The Weekly Update: 1/17/16


But if I explain it all here in the intro it will just get redundant, so you'll have to keep reading to find out why :-P

Actually, screw the intro, I've too much to talk about today!

Technical Difficulties:

So, the not so great part of this week was, I don’t know what’s going on with my blog, guys. As you’ve probably seen, my comment reply plugin was sending emails to spam, and I contacted my hosting service, but they couldn’t help, and they never even answered whether it was specifically MY blog marked as spammy or if it’s some other website on the same server causing this. I’m going to contact them again and find out because I DO NOT SPAM, SO THIS MAKES ME UNHAPPY.

Also, my post notification emails are not sending half the time. It started after the latest update, but that’s all I know. What service do you all use for sending post notifications? (I’ve been using Jetpack.) Clearly I need to switch, but I’m afraid using a plugin will just send those to spam too! *sigh*

Physical Book Haul:

Now for good news! I ACTUALLY HAVE A LEGITIMATE BOOK HAUL FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER. My giveaway entering has finally paid off! I’m sorry if this sounds braggy. It’s just I have such a sad bookshelf with so few physical books, so I am ridiculously excited to get more!

First I got Becoming Darkness by Lindsay Brambles (Switch Press). This is seriously the most overall gorgeous book I have ever owned! I’ve never had a hard cover in which the cover itself had the image on it, and I’ve never had a book with colored pages. Plus, RED AND BLACK. MY FAVORITE COLORS. I mean, you are looking at my blog right now, right? And the pages are a gorgeous, crisp white (don’t let my shitty picture-taking skills fool you), making the perfect contrast and color combination. I’m so in love. I kind of just pet it for a while before setting it on my shelf.

Becoming Darkness by Lindsay Brambles

Then, a few days later, a package just showed up on my doorstep. I didn’t even know I had won because YABC doesn’t notify you, but lo and behold, a Griffin Teen prize pack from St. Martin’s Press! BEST SURPRISE EVER. (And no, the furry, red slippers did not come with the books, though they are, in fact, also awesome.)

Giveaway Prize Pack

The Kanin Chronicles Books 1-3 by Amanda Hocking
The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore
Chronicles of Nick Books 5 & 6 by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
All the Rage by Courtney Summers
Dream Things True by Marie Marquardt
Dreamfire by Kit Alloway

(So excited for The Weight of Feathers because circus stuff! But also The Kanin Chronicles because trolls?!)

Ok, sorry, I’m done squeeing now šŸ™‚

Books I Finished:

Soul Breaker by Clara Coulson | books, reading, book covers
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson | books, reading, book covers
The Heartless City by Andrea Berthot | books, reading, book covers
Heart of the Kraken by A.W. Exley | books, reading, book covers

Another reason this was a great week was because I already found my first five star read of the year! The Heartless City is one of the absolute best books I have ever read, and I’ll be posting my review on Friday. Soul Breaker I also really liked, as you already know if you read my review, and it was my first Netgalley read. I even read a classic this week, which turned out to be better than I thought it would be and is a reading goal of mine. And the kraken actually was a legitimate character in Heart of the Kraken, so that’s yet another supernatural creature I’ve read about, which is another reading goal this year (well, I’m considering it a supernatural creature even though it might not technically be).

(Also, apparently this is the week of pretty covers. 2016’s Best Covers post, I’m ready for ya!)

Song of the Week:

“Uninvited” by Alanis Morissette – I listened to it as part of the author’s playlist while reading The Heartless City, and it’s amazingly haunting.

In Case You Missed It:

Cover Characteristics: Book Covers featuring Mirrors
Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten 2016 Releases I’m Looking Forward To
Discussion: A Feminist Gripe about Love Triangles (and Why We Should Stop Blaming the Girls)
Graphic Novel Review: Saga Vol. 2 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples
Book Review: Soul Breaker (City of Crows Book 1) by Clara Coulson

The Sunday Post Link-Up:

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


Talk to me!

How was your week?
Still sticking to your reading goals?
What service do you use for post notifications/newsletters?
(Or if you use Jetpack, have you had similar problems?)


Your Thoughts


30 thoughts on “The Weekly Update: 1/17/16

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  1. Myrthe

    Congratulations on winning those giveaways! The ones that just randomly show up on your doorstep are the best though, they’re even more surprising than the ones you know are on the way!

    This is also exactly the reason why I love giveaways! Free books!

    Have a great week and enjoy the new books!


  2. Kim @ kimberlyfaye reads

    Woo hoo! What a fantastic giveaway haul. All those pretty hardcovers!

    I’m sorry to hear about your technical difficulties. That’s always so frustrating. I hope you get it all worked out soon!

