The Weekly Update: 10/1/17


I need a new name for these posts since they don’t seem to happening weekly anymore. This time it’s not entirely my fault though. I was going to start doing them every other week, and then freaking Hurricane Irma showed up and screwed up everything. My family and our houses were all fine since the hurricane ended up not hitting any of us directly, but I lost power for nine and a half days, then I still didn’t get cable and WiFi for another week or so after that. I felt so lost! Not only did I not have blogging and the book community, I didn’t even know what was going on in the world! Some of you saw my tweets every so often when I managed to get to my aunt’s house a few times and use her power/WiFi, but it was too tiring for me to go often, so yeah, that’s why I went missing online for about two weeks.

Anyway, if you’ve never lost power for an extended period of time, here’s a little about what it’s like. It’s not just losing internet/TV for a bit and being bored. It’s having no lights and having to carry flashlights with you everywhere and doing everything half in the dark. It’s having no AC, which meant 80-something degrees F (just for reference, 84 F = roughly 29 C) and 75% humidity INSIDE because it was 90-something outside. So not only was it hot, everything was just damp. The pages of my books literally started getting wavy like they had been dropped in water because there was so much moisture in the air. (Thankfully they seem to have recovered now that AC is back.) And when you’re that hot, it’s hard to sleep, so you’re exhausted on top of everything else. It’s also having no kitchen appliances—no fridge, no freezer, no stove, no microwave. That means you either have to eat things like chips or go out to eat, and you end up throwing out a whole bunch of food if you don’t have a way to keep the cold things cold. It’s also having no hot water because the water heater uses electricity, so you gotta take cold showers. I even had mosquito bites from having windows and things open so much. All of this is made even more fun when you have a chronic illness.

And yes, it is ALSO being bored. During my nine and a half days without power, I:

– Read five and a half books.
– Watched thirteen and a half movies on a portable DVD player.
– Wrote two poems that I have dubbed “The Hurricane Poems.”

The Hurricane Poems (1)The Hurricane Poems (2)


– Drew two pictures. (The second one is a quick sketch using pen of myself sitting all curled up in my chair from my perspective. I had never tried drawing something like that before, it was different.)

Drawing (1)Drawing (1)

– Did a book of brain teasers with my grandma.
– Did a lot of daydreaming.
– Slept (or at least laid in bed) a lot.

And keep in mind this is just power we’re talking about. I can’t even imagine how much worse it’d be to lose running/drinking water, to have flooding, to be hit by tornadoes, to have serious house damage, etc., like so many people are dealing with during this hurricane season. I especially can’t imagine what it must be like for anyone with disabilities, chronic illnesses, or special medical needs. It really makes you think about the things you take for granted.

And then, once you do get power back, there’s a crap ton of things to do, which I’m still not caught up on, but anyway, enough about negative things. Let’s get on with the bookish stuff now!

Blog/Bookish Updates:

I got bookmail! This whole stack—eight hardcovers and one paperback—was $37!!! Book Outlet is amazing, guys.

Book Outlet Haul Sep 2017

Also, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I love my librarian. They have yet again purchased a book I recommended, this time it was Black City Demon, which means I get to continue the series 😀 (My review of the first book is here.)

Aaaand I thought it was pretty cool that Fierce Reads retweeted my Berserker photo!

Books I Received for Review:

Berserker by Emmy Laybourne
Shadow Faerie by Rachel Morgan
Nocturne by Irene Preston & Liv Rancourt

9/10/17: Berserker is from the publisher because I’m doing a review for the blog tour with JeanBookNerd.

9/17/17: Shadow Faerie is from the author.

9/24/17: Nothing.

10/1/17: Nocturne is from the authors.

Books I Finished:

A Bargain in Silver by Josie Jaffrey
Berserker by Emmy Laybourne
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
I Heart Robot by Xan van Rooyen
Shadow Rise by Audrey Grey
The Rains by Gregg Hurwitz
Shadow Faerie by Rachel Morgan
Creatures of Will & Temper by Molly Tanzer
Nocturne by Irene Preston & Liv Rancourt
Persephone by Allison Shaw

9/10/17: If you saw my review, then you already know I had some major issues with A Bargain in Silver.

