Update: Life and Books (Apr 2020)


So. Another month of social distancing and staying home. How’s everyone doing? I’m not super affected by the staying home thing since that’s just my normal life (because chronic illness), but I am feeling all the stress of everything. It’s still difficult to get all the food and supplies I need from the store. I still worry about my grandparents getting sick. I still worry about someone in my house getting sick. I worry about what’s going to happen when I inevitably need things like dental work. Everything is more difficult and stressful. I feel for everyone being affected by this in so many different ways. And it just makes me so angry that so many people are out there complaining and protesting and seriously not caring if the rest of the world lives or dies, as long as they can get their hair cut and party at the beach.

I also still have an injured foot because every time it starts feeling a bit better, it suddenly gets worse again if I even look at it the wrong way, so that’s making everything even more difficult.

Anyway, that’s enough about that. My birthday was in April, but I didn’t do anything. I asked people on Twitter to draw me sexy vampire boyfriends, and that was fun. (Hopefully no one minds that I’m sharing their tweets!) I also made myself into a vampire and by that I mean, I took some selfies, and they gave me a vampire vibe, so I figured I might as well lean into it πŸ˜›

Other than that, just listening to a lot of audiobooks and sometimes podcasts. Talking on the phone with my grandma every day. Playing a bit of Code 7 when I can. I’m working on some art, but with my problem that causes headaches from using electronics, it’ll probably take me a while to finish and not even be that good. And that’s about it for me!

Blog/Bookish Updates:

I’m kind of not sure I want to keep blogging. I mean, I do, but it’s difficult with all my health problems, and now the added stress of everything lately. But now I have 20+ reviews already made that I want to post, more that I’ve written but not put together into a post yet, discussions and recommendations and other fun kinda posts… And I don’t want to throw all those out. I could just take a break, but then I feel like I’ll never come back and no one will even be following me to see the posts at that point anyway. I’m considering the idea of just not doing reviews here anymore, maybe just posting my thoughts to Goodreads/Amazon, and saving my energy for discussions and stuff. But now that I’ve been doing reviews on a blog for five years, I feel like it would feel wrong to me to stop. And blogging is one of the only hobbies I have left, so I don’t know. I don’t expect anyone to have the answer, but it’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot.


Books I Received for Review:

Nothing this month.


Books I Finished:

Axel's Pup by Kim DareThe Ghost Slept Over by Marshall ThorntonLost Boy by Christina HenryHook's Tale by John Leonard PielmeierXom-B by Jeremy RobinsonSiren's Song by Cynthia DiamondValkyrie's Spear by Cynthia DiamondDryad's Vine by Cynthia DiamondBull by David ElliottHighfire by Eoin ColferUndeading Bells by Drew HayesNight of the Dragon by Julie KagawaThe Electric Heir by Victoria LeeA Crown of Iron & Silver by Hailey TurnerThe Legend of Diablo by V.S. McGrath

To make this simple, I enjoyed all of these books except Lost Boy, Xom-B, and Bull. And The Legend of Diablo was only ok. The standout of the month was Highfire—really fun and heartwarming!


What I’m Loving:

This month, what I’m loving is…

Oatmeal on the Bottom Chobani Yogurt

It’s Greek yogurt with oatmeal on the bottom that you mix into the yogurt, and it’s delicious! I especially love the apple cinnamon flavor. I’ve been eating one or two a day, when I’m able to get them from the store.


In Case You Missed It:

Here are the highlights:

– I reviewed some m/m paranormal/urban fantasy books about psychics and mermen that I enjoyed.
– I reviewed How to Howl at the Moon by Eli Easton, a super fun and cute m/m romance about a dog shifter that I loved!
– I shared the free and cheap software I use for blogging, art, etc.


Talk to me!

How are you doing?
Find any good books lately?
Start any new hobbies?


Your Thoughts


32 thoughts on “Update: Life and Books (Apr 2020)

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.

  1. Greg

    I hear you on the stress. As an introvert myself I don’t HATE being home, but what irritates me to no end are the protesters, for sure. Here in Michigan we had people protesting at the Capitol with assault rifles- because idiots- and it’s just disgraceful. All these people that think the governors or whatnot are using Covid to take away their rights- it’s just sooo dumb. Sorry- end of rant. πŸ™‚

    But the stress and anxiety- yes it can be overwhelming at times. As a blogger I’m so glad I have the community and Twitter etc. as an outlet- it really helps me. Maybe the people who don’t have that or don’t really do hobbies are struggling more. Happy birthday BTW! I think I saw some mermay art by you on Twitter?

