The Weekly Update: 1/1/17


Happy New Year, everyone!

Does anyone else think it’s kind of awesome that the first day of the new year falls on a Sunday? I still consider Sundays to be the start of the week (even though it seems that Monday is considered the start of the week for some people), so I think it’s cool. But anyway…

I have to admit that my year isn’t off to a very good start. I still have tennis elbow in both arms and have been having to limit my computer time. Ants are still wandering aimlessly around my bedroom because they still have yet to figure out there’s no food or water in there. “Plumbing repairs” have been done on my apartment building three or four times now, despite the fact that nothing was noticeably wrong to begin with, and still sometimes the shower works but other times the water just barely dribbles out. And, to top it all off, the arguing neighbors who lived below me moved out and instead there has now been construction noises from 8-5 almost every day which does not work for me since I’m more like to go to sleep at 8am than to get up at 8am.


Oh! But I actually do have some good news. I got $50 worth of B&N gift cards as well as some Amazon gift cards for Christmas, so at least I’ll have some new books to look forward to in 2017!

Blog/Bookish Updates:

Here is my Goodreads 2016 Year in Books if anyone wants to see it 🙂

Also, I’m once again signing up for the Discussion Challenge! It is hosted by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight. I really enjoyed participating last year, and I’ve already got lots of discussions written and ready to go, so I’m looking forward to another discussion-filled year 🙂 I will be going for the Chatty Kathy level (21-30) posts. How many I actually end up posting though is mostly going to depend on my tennis elbow and whatnot.

2017 Discussion Challenge

And since this post needs some more positivity, here’s a little look back at some of the awesome bookish/bloggy things that happened to me in 2016:

– I reached my one year blogoversary.
– I didn’t even remotely keep track of my number of followers on social media but I know I now have more than I started with at the beginning of 2016 so that’s something.
– I started getting books from NetGalley.
– I made my first publishing contacts.
– I won some giveaways for books and gift cards.
– I participated in my first blog tour.
– I have kept basically the same blog design for an entire year (I changed minor things and the homepage layout but not the header or colors or fonts or anything that would confuse people), which, I think, definitely counts as an accomplishment.
– I started doing discussion posts, and you all actually seemed to like them (I was legitimately worried they would be flops lol).
– Last but not least, I met a lot of wonderful bloggers and authors, some of whom I feel have truly become friends!

So what’s in store for 2017 on the blog? I honestly have no clue. We’re all just gonna have to wait and see, myself included 😛

Books I Received for Review:

Bleed Through by Adriana Arrington | reading, books

For the past couple weeks I actually managed to neither receive nor read any review copies—it was rather liberating! But now it’s back to that review copy grind.

Books I Finished:

The Key to Erebus by Emma V. Leech & Roisin O'Connor | reading, books
The Heart of Arima by Emma V. Leech | reading, books
The Fires of Tartarus by Emma V. Leech | reading, books

The first two books were rereads, the third one was new. I feel like I had a few more issues with the first book than I did the first time I read it, but I still enjoyed it and Books 2 and 3 got better. Jehenne (the MC) was rather badass in the third book too. Although with this author it’ll probably be two more years before the next book comes out -_-

Song of the Week:

“Bury It ft. Hayley Williams” by CHVRCHES – I have no idea what this song is about, but the lyrics “bury it and rise above” just seemed fitting for the new year since it seems everyone had a crappy 2016.


In Case You Missed It:

– I shared an update about how I did with my 2016 bookish goals.
– I shared my top ten reads of 2016.
– I shared my 2016 bookish stats, complete with lots of awesome pie charts 😉

The Sunday Post Link-Up:

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


Talk to me!

Did you find any good books or music last week?
Did you have a good Christmas/break or get any gifts you're especially excited about?


Your Thoughts


48 thoughts on “The Weekly Update: 1/1/17

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  1. Laura Thomas

    Wow, so much happening all at once. I hope they sort out the plumbing issues. Not cool! Here’s to another year of sharing great books and fun stuff!

  2. Greg

    Happy New Year! Sorry to hear about the tennis elbow- hope that goes away soon. “Ants are still wandering aimlessly”- lol I’m not laughing at your situation but just the way you described that. I hate frickin bugs. Seriously if I see a bug I spray the crap out of – probably a little overkill lol. I had a hornets nest and used practically the whole can- just to be sure you know. 🙂

    Bleed Through- nice cover.