9/17/17: I really enjoyed the Old West/Norse mythology mashup in Berserker. I also really enjoyed The Coldest Girl in Coldtown (yay vampires!). I Heart Robot was good as well, a thought-provoking book about androids. Shadow Rise started off a bit rocky but got better as it went on.

9/24/17: The Rains was alright, but too many drawn-out action scenes for me. Shadow Faerie was another gripping read in the Creepy Hollow series.

10/1/17: Creatures of Will & Temper took a while to get to the good stuff, but it was interesting and well-written. Nocturne was great! It’s only Book 2, but this is already one of my favorite series. Persephone was cute but unfortunately short and rushed.

What I’m Loving:

I’ve switched things up and started a new section! Instead of sharing a song and funny thing each week, I’m gonna share some things I’m loving. So it could be songs or funny things, but it could also be shows, food, blogs, etc. Not things I’ve been asked to promote or anything like that, just things I’m honestly loving. So this week, what I’m loving is…

Amy’s Single Serve Margherita Pizza

Amy's Single Serve Margherita Pizza

All the Amy’s frozen pizzas I’ve tried have been delicious, but I have always loved Margherita pizza, and ohmygosh this one is just so amazing. The crusts even taste like garlic bread. *salivates* And I love Amy’s meals in general because they’re made with real, natural ingredients, not a bunch of preservatives and things.

In Case You Missed It:

– I reviewed Three Heart Echo by Keary Taylor, a bleak, eerie, slow-paced paranormal suspense.
– I shared a poem I wrote about a misunderstood merman.
– I reviewed Trans Liberty Riot Brigade by L.M. Pierce, a gritty, grungy LGBTQIA dystopian.

– I reviewed A Bargain in Silver by Josie Jaffrey, a vampire book I had some issues with.
– I reviewed Welcome to Crash by Lina Langley, a M/M sci-fi with a unique kinda romance.

– I reviewed Hyde by Lauren Stewart, an enjoyable paranormal romance.
– I reviewed 27 Hours by Tristina Wright, a diverse YA sci-fi.

– I reviewed I Heart Robot by Xan van Rooyen, a thought-provoking story about androids.
– I posted mini reviews for three graphic novels—Taproot, Ninety-Nine Righteous Men, and The Little Red Wolf.

The Sunday Post Link-Up:

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


Talk to me!

How you found any good books lately?
Have you ever lost power for an extended period of time?
What's something you're loving right now?


Your Thoughts


48 thoughts on “The Weekly Update: 10/1/17

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  1. Greg

    Glad you missed the direct hit, but man. I thought it was bad recently when I lost power for like two days lol- nine and a half??? Screw that. I totally feel for you especially with the heat- that’s the worst when it’s 80’s in the house. I can’t sleep when it’s that hot…

    I thought Six Gun Tarot was pretty good. Berserker has me curious because old west and Norse mythology? I feel like that could be really cool?

    I haven’t had a frozen pizza in ages but we used to have em in the freezer all the time growing up, and man I used to demolish those things lol. Not exactly the healthiest diet but I didn’t care. The Amy’s ones do look a bit healthier, and natural ingredients are always good. 🙂

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks. Yeah, nine and a half days w/o power is not fun. Any amount of time w/o power sucks lol. And the humidity made it so much worse.

      Oh you’ve read Six-Gun Tarot? I’m only like halfway because started when we didn’t have power and distracted by other books when I got power back lol.

      Ah, you should totally go buy some frozen pizza 😉 The Amy’s ones really are pretty healthy, I think!

  2. Wattle

    Oh damn, that is a long time to be without power! I think I would have gone a bit crazy…your poems are masterpieces, btw. I feel it.

    When I was a kid, I used to live in a country where for a number of weeks the power would go off at midday, and not go back on until the following morning (it was pre-internet so I was good at amusing myself with books and making up games back then lol). We still keep battery operated lanterns in the house though, more out of habit than anything else.

    Margherita pizza is the beeest! I usually make my own, as I’m yet to find a frozen pizza here I like. That one looks good, based on the picture (and anything that tastes like garlic bread is a winner!)

    1. Kristen Burns

      The poems are great, right? Best ones I’ve ever written, I would say 😉

      That sounds really strange about the power going off at midday like that?? But yeah, if those were internet times, it would’ve sucked even more lol.

      Margherita pizza is SO good! I don’t have energy for making my own pizza. Even when I had energy, I was just too lazy lol. I’ve never liked cooking, just the eating part.

