent a lot of 2017 feeling anxious and run down because of health stuff, it’s really not a nice feeling and I hope it goes away soon! I’ll have to take a look at your LGBT list!

  3. Wattle

    lol The Covenant is so ridiculous, I love every second of it!

    A naked play? That must have been a shock for your Grandma hahaha amazing πŸ˜€

    I like the look of This Dark Endeavour, I’m going to go track that down right now.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Lol right? It’s bad but good πŸ˜›

      Seriously what a twist, haha. I was surprised just to hear the story, imagine actually being there!

      I really liked This Dark Endeavor, hope you like it too!

  4. Suz

    It always amazes me that you start off saying you don’t feel like posting and haven’t done much this week, and then go on to list more things than I get through in a month lol.
    Loved the conversation with your grandma. I wonder if the play she went to see actually had a plot ha ha ha.

    1. Kristen Burns

      That’s only because ALL I do is sit around reading and blogging, so it looks like a lot lol.

      Haha, if it did have a plot, she was probably too distracted to even notice πŸ˜›

  5. Greg

    Well hope you’re feeling better soon. Sucks to have ongoing stuff. The Covenant sounds kinda awesome (yeah in a B movie way) and what a great story. Seriously I wish I could tell that story about the naked play. How do you even find those? Dare I google? Best not probably…

    Bummer about the Gorgon Bride, I wanted that to be good so I could get it. πŸ™‚ Ha ha maybe I’ll hold off.

    Still loving on Liam huh? πŸ™‚ I finally got Miranda to go to prom with me, as you know, but I haven’t tried Vera yet. Maybe this weekend yet…

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks πŸ™‚ The Covenant was fun! Maybe you should review it for your movie posts XD Seriously, I don’t even know how one finds a naked play, but that is such a great story. It has the most hilarious surprise twist ever lol.

      Yeah, I really wanted more gorgon :-/ Turns out it’s a series though, and the future books seem like they might have more gorgon.

      Liam is hilarious, haha. I’ve been playing way too much. So far I’ve gone to prom with all of them and have gotten over half the special endings! (Though I’ve been using a site to tell me how to get the special endings.)

  6. Evelina @ AvalinahsBooks

    A month already! Where does the time fly. Next week I am actually missing my first ever Sunday post because I’ll be traveling. I can’t believe I have actually not ever missed one!

    Hey, is your ear better?

    I love your grandma story πŸ˜€ oh, congrats about the print ARCs! I mean, who doesn’t get excited – we totally get you!

    1. Kristen Burns

      It’s always a weird feeling the first time you miss a post lol. But it sounds like you’ll be having fun traveling!

      I don’t even know. Seemed to be getting better, but I think I have a jaw problem now that’s causing all new pain and problems -_-

      Thank you!!!

  7. Roberta R.

    I’m sorry to hear you’re still struggling with your health issues…but at least this blog keeps you going! Also, THREE giveaways?!?! in so little time?!?! Wow, you must have the magic touch πŸ˜‰.

    I wish I had something good/fun/funny to tell you, but no such luck. The most fun I can come close to have these days will be from Mon.25th to Fri.29th, when my boss will be on vacation and I’ll get to blog/read/tweet or whatever without him on my back…πŸ˜›

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks πŸ™‚ This blog really does keep me going in some ways because I think my mental health would be a lot worse without it! I enter A LOT of giveaways, haha, but I think I might also be a bit lucky with them.

      Oh no. Well, having time to get some blogging and tweeting in is a good thing at least πŸ˜›

  8. Angelica @ Paperback Princess

    Hope your health starts improving, but rest and enjoy your rest, don’t pressure yourself to blog if your not up for it.

    Congratulations in winning the giveaways and being approved for ARC copies. It’s such a huge honour to be approved for printed ARCS.

    I’m beyond jealous for Shadow of the Fox. I am a huge of Julie Kagawa, I’m sure this will be another series that won’t disappoint.

