The Weekly Update: 12/18/16


I have one word for you this week: ants.

Here’s three more words: really stupid ants.

Because here’s the thing, I keep my apartment clean for this exact reason. I don’t want to deal with bugs. And because there’s no food sitting around, there’s not even a trail of ants I can spray or anything normal like that. Instead it’s just a bunch ants aimlessly wandering around the middle of my living room, making their way all the way to my bedroom where they’re crawling into my bed and onto my desk (I have a rule that I don’t eat in the bedroom, so there’s definitely no food for them in there), crawling up my legs (there’s also definitely no food on my legs), etc. Go tell your queen already that there’s no food here and she needs to pull out her troops because her men are dying. It is an ant massacre, and they are gaining nothing. Except my wrath. Thankfully I only saw like three of them yesterday and I think they may have finally realized that invading my apartment was a fruitless endeavor.

(I just realized that may have sounded a lot more extreme than it was. Just to be clear, I didn’t have thousands ants swarming me or anything, just enough to be annoying.)

In other news, my wrists/arms are doing a little better, but that’s only because I’ve still been resting :-/ Whenever they start to hurt too much, I stop using the computer. But I can’t just stop doing everything, so it’s still a battle. I know we all talk about how we’d like to just do nothing but read books all day long, but it’s not all it’s cracked up to be -_-

Aside from that, it appears it is going to be a nice warm and toasty Christmas here, predicted to be a high of 84 (Fahrenheit) on Christmas day. And you won’t hear me complaining 🙂 And that’s about it for me this week!

Blog/Bookish Updates:

Ok, so, Carry On by Rainbow Rowell is getting a new cover. I own a copy with the old cover because I won it in a prize pack last year, and I’ve never really had the desire to read it, but now that I’ve seen this new cover… I totally want to read it. Lol. I can’t help it. When I actually see what the characters look like, it makes me so much interested in and connected to them. And to be honest I’m not sure I ever really knew what it was about, I just have heard some about Rainbow Rowell in general and the old cover of Carry On doesn’t look like fantasy at all. But I’ve also heard such confusing stuff about it and needing to read another book first or something? Can someone enlighten me? And also, why couldn’t I have won a copy with his new gorgeous cover?! (The image is an Amazon affiliate link.)

Since I don’t know when Cover Characteristics will officially be back, I wanted to let anyone who’s interested know that I’ll be posting my favorite covers from books I read this year on 12/19. If anyone wants to join in, go ahead and come visit so that I can check out yours too!

Books I Received for Review:

No new review copies! Which is good because I haven’t been reading review copies lately and already have enough that I’ll be scrambling to read in time once January comes around.

Books I Finished:

Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi | reading, books
Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi | reading, books
Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafi | reading, books
Fracture Me by Tahereh Mafi | reading, books
The Wicked + The Divine Vol. 1 by Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie | reading, books
The Woods Vol. 1 by James Tynion IV & Michael Dialynas | reading, books
The Girl in Between by Laekan Zea Kemp | reading, books
The Boy in Her Dreams by Laeken Zea Kemp | reading, books

It looks like I read a lot, and I did read more than usual since I’ve still been resting, but two of these were graphic novels and two were novellas so it wasn’t quite as much as it seems. Unfortunately The Wicked + The Divine was confusing, and The Woods was unique but not quite for me. I ended up really enjoying the Shatter Me series though! But I have to admit, it’s unsettling to me how eerily similar it is to the series I’ve been planning. Not the plot or premise, but they’re both dystopian, and the characters of Juliette, Adam, and Kenji are really similar to my MC, love interest, and best friend characters o.0 Anyway, now I’m currently rereading Books 1-3 in the Girl in Between series so that I can read Book 4 (the final book) which came out recently. Books 1 and 2 were good. The author really knows how to write.

Song of the Week:

No song this week.


