Update: Life and Books (Mar 2020)


Ugh. Part of me didn’t even feel like making this post because I’m just so full of stress and anxiety, as I’m sure we all are. I know everyone can only handle so much virus talk, so if you want to skip the next couple paragraphs for your mental health, I won’t blame you. It’s just me griping and worrying, no serious news.

The quarantine/isolation thing isn’t even a problem for me because I’m basically housebound anyway due to my chronic illness. It’s all the bad stuff happening and the worry that it’s gonna happen to myself or people I care about that’s getting to me. I feel like Florida is going to be hit hard because of how poorly the government has handled it here, and that scares me. My grandpa is still getting cancer treatments once a month, so he has no choice but to leave home, and that’s especially worrisome. And it’s not even just that people are getting the virus, there are so many other effects this is having.

The few people who still read my blog are probably being good and staying home, but if you’re reading this and you’re not taking this virus seriously, PLEASE JUST STAY HOME. Unless you absolutely need to leave, like to get essential groceries.

Anyway, if you want some non-virus goodness, I’ve also been sharing a lot of pictures of birds and squirrels on my Twitter because I have a bird feeder outside my window now 🙂 There’s also a Tokay gecko (or maybe more than one) living outside my room, and that’s brought me a bit of joy too because we’ve had them here before, and I’ve always loved the adorable little “eh-ooh” noise they make.

That’s about it. I don’t have anything else to talk about. I hope you all and your loved ones are staying safe and well (or as well as possible) <3

Blog/Bookish Updates:

Nothing this month.


Books I Received for Review:

Nothing this month.


Books I Finished:

*Normally I link the book covers to Amazon, but there are A LOT of books here, so I’m just going to link to some in the text below.*

Preacher, Prophet, Beast by Harper FoxIrresistible Magic by Deanna ChaseIntoxicating Magic by Deanna ChaseBlind Space by Marie SextonForbidden Forest by Tenaya JayneDeep Desire by Z.A. MaxfieldDeep Deception by Z.A. MaxfieldDeep Deliverance by Z.A. Maxfield40 Souls to Keep by Libby DrewHow to Howl at the Moon by Eli EastonThe Magpie Lord by KJ CharlesA Case of Possession by KJ CharlesFlight of Magpies by KJ CharlesJackdaw by KJ CharlesRag and Bone by KJ CharlesA Queer Trade by KJ CharlesThe Druid Stone by Heidi Belleau & Violetta VaneParadox Lost by Libby DrewDark of the Moon by Susan KrinardShould We Drown in Feathered Sleep by Michael MerriamThe Long Way Home by Z.A. MaxfieldThe Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony HopeThe Henchmen of Zenda by KJ CharlesA Reason to Believe by Diana CoplandThe Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal by KJ CharlesZombie: A Love Story by Patricia Lee MacomberSpectred Isle by KJ CharlesWintersong by S. Jae-JonesDaughter from the Dark by Marina & Sergey Dyachenko

I have had another very prolific reading (listening) month, and they were mostly books I enjoyed.

Dislikes – Blind Space, Should We Drown in Feathered Sleep, and Forbidden Forest weren’t for me, even though the second had some good inclusivity and the last had some cool ideas.

In-Between Feelings – Irresistible Magic, Intoxicating Magic, Dark of the Moon were all books I didn’t hate, but nothing about them stood out. Zombie: A Love Story was a good story that I do recommend, but I had a couple complaints. Daughter from the Dark had a great flawed MC, but much of the rest was lacking. Wintersong was one that I think just wasn’t for me. The Prisoner of Zenda was a fun story but didn’t really keep my attention.

Likes – The Deep Series books, The Druid Stone, Paradox Lost, The Long Way Home, A Reason to Believe, Simon Feximal, and Spectred Isle were all books that might not be super memorable after a while, but I definitely enjoyed them. Preacher, Prophet, Beast was the last available audiobook in the Tyack & Frayne Series, which I’m enjoying. The A Charm of Magpies Series books were all great with unique characters, a historical setting, and cool magic! 40 Souls to Keep was also great. The Henchmen of Zenda was a Prisoner of Zenda retelling, and it was so much fun! And my favorite book of the month was How to Howl at the Moon because it was so cute and adorable and gave me all the feels and then left me feeling warm and fuzzy.


What I’m Loving:

This month, what I’m loving is…

Squirrels and Birds

I really have been loving them! I’m trying to figure out how to tell the squirrels apart so that I can name them.


In Case You Missed It:

Here are the highlights:

– I shared more tweets about weird things that have happened in my Sims 3 games.
– I reviewed The Usual Apocalypse by Christine Price, a m/m paranormal with great characters, romance, and mystery.
– I shared 3 book and song match-ups (three books I recommend, and three songs I love to go with them)!
– I reviewed two books set in the Old West, one weird west (The Shotgun Arcana by R. S. Belcher) and one m/m romance with a bit of supernatural (Firelands by Michael Jensen).


