Update: Life and Books (9/9/18)


It’s been another month since I’ve done one of these updates, and a while since I’ve done any discussions, because I’ve still been exhausted and, quite honestly, upset. I need to vent (When did my blog become my diary? I have no idea, but apparently it has.), and hopefully you’ll forgive me for being so negative when I explain. (Or you can skip the intro if you don’t want to read about more dental problems. I promise I won’t blame you.)

When I started all this, I needed four crowns and two to four root canals, all on my bottom back teeth. So far I’ve had two root canals and two crowns (not all the same teeth). Except my dentist put my crowns too low, so now my teeth don’t touch on that side when I bite. Chances are, I need to have another root canal and have the crowns replaced. So that’s six hours in the dentist chair, days of pain, weeks of exhaustion, lots of fear and needles, and thousands of dollars all for nothing. And if replacing the crowns doesn’t work (they have a higher chance of failing now), I’ll need implants. On top of that, this complication has led to additional problems on the other side of my mouth, I have more pain than I ever had before, and I might be at risk of infection.

I’ve been so stressed trying to figure out what to do, trying to find a new dentist, and dreading more appointments. And it’ll be a while before I can even get anything done because of other stuff going on in my life. So that’s why I’ve been blogging a bit less. All of this has just been taking its toll on me.

But that’s enough about that. And I actually do have more posts scheduled for the next month or two, some of which I am super excited for, so that’s something. Anyway, let’s get on to the bookish stuff, shall we?

Blog/Bookish Updates:

I do have some good bookish news at least. I got The Golem and the Jinni from MC @ Blame It on the Books through the #bookishwish tag on Twitter!

The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

I also got my first ko-fi donation, and it came on the same day as my screwed-up dentist appointment, so that was a day that I really needed a pick-me-up. If you’re reading this, thank you to the kind person who donated!

I have also created some wishlists, one for ebooks and one for print books, in case anyone ever decides they have too much money and would like to send me a gift πŸ˜›


Books I Received for Review:

Everyone Dies in the Garden of Syn by Michael Seidelman
Schmuck the Buck by Exo Books
Strange Grace by Tessa Gratton
Time's Children by D. B. Jackson
What Gods Incite by Clara Coulson
Obsessions of a Djinni by Claudia Herring
Three Mages and a Margarita by Annette Marie

8/19/18: Everyone Dies in the Garden of Syn is from the author.

8/26/18: Schmuck the Buck is from the author. Strange Grace is from Edelweiss. Time’s Children is from NetGalley.

9/2/18: What Gods Incite is from the author. Obsessions of a Djinni is from NetGalley.

9/9/18: Three Mages and a Margarita is from the author.


Books I Finished:

Beauty and the Beast by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve & translated by  J.R. Planche
The Root by Na'amen Gobert Tilahun
Beautiful Beast by Kyla D. Knight
Artifice by Alex Woolfson & Winona Nelson
Schmuck the Buck by Exo Books
Memnoch the Devil by Anne Rice
Well of Tears by R. G. Thomas
Strange Grace by Tessa Gratton
What Gods Incite by Clara Coulson
Deadly Assessments by Drew Hayes
Time's Children by D. B. Jackson
Everyone Dies in the Garden of Syn by Michael Seidelman

8/19/18: Beauty and the Beast was alright. The Root was a great urban fantasy! Beautiful Beast was pretty good as well.

8/26/18: Artifice was a short m/m sci-fi webcomic, and it was alright but didn’t blow me away. Schmuck the Buck was really funny! I have such mixed feelings about the Vampire Chronicles books. I have to slog through them sometimes because the writing is so dense, and Memnoch was frustrating for multiple reasons, but I’m invested. Well of Tears was a nice sequel, but I’m not planning to continue the series because it just feels too young for me (the younger side of YA, or possibly middle grade).

9/2/18: Strange Grace didn’t work quite as well for me as I’d hoped it would, but it wasn’t bad. What Gods Incite was another good book in the Frost Arcana series.