In Case You Missed It:

– I shared book covers featuring snow globes.
– I reviewed Shade Chaser by Clara Coulson, a fun but intense urban fantasy with a hilarious, realistic main character.
– I shared my favorite male characters from books I read this year.
– I reviewed Whispers of Old Winds by George Seaton, a mysterious paranormal M/M set in the Colorado mountains.

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?
How's the weather where you live, will it be a white or a warm Christmas?
Do you ever reread series in preparation for the final book?
Are you going to do a Sunday Post next week on Christmas? (I figure I will, but I'll keep it brief.)


Your Thoughts


55 thoughts on “The Weekly Update: 12/18/16

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  1. Greg

    I hate ants. The only good thing about a northern climate is it kills the little bastards. So for 6 months we don’t have to worry about bugs too much. Bugs crawling into the bed??? Yeah I can see why you’re going all wrath of God on them lol.

    So… Carry On. It’s basically a spinoff of Fangirl, where Cath a freshman at college writes fanfiction about Simon Snow and his vampire lover (it’s Harry Potter- ish in ways). So Carry On is like their story? I’ve read Fangirl but not Carry On though so someone’s who’s read Carry can maybe speak to it more. I like her writing myself.

    I love all those Mafi covers. In fact I think I’m using one for an upcoming Tagline post…

    84 for Christmas? That sounds… pretty good lol. It’s like 20 here. 🙂

    Let’s see ants vs cold… that’s a tough one. I might take the ants at this point lol.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Hmm yeah I need someone who’s read both to tell me whether I could just read Carry On since I have zero desire to read Fangirl.

      I like the Shatter Me covers too! I used them in tomorrow’s post.

      Yeah honestly I think I’ll take the ants over the cold lol.

  2. chucklesthescot

    Ants, ugh! That would be horrible. They don’t scare me but you don’t really want them crawling about the house either. We still have ongoing mouse problems and they are proving hard to evict! I’m just using this week to get posts ready for the end of the year and start of next year…I want to be ahead on my blogging next year so I can be more organised! I’m also hunting down winter Kindle bargains especially monster horror! I need more of that in my life next year!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Exactly, they’re just little black ants so they don’t scare me the way a lot of other bugs do, but I still don’t want them. Especially in my bed while I’m sleeping. But yikes! I’ve never had any rodent problems so I wouldn’t even know how to handle that, so I’ll stick with my ants, although mice probably at least don’t climb on you lol.

      That’s a good plan! I’m already really ahead on posts, so that’s one less thing to stress about. I thought there’d be more sales around Christmas time, but so far I haven’t noticed any more than usual, at least not for the books I want!

  3. Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

    I am excited to see what you thought of the Shatter Me series, Kristen. And I’m glad your wrists / arms are better. It sucks when you can’t do everything you want to do because of pain 🙁
    I really like the new Carry On cover, too. I have an old one somewhere, and I haven’t read it, either…
    Have a wonderful week ahead and happy reading xoxo

    1. Kristen Burns

      I didn’t LOVE it, but I definitely enjoyed it! Unfortunately my arms aren’t completely better though, just a little better than they were before :-/

      Haha, looks like we both need to get to reading Carry On already. You have a great week too!

  4. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    Ants are idiots. They have always been idiots. It’s why there are so many of them, so that some may die but it won’t impact their numbers. I’m glad they seem to be retreating, though. They’ve scoped the area and have admitted defeat. Also, glad the wrists are a bit better. Maybe if you get a decent computer set up it may not strain your wrists so much? There must be something more which can be done so you can work for so long before having to take a break for however long to rest.

    Also, I’d seen the new Carry On cover and I am quite in love. I mean, I have the hardback but I want that cover too. You definitely don’t need to have read another book to read Carry On. People are saying you need to read Fangirl as that is the book which spawned the fake Simon Snow series but Carry On is an independent book you can read alone. I really enjoyed both books, but I love Rainbow Rowell books so I’m a bit biased.