  3. Maureen's Books (@MaureenHinten)

    Congrats on winning those giveaways. That’s so great. I totally understand that it makes you very happy. I got happy while reading your post! Haha LOL!! Especially the Griffin Teen prize pack sounds and looks just great!!
    My week was very busy yet again, so I’m going to read tonight and tomorrow to catch up a little. The days just haven’t got enough hours in it. šŸ˜€

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you! I guess my excitement is contagious šŸ˜› But really, where is all the time going?! It’s getting harder for me to keep up with all the blogging and reading too. I’m starting to wonder how everyone with bigger blogs even does it!

  4. Greg

    Hey congrats on the haul! It’s always nice getting books in the mail. And krakens- I don’t think I’ve read about those.

    Some nice cover this week. šŸ™‚

    I’ll have to listen to that Morrissette song. .

  5. Lola

    It’s so weird your comments replies e-mails keep ending up in spam. I forget to stop by again if I don’t receive those e-mails so I think they are very handy. But every time I removed your e-mails from spam they end up again there next time. Maybe try another plugin and see if that works? Or use another e-mail address as from? Maybe that’s the problem?

    I use the plugin subscribe to comments reloaded ( , so far I haven’t had any problems with it, then again if those e-mails landed in spam I wouldn’t know it either. But I’ve had some people reply to my replies, so I am assuming it’s still working correctly šŸ™‚

    And yay that’s awesome you won two giveaways! It’s so fun to win something. And that’s nice you won a physical copy to add to your shelves. That book looks really pretty with the red and black pages and cover. And that’s quite the package you won from YABC, that must’ve been an awesome surprise!

    I haven’t had my first 5 star read of the year, still waiting for that one. I did got my first 2 star read though. I hope you’ll have a great week!

    1. Kristen Burns

      I’ve tried three different plugins, including the one you suggested, but the explanation with the email as to why it’s in spam is about the server :-/ It’s the same message every time. And yeah, I tried the same when testing it, marking it as not spam, but the next one would just go right back there. I feel like most people forget to check back on comments which is why I want to have it working! So frustrating because I want to interact with everyone on my blog, you know?

      But yes! Definitely an awesome surprise when free books show up at your door!

      Aww, 2 stars isn’t very fun lol. I’ve done really well so far. I think two 3 stars, and the rest above that. Good luck finding that first 5 star! You have a great week too šŸ™‚

  6. Literary Feline

    I hope you get your blog situation sorted out. It sounds like quite a headache! But what great news in books! Congratulations on your wins! That is so exciting. I hope you have a great week!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks, it’s super frustrating because it feels like there’s nothing I can even do about the comments. But the free books definitely perked me up! You have a great week too!

  7. Heather @ Random Redheaded Ramblings

    Sucks about your comments, that is one of the good things about blogger it is nice and basic though I would love to be on WordPress!

    Lots of books and yay on winning!

    Alanis was huge when I was growing up and her cd was constantly on in the house, the get the idea!

    Have a great week!

    1. Kristen Burns

      I mean, it seems the innate wordpress comment reply system still works, but it feels like most people don’t use it and therefore never see the replies and therefore (lol) there’s less interaction. But I don’t think it’s WP’s fault, so I love WP.

      I know a few Alanis songs, but I had never heard this one and just really liked it. Thanks, you have a great week too!

  8. Deborah

    Sorry to hear about your website issue Kristen. I actually get a lot of blog post replies or subscription emails go into my spam folders… I have a gmail account though and I think they (it?!) marks a lot of stuff as spam, including almost anything with a link.

    And how exciting to receive a prize pack you didn’t even know you’d won!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Your comment is making me think maybe I should just go back to the plugin then. Maybe that way at least *some* people will get the notification which is better than none, I suppose. I mean, I tend to check my spam folder just in case things end up there that shouldn’t, especially since I rarely get spam on the email I use for blogging stuff. Gmail is a little overzealous with their spam blocking -_-

      Thanks, the prize pack definitely made my day!

  9. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    What a fantastic win! How exciting! I hope you get the whole SPAM issue solved soon. For awhile, all of my emails to were getting refused and I’d get a message that I was blocked due to SPAM. One of my major clients wasn’t getting my emails and it was really frustrating!

  10. Tiffany

    Congrats on winning the giveaways! You got a lot of good books. What a nice surprise! Especially with you having technical difficulties with your blog. That always sucks! Hopefully you’ll get everything sorted. Have a great week!

  11. Bookworm Brandee

    Congrats on the book haul, Kristen! Getting books – physical books – is always a delight! So you just squee all you want! šŸ˜‰ Good job on getting so many books finished as well. I look forward to seeing your thoughts on The Heartless City. I already one-clicked Soul Breaker. šŸ˜€ Have a great week!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! I’m still squeeing a little on the inside šŸ˜› Gah, I can’t wait to post my review for The Heartless City! And I do hope you like Soul Breaker! Especially since you’re reading it on my recommendation. You have a great week too!