      1. Wattle

        It was strange, I just realised I edited my comment and took out the reason haha oops. It was for a month or so and was because of a land dispute where some structural stuff for the electricity grid was. The new owners agreed to running it for only part of the day until it was resolved (with $$$ I imagine).

        They may have turned it on for a couple of hours at night too, now I think about it. I just remember it going off during the day, because the whole house would sort of sigh when the air conditioning stopped.

  3. Geybie's Book Blog

    Thank you for the update, Kristen. So happy to hear you and your family are ok. I hope everything is going to back to normal very soon. Oh you are so creative. I love your poems. ??

    Enjoy your books and have a wonderful week. ?❤️

  4. Evelina

    You’re baaaaack! And you were away because you basically time traveled into the 19th century o.o wow! Can you believe that people mostly lived like that only about 80 years ago? At least, in a big number of places. But it’s crazy to think the book pages wrinkled up 😮 good lord… the weather you have there is weiiiiird. Right now we have like 13C, so coats and all that. But I do enjoy the autumn cause it’s just so colorful and beautiful.
    Glad you have electricity again! Hope you can do your weekly posts more often now 🙂

    1. Kristen Burns

      Lol yep! Still not sure I’ll do updates *every* week though. And no, I cannot understand how people used to live like that. Especially when they didn’t have running water either. I’ve been reading a lot of historical setting books lately and can’t stop thinking now how terrible it must be lol.

  5. Sunny Buzzy Books

    Oh my god, that sounds so difficult! I’ve never lost power for an extended period of time, the longest was when I was a kid – in the boonies of Scotland – and we lost power for 24hrs or so and that was horrendous. I just can’t imagine 9 days. Glad everyone is ok though and that your homes were undamaged.

    My fav books lately have all been Ilona Andrews novels. I finish up to the most recent in the Kate Daniels series then binge read the Hidden Legacy trilogy. That author team can do no wrong for me. 🙂

  6. Annemieke

    Big hugs to you for surviving. That has to be rough. I hope this all means that October will bring you some good things. <3

    I'm still very curious about The Coldest Girl in Coldtown because Holly Black, and yet I never buy it.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you, I also hope this month will be better!

      It’s a great book! I haven’t read any other Holly Black, so I can’t compare, but I can say that I really enjoyed it.

  7. Karen Blue

    I am so sorry to hear you lost a power for so long. We lost power for 5 days when Charlie (I think it was Charlie) went through in 2004. My kids were smaller back then and the thing I remember most is trying to keep milk for then cold in the cooler. It sucked. I am glad to hear you didn’t have any damage.
    All of your new reads look awesome. Have a great week and happy reading!

  8. chucklesthescot

    When I was very young we had power cuts which I don’t remember but I’ve always remembered my family talking about it so I’ve always been ready for it. I have lights that run on solar and battery power, calor gas heater, a camping stove with gas for hot food, stored tap water, portable solar powered shower for hot showers if the water goes, lots of tinned quick cooking food, sleeping bags, warm furry blankets…if the power cuts come this winter as they threaten us with every year, I’m ready!

    I’ve just got back into my reading and I’m enjoying a bit of non fiction mixed in with Game of Thrones. I’ve stopped worrying about reading targets and tbr numbers for now so I feel more relaxed about things. I’m loving this time of the year and I’m feeling a lot more cheerful!

    1. Kristen Burns

      We are not quite that prepared lol. We had a small generator but could only run it sometimes (although once gas stations started getting more gas again, we could run it more) and could only plug a certain amount of things into it.

      I think it’s great you’ve stopped worrying about reading targets and numbers. I agree, it is a lot more relaxing that way. Like, earlier this year I started reading webcomics and went through this phase of “I don’t know how to count these, some of them aren’t even in GR, what do I do?!” and decided screw it, I’m going to read what I want whether it counts or not on GR or whatever because that’s not what’s important. So I get it!

  9. Lola

    Nine days without power and even longer without internet, that sounds pretty bad. I can’t even imagine what’s that like as you use power for so many things. I am glad to hear none of you and your families houses got hit directly though. And eating a day of junk food might sound fun, but it sure gets old fast when you can’t eat anything else or make anything or keep anything good without a fridge. That really sucks.

