The Weekly Update: 11/20/16


I am 100% convinced my old laptop is sentient. The robot uprising is starting, guys. No, but really, here’s the deal. When I first got my grandma’s old computer hooked up and turned it on to give it a try, my laptop went nuts and started making the worst noises it’s ever made, as if it got jealous I was using another computer and threw a tantrum. My grandma’s computer didn’t really work out, so I went back to using the laptop, and it went back to making its normal level of annoying noises. But then recently I started trying to use my grandma’s computer for Photoshop, and then all the sudden, when I tried Photoshop on the laptop one night because I didn’t feel like hooking the other computer up for something so small, Photoshop actually worked on the laptop despite barely even functioning and freezing every 30 seconds all the other times I had tried it. Again, it’s as if it got jealous and decided to step up its game in order to keep me using it. And I swear it actually listens to me sometimes when I yell at for getting too noisy, though that could just be coincidence. Or it could be because I also pound on it when that happens. It’s a very toxic relationship that we have. I beat my laptop, it manipulates me in order to keep me around… Who needs a relationship when you have a sentient, manipulative laptop instead?

In other news, I ran into an old friend I haven’t seen in years at the grocery store last Sunday, so that was a pleasant surprise! Now you’re probably thinking, well why didn’t you ever just call each other and meet up if you live in the same area? And the answer to that is, she doesn’t actually live here but was in town staying with her parents for a short period of time, and every time she’s been in town we just haven’t been able to get together. But a few minutes of chatting at the store is better than nothing 🙂

But also in other news, I just started feeling worse and worse as the week went on because I’ve been stressing out and running myself down too much, so on Wednesday I just took a me day to rest and read. I forbade myself from doing anything stressful. I even let myself read a non-review book! It helped. I think I need to do that more often. (The me day thing, not the non-review thing.) Though of course this week when I really need the sleep is when the building is being painted and they’re making loud noise outside (like hosing down and spraying air or something on the walls and windows) every day starting at 8 in the morning -_-

Blog/Bookish Updates:

I’ve got a giveaway going on! Be sure to check that out and enter if you like urban fantasy and/or awesome friendships in books 🙂

Win a signed paperback of the new urban fantasy book Mad God Walking by Connor Drexler! #giveaway

Books I Received for Review:

All Darling Children by Katrina Monroe | reading, books
Arrival by Alex Slade | reading, books

Well, I was making some real progress on my review copies… and then of course I requested more. But All Darling Children is actually a dark portrayal of Peter Pan that seems more like the original than the Disney version, so I couldn’t resist because there are so few of those, and I can’t stand the Disney version. And Arrival just sounded good. (By the way the author was offering review copies on GR, so if you’re interested you can probably contact him and get one too!)

Books I Finished:

Darkchylde by R. Queen | reading, books
Snowed by Maria Alexander | reading, books
Starflight by Melissa Landers | reading, books
Shadows of Humanity by J. Armand | reading, books

Darkchylde was not bad, but I think not quite for me. I didn’t plan to read Snowed until December since I wanted to save some holiday books for when it actually feels like Christmas, but I’m a mood reader. These things just happen. Unfortunately I had a lot of issues with it. Starflight, however, was great! Better than I was expecting, to be honest, since it’s not a book I’d have read if it weren’t for one particular review I saw. (I borrowed it from Hoopla, in case anyone else is interested, although I’m not sure how Hoopla works and if it offers the same books for everyone? I feel like it does, it seems different than when I borrow from the other library site.) I haven’t quite finished Shadows of Humanity while I’m typing this, but I will finish before I go to bed Saturday night, and so far I’m really enjoying it!

Song of the Week:

No song this week.

In Case You Missed It:

– I interviewed author Connor Drexler about his urban fantasy Mad God Walking, and there’s a giveaway to win a signed paperback!
– I reviewed Damned If I Don’t by Erin Hayes, a somewhat dark and unpredictable urban fantasy about vampires.
– I discussed reviewing books in ongoing series vs. finished series and whether we should review them differently.
– I reviewed The Man in the Long Black Coat by J.L. Aarne, a fun and entertaining M/M urban fantasy.

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?
Are you prepared for the robot uprising?
Do you take "me" days when you get too stressed?
Do you know if Hoopla offers the same book selection for everyone, regardless of location?


Your Thoughts


42 thoughts on “The Weekly Update: 11/20/16

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  1. Greg

    I’m not sure who’s worse, you for beating it or the laptop for manipulating you. 🙂 What was that movie recently where the dude fell for his AI (HER I think it was, w/ Scarlett Johannson). That’s hilarious. And maybe you can manipulate it by playing the “other computer” card. Just keep grandma’s computer around so the laptop doesn’t get too full of itself again lol.