    Angelica @ Paperback Princess

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks πŸ™‚

      Thanks! It definitely makes me feel good getting approved for print ARCs!

      I actually haven’t read any Julie Kagawa, but this one sounds like my kinda book, so I’m excited!

  9. Samantha

    Congrats on winning and getting some print ARCs! I got a few in the mail while I was in Jamaica and made my husband face time me and open them so I could see what they were!! I love book mail! Have a great week!

    1. Kristen Burns

      I read all sci-fi/fantasy, and books within the same genre do tend to have similar covers. And I definitely have a “type” when it comes to covers lol. Thanks, you too!

  10. JJ @ This Dark Material

    The Gilded King has such a pretty cover! I also got approved on NetGalley for Shadow of the Fox and I’m quite excited to read it πŸ™‚ I’ve heard great things about her Talon series, but haven’t read anything by Kagawa yet!

  11. Lola

    I am sorry to hear things still aren’t going well for you. That sounds tough being stressed and anxious and dealing with health stuff as well. That does sound like an interesting conversation you had with your grandma.

    Congrats on winning those giveaways! And that’s awesome you got approved for a print ARC.

    It does sound like you had some great read sin the past few weeks! And yay for your first 5 star of the year!

    I am looking forward to your review of that game. i saw a few of your tweets about it and it does look fun.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you <3

      Thanks! Knowing I have incoming book mail always cheers me up a bit πŸ™‚

      I feel like I just recently was saying to you how I hadn't found any 5-stars yet? I was so excited to have finally found one! It was so amazing!

      The game is a lot of fun πŸ™‚

  12. Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library

    Okay now I need to watch The Covenant. I do love a good B movie. The over the topness can be a lot of fun. How funny about the conversation with your grandmother. That would be a bit startling to have an all naked cast – especially if you’re completely unprepared. Have a great week!

    1. Kristen Burns

      B movies can be fun! Seriously, it would be startling if you weren’t expecting it! But it makes for such a great story lol. Thanks, same to you πŸ™‚

  13. sjhigbee

    I’m sorry your health has left you rundown and stressed, Kristen:(. I hope you soon feel better… It sounds like you had a great reading run – The Frankenstein retellings sound awesome. Take care and have a good week.

  14. Tracy @ Cornerfolds

    I hope you feel better soon! I hate feeling like I don’t have the energy to post. :/ The Gilded King looks amazing! I hope you enjoy all of your new reads! I also really need to read Such Wicked Intent! The first one was amazing!

  15. ShootingStarsMag

    I’m sorry you’ve been dealing with health issues. Not fun!
    That story from your grandma is hilarious – I’m so curious about this play now.
    Yay for some book wins – and physical ARCs. I don’t get many either, so it’s always fun. πŸ™‚


    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you <3 Ahaha seriously I wanted to know more, but she didn't remember. I think she was too busy laughing the whole time she was at the play to even pay attention. Seriously, those of us who don't get a lot of physical ARCs really cherish the ones we do get lol.

  16. Kristina

    Ah! I have the gilded king to review aswell!! Ahah though havent touched it yet πŸ˜… being a girlfriend since recently.. I got slowed down by said boyfriend to concentrate ahaha woops.
    Hopefully i’ll get to that shortly.

    Omg what?? Naked play?? πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ where in the world does THAT happen… i wanna go see πŸ‘€πŸ‘€

    1. Kristen Burns

      It’s ok, I haven’t gotten to it yet either! Aww that’s awesome, I’m happy for you! You’re definitely allowed to take breaks from reading and blogging to enjoy other things in life πŸ™‚

      Lol right?! I wanna see a naked play now too!

  17. Barb (boxermommyreads)

    Wow, you did receive some good books. And GO GRANDMA! What a great story. I own Mongrels and may pick it up before summer is out. I just finished a WEIRD book – The Wild Inside – and while I like odd and weird books, this one may have been too much for me. Hope you have a great week!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Lol the naked play story was awesome. Mongrels was so good, I hope you like it! Yeah, weird can be good, but some are a little too weird! Thanks, you too πŸ™‚

  18. Sam @ Spines in a Line

    I felt the same way about The Covenant, though it was just a random pick when my family was trying to find something to watch. I’ve never seen a naked play but I’m sure that’d be a wild experience!