    Blogging and whether to take a break, and all that. Yeah been there. I think we all go through it at some point after a few years doing this. You’re right, no one really has answers it has to come from ourselves, but… I’ve wondered a few times. Hope you stick around!

    1. Kristen Burns

      The protesters who act like their freedom is being impinged are just ridiculous. Not to even mention the fact that they were protesting with guns. It’s tough for everyone right now though, definitely.

  2. Lorna

    I am a bit of a shut in as well. I would always get out at least once a week or not at all if I’m honest. Now, I haven’t been out if the house since March 8th. And it’s kinda getting to me. Luckily I have people that I live with so I’m not alone. Having said that, I’d sooner jump off a building than go out among people right now. Either way, it’s a possible death sentence for me. And anyone I’m in contact with.. Protestors are a slap in the face to all the front line people that risks their lives daily and all essential workers as well.
    Hang in there and stay safe! Thanks for listening to my mini rant.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Mini rant all you want πŸ™‚ I also used to try to get out to a grocery store every few weeks at least, but now I have also been just at home for months. I hope you’re still staying safe <3 The protesters of the lockdown are disrespecting so many people, it's terrible.

  3. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    Even though I spend a lot of time alone this stay at home business has been stressful for everyone. I’ve not been too bad about getting a hold of groceries (apart from flour. I’m never going to be able to buy flour) but I am definitely feeling the stress of family getting sick. Both my brother and stepdad are still at work, my stepdad is classed as an essential worker) so there’s the continual worry for them both. And even for my friend’s families as well. I just want things to return to normal and at the same time I don’t because at least with us all at home we’re more likely to be safe.

    Loving the sexy vampire boyfriends for your birthday, how did I miss it was your birthday? I’d say I would have drawn you one but I don’t draw nearly as much as I would like.

    As for the reviewing/blogging dilemma. Don’t worry about everyone else, you do what you want to put your energy into. WIth your health, you know how much you can and can’t manage and if sorting reviews for your blog will be too much and take time up from posts you really want to concentrate on then sack off reviews. I think everyone will understand. Who even says not reviewing will be permanent? You’ve been blogging for so long and hopefully will carry on blogging so maybe later on you will find yourself posting reviews again, it’s all about change right?

    1. Kristen Burns

      It’s been weird seeing what products we actually had shortages of, versus what we would’ve expected. I hope your family is stil doing well <3 I'm still trying to figure out what I want about my blog, but hopefully I'll figure something out and not have to stop.

  4. Sam@wlabb

    Some of those sexy vamps are great. How fun! Hope it brightened your day. I love the oatmeal chobani too. The apple is probably my favorite, then the peach maple. Yum!

  5. Lindsi

    I loved seeing everyone’s sexy vampires! Haha! What a wonderful idea. πŸ™‚

    I’ve been getting really frustrated when I watch the news, because the protestors are only hurting the thing they’re trying to accomplish. No one can “free your barber” if you’re exposing yourself and increasing the spread of the virus. There’s no way to contain crazy, and I have a feeling those people won’t listen unless it directly affects them. The people at the beach, ugh. I just can’t even with them. Yes, it’s warmer. No, you still shouldn’t get that close to other people. The ones claiming it’s a “hoax” are the worst. How are they that blind???

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear?😷 πŸ’¬

    1. Kristen Burns

      The vampire drawings were fun lol.

      Ugh, the protesters are unbelievable. You really can’t talk sense into people who are so selfish that it’s pushed them into being delusional and thinking this is all fake or exaggerated or not going to affect them.

  6. Angela

    Happy belated birthday! I think if you take a blogging break, you’ll find that many readers will still be here when you get back, especially since your reasons are very understandable!