    Nice song. 🙂 I like how it starts out, and fun video too.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Happy New Year! And I swear that is literally what the ants are doing. I’m not even exaggerating lol. I sit on my floor in there sometimes, and every so often I’ll just find another ant wandering near me. They never even come from the same direction or anything. I can’t even spray them because I’d have to spray the entire carpet of my bedroom every hour. But please, I freakin’ drown roaches when I see them, haha.

      It is a nice kinda lively, positive sounding song 🙂

  3. Drangonfly

    ok I decided I’m gonna rent a little sidebar widget space here on your blog. Maybe just big enough for a tent since I seem to ALWAYS be around here. Man, I just finished replying to your reply to my comment and here is another post :S
    You never rest! [and you make us, lazy bloggers, look bad!]
    I’m SO happy we are both are doing the discussion challenge! because you know,, we never get to chat. 😉
    Sorry about the apartment issues though. 🙁 you can be my roommate in my tent until it gets all resolved. I think I;ll set it up in the upcoming reviews area because it looks like an art gallery.
    Glad you had such a wonderful year. Hope 2017 is even better, even though started off wrong. On a Sunday. When everyone knows the right way to start is Monday. SMH! Happy 2017 🙂

    1. Kristen Burns

      You sure you wanna rent a space here? I mean, I’m up all through the night churning out blog posts, and, you know, the light of the computer, the noise of my typing, and all that witchcraft I do to invoke spirits to help write my posts and to use black magic to stop time so that I can get more blogging done might keep you up at night 😉

      I’m glad we’re both doing the discussion challenge too!

      Hmm, I’m not quite sure living in a tent would solve my bug problems… though if it were a tent in an art gallery, that sounds like a lot more fun lol.

      Lmao no tents allowed here for people who think the week starts on Monday! Thanks, happy 2017 to you too 🙂

  4. Annemieke

    Happy New Year.

    That really sucks about the ants and the tennis elbow. I hope that will get better soon. But yeay for the gift cards. Here is to getting good books in 2017!

  5. chucklesthescot

    I frequently get tennis elbow and I hate it. The doctor provides me with an anti-inflammatory cream called Ketoprofen which clears it up in a few days thankfully. Ants…I just hate things that creep and crawl! When I worked in London many years ago we had an infestation of woodlice which was disgusting! I hate those things. I hope you can find a decent bug spray or something to evict the ants.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Huh, maybe I should look into that cream and consider seeing a doctor if it helps. Although I might be allergic and I’m not sure I’d even want to take that risk, I have enough problems without adding allergic reactions into the mix lol. Yuck, woodlice does sound worse than ants. I’m going to try peppermint oil since the smell is supposed to repel the ants. Bug spray won’t work since I’d have to spray my entire carpet every day -_-

  6. Samantha

    Sorry 2017 has started out being a pain in the ass!! Hopefully they get all the apartment stuff sorted soon. A shower with no water pressure is unacceptable!! Have fun spending those gift cards!!

  7. Wattle

    Happy New Year! I consider Sundays the start of the week too, as do two of my three calendars (I totally side-eyed the third one when I looked at it properly last night lol).

    Oh no, I hope your elbows are feeling better soon, there’s nothing worse than niggling things like that 🙁

  8. Lola

    I kinda see both Sunday and Monday as the start of the week, but in different ways. My calendar always starts with Sunday so I usually would say Sunday is the start of the week. It is kinda neat that 1 January falls on a Sunday this year.

    Sorry to hear your year isn’t off to a good start, that sucks :(. I hope your arms will do better soon. And construction noises early in the morning are the worst. I usually sleep till late as well and it’s really annoying to get woken up early as not everyone has the same schedule. But yay for all the gifts cards! I hope you can buy some good books with them!

    Sounds like a lot of good things happened in 2016 when you list them all like that. It’s strange how sometimes you enjoy a book more when you re-read it and other times you notice more things you don’t like. It sounds like a good series, too bad you probably have to wait long on the next book. Have a great week!

    1. Kristen Burns

      I’ve always just seen Sunday as the start.