9/9/18: Deadly Assessments was another pleasant book to listen to the Fred series. Time’s Children was slow-paced but unique and creative. I had a couple issues with the Garden of Syn book, but I once again loved the chronic illness rep!


What I’m Loving:

This week, what I’m loving is…


I got hooked on Eastsiders! It’s a great show. Like half the characters are kind of awful people, but I’m rooting for them anyway. (Ok, they’ve actually gotten more likeable and grown some as the show has gone on.) I love how complex the characters and relationships are. I also love all the angst and feels. Sad feels when the characters are struggling, but also happy and touching feels when things go well. And underneath all the drama and gay threesomes, it’s got some really relatable stuff about the lives and fears and uncertainties of anyone who’s still trying to figure their life out.

The Sims 3

I actually played a bit instead of just building. Thought some of you might appreciate an update on #Mathiott5Eva πŸ˜‰

Thought you might also enjoy this hilarious thing that happened. I couldn’t have planned this if I tried.

(Yes that zombie is Matthew, but in a separate game. I have a save in which I play Matthew and Elliott, but Jacobin and Levine just happen to live in the town, and vice versa.)


In Case You Missed It:

– I shared mini reviews for three fantasy books.
– I reviewed The Root by Na’amen Gobert Tilahun, a diverse, unique urban fantasy.

– I reviewed Underneath by M.N. Arzu, a great, realistic take on merfolk being discovered by the human world.
– I reviewed Dr. Frank’s Build-A-Boyfriend by Heiden, a quirky, fun visual novel/game.

– I reviewed Beautiful Beast by Kyla D. Knight, a fantasy romance involving shifters.
– I reviewed Teeth by Hannah Moskowitz, a gritty, unglamorous merfolk story.

– I shared September/October 2018 sci-fi/fantasy releases to get excited about.
– I reviewed What Gods Incite by Clara Coulson, a fast-paced post-apoc urban fantasy.
– I reviewed The Fires of Tartarus by Emma V. Leech, the third in a series about vampires and witches that keeps getting better.


The Sunday Post Link-Up:

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


Talk to me!

How's life been going for you lately? Anyone have any good news?
How are you doing with ARCs? (I already read 5 of the 7 I got in this post, I'm pretty proud of that.)


Your Thoughts


49 thoughts on “Update: Life and Books (9/9/18)

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  1. Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

    I’m so sorry to hear about all your dental problems, Kristen! It sucks when they can’t get things right the first time – and it definitely is exhausting to have pain in your mouth. I hope you’ll find a new dentist who will clear everything up for you.
    You got some great books this week,, though, and I hope you’ll enjoy them all!
    Have a wonderful week ahead and happy reading.

  2. Deborah Adams

    One would never know you are dealing with so much because your posts don’t seem to lag at all! Hope you get everything sorted out and back to feeling like yourself.

  3. Sam@WLABB

    So sorry to hear about all your dental woes. I think if the dentist did it wrong the first time, he should be doing it for free the second time. I’m just saying. I hope the crowns work, and that your pain subsides soon. ((HUGS))

    I just like saying the name – Schmuck the Buck. I am happy to hear it lived up to the fun of its name.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I agree, she should be the one to pay for the replacements, but unfortunately the situation isn’t working out that way :-/ And I’m fed up with her for multiple reasons at this point. Thank you <3

      It is a fun title lol, and the story definitely lived up to it!

  4. Angela

    I HATE HATE HATE dentist issues. I’m so sorry you have to go through that! You’re doing a great job getting through your ARCs, though!

  5. Sophie

    I am so sorry to hear about your teeth Kristen! It can really be hell indeed when something doe not turn out as it was meant to!!! Now I can’t wait to hear your thoughts about The Golem and the Djinni! I loved this book so much. I hope you’ll have a less painful week.