Talk to me!

How are you doing with everything going on right now?
Any good news to share?


Your Thoughts


38 thoughts on “Update: Life and Books (Mar 2020)

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  1. Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy

    Oh wow, I love your squirrel pics! I need to hang out on Twitter more often. We have lots of squirrels in California too. In fact, my husband just rescued one from drowning! It fell off our roof into a barrel of water and my husband just happened to be there. I hope your grandpa is ok. That must be very worrisome. The whole thing sucks and I just want life back to normal🙁 But on a happy note, you read/listened to a ton of books!

  2. Greg

    I’m loving your squirrel pics/ updates. We have the same shenanigans here as squirrels increasingly try to steal the bird food. they’re quite shameless. 🙂 And they lay on our deck rail too- they like to get comfortable, happy in the knowledge that my poor cats can’t reach them. anyway… the stress is real and I hear you. This is all ridiculous everything thats happening.

    I do hate to diss someone else’s governor but that DeSantis guy… I was just reading today how he’s taking his cues from Trump more than his own medical advisors and I’m just like… what is with these idiots?? Unbelievable. It’s mind boggling to me that we still have like nine states or something that have not locked down. So irresponsible…

    Glad the reading’s going well anyway! Mine’s been terrible although to be fair I’ve been playing games and binging shows again, so… yeah lol. I should read something occasionally.

    Take care this week and wishing lots of good vibes to your grandpa.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Squirrels are so cute. I love that they just lounge on your railing lol. I saw one lounging on the bird feeder the other day.

      Diss away. What he’s been doing is awful and going to have awful consequences.

      Yeah I think I’ve slowed up a bit, feeling that unable to focus on books mood everyone else has been in.

      Thank you <3 You take care too.

  3. Sophie

    I know the world is scary right now! So thank you for these squirrels and birds pics! Stay safe indoor as you do. That’s what we do here too.

  4. Sam@wlabb

    It’s very stressful times. I am lucky my job gave me emergency leave, because I was stressed about traveling on the bus/train every day. Have you see the little squirrel picnics? Some guy built a picnic table for the squirrel that visits him, and now, many others are doing the same. They are precious! Hang in there! ((HUGS))

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah, having to travel on the bus or train would give me stress too right now. I saw the squirrel picnic table, and I want one! But I wouldn’t have anywhere to put it :-/ Thanks, you too <3

  5. Angela

    It’s ok to gripe and worry! We all have moments of that. And your grandpa’s situation is scary, I think we can all sympathize with that. Glad you’re staying safe!

  6. Lorna

    We have squirrels some of which know the sound of our door opening because one of my housemates feeds them unsalted peanuts. They must just stick around waiting. She also feeds the birds.
    I’m sorry your grandfather has to leave the house at all. I’m no spring chicken myself and I’m terrified to go out. Stay safe!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Squirrels do get greedy lol. My aunt has one that waits by her kitchen window, and I think she has a bird that will tap on her window for snacks too.

      Thank you, it worried me for both my grandparents. I don’t blame you or anyone for being scared to leave! You stay safe too!

  7. tonyalee

    I’ve actually been working, which sucks. Besides the kiddos not going to school, nothing much has changed around here.

    I love the squirrel pics!

  8. Becky @ A Fool’s Ingenuity

    Sorry you’re finding this all so very stressful, I can’t blame you, I think most of us are. But I’ve been loving your bird and squirrel updates on twitter so I hope you keep doing that. it gives you a small chance to take a break from the bigger worries, anyway. I know I’ve been struggling majorly with being stuck home through all of this and I’m not even a very social person! And it’s been tough on friends and family as so many people are being forced out of work over it which is stressful for everyone. I’ve had more phonecalls over the past couple of weeks than the past year just to have the chance to chat with friends is always nice.

    I got all excited when I saw Wintersong on your read list (I feel like we’ve not had a lot of overlap in our reads of late, very much due to me reading so much romance) but I’ve read that so it sucks to see it ended up not being for you. I get it, I know it wasn’t at all what I expected but I really enjoyed it. i remember the second book I wasn’t sure on but it worked for me. Oh well, you win some you lose some, it seems like there are plenty of books you have been enjoying of late at least.

    Look after yourself in these crazy times. I hope you manage to keep yourself from getting too anxious (it’s a struggle, I know) but we need to try and focus on the positives so we don’t all have a breakdown.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Glad you like my animal updates 🙂 Yeah, I’m sure it’s stressful for most of us right now. I guess catching up with people on the phone is one benefit. Aww, sorry to disappoint about Wintersong lol. I actually went back and read your review because I remembered you loving it, and I was planning to link to it if I ever review the book, because I actually agree with most everything you said, but it’s like I just wasn’t able to appreciate it all as much as you. Anyway, hope you’re staying safe <3

  9. Lola

    It sure is a stressful situation. I am also worried about the virus and people I know. My boyfriend still has to work and my sister as well, so I hope neither of them catches it. I stay home with the exception of some walks and grocery shopping, I try and keep the right physical distance from everyone, but it does make those activities a lot more stressful and tiring due to being constantly alert. I am sorry to hear you are so stressed and anxious. I hope you can find some ways to relax a bit. I hope you and your family stay safe and healthy!