    How on earth have you read so much? I’ve read four books and one of those is from last week and one I’m still reading! Ugh, you suck. I’m jealous as well. I need to get some more reading done, but I’ve got the run up to Christmas off so hopefully all this freetime will be in my favour and I’ll read all the things! Hopefully, anyway. Also, hopefully I can get the Shatter Me series at the library or something since you enjoyed it in the end. I’ll have to do some book hunting.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Lol I don’t know if all ants are idiots, but these were. I think they have finally admitted defeat since I didn’t see any today… I’m working on getting my computer area more ergonomic, but I have to order some of the stuff online.

      Thanks for answering about Carry On! That’s good, in that case I will just read Carry On since Fangirl doesn’t seem like my kinda thing 🙂

      I read so much because only four of these were full length novels and I’ve had lots of extra time because of resting my wrists. But good, be jealous! I’m always jealous of how much you read each week and now you know how I feel, haha.

  5. Lola

    Sorry to hear about the ants. I don’t mind insects when they stay outside, but I really don’t want them in my house. We once had a vacation home that was crawling with ants and it was so nasty, they where everywhere it seemed.

    It hasn’t been too cold here, but it is a bit chilly, no snow or freezing yet. I hope your wrist keeps doing well. And yes I know hat you mean, once you have all the time to read it suddenly gets less fun. I rather just be so busy that i can appreciate the free time to read more. Having all the time to read is fun for a few days, but not much longer.

    I haven’t read any books by Rainbow Rowell, I thought this book was basically the fictional book it gets referred to in fangirl? So the mc in fangirl is a fangirl of the characters in Carry On and the author eventually wrote that too. But I am not 100% sure about that, but I think i read that somewhere once.

    That’s neat you got you so much reading done. i also had a good reading week, but I didn’t read as much as you did. I am glad you ended up enjoying the Shatter Me series. I think I DNF’d The Girl in Between. Also are these new covers? I hadn’t seen those before. I hope you’ll enjoy book 4. I rarely re-read previous books in preparation for the next one, but I have done it a few times in the past.

    I will do a Sunday post next week just like normal, I never know what to post on Christmas, so i figured just doing a Sunday post would work best and I would hate to miss a week. Have a great week!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah, ants are fine outside, but I don’t want them inside.

      And yeah, reading is wonderful, obviously, but even good things have their limits when you just start to get tired of them!

      I haven’t read any Rainbow Rowell either, but what you described is the same thing other people have said about Carry On. So I’m just gonna go for it!

      I know you either read or DNFed Girl in Between because we talked about it once. Yes, they are new covers. I actually liked the old ones better.

      Good, that means we’ll each have at least one person to visit next Sunday 😛 Same to you!

  6. Dragonfly

    I think I once had that ant problem and I made a spray with distilled water, vodka, and a few drops of peppermint, tea tree and lemon oil. Maybe you can try that. I don’t know if it worked or they also finally figure out there was point in invading my house 🙂
    OMG I can believe you have the entire Shatter me series to review. That would take me a lifetime!
    I do look forward to your cover feature. You always come up with the best covers! The snow globes and the moon ones were two of my favorite.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I think the ants may have left now, but I did read about peppermint oil, so I can try the spray if they come back!

      Lol why would it take you lifetime? I’ve started reviewing books asap after reading them. It really helps keep me on track instead of procrastinating and getting overwhelmed!

  7. Molly @ Molly's Book Nook

    Girl. I feel you on the ants thing. In our old apartment, if we left ONE thing out, ants would come. Just recently, I had some succulents on my windowsill and I think they were attracted to the water from those because one day they were covered with ants. I had to take them out. Poor bookstagram succulents 🙁

    I’m glad you’re wrists are feeling better-ish. I get a ganglion cyst in my left wrist every now and then, it hurts pretty bad. So I can imagine how annoying that must be.