    That is nice you got a bunch of books read, although it’s probably less fun when you have nothing else to do. I don’t think we have that brand over here, I always liked margarita pizza too and it’s often one of the vegetarian flavors. That’s great Fierce Reads retweeted your picture! I hope this month will be a better one for you!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah, it sucks, and junk food definitely gets old fast! Thank you, for a while it looked like it’d be a direct hit, so we were very thankful it turned some.

      Haha it seems like it’d be great, but you’re so right, reading also gets old when you have pretty much literally nothing else to do but read. Margherita pizza is so good! Thank you <3

  10. Julie @ Happily Ever Chapter

    Oh wow I’ve never been out of power for more than two days! That sounds miserable. I would probably end up catching up on my physical shelves a bit tho LOL Only because I don’t have the internet or tv to distract me. I’m glad you have your power, internet, and AC back. And also glad that your family and houses were fine tho.

    1. Kristen Burns

      It is pretty miserable, and I did finally read some of my physical books lol. Thank you, I’m so glad to have it back too, and definitely glad all our houses are ok!

  11. Sam@WLABB

    My heart goes out to you. We had lost power for 8 days after Superstorm Sandy, and I remember having no heat, hot water, we couldn’t cook, it was so too cold to take a cold shower every day, so yeah, not too much washing, but the boredom was the worst. I know it was bad, but I am happy to hear you did not suffer a direct hit. I have been wanting to read The Styler Saga. I have two of the books, and I thought the author was all sorts of fabulous when I saw her on the book tour, but I am just the worst. Enjoy all your new books!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Ah, so you know what it’s like. Although at least I didn’t have to worry about freezing from taking a cold shower. Yeah I don’t normally buy whole series before even reading the first book, but I’ve heard good things and I like the covers and they were good prices, so I just went for it with that one lol. Thanks!

  12. Samantha

    I was just wondering where you had been! I’m glad you are okay. My parents lost power one time for 2 and half weeks. Their insurance paid for a hotel at least. I can’t imagine. Glad you are okay though!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you! Yeah, between moving and then a hurricane, I haven’t been very active with Sunday Posts. Yikes, 2 and a half weeks is awful! That’s great the insurance paid for a hotel, but even so, that’s a big disruption to life. I know I’d rather be able to be at my own house.

  13. La La in the Library

    So happy you have your power back! The longest we ever went without power was four days, but it was from an ice storm so we were freezing to death. Ha ha. 😛 Every time we lose power it makes me appreciate living in a first world country. Your suffering juiced your creativity, though. I love your poems and drawings. I also love that you hung out with your grandma! <3 <3 <3

    I was toying with the idea of adding a "what I'm loving" section in my Sunday posts, too. You may have convinced me to do it. Pizza is the best. I love Amy's, too. 🙂

    I am so glad you didn't get a direct hit with the storm and that you and your family are safe and sound. Have a wonderful and dry week. 🙂

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! Even four days sucks. To be honest, I do think I’d rather have the heat than the cold! I have a lower body temp than normal and get cold really easily. Yeah, my grandma and I are close 🙂

      It’s fun to post positive stuff and share things we’re loving! You should def add it to your posts too! And yay, another Amy’s fan!

      Thank you 🙂 You have a great week too!

  14. Barb (boxermommyreads)

    Your poems are awesome and it sounds like you did a great job surviving a tough time. I love that you were able to get so many books read, but I’m sure you did tire of fast food dining. I love the pic of you with Beserker. I need to get to that one soon. And it’s 8am and you got me REALLY wanting that pizza!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Why thank you, I think they are the best poems I’ve ever written 😉 Actually those are the books I read in pretty much all of September, so I really didn’t get that much reading done, oddly enough lol. Thank you about the pic! Haha yessss pizza at 8am, I say go for it.

  15. Bookworm Brandee

    Well, I’m happy to hear you have power back and things are returning to normal, if slowly. I’ve lost power before but only for a day and a half. It sucked because it was during winter so we lost heat and since we’re on a well, we lost water. But it was also during school so my kids were gone part of the time…so it was mostly me that suffered. Ha! But I CANNOT imagine 9 and a half days… Anyway, I’m glad your power is back.
    It looks like you read some good books though. You have me very curious about Berserker. And I’m going to have to check out Book Outlet, too! 🙂 Oh, and I love Amy’s too.
    Hope you’re having a great week, Kristen!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Brandee! I haven’t talked to you forever. This has been such a stressful year for me that I’ve not kept up with all my blog buddies very well. Anyway, yikes, as much as the heat sucked, I think the cold would be worse, and to have no water would be even worse still!