  6. Lola

    I am sorry to hear about your dental problems. I hate going to dentist and am always afraid something goes wrong. It’s hard to find a good dentist. I’ve had only one root canal so far, but it hurts a lot and that teeth still hurts now and then and is sensitive to hot and cold. I can only imagine how bad more of them would be. And health problems and stuff like that is always so stressful so I can totally see why you haven’t felt like writing discussion posts. I hope you can find a new dentist and all your dental problems will be over soon. And ugh dental work is so pricey too.

    You also got Three Mages and a Margarita! I got a copy for review for a blog tour. I am really looking forward to reading it. You do seem to have read a lot this past month.

    I am pretty swamped with ARC’s, but if I planned it all out correctly I can read most of them in time for release dates. Just got another one today I hadn’t counted on, so I hope I can fit that in as well.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you <3 I never wanna go the dentist again at this point, but now I have so many more appts and I'm not even sure those appts will help either and just UGH, yeah, it really sucks. And the money is definitely a problem too.

      I saw! I wasn't sure if I'd end up with a copy though since she said she didn't have enough for everyone in her review team and was gonna choose with a lottery. Hopefully we'll both like it! And we can chat about it!

      Surprise ARCs with short time frames are a problem sometimes, but I'm sure you'll figure something out!

  7. S. J. Pajonas

    Ugh, I’m so sorry to hear about your dental woes! That does sound stressful and dreadful. I hope that you get some relief from them soon. It’s good to see all the books you’ve been reading though! At least you’ve been enjoying those. πŸ™‚ Sending you some big and gentle hugs.

  8. a.n.g.

    I’m so sorry about the dentist messing up your teeth. I had a friend who had her wisdom teeth pulled recently, and the dentist there messed up her teeth also (they also didn’t give her the mouth wash solution that was supposed to fight infection, so yeah, she got an infection as well). It’s really hard to find a good dentist. I’m sorry you’re having to go through all that again and that the pain is worse.

    I’ve read Villeneuve’s Beauty and the Beast as well. It wasn’t crafted very well. But it was interesting, and as a Beauty and the Beast enthusiast, I’m glad I read it.

    I hope it gets better!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you <3 Ugh, it makes me so angry that so many dentists cannot do the job we are paying them to do, and they mess with our health in the process.

      I just find that many classics have too many words that are not necessary. But I'm glad I read it too. I like reading the originals of stories that have a lot of retellings.

      Thank you!

  9. Tessa

    I have always had a fear of the dentist, even just for routine checkups, so I can’t imagine what you are going through. I hope things get back on track soon for you! If it is any consolation, I really admire your ability to keep blogging and staying active in the community despite all of the terribleness.

    Also, reading 5 out of 7 ARCs in one month is EXTREMELY impressive. You really are on a roll!

  10. Tori @ InToriLex

    I’m sorry about your dentist issues. I avoided them for as long as possible until I had to have my wisdom teeth taken out last year. I also received smuck the buck for review so glad to know that it’s funny.

    Tori @ In Tori Lex

  11. Greg

    Ack how did I miss your weekend update (sounds like I’m talking about SNL, lol)?? Anyways… first of all that totally sucks about the dental issues, I’m sorry to hear that. I hate dentists w/ a passion (not personally, but you know… what they do). Why can’t our mouths just be self- maintaining? Izzat too much to ask? I feel for you though- I’ve had crowns and root canals (nothing like what you’re going thru tho) and they weren’t fun. And I’ve been lucky I guess- I’ve had wisdom teeth out and the oral surgeon who did was amazing, they were out and I was like- that’s it? It was so weird, he just pulled and twisted and the first one was out. It was amazing how quick he was. Anyway I hope you find an amazing dentist who can make it as painless as possible for you. It really does matter sometimes who does the work!

    Self medicate w/ whiskey. It works wonders. KIDDING. Sorta.