      Thanks 🙂 The construction is really aggravating and interfering with my sleep :-/ But gift cards are always a great way to cheer up!

      Yeah I just felt like my post needed some more positive stuff 🙂 And it is strange seeing how differently you feel when you reread a book. This was the first time I’ve ever actually noticed more problems, but it is still a good series. It’s frustrating about waiting though since I’m not going to reread them all again which means I’ll have forgotten some details, but whatever. You have a great week too!

  9. Literary Feline

    I am sorry the year hasn’t gotten off to the best start. That could mean that the rest of the year will only get better. 🙂 One can hope, right? I hope your arms are feeling better soon, although I know sometimes problems like that never go away completely. Yay for gift cards! I got a few of those for Christmas too. I’ve been saving up my Amazon gift cards for awhile now without spending them.

    I hope you have a Happy New Year, Kristen!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Fingers crossed lol. Thank you, I’m afraid that will be the problem with my tennis elbow, it’s one of those things that will never go away completely. But gift cards are always a good way to cheer up! I’ve also been saving up Amazon gift cards, but that means maybe I can finally buy some stuff I want 😀

      Thank you! Happy New Year!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Happy New Year! I actually don’t know any other songs by Chvrches. I should go listen to some more 🙂 Thank you! I did have a good bookish/blogging year 🙂 I’ll guess I’ll just have to wait and see about this year, haha.

  10. Michelle@Because Reading

    Oh you poor girl! Tennis Elbow is no fun and to have it in both elbows! you need to rest and take it easy.
    Ugh! Ants are so annoying, I hope you can get rid of them soon!
    Sorry to hear about the pluming, not a fun way to start the new year.
    I hope once those bumps pass it will be smooth sailing for you!.
    I was wondering if you still do the Cover Characteristics? If you have a list you use or just make them up each week. I might do the same things and make them up as you, just want to make sure I am not stepping on toes. if you have a list I will follow along. Not sure if the girl that did them is going to do them again and I am bummed since I wanted to join in.

    Happy New Year, Kristen
    Have a great week and Happy reading!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you! I really am not off to a good start lol.

      I’ve still not heard anything about the official list. Supposedly she’ll be back, but, until we get any more info, me and Greg are each just doing random topics, idk what anyone else is doing. If I had my own list, I’d share it with you in case you wanted to do the same but I don’t even have a blog schedule set in advance and don’t have any CC posts ready at the moment. You definitely wouldn’t be stepping on anyone’s toes if you did your own, but you could always wait and see if the official meme comes back soon or I can let you know when I have some topics planned so you won’t feel like you’re doing it alone 🙂

      Happy New Year, you have a great week too!

      1. Michelle@Because Reading

        I will keep an eye out for her but last night I made a HUGE list of Cover topics for the year, plus a few extra. I think I will work off the list and if she comes back just join in. If you do happen to make a list let me know and I will join you. I did my list by month so I can always change it. 🙂

        1. Kristen Burns

          I don’t know if you’ve seen it, but there’s a kind of list on the meme site: just in case you wanna check your topics against hers. Not that you can’t use the same topics, I just like to choose different ones so that if/when she does come back, I won’t be doing repeats. If you post your list schedule on your blog or anything, I’ll try to join in some of your topics sometimes 🙂

  11. La La in the Library

    I love reading discussion posts on blogs, but they never go over well on my blog. I get the fewest comments on them, which seems to defeat the purpose. Heh heh. I am with you on the blog design thing. Every year I get better. My first year I radically changed my blog design four times! Second year only twice, and last year only once. Ha! I like your current design, clean, but with enough detail to show personality.

    I think I managed to hit all of the posts I was behind on your blog. Have a wonderful 2017.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Sorry you haven’t had much luck on discussions posts :-/ I tend to do better on them since, well, you know I read a lot of self-pub books and so my reviews and lists don’t get as much attention since they’re books most people haven’t heard of. Haha you’re definitely making an improvement each year on changing your design less! Thank you for the compliment on mine 🙂

      You have a wonderful year too!

  12. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    Oh no, it sucks that you’ve had a crappy time of things. I thought you’d managed to get rid of the ants? I guess they want to make really certain they’re not missing out on a source of food? Or they’re lost and confused. And you seriously need to get these construction and plumbing issues sorted. Is there not anyone you can complain to who manages your building. I mean, the construction you’re kind of stuck with but surely they can sort the plumbing so you can have a decent shower.