    Also, you read a lot of books with really pretty covers! hahahah What did you think of the Shatter Me series? I stopped at book 1. And all of those in the bottom row. I want to read them just because of the covers haah

    1. Kristen Burns

      Lol yeah ants aren’t the worst thing but they’re so annoying. But aww, poor succulents :-/

      That sucks about the cyst too. And yeah, this wrist pain is really screwing me over. Plus I’m really bad at actually resting injuries.

      I really did read a lot of books with pretty covers this year lol. I enjoyed the Shatter Me series! Not my favorite or anything, but still good. That’s funny, the Girl in Between books got different covers recently and I actually liked the old ones better! But these are still nice.

  8. Melissa certainly got a lot read even though I know you wish that wasn’t all you were up to! Feel better and I hope the ant situation improves! ugh!

  9. Lampshade Reader

    “Go tell your queen already that there’s no food here and she needs to pull out her troops because her men are dying. ” OMG I’m dying laughing over here. 😀 at least they are not fire ants. I’m glad you are feeling a little better.

    It’s going to be 56 degrees and rainy on Christmas here in TX. Yuck.

    I hope you have a great holiday week! ~Aleen

    1. Kristen Burns

      I’m glad someone finds me entertaining, haha. And I agree, I’d be freaking out a lot more if they were bite-y ants.

      Eh, 56 and rainy doesn’t sound too great :-/ Sorry about that! You have a great holiday week too 🙂

  10. Cee Arr

    Advice on ants: see if you can find a hole (e.g. around the seals of windows) where they are getting in, and block it with sealant or polyfiller. Ants are pretty cool and smart creatures – they will find any cracks in the brickwork or whatever, and use it to their advantage. You have to admire creatures with their own farming system and engineering skills who can lift many times their own weight.

    Oh and *whispers* – I don’t like the new Carry On cover! Sorry!

    1. Kristen Burns

      That’s the problem, there was no trail, so I couldn’t find where they were coming in. And my apartment building is old and so full of cracks that it’s impossible to seal all of them. I actually did have someone help me to fill in a whole bunch when I first moved in because the inside part of the wall didn’t even touch the floor -_- It is cool what they can do, but I still don’t want them in my apt! Lol.

      What?! You don’t like the cover? Blasphemy! You’re no longer allowed on my blog! Just kidding 😛 I post a lot about covers, and I always find it so interesting how completely different everyone’s taste in covers is!

  11. Literary Feline

    It does sound like you’ll be having a warm Christmas this year! That’s spring weather. Our Christmas will likely be in the mid-60’s. Oh, I how I hate ants! At least when they’re in my house. I’m fine with them staying outside or underground where they belong. I’m glad your wrists are feeling somewhat better, Kristen. Continue to rest them when you can.

    I’ve been reading novellas as of late, so my reading this month will probably look a little more puffed up than it might have otherwise. Although, I still am not doing a lot of reading. 🙁 I think it will be even less when my mom is here for three weeks.

    I hope you have a Merry Christmas. I likely won’t be posting next Sunday. I’m not sure I’ll be posting next week. I have posts prepped for this week, but after that won’t be on the computer much unless I’m at work–and if it’s slow.

    Take care, Kristen!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Mid 60s isn’t too bad! But since my apt has no heat, I’m happy to keep it in the 70s and 80s. And yeah, I don’t mind ants outside, but I don’t want them inside!

      My reading looks puffed up this week too because of novellas and graphic novels. You’ll get back into more reading once the new years starts I’m sure!

      Thank you! And a Merry Christmas to you since you won’t be around next Sunday 🙂

  12. Di @ Book Reviews by Di

    Oh gosh! Sorry about the ants! ?

    I’m glad you’re feeling a little better although at a slight cost to your sanity. Lots of good reading happening though and even though as you say it’s not all its cracked up to be you may look back on these days fondly.