    Eastsiders sounds pretty good. I’m binging Wentworth ATM and I love that it’s Australian, and I love the characters, but I hate the writers lol. They are doing some things and the writing is frustrating in the sense that it’s getting into jump the shark territory, but I’m still hooked. πŸ™‚

    Nice to see Mathiott enjoying a night out. πŸ™‚

    1. Kristen Burns

      I am the new SNL ? I hate dentists in general too, and now I also hate this one personally lol. Seriously though, it does make a difference, and I apparently made the wrong choice because mine has made things so much worse. That’s great that you found an oral surgeon who made the experience so quick and easy. I had a terrible experience with an oral surgeon when I was 14. Not even the surgery itself, but I won’t get into that. Thank you, I’m really trying to make the right choice for who to see next.

      I am fast reaching the self-medicate point lol.

      I’ve been in a movie/show slump since watching Eastsiders because it was good! I’ll have to look up Wentworth, I haven’t heard of that one.

      You’re the only one who commented on Matthiott! Thank you πŸ™‚

  12. Daniela Ark

    I think your blog is the perfect place to vent πŸ˜‰ I currently have the same issue with a crown that broke πŸ™ but I haven’t dealt with it yet so I’m not as frustrated as you are! Hope you feel better in general soon!

    I admire that you continue to read Rice! WTG!

    I am SO CURIOUS about “beautiful beast!” I LOVE BEASTLY thingies πŸ™‚

    1. Kristen Burns

      That sucks about your crown breaking. That’s the problem when these stupid things, the problems never end ? Thank you <3

      Lol I feel like I'm kind of torturing myself with some of the books, but I want to know what happens to these characters!

      You could always check out my review if you want to know more about the book πŸ˜›

  13. Di @ Book Reviews by Di

    Oh my word Kristen! I’m so sorry to her about the dental issues. When your teeth aren’t right it effects EVERYTHING and I’m so sad you’re going through all of this. I really hope that you manage to sort it out the most painless and fastest way possible.

    The Golem and the Jinni has shown up lots lately and I’m interested to see what you make of it!

    Yay for Three Mages and a Margarita! I’m so pleased that I loved that one. Phew!

    Hope that the rest of September is better for you my friend and I can’t wait to chat about 3 Mages when you can!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you. It does affect a lot, especially since I’ve been eating like the same four foods for months now :-/ Thanks <3

      I'm excited to finally be able to read it!

      Thank you! And I'm late responding so we already had our chat, haha.

  14. Aimee (Aimee, Always)

    OMG ALL DENTIST-RELATED STUFF ARE ALWAYS THE WORST! I didn’t grow up with great teeth, so I had to get braces and extractions. My first extraction was a trainwreck–it took me twice as long as usual for my gums to heal, and it was just painful and really uncomfortable. I switched dentists after that, and my second extraction was painless and it took just two days to heal. If your dentist is doing more harm than good, do switch!!! I hope you can get this sorted out, lovely. You’ll be in my thoughts. β™₯

    1. Kristen Burns

      Ugh, I’ve had so many problems with my teeth throughout my life too, including braces and seven baby teeth pulled and even oral surgery to have two teeth removed that couldn’t just be pulled. It really sucks for those of us who have bad teeth regardless of how much we take care of them. I’m sorry you had such a bad experience with your first extraction :-/ But yeah, I am looking into switching. Thank you <3

  15. Amber @ The Literary Phoenix

    Sending you SO MUCH love re: the dentist crap. I have a friend who’s going through a similar thing where she was told one manageable thing and now it’s dragging out to a six month nightmare. DEFINITELY keep looking for that new dentist.

    You’ve done an amazing job reading this month, and I’m so glad that ko-fi donation lined up with a bad day. πŸ™‚ Little things like that are perfect sometimes. Also the Sims 3 stuff! XD I’m not surprised Memnoch is frustrating – Anne Rice is really great or … exhausting? I just read The Witching Hour and same thing – didn’t like it, was already invested – but there are other books she writes that are wonderful? I’ve not read Memnoch yet, but I hope the ending makes it all worthwhile. <3

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you <3 <3 <3 Seriously, that's how this is turning out, and I feel like it's going to drag on forever :-/

      Little things make such a big difference sometimes. Yeah, I love the characters in her Vampire Chronicles, it's just sometimes the writing is so long-winded and the story veers so off course. I've never read her other series.