    I like all the squirrel pictures you’ve been sharing on twitter. They are so cute! We used to have a birdfeeder outside our house, but it attracted mice, so we had to stop feeding the birds sadly.

    You sure got through a lot of books this month. I recently read How to Howl at the Moon as well, it was such a fun read.

    1. Kristen Burns

      It’s horribly stressful. That sucks that your bf and sister still have to work. My mom still has to work too. I hope you all stay safe and well too <3

      Thanks! Oh no, that's too bad about the mice.

      I'm glad you liked it too! It was so cute!

  10. Molly @ Molly's Book Nook

    Sending all my love to you and your grandfather <3 My mom was just diagnosed with lung disease and diabetes and still has to go to the doctor basically once a week. It stresses me out and I miss her terribly since I don't want to risk giving it to her. This whole situation is so stressful for so many people. I hope you're staying safe and can connect with your family still <3

    1. Kristen Burns

      I’m sorry to hear about your mother’s diagnosis, and that especially sucks when it’s such bad timing right now. It’s scary when your loved ones have to leave the house. I hope you and your mom and your family all stay safe and well <3

  11. Karen Alderman

    Everything is a mess and I struggle not fall into the despair spiral. Some days are better than others.

    I’m glad you have your little squirrels to watch. I just sat outside to watch 3 deer napping int he yard next door and it totally lifted my mood. I miss all my critters (birds, squirrels, butterflies, turtles and all the other wildlife) from my yard in FL. I tried a feeder out here but were near the woods and I got SO many birds it was wild! But they started going on my roof and in the gutters so I have to figure something else out.

    I wish I was plowing through my TBR with all this time on my hands but I get too distracted.

    And Ughh… FL I’m not there anymore (& we seem to have a good gov in WA) but I know how it is there so…

    Karen @ For What It’s Worth

    1. Kristen Burns

      Everything really is a mess. I’m glad you have a good gov now at least. Aww, deer! That would be so awesome to get all the birds from the woods, but yeah, not so good when they start causing problems with your house.

  12. Erica Metcalf

    I’ve been getting SO FRUSTRATED at the people I’m seeing not taking this seriously. Like…. the fact that people are so selfish to not take it seriously is alarming. I’ve been cleaning out my friends/following list though, anyone that has zero empathy, see ya! I hope you stay safe during these crazy times <3

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah, that’s the problem, everyone not taking this seriously isn’t just putting themselves at risk, they’re hurting others. I hope you’re staying safe too <3

  13. Roberta R.

    Our own lockdown will probably get extended until the first week of May, but things are slowly getting better here. It’s crazy how your State (and others) are treating this emergency. Well, for starters, it’s crazy how your central government is. Not that I was expecting better from you know who 🙄.

    Thank goodness for squirrels and birds! 😄

    Stay safe, and I’m sending good vibes to your grandpa as well 😘.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I’m glad to hear things are getting a little better there. I don’t think it’s ever getting better here. I’m just avoiding the news at this point and trust that someone will tell me if I miss anything important. Thank you <3

  14. Eline

    I love your animal tweets! Always makes me happy to see them 🙂 I’ve been having a bit of a KJ Charles obsession too lately. They’re really the perfect escapism. And I’m impressed by how much you’ve been reading lately! I just can’t. It’s not even so much a slump. I just need quiet because of the generally stressful situation.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I’m glad they make you happy! Her books are so good, I’m glad I found them. I’m the opposite, I need noise and distraction when I’m stressed or upset, but I can understand needing quiet.

  15. Olivia Roach

    I wasn’t too keen on writing my wrap up either because of everything happening but I guess we have to keep repeating ourself. I am sorry your grandfather has to keep leaving the house but hopefully those treatments will benefit him and help him get better. I have been appreciating your happy twitter a lot. And wow you read SO MUCH it’s amazing.

  16. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    This has been a super stressful time, and I don’t think many of us have managed to do much besides complain lately. I hope your grandpa gets through this all okay—I would imagine it would be very scary to have to go for treatments right now.

    I’m glad you at least have squirrels to make you happy! (We installed a Ring video camera in the back near the wetlands preserve solely so I could watch wildlife. I get it.)

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you! And he lives with my grandma, so if he gets it, they’ll both get it (but she stays in the car at least since they don’t allow anyone other than patients inside right now).

      So cute! We have those cameras too and I haven’t seen the videos, but apparently there’s a fox that comes by a lot!