    Carry On definitely looks more interesting with that new cover. I’ve never read it although I’ve heard amazing things and have kind of tentatively thought about adding it to my TBR. I guess now I’ll have to try it as it’s way more interesting looking than I originally thought!

    Christmas here in the southern hemisphere will be warm, and that’s okay with me! I’m hoping there will be lots of fun water fights with the kids and running around outside in the garden. Bonus points for a summer Christmas!

    I will probably also post a brief Sunday Post just to keep wrapping things up and also to say merry Christmas to the blogging community and everyone I chat to here. It’s a time for friends and family, right? And even though I’ve never met most of the people I interact with we still have very real and quality interactions.

    I definitely reread books in preparation for new releases into a series. I like to get reacquainted and remember all the small details it’s otherwise easy to forget.

    Hope you have a lovely, ant free week! And try to keep resting if you can!

    1. Kristen Burns

      It is nice to be able to read, but ugh, it’s getting boring doing it TOO much and now I’m not doing such a good job of resting my wrists -_-

      Haha, I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s more interested in Carry On now that it has a new cover!

      Water fights on Christmas sound fun! I’ve always kind of wanted to go to the beach on Christmas, just ’cause lol.

      Yeah, all the bloggers I interact with may not people I’m as close to as real life friends, but we’re a community and I want to say hi to everyone on Christmas!

      Exactly! It’s all those little details that really make a series sometimes, and we forget more than we realize, so I like to make sure I don’t miss anything!

      You have a great week too 🙂

  13. Toady

    I don’t know where you live, but I have never seen anything like the aimlessly wandering ants here in the south. It is a change of weather thing here, and the wet will definitely get them moving, never in swarms, but like you said, enough to be annoying. They are a right pain in the arse.
    I am glad that your arms and wrists are doing better. I have had a couple of bouts with that myself, and it is quite painful.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I also live in the South, hence the 84 degree Christmas lol. I’ve never seen ants aimlessly wander like this either, but apparently it happens? I think they’re gone now that they’ve realized there’s no food.

      1. Toady

        I had the pest man over yesterday and he says that they are looking for water, which is apparently why you and I are both killing ourselves to figure out what sort of food they are after where we see them and finding nothing. We have had very little rain here and that apparently drives them in.

    1. Kristen Burns

      They are annoying! I think they’re gone now though, so crossing my fingers that they really are and that they won’t come back! You have a great week too 🙂

  14. Deborah

    I’m glad your wrists are better. Perhaps you need one of those timers on your computer that reminds you to take a break every so often… before they get sore?

    And YES!!! I hate ants too. I’ve got some in my new place and use ant baits which seem to help. But I also spray gazillions of insect stuff around cos… did I mention I hate them?!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Actually a timer probably would be good, though I need something that can punish me if I don’t listen lol because that’s the real problem. I just don’t *want* to get off the computer.

      See, I couldn’t spray them because they were just all over and I would’ve had to spray my entire living room and bed room floors lol. And I didn’t want to use bait because I figured they’d just leave after realizing there was no food whereas if I put bait then there really would be food lol. I think they’ve gone now though…

  15. S. J. Pajonas

    We had an ant problem this past summer and it was SUCH A PAIN. They didn’t respond to anything either until we bough the big guns poison. I hate them. I hope they never come back.

    I’m sorry to hear that your arm is still bugging you but you got a lot of reading done! I know that’s no consolation, though. Hugs.

    1. Kristen Burns

      They really are annoying. And that sucks that yours were so adamant about sticking around.

      Thank you <3 Exactly, it's kind of bittersweet that I'm getting so much reading done lol.

  16. Angela @ Simply Angela

    I loathe ants. Those things creep me out. I haven’t had a problem inside, but I had new topsoil brought in for my flower beds and, apparently, there was an ant colony living inside of it so I fought ants all Summer long. I tried just about everything to get rid of them, Nothing worked that I bought at the store, so I searched online and found a blog saying to use peppermint oil and cornstarch and, believe it or not, it actually worked.