    Darkchylde looks awesome, too bad it didn’t work. I’m just going off the cover anyway. And Starflight is one I want to read. All Darling children looks dark and twisted and awesome cover. Dark Pan!

    Glad you took some time to recharge. And robot uprising- maybe it should happen before we all have robots or AI’s in our house because then we’re screwed. If it happens before maybe we can survive. I can just imagine anything with a chip going berserk. Can we survive in our homes when the electronics all try to kill us? 😛

    1. Kristen Burns

      Haha, well… the computer started it! Actually I just now realized it’s not making any noise at the moment. That’s rare. I enjoy these moments of silence lol.

      Yeah, Darkchylde does have a nice cover. *computer just started being noisy again, that didn’t last long* Starflight was great! I really recommend it. And I’m looking forward to All Darling Children.

      That’s true, it’d better if the robot uprising happened before we have humanoid ones. What’s the worst that could happen? The TV will only stay on its own favorite channel? It’s not like they have legs to walk around 😛

      1. Greg

        See it’s quiet because it knows you’re sharing its secret. Or I guess it’s not! lol seriously though you have had your share of problems with that thing! 🙂

        Starflight is on my short list to read soon, with Starfall coming early next year (I think?). It kinda looks space opera-ish along with Long Way To A SMall Angry Planet, which I’ve had recommended several times (SciFi Month) and it went on sale for like $2. So I snapped it up.

        Yeah how bad could it be? Or this could happen.

        1. Kristen Burns

          Yeah, Starfall is coming out next year, that’s why I finally got around to reading Starflight lol. I’m kinda bummed that it’s about different main characters (ones who were side characters in Starflight), but I’d still like to read it. I’ve never read Long Wawy to a Small Angry Planet, so I can’t make that comparison. But yeah, I’d call it space opera. It was a fun read.

          Hahaha. Well I’m pretty sure Amazon called me fat once because it randomly started recommending me books about weight loss even though I’ve never searched for weight loss stuff in my life lol. Machines are jerks sometimes 😛

  2. Deborah

    Sorry to hear you’ve been feeling run down and taking a day out sounds like a good idea – if you had peace and quiet! Take it easy won’t you.

    And sorry to hear about your ongoing technology woes! Hopefully the uprising holds off for a while. I’ve got a lot of bills coming up so my very old desktop computer and laptop need to survive a while longer!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks, it would be great if I could take more “me days,” but there’s always more that needs to get done.

      Haha, yes, I too need these old computers to survive a while longer!

  3. Toady

    I would have to say that your laptop is alive for sure and has some very unattractive jealous tendencies. 🙂
    Isn’t is nice to be surprised by running to an old chum? I used to enjoy that, but I no longer live in my home town.
    Yay for your mental health day. Everyone needs those, and I hope that you keep on with it. I had some of that decompressing time too this week. My sweet daughter in law took on some of my responsibilities and left me to rest.

    1. Kristen Burns

      It does. It is definitely a very jealous little laptop lol.

      It was a nice surprise! Aww, sorry you don’t get to run into friends, but, on the bright side at least you also never run into people you don’t want to see when you go out on a bad hair day and whatnot.

      Yes, I really think I should try to take “me” days more often if possible. I’m glad you also got to have some rest time 🙂

  4. Shandy

    Sorry to hear about your unhealthy laptop relationship, I hope it gets better, but these thing usually get worst. I know from experience, 3 ex-laptops, and I still haven’t learn my lesson. Great book list, thanks for sharing and have a wonderful week.

  5. sjhigbee

    Sorry that you’re STILL having to endure loud building noises at unfriendly times of the day – this seems to have been dragging on for an awfully long time – any idea when they’ll finally get around to completing the work? As for your laptop – hm… I’m ruling nothing out. I’ve read my cyberpunk – I know how this human/machine relationship stuff goes. In the meantime, I’m going to be tracking down Starflight – LOVE the cover. Have a good week, Kristen and hope the Noise Abatement Society sweeps in and carts off your noisy builders in big black vans… This is my Sunday Post

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks. It’s just constantly something different, I think. Except now it’s going to be however many weeks of this painting stuff. Hahaha, yes, if you don’t hear from me one Sunday, my laptop probably rose up against me in my sleep 😉 The cover is Starflight is gorgeous, right?! I think you’d really the book. Oh man, I should totally start a Noise Abatement Society, that would be so helpful lol. You have a great week too!

  6. Lola

    Sounds like your laptop has it’s own personality and doesn’t like you interaction with the other laptop, but hey at least photoshop now works on your laptop. Although that’s really strange it never worked and now it suddenly does.