  16. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    Welcome to the world of using your blog as a diary. This is often what happens to my Sunday posts and I don’t even care now. You guy get to learn everything that’s going on just like my IRL friends do and it’s awesome.

    Now on to being supportive whilst you vent. How ridiculous that because of the dentist’s error you’re now having loads of problems and it costs! I know US medical care in general costs but I totally forgot that would include dental care as well! You take all the time you need and blog at whatever pace you can because you got so much to sort out. Finding a good dentist is so hard, I know I have a bunch to avoid just from friends and family telling me horror stories of their own experience at certain dentists so I know trying to find a good one can be hard and after this first one messed you about you’re gonna be wary. I hope you manage to get it sorted and don’t even feel bad about wanting to vent, we all do it.

    Glad your bookishwish book came in, I hope you enjoy it. I really struggled with that book and didn’t end up loving it but I think I forced myself to read when I wasn’t in the mood for it which everyone knows is the absolute worst idea.

    And you’ve played some of the Sims! I’ve got a new found obsession with Sims 4 and I keep buying more add on packs and then realise I have no money for anything else and I need to stop because I’m just filling up the memory on my laptop which is a terrible idea. I don’t have fun stories like you though (I did have a homeless sim for a while which was interesting as it was a challenge and they couldn’t get a job until they’d achieved certain things so I was living off of the land!).

    Hopefully, things will look up sometime soon but look after yourself and read all the good books and play The Sims when things are getting you down because I know playing cheers me up.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Lol apparently we all just use our Sunday Posts as a diary.

      It is ridiculous. And yep, dental work is also ridiculously expensive in the US -_- And I’m definitely wary now because idk who I can trust. Even if you find good reviews about a dentist being nice and stuff, that doesn’t mean they’re actually gonna do a good job on your teeth, so it’s just so hard to figure out. Thank you <3

      Yeah, I'm def gonna wait for the right mood!

      Sims! Which packs do you have for TS4??? I've managed to control myself and only buy one (Get Together), and I'm gonna try the vampire pack, of course. But I just don't like the gameplay, and I know that having more objects for my sims to use or more jobs isn't gonna change that. So unless they come out w/ something really different, that's all I'm planning to buy for TS4. Luckily I still have TS3! I tried a homeless sim once and got bored really quickly and then he got recycled into one of my supernatural sims lol.

      Thank you <3 <3 <3

  17. Roberta R.

    Why do you have to look for another dentist? I mean, if the first one made a mistake, they should be hold responsible for it and do the repair work for nothing – or for less at least…Unless you don’t trust them to do that and want a fresh pair of hands, so to speak. Either way, it majorly sucks. I’ve been blessed with good teeth (I only got ONE filling and a little fixing work on one tooth in 52 years…), but I know it can be painful, not to mention drain your savings…

    At least there are all the bookish goodies, right? I’m sure they help, if a little ?.

    Good luck!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Because I don’t trust her anymore, and I’m also frustrated with her for multiple reasons, and this was just the final straw. Plus, I know she isn’t gonna want to redo the crowns and pay for them. You did get blessed with good teeth. Mine have just always been bad, no matter how well I’ve taken care of them.

      Yes, bookish goodies do help a little πŸ™‚


  18. Sam @ Spines in a Line

    Sorry to hear about the pain you’re going through! Hope it gets better soon!

    I’ve heard really good things about The Golem and the Jinni, a lot of people in my book club love that book

  19. Dani Eide

    Sorry to hear of your dental woes! I think dentists are scary. My brother is struggling with his own dental problems. I flinch when he recounts his visits. He finally found one he trusts and it has made all the difference. I hope you find someone you can trust! ? (hugs)

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you <3 I'm scared of them too. Part of why this sucks so much and has me so stressed out. I'm sorry your brother is also having problems. Thanks *hug*