    1. Kristen Burns

      I prob wouldn’t have watched The Covenant if not for the tweet I saw, but I’m glad I did cuz it was fun. Lol it would likely be an experience you wouldn’t forget!

    1. Kristen Burns

      I love that cover too! Mongrels is just a standalone, so you don’t even have to worry about more books πŸ™‚ Thank you! ARCs are such a wonderful perk!

  19. Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra

    I’m sorry to hear you’ve been going through a rough time lately. I hope that things turn around soon for you. That story from your grandmother is awesome, lol.

    I can’t wait to see what you think of Shadow of the Fox. That one just sounds so good!

  20. Christy LoveOfBooks

    lol! That’s funny about your grandma. Did she at least enjoy the play? And is she sure it was a play? πŸ˜€ Glad your reading has been on the good side! Hope you feel better. πŸ™

    1. Kristen Burns

      Apparently she spent the whole time laughing at the shock and absurdity of an unexpected naked play, so I guess she did enjoy it in a way, haha. Thanks!

  21. Di @ Book Reviews by Di

    Kristen! So glad you dragged up the energy to do a life and books post – I love catching up.

    Congrats on the giveaways! That is awesome. Also yay for Shadow of the Fox which we have already discussed I know! I’ll keep you in the loop where I am on that one but so far – far, far away. πŸ˜‰

    Hope you have a better week this week and I hope that the health issues can tone down. πŸ™ Thinking of you and thanks for the twitter chats. xx

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks πŸ™‚ Yep, I’ll try and let you know if I’m gonna read it! Although with my mood reading honestly I probably won’t even know until the moment I’m like 10% into it already lol.

      Thank you, and I love our Twitter chats! Looking forward to having more with you XD

  22. Crystal @ Lost in Storyland

    I’ve been on the fence about reading American Hippo. I’m glad to hear that it worked out for you. I’ll be sure to check it out!

    I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts on Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa. I’ve read and enjoyed some of her prior works πŸ™‚

    1. Kristen Burns

      I definitely recommend it! But I know everyone has diff tastes, so of course it depends on what you like.

      I haven’t read any of her other books, but I’m excited for this one!

  23. Sam@WLABB

    Sorry to hear you are having health problems. I hope you find some relief soon. OMG, your grandma’s story! I think I would have passed out, if I went to a show NOT expecting to see all that nudity. So many new books, and so many stars. I have been on a not-blow-away streak. I think it broke today, though.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you <3 Lol apparently they were just cracking up the whole time, which is totally what I would've done too. I was so excited about the good reading streak because I've had a lot of mediocre streaks this year. Yay, hopefully your not-blown-away has been broken!

  24. Becky@ A Fool's Ingenuity

    You’ve not done these posts in ages and I’m like 10 years late to comment on it! I admit, weekly/regular posts with life and book updates are some of my favourites to read for some reason and yet I’ve not done mine in an age either. I’ve been a bit like you about not having the motivation. It’s nice to give updates on things, though. I love your grandma’s story about seeing a naked play, she was too shocked and distracted to remember what it was about. Naked play, what more do you need to know? Well done on winning giveaways, that’s awesome! But you’ve only just had your first five-star read of the year? Obviously, I give them out far too easily.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yes I think you are a bit late considering I already posted another one, haha. But yeah, these posts are just kind of exhausting for me? Idk. The naked play was too funny of a story, haha. Right? Naked plays don’t even need to have plots πŸ˜‰ Thanks! Nah, I’m just too stingy!

  25. Dani

    You have a great list of books you’re read. American Hippo is a must read! Thanks for the recommendation. Shadow is the Fox is next on my list to read. Great post! β™₯️