    That’s fun you got to chat with your friends for a few minutes. I hate noise around the building especially when you really need your sleep. I got a bit too little sleep this week, but I managed to catch up on a bit of sleep this weekend luckily. Taking a day off sounds neat and reading a non-review book as well. I hope they’re done with the painting of your building soon!

    This week we’re totally different on books we’ve read, I didn’t manage to finish a single book, while you got four books read. i did finish a book this morning though, but I count that towards next week.

    Thanks for mentioning Starlight, it’s on my wishlist and I got a bit of money to spend on books so I might order it now that I can. I never heard of Hoopla until you mentioned it, so not sure if it works here and if they offer the same books. I assume there will be some differences between different countries, as for most sites that’s the case, but who knows. I did a few tweets about your giveaway, I hope it helped a bit! Have a great week!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Seriously, it doesn’t like when I use that other computer. But yes, at least I got something positive out of it since Photoshop now works lol.

      It’s just, like, ALWAYS the day or the week that I need sleep the most that they end up making noise -_- Thanks! I have a feeling it might take a while though since they haven’t even started any actual painting yet.

      We really were off this week. I only got so many read though because of that “me” day I took (I mostly just read that day) and because I couldn’t sleep while the painters were making all the noise but I was too tired to actually do anything so I just did more reading.

      I definitely recommend Starflight! Well, if you have a library card you might be able to sign up for Hoopla, that’s how it works here but I don’t know about anywhere else. And yeah, it might be different books in different countries, but it doesn’t work quite the same as the normal ebook library site, so I think it might at least have the same books throughout the US. Thanks again for the giveaway tweets! You’re the best <3

  7. Bookworm Brandee

    Is it terrible to tell you that your laptop story made me laugh? Um, it did. 🙂 Maybe you should pet it more? LOL
    Seems you had an interesting week between sentient laptops and old friends. I think it’s wonderful you took a “me” day and I agree you SHOULD do that more often. We all should really. Sometimes it’s really nice to unplug. I would say I’ve been doing that but since I’m spending a great deal of time on my laptop – just not on the internet – it’s not quite the same. I hope you get rested and relieved of stress though, Kristen.
    Have a wonderful holiday week and Happy Thanksgiving!! 😀

    1. Kristen Burns

      Nah, that’s the silver lining with my electronics issues, I can at least provide other people with entertainment, haha. Hmmm, maybe petting rather than beating is worth a shot 😛

      I really should take “me” days more often, I’m just way too stressed out all the time, but normally taking a day off just stresses me out more because I have too much to do. I was just feeling so bad that I didn’t really have a choice, but it probably would make me more productive overall if I didn’t wait until it reached that point, you know? And lol I don’t think it counts if you’re working on a novel during your unplugged time.

      Thanks, Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

  8. Melissa

    Glad you took some time out for yourself…we all need to do that from time to time…And Arrival looks great! Enjoy it and the week to come!

  9. Tiffany

    Thanks for the warning about the Robopocalypse. I’ll keep an eye out. I guess Daniel H. Wilson was right. Hope you’re feeling more like yourself now. Enjoy your week!

  10. Lampshade Reader

    I am not prepared for the robot uprising but totally believe that it will happen… LOL 🙂 I always set time for “me time” it just helps my sanity. Hope you have a great week! ~Aleen

    1. Kristen Burns

      Lol I’m not prepared either. I know me and my laptop have an abusive relationship, but maybe since we’ve been through so much together he’ll protect me from the other electronics? That’s smart, I should definitely take more “me” time. Thanks, same to you!

  11. Di @ Book Reviews by Di

    Good on you for taking some time out. I hope it really helped although this week sounds like it’s going to be a tough one!

    I’ve hear such great things about Starflight and I haven’t read a sci-fi in so long! I’ll have to grab it when I can as I’m sure I’ll want to read the sequel soon after and I know that’s out soon too.

    Sounds like you and your laptop need some counselling! I hope it continues to allow you to photoshop with it – that would be handy! Although beating it – not soooooooo recommended but hey!

    I really hope your week isn’t too bad and that you can take as much time for yourself as you can!

    1. Kristen Burns

      It did help, but it’s something I should probably do more often.

      The good things you’ve heard about Starflight are totally justified! I recommend it, and yeah, the sequel is coming out soon!

      We do need some counseling, haha. But yeah, it may be jealous and manipulative but at least it’s running Photoshop now!


