Update: Life and Books (Sep 2020)


Well, September is over. It’s been another tough month. Probably for everyone. I’ve had a lot of headaches and worries, but I’m gonna try to focus on some positive things for this post.

I played some games! If you saw my review of Overland, then you already know how much I’ve adored it. Since finishing my first playthrough, I’ve been trying to find all the landmarks and overlooks, just because they’re cool and pretty, and I finally managed to do it. And then, a couple weeks later, they added an update that includes a “tourist mode” so that you can play without being attacked by creatures, if you just want to see the locations. If only I had waited! But I love that they added that. I’ve said before that all games (especially story-based ones, which this one actually isn’t) should have the option to skip fights and challenges for people who just want to see the story, the art, etc.

I played a couple short games too. Grimm’s Hollow was a cute, basic RPG with turn-based fighting. I Love You, Colonel Sanders! was a Colonel Sanders dating sim actually made by KFC, and it was absolutely incredible and hilarious.

It’s October now, but I can’t imagine anyone has big Halloween plans. I’ve never been that big on Halloween (which feels like blasphemy to say in this community lol), so I don’t decorate or anything, but what about you all?

I don’t think I really have anything else to talk about. Listening to audiobooks, listening to podcasts, the usual.

Blog/Bookish Updates:



Books I Received for Review:

I got Their Dark Reflections by Amanda Meuwissen (cover below).


Books I Finished:

Shiver by Maggie StiefvaterCan I Pet Your Werewolf? by Various AuthorsThe ABCs of Spellcraft Collection Vol. 1 by Jordan Castillo PriceWicked Fox by Kat ChoGideon the Ninth by Tamsyn MuirCemetery Boys by Aiden ThomasFinna by Nino CipriTheir Dark Reflections by Amanda MeuwissenDeadly Curiosities by Gail Z. Martin

This was another month with a lot of just ok books that weren’t necessarily bad, just not to my taste. I’ve been trying a lot of popular, hyped books that I’ve been interested in for a while because they did sound good, but it’s not going super well lol.

The Wolves of Mercy Falls by Maggie Stiefvater – I read all four books in this series, and they were ok. Didn’t dislike the series, just wasn’t super into it.

Can I Pet Your Werewolf? – This was a comic anthology I’d really been looking forward to, and it ended up being a disappointment. I only enjoyed three out of the thirteen or so stories and didn’t like most of the art (which was in black and white).

The ABCs of Spellcraft Collection Vol. 1 by Jordan Castillo Price – This was an audio of the first four novellas in this series, and they were silly and sitcom-esque and cute!

Wicked Fox by Kat Cho – Another just ok book. I thought this would be more supernatural action, less YA romance, but that’s on me.

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir – I got more into this as it went on and turned into a Westing Game-esque murder mystery, but I found a lot confusing. I’d like to try the next book though, if my library gets the audiobook. I also read the short story about Palamedes and Cam because Palamedes is the best.

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas – I know everyone is loving this book, and I loved the premise and the fact that it had gay, trans, and Latinx rep, but the book overall was another just ok one for me.

Finna by Nino Cipri – Again, not for me. Some fun parallel universes, but a lot of telling when it came to the characters.

Their Dark Reflections by Amanda Meuwissen – This one was a cute standalone m/m vampire romance!

Deadly Curiosities by Gail Z. Martin – So I signed up for BookLending.com years ago and loaned a few books, but this is the first I’ve received! I completely forgot about the site, so the email was a pleasant surprise. And luckily I liked the book! Solidly good urban fantasy.


In Case You Missed It:

Here are the highlights:

– I talked about how reading has become stressful and how I want it to be fun again.
– I reviewed Sidhe by Amanda Meuwissen, an emotional and beautiful finale to one of my favorite m/m urban fantasy series.
– I reviewed Overland, a challenging, poignant post-apoc strategy/puzzle game that I’ve been loving.
– I reviewed Siren’s Song by Cynthia Diamond, a fun paranormal romance about a dragon and siren.
– I reviewed Hemovore by Jordan Castillo Price, a m/m romance/thriller with an interesting and surprisingly relevant take on vampires.
– I recommended some Drawfee videos on YouTube because their channel always brightens my day and makes me laugh.
– I reviewed Fight the Tide by Keira Andrews, a cool combo of zombie apoc and werewolves that had great characters, relationship, and emotion.


Talk to me!

How's life going?
Have you found any good books, games, podcasts, etc. lately?


Your Thoughts


20 thoughts on “Update: Life and Books (Sep 2020)

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  1. Greg

    Overland does look so fun. and I totally agree- I love exploring open world games and have always thought the same thing- why don’t they just have an “explore” mode?

    I like Halloween and was hoping to do some spooky- themed posts this month but we’ll see what happens.

    I love that cover of Shiver.

    1. Kristen Burns

      It really is a great game. And seriously, it doesn’t hurt anyone to include an explore mode or story mode in games for people who don’t want the challenge part!

      Spooky themed posts are fun!

  2. Becky @ A Fool’s Ingenuity

    I would love to be able to skip fights in a lot of RPGs. Easy mode is great but even that ends up being a challenge towards the end or I get frustrated and quit halfway through. Glad there was a tourist mode added to the game. I hope more games do that. I still haven’t got to reading Gideon the Ninth but glad you liked it even if it was confusing.

    1. Kristen Burns

      There should seriously be a skip option. There are some games I’d love to play just to see the story and graphics and make choices, but I never bothered because I knew I wouldn’t like the fighting.

  3. Sam@wlabb

    I hope you are able to get some relief from your headaches. Glad you were able to enjoy some gaming though. Escaping to virtual worlds in a great thing. (FYI – I also am not a big Halloween fan. You are not alone)

  4. Angela

    I decorated a little bit for fall, but I’m not sure my town is going ahead with Halloween and trick-or-treating yet, so I’ll wait on buying the candy!

  5. Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy

    I really liked Deadly Curiosities too😁 I’m still in a mom Facebook group in my town (not sure why cause my kids aren’t little anymore) but someone in the group has way too much time on their hands and planned out a Google map with locations of all the houses in town with decorations and trick or treating, lol.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yay I’m glad you liked it too! That’s cool about the map! Honestly I feel like kids shouldn’t be trick or treating this year, but seeing decorations could still be fun while social distancing!

  6. Laura @ Daydreaming Dragons

    I just finished reading Wicked Fox too, and I enjoyed it, but I didn’t find it to be overly amazing either, which is a shame. And I’ve had Gideon the Ninth on my Kindle for a while and still haven’t read it. Hopefully I’ll get to it soon.
    Have a great October!

  7. Di @ Book Reviews by Di

    Hi Kristen! How are you doing? I had to come by and see how everything is for you? I’m trying to catch up a little with my old blogging friends since I’m attempting to get back into it. Looking forward to catching up with you soon.

  8. Roberta R.

    “I’ve been trying a lot of popular, hyped books that I’ve been interested in for a while because they did sound good, but it’s not going super well lol.”
    We’re not cut out for popular books 😂.

    I don’t celebrate Halloween either (it wasn’t even an Italian thing to begin with, but since 15 years ago or so it’s everywhere), but I make a point to review a few scary books every year, and to change my Twitter nickname, just for funsies 😉.

    I hope October will bring better things for you!

    1. Kristen Burns

      We’re really not lol. But sometimes they sound good! And there have been those few occasions where I loved a popular book, so I don’t want to miss the good ones!

      That’s fun. I don’t like actual scary books, and I already read about supernaturals year-round, so I don’t even change my reading lol.