    They say if you mix peppermint oil and water and spray in on your floors, it will keep ants out.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Sorry you’ve had such an ant problem too. I did read about peppermint oil, which I already own, but I didn’t think to mix it with water and spray it around a bit. I’ll have to try that if they don’t leave.

  17. Wren

    Oh no! Not the ants! One time, I left a bag in the closet with a lollipop inside, but I didn’t know that. Then came the swarms of ants all headed for that bag, and when I finally decided to see what was up, I pulled out an ant-covered lollipop 😛 it was nasty.

    As for the weather, it’s really, really cold. With lots of snow. It’s going to be a cold and white Christmas for me!

    Wren @

    1. Kristen Burns

      Blegh, when they all swarm around something it is really nasty. At least here they were just wandering around all separate, so it wasn’t as bad. Although that also made it harder to kill them.

      At least a white Christmas is festive!

  18. Jane @ Raincity Librarian

    I’ll be spending Christmas in Osaka, Japan this year, and they’re predicting a dry Christmas, which makes a nice change from the soggy, grey Christmas we have every year back home!!

    As for the ants…Yuck!! Hope they finally got the message and moved on!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Oh how interesting, I’ve never been to Japan! And dry definitely sounds better than a soggy grey Christmas lol.

      I think they did finally get the message since I only saw one today… crossing my fingers they’re really gone!

  19. Let's Get Beyond Tolerance

    I don’t know if it will snow here or not for Christmas, but it’s going to be really cold. I don’t mind though! I hope you enjoy your warm holiday weather though. Sorry The Wicked + The Divine was confusing. I really enjoyed the first volume, but I get how it can be confusing at first. I want to check out the next volume soon.

    I have a copy of Carry On that I STILL need to read. I love the new cover though. I need to get that one as well.


    1. Kristen Burns

      Cold weather definitely has a more festive feeling to it, but I just can’t handle cold and don’t even have heat in my apartment! I think The Wicked + The Divine just really wasn’t for me. Do you know a lot about mythology? Because I think that might’ve been my problem, I don’t know that much.

      Haha I love how I’m not the only one who has a copy of Carry On but still hasn’t read it.

  20. Victoria Grace Howell

    Ugh ants are annoying. I’m sorry you have to deal with them. It’s going to be 60 here in Atlanta on Christmas and hopefully sunny! A rainy Christmas isn’t fun. XD

  21. Bookworm Brandee

    Ugh! Ants… They give me the heebie-jeebies. But I grew up in Texas where those suckers can cause some pain! Nope, not the stupid kind. 😉 In Colorado we don’t have many ants to deal with and the ones we do have, well, they don’t bother me much. Oh except for carpenter ants but that’s because my house is wood!! And I live in the woods. LOL I’m happy your wrists are feeling better. Keep resting!
    Wow, you did read quite a bit and that’s awesome. I’m super happy that you enjoyed the Shatter Me series since it’s a fav of mine. And you have me curious about The Girl in Between. Gonna have to check those out.
    84 degrees on Christmas??? We’re expecting snow! And that’s more my speed. LOL I hope you’re having a great week, Kristen!

    1. Kristen Burns

      At least these are just little black ants. I would be freaking out a lot more if they were bite-y. I’m not doing a very good job of resting my wrists this week though -_-

      Lol I can’t deal with cold, so I’m happy with my 84 degrees. But I imagine actually having snow on Christmas must feel so festive!

  22. Jessica

    I’m glad you liked the Shatter Me series. I also wrote a story similar to it too. My character was named Josie. I’m glad your wrist is ok. I am taking a few days off of my blog because my fiance is supposed to be coming and I hurt the back of my right shoulder. It’s getting better though today. I don’t know if I will be able to do my blog on my secret trip (Las Vegas). We don’t get snow much. But it does get cold.
    I’m still reading Obsidian Butterfly.