  12. Barb (boxermommyreads)

    Have you ever thought about writing a story featuring a possessed laptop? I feel like you could bring a lot to it : ). I’m sorry you had issues with Snowed. I’m still trying to save it for December. Glad you took some time to recharge!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Well they do say to write what you know, haha. I’ll be curious to see your thoughts on snow. All the other reviews I’ve seen are positive, so I don’t know, maybe it was just me. Thanks!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Haha feel free to use my laptop as inspiration all you want. Just don’t tell him or it’ll go to his head 😉

      Thanks. I definitely needed it. I still need it, but unfortunately I have too much stuff to do -_-

  13. Jane @ Raincity Librarian

    There are definitely times when blogging actually becomes more stressful than fun, which it shouldn’t be – I swear that my to-be-reviewed books have achieved sentience like your laptop, because I swear that they give my judgemental looks when I shove them into the bookshelf and put off reviewing them…. 😉

    1. Kristen Burns

      Hahaha luckily all of mine are ebooks so I just can keep them out of sight. But we’re really going to be doomed if the books and the robots start working together to rise against us!

  14. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    I swear, you’re technology may actually be sentient. I mean, I often talk to my laptop but it’s nowhere near as responsive as your laptop seems to be. I can’t say I’ve ever experienced my techonology getting jealous and starting to work better, yours is definitely unique, try not to anger it.

    And isn’t it fab when you bump into old friends? You may not get chance to talk as much as you might but it’s still really fun just to see them and remember why you were friends.

    You obviously needed the break, as well. Time off to just chill is important and it’s amazing how much better you feel when you do nothing.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I’m telling you, I think it is. My laptop at least, not sure about my other electronics. I think we’re both past the point of anger and have settled into bitter complacency.

      Yeah, it’s nice to still be in touch sometimes with friends even if you don’t get to see each other often!

      I did need the break. I still need the break -_- But yes, I should take time to chill more often.

  15. Jessica

    I have decided to go back to reading the Dollerganger series. I’m reading Petals on the Wind. Too many books to read. Yes, my computer is acting up too. I decided to reinstall Microsoft Edge because of crashing. I lost my favorites when I did it. I don’t know about Hoopla. I had tried the website once.

    1. Kristen Burns

      There are always too many books to read, right? Sorry about losing your favorites though :-/ Can you make an account so that your favorites will save if it ever happens again? I know it works like that with Firefox.

  16. Literary Feline

    Sometimes we just need to take a day off to pamper ourselves. There’s always so much to do though–it can be hard to do just that, I know. I am glad you treated yourself to a day. 🙂 I am glad you enjoyed Starflight. It’s on my list to read. I hope you have a wonderful week, Kristen!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Exactly, we always need the day off when we’re busiest and can’t afford to take take day off, like our little Catch-22 -_- Starflight was great! I’m glad it’s on your list because I do recommend it 🙂 Thanks, same to you!

  17. Katie @ Bookwise

    Whoa, I’m not the only one with sentient technology! O.o The robot uprising is a lot more imminent than I thought…
    I’m definitely not prepared. If you will excuse me, I need to go buy more chocolate.
    Thank you so much for visiting Bookwise! Your comment meant so much to me, I really really appreciate it! <3 And this post is making me wonder if I shouldn't start doing weekly updates… hmm…
    Anyway, thanks again!

    1. Kristen Burns

      You have sentient technology too?! I’m not prepared either. I’m actually just counting on my laptop to stand up for me. I mean, I know we have our problems, but we’ve been through so much together 😛

      No problem! I love finding new blogs 🙂 And weekly updates are fun! I vote yes, you should do them!

  18. chucklesthescot

    When my stress levels get too high, I find my entire system goes into overload and shuts down, leaving me tired, ill and miserable. It can take hours or even days to feel better. It certainly sounds like that might be happening to you. People will say ‘avoid stress’ but it’s not that easy…and a small thing can just start you off. Trying to relax with favourite films or books or a relaxing hobby can help…I hope you can feel better soon.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah, I know that’s exactly what it is, I’m overtired and too stressed out and still dealing with some eye strain from the computer. But the problem is that I have too much to do to just stop and rest for days, you know? And avoiding stress is definitely not always possible. Thank you though 🙂

  19. La La in the Library

    I was a member of the now defunct Harry Potter social site, MyLeaky, and I ran several groups on there so I was always looking for images to use. I kept telling my son that my laptop could read my mind because I would be scrolling through a ton of , for example, baby dragon gifs and I would think, gee it would be nice if I could find a baby dragon with rabbit ears on for Easter and a couple of rows down… there would be that exact image! It happened with all sorts of things, and it never happens on my Kindle tablets. Therefore, I can understand your thinking about your laptop. Ha ha. 🙂

    1. Kristen Burns

      Lol well the internet just kind of freaks me out in general sometimes when it just *knows* things about me or knows what I want, etc. But that’s so weird it happened on the computer and not the kindle lol. They’re sentient I tell you!