Update: Life and Books (Jan 2020) + Song & Game Recs!


I don’t feel like talking about my health problems and doctor appointments, so I guess I’ll use this intro to talk about the things I’ve been listening to, since that’s all I’ve been able to do lately.

I’ve started two more nonfiction podcasts! One is Sex Stories, a podcast where a woman interviews different people on their experiences, thoughts, etc. about sex, and I’m finding it really interesting. The other is Hey Riddle Riddle, which is three friends solving riddles, and you get to play along with them, and they also make a lot of jokes, so it’s fun.

I listened to the Audible audio drama Interview with the Robot, since it was one of the January freebies. Not bad, but I can’t say it left much of an impression.

I’ve also found a few new songs to obsessively listen to until I hate them. The first is, of course, “Toss a Coin to Your Witcher.” I haven’t even watched the show (because, you know, can’t really watch things right now), but the song is so catchy and good! I get why everyone loves it.

The next song is “Nocturnal Serenade” by Yohio. This music video is my teenage emo dream, I would’ve been in love with it in high school, but, although I still appreciate a good emo vampire aesthetic, it’s the uniqueness of the song itself and his awesome vocal range (I’m definitely not using that right, I’m talking about how he has his normal voice, a more ragged voice, and also a high-pitched feminine voice) that I’m loving. I also love that all the comments for the video are like, “This is my teenage fantasy and I thought I was over emo anime vampires, but I guess I’m not!” Big mood. (That’s a lie, I never thought I was over emo vampires. And I can’t say I was ever an anime person, but I have watched Castlevania on Netflix, and you can probably guess who my favorite character was, so. *I’ll give you a hint: it’s the emo vampire.*) Seriously though, I love the sound of this song and his voice.

Last but not least, I discovered the song “Covers” by Lena Westermann in the end credits of Episode 1 of the game Code 7 (a really fantastic game, btw, but I think I’m gonna hold off playing more until I’m feeling better even though it is accessible). It’s a really pretty song, and one of those songs that makes me feel emotional even though I’m not sure I fully understand the meaning of the lyrics.

I’ve also been playing (and actually finished!!!) A Blind Legend, another awesome game, and one that is ENTIRELY audio, no visual. I never play hack-and-slash kinda games though, so I didn’t know if I’d make it to the end. I got so tense every time I played that I would start sweating lol. And then, when I completed it, I was so hopped up on adrenaline, I hadn’t felt that energized in years 😛 I’ll do a whole review soon.

I also played a little text adventure game that goes with the Mission to ZYXX podcast, and that was fun.

I’m also getting better at using the screen reader on my computer (in case anyone missed my past updates, I now get bad headaches from electronic screens, so this allows me to use the computer without looking), at least for certain things, although it’s still frustrating and time consuming and aggravates my tennis elbow more :-/ But anyway, if I leave you a comment that’s riddled with typos or something, this is why.

Blog/Bookish Updates:

I tested my own blog with my screenreader, and it’s navigable and readable *phew*, but sometimes the content isn’t read automatically when the page loads, and I don’t know why. I’ve also noticed some ways that the navigation could maybe be improved. Hopefully I can work on those things at some point, but right now I can’t sit and stare at the screen to try and figure it out.


Books I Received for Review:

Nothing this month.


Books I Finished:

Bitter Spirits by Jenn BennettAcid Jazz Singer by Nya RawlynsThe Merman and the Barbarian Pirate by Kay BerrisfordSpare and Found Parts by Sarah Maria GriffinEve & Adam by Michael Grant & Katharine ApplegateCircus Girl, the Hunter, and Mirror Boy by JY YangThe Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski

I managed to listen to a handful of audiobooks in January, although it wasn’t my best book month. Bitter Spirits was good. Acid Jazz Singer was too problematic for me to enjoy it. The Merman and the Barbarian Pirate was cute, although I hated the audio so much that I switched over to TTS (luckily I had the ebook, but it sucks that I used an Audible credit on the audiobook). Spare and Found parts was meh. Circus Girl was good, the kind of short story I actually like, but then the ending didn’t really make sense. I had a lot of issues with Eve & Adam (not problematic, just story/character-based) and never got invested in it. The Last Wish was good though. I want to continue that series, but my library doesn’t have the audio for the next book (well, the one all the lists I saw say should be read second). I don’t understand the thought process behind having 10+ copies of some of the books in a series, and then 0 copies of others. I’m gonna wait a bit and see if they eventually get a copy.


What I’m Loving:

This month, what I’m loving is…

Just see my whole intro 😛


In Case You Missed It:

Here are the highlights:

– I recommended some funny sci-fi/fantasy podcasts to check out.
– I talked about mispronouncing character names.
– I reviewed Steal the Night by Lexi Blake, an awesome finale in one of my favorite series.


Talk to me!

How was your month?
Have you found any great music lately? (If you have, leave me a link!)


Your Thoughts


18 thoughts on “Update: Life and Books (Jan 2020) + Song & Game Recs!

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  1. Greg

    Podcasts are like audio for me- I’ve had trouble getting into them, but I’ve discovered a few lately and surprisingly I liked them! I guess you just gotta find the right ones! Thanks for the game recs too- I’ll have to check out Code 7. Circus Girl sounds pretty good…

    My Nocturnal serenade- wow. what a video. Love the song, and the shots in the library are so badass. 🙂

    1. Kristen Burns

      I think with any media you definitely need to find the right ones. Do check out Code 7, it’s great! I haven’t watched that whole music video, but the bits I’ve seen are so high-key dramatic, I love it lol.

  2. Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra

    I really need to try podcasts. I always hear about so many interesting ones but then promptly forget about them until someone else talks about podcasts, lol. I’m glad to hear you’re having some success with the screen reader. I haven’t watched The Witcher yet but everyone I know is talking about it. That song is great though.

  3. Sam@wlabb

    I listened to two of the Roaring Twenties books, because I have adored Bennett’s YA contemporaries so much, and I found I liked them very much. She is so good at creating great characters, and they always have the best banter too

  4. Olivia Roach

    I am glad you have found a more approachable way to use screens a bit. I have been hearing a lot about this witcher song but haven’t watched the series or listened to it before so I guess I am out of the loop. I am glad you enjoyed a lot of podcasts! Ah, I have read Eve and Adam but it was a long time ago and I am not sure how much I would still like it now, although younger me really did back then! I also wanted to read Spare and Found Parts so I am sorry to hear it was mostly meh :/

    1. Kristen Burns

      It’s interesting how our opinion toward a book can change depending on when we read it. I think I’ve grown more critical over the years lol. We have different taste sometimes, so maybe you’ll like Spare and Found Parts more than I did 🙂

  5. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    Glad you’ve found some podcasts, music and audiobooks to listen to since reading hasn’t really been possible lately. (You might want to think harder about that vampire thing—could be the solution to all your problems. If you need that email address again, just let me know. 🙂 ) My library does that with audiobooks sometimes too, where they’ll have all but one random book in a series—it really baffles me when it’s a middle book!!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks 🙂 Seriously, the prospect of becoming a vampire is looking more and more tempting, haha. I just don’t understand why libraries do that! Especially for a series that is so super popular right now.