    Can I just say that song is awesome! I’d not heard it before and it’s really quite catchy. I may have to add it to my latest Spotify playlist (I’m trying to keep track of what songs I listen to this year so I can have a really epic playlist for the end of the year). Also, yay for giftcards for Christmas. I’ve got an Amazon giftcard I’m trying to keep going for a couple of months as I am now on a book budget to stop me going overboard with new books.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you. I thought the ants were leaving since I only was seeing a few, but they’re still just holding steady at the lower numbers now -_- I’m going to try peppermint oil, I just have to remember to get some at the store. Oh please, tried complaining about the plumbing the first time it happened, and the people running the condo association (technically it’s a condo, not an apt) were just idiots and kept acting like it was just my apt. (even though it’s not, even the painters who were working outside were complaining about the water pressure). So either they’re still being idiots, or they know there’s a problem, which is why the plumber has come numerous times now, but the plumber has just completely screwed it up and doesn’t know how to fix it.

      Glad you like the song! I’m so used to saving up my gift cards too so now I have numerous ones loaded into my Amazon account but am, like, afraid to spend any of the money, haha.

      1. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

        You need to start a little union with all the people in your building and complain together. Who can ignore a group of people with the same issue? It’s ridiculous. It would at least be better if they admitted there was in issue and it was being looked into.

        And I exactly, I seem to ration out using my giftcard on things and then for some reason keep spending with actual money when I have free money just sitting there available.

        1. Kristen Burns

          You’re underestimating the idiocy and incompetence of my condo association -_- Numerous of us did complain, including the painters I mentioned who were using the outside hose or whatever, but they just wanted to send the maintenance man to “look at” the water and then started talking about tearing out and changing pipes… But it’s not something in the apartments! They wouldn’t listen, so I’ve given up. Not gonna have someone coming in here every week when they work on the plumbing yet again just to look or to tear out pipes for no reason.

          1. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

            This is an excellent point. I forget people are idiots sometimes. It will have to be one of those issues you hope is miraculously fixed one day, hopefully around the time the condo association realises they’re being idiots.

            1. Kristen Burns

              Lol. I too am just crossing my fingers for a miraculous fix at this point as the water seems to be getting worse now -_- And not only that, now half the sidewalk leading to my building is just gone and there’s a dirt hole and you have to walk around through the grass. This whole place is a mess.

  13. Maureen Beatrice

    Happy New Years Kristen! Sorry to hear about the tennis elbow and the constructions. I hope they are finished soon! 😉
    Sounds like you had a good year. Good luck on the discussion challenge. It sounds fun 😉

  14. Di @ Book Reviews by Di

    Happy new year! I hope this is a really fantastic one for you and that your arms really start to come right soon. And the ants. Of course the ants.

    My OCD was incredibly happy to see that the 1st was indeed a Sunday. It just made me all warm and fuzzy inside. 🙂 And obviously Sunday is the first day of the week…

    Well done on the huge GR reading achievement for last year. My goal this year is for 100 books, but unfortunately these books do not read themselves and I’m not exactly a ‘not busy’ person… Oh well. It’s a goal.

    Your other 2016 achievements are also awesome and congrats on all the bookish/bloggish achievements. I’m so happy to have ‘met’ you through blogging!

    Keep well and again, HAPPY NEW YEAR!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you!!! I’m crossing my fingers the ant problem will be gone soon.

      Haha I’m glad I’m not the only one who was excited about the 1st being on a Sunday 😛

      Thanks! 100 is my goal too. It’s a lot though, especially if you’re busy.

      I’m so happy to have “met” you too! Happy New Year 😀

  15. Jessica

    I did get an Amazon gift card from my cousin at Christmas. I used it to get some new green tights. My green tights had two holes in them. I also got a calendar for my mother because we forgot to get her one on Black Friday. I got some blue slippers from another cousin. And from my fiance, I got a new jacket and an exercise book. From my best-friend some cookies, (which my mother ate. I told her she could have some, but she ate the whole tin.) a journal (which I haven’t used yet), a candle, and a necklace.
    I have too many books to read right now. I’m still reading on the 10th Anita Blake book.