  7. Brittany

    I love the Vampire drawings! That is super fun πŸ˜€ And Happy Belated Birthday. I am sorry your lock-down is so stressful. I worry about my family too! Tho I have been lucky enough not to have to worry about getting food and supplies. It makes me mad too that people are protesting the lock-down. Its not worth putting our elderly at risk to get a hair cut!!! Hang in there! I hope it gets better soon <3

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you πŸ™‚ Luckily I don’t have to do the shopping myself, but it was tough for a while when the stores were just out of stock of many of the things I needed, since there are certain things I can’t eat due to health problems. Luckily they’ve been pretty much getting back to being stocked as usual now. I hope things are still going ok for you <3

  8. Geraldine @ Corralling Books

    Oh my gosh, you read so much!
    I think it’s up to you on what you want to do with the blog…please do whatever makes you feel best! I understand what you mean by having so many drafts lined up – I have 80+ that I think I will never post because it’s just been too long (they were all drafted up before I went on an extra long hiatus).

    1. Kristen Burns

      Ahhh I’m glad to know I’m not the only one with a million drafts and then I end up not posting half of them because so much time goes by that I stop caring or hate them lol.

  9. Olivia Roach

    HII!! SO I am glad you got some sexy vampires for your birthday. I do need dental work and let me tell you, it is a real pain. Especially as my behind the teeth braces are broken and I have to keep repositioning them with tweezers so I can eat. Yay.

    As for blogging, I get you. You’ve probably seen me commenting less frequently and stuff just because I haven’t been in the mood, and just haven’t been hyped to do so. I have had a lot of times in the past where I haven’t been in the mood to blog, or thought about quitting. This works for me but may not work for you – but I reduced how much I blog. From every other day, to once a week. I post like, two reviews a month and two other posts a month and that is pretty much it… People don’t seem to mind that much and it is so relieving. I would LOVE to be able to but I don’t reply to comments on my blog but I do appreciate and read every single one. Instead, I take the time to comment back instead and it seems like time better spent to me. I say it’s all about finding the balance and posting whatever you want to post. I do book blog but you get to see my other interests – food, yoga, nails etc a whole lot more now because that’s what I want to blog about – and with books when I am excited to talk books. If you want to ditch reviews? I say ditch reviews? But I would advise maybe not quitting until this perilous rona situation is done with because it definitely is influencing feels. But maybe blog less and just when you’re motivated. My two cents but by no means a lay of the law. You do you, K <3

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yikes, that sounds like a disaster with the braces.

      Yeah, I haven’t even been able to bring myself to respond to comments lately, which is why I’m so late responding to this. I’m already posting only once or twice a week, can’t cut back much more than that lol. I’m glad you’ve found some changes that work for you though πŸ™‚ Hopefully I can find something that works for me.

  10. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    LOVE all your vampire pics—good thing you have some friends who can actually draw. πŸ™‚

    I would imagine that all the protests would be especially frustrating for you since you have a chronic illness that keeps you home most of the time. It really does seem pretty petty when people are complaining about their hair and people are dying!

  11. Karen Alderman

    This has been really rough on everyone in different ways. I’m incredibly fortunate that I get to still go outside for fresh air (i don’t really care all that much about shopping which is still closed) and our grocery stores in my small town are decently stocked and not crowded. But losing Fonzi and then being stuck at home with the sudden emptiness has been my difficult thing.

    I don’t know what to say about us seemingly opening back up because, of course, I want things to go back but it seems to be haphazard and dangerous.

    I hear you on the blogging. I’m really over reviewing but I’m not sure I want to quit blogging but also not sure what it would look like without books.

    And I see you liked The Electric Heir. it was SUPER intense but I liked it too.

    Karen @ For What It’s Worth

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah, it’s tough to deal with a loss when you can’t do what you’d normally do to distract yourself. I’m sorry πŸ™

      It’s not even that I’m over reviewing, it’s just that it’s so much work to make the blog posts. But I think you can still have a book blog without reviews if you just talk about other bookish things, like discussions. Or your posts don’t even have to be about books.

      I’m glad you liked it too!

  12. Flora

    I’m sorry to hear that your foot is still giving you trouble, Kristen πŸ™ and I know what you mean about those whiners and protesters out there.

    I understand what you’re saying about blogging and whether to take a break. Yup, been there too but I think every blogger does after a few years. They say change is as good as a rest so perhaps mixing it up and stopping book reviews would help, but at the end of the day it’s your blog and your choice. Personally, I hope you still keep blogging, Kristen, as I’d be happy to keep following and reading whatever you want to post.

    Take care & stay safe. x

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you <3

      I am going to take at least a small break since I'm still so behind on comments, but I do hope to continue blogging πŸ™‚ You're so sweet <3

      You too!