      Oh you should definitely check out Book Outlet, but only if you want to end up spending at least $35 (because of course, once you start finding books, you’re going to want to get the free shipping lol). Amy’s is delicious!

      Thanks, same to you 🙂

  16. Ali

    As much as I’d hate to have no power for 9 days – the idea of having to refocus a bit and do things that don’t revolve around electricity would be nice! Maybe I should just try it one of these days rather than wait for the power to go. I love that you did brain teasers with your grandma (:

    1. Kristen Burns

      You can get off the computer/TV even with power if you want lol. Not having power SUCKS. It sounds fun and romantic, like you’ll just get to play board games with your family or friends or something and bond, but really it’s just kind of miserable.

      1. Ali

        Please don’t think I was trying to diminish what you went through by saying that sounds “fun.” I do recognize it would be horrible and would never actually wish to lose power for 9 days – or even 30 minutes! Sorry if it came across that way!

  17. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    I’m so late commenting on this post but yay for getting a Sunday post up! I saw your Twitter updates and know how much the post-hurricane time was for you so glad you’ve got power and wifi back. We’ve never gone through an extended time of no power so I can only imagine how mind-numbing it was and I hadn’t even considered the food aspect. Looking forward to eating proper food is definitely a strange thing to happen. I suppose it’s one way to make you bored of junk food for a while. And the temperature! I would be the grouchiest person ever after that. I mean, boredom and warm weather just isn’t a good mix. I hope you finally manage to catch up on everything you couldn’t do when the power was out and you’re feeling a bit better now.

    Look at all those books you’ve gotten! I am continually jealous of you US folks and Book outlet. I would love to shop there but the shipping would kill me. Getting books cheap always makes me happy. Glad you liked Coldest Girl in Coldtown as well. That book surprised me but also didn’t because Holly Black is a brilliant author.

    Hope you have a good week.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Ah, well, I’m doing a terrible job at visiting blogs first lately, so we’re even lol. Thank you 🙂 Honestly, the boredom was the least worst part of it, you know? Like, as much as I was dying for wi-fi to come back, at that point I was at least glad to just have AC and proper food and hot showers, and I just ended up playing the sims a lot that week lol.

      Aww, I didn’t even think about BookOutlet being a US based thing. That does suck for other countries :-/ I think I remember your Coldest Girl review and that it was one of the reviews that pushed me to try it!

  18. S. J. Pajonas

    I barely survived Hurricane Sandy. It hit us in the cold and we were without power for over two weeks. You slowly go insane when things are like that. Thankfully we had a generator but we could only use it for a little bit every day because we had a gas shortage too. So I feel you! I love all the Amy’s food too! My kids love the pizzas and I’m a big fan of the 4-cheese pizza. I think I eat one a week. Lol. Good to see you back and up and running again! <3

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yikes, that sounds awful! Over two weeks?! And as much as I hated the heat, I can imagine the cold would be even worse, especially because of the cold showers. We also had a generator but not enough gas at first, and even once stations started getting gas again, we could only run a few things on it, mostly fans lol. Yay, a fellow Amy’s fan! Thanks!

  19. Di @ Book Reviews by Di

    Oh my goodness! No power for that long really must have been awful.

    We have had some pretty bad power failures in the past, but we are prepared for them and have backup power! Not having an alternative is horrid and I can’t imagine it!

    Your poems made me chuckle though.

    Your photo of Berserker was/is very cool and those pizzas sound amazing… Now I totally want pizza. ?

  20. Jessica

    I went through Hurricane Hugo many years ago and we had lost power for a few days. But back then there was no internet like there is today. Every time I lose power for a long amount of time, I have to go to my uncle’s house who usually has power. Yes, it is very boring without it. Reading by flashlight is no fun. Right now I’m reading The Dark Tower series by Stephen King. I hope to finish the third book this weekend and start The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah, somehow it seems worse when you’re used to having something and then it’s taken away! Reading by flashlight is such a pain though. Hope you’re enjoying the books!