The Weekly Update: 5/22/16


Would you believe I have no news this week? My life has just been same old, same old.

The laptop has been shipped off for repair for the third time. The weather has been nicely hot, though a bit stormy, which sucks for grocery shopping. I’m all caught up on my shows. Oh, I am dealing with Best Buy and a rather large refund I never received, and I’m starting to get worried, but someone is working on it for me. So yep, that’s all I got this week!

Blog/Bookish Updates:

You know how reading leads to insomnia? Well, in my case, apparently insomnia also leads to reading. So that’s why I’ve been getting more reading done than usual. It’s not true insomnia, but I’ve been trying to go to sleep earlier, so I get into the bed, but then my body is all, “No! I’m nocturnal! I’m a vampire! I refuse to sleep until the sun comes up!” and so then I just end up lying in bed reading for hours until I finally fall asleep. It’s good for my ARC pile, but bad for my body when I end up with no sleep -_-

And speaking of that ARC pile, I feel like I’m doing really well keeping up with review copies. At this point, all the unread ones I have are either backlisted, which means no stressing over a specific date, or not due to be published until the end of June or later.

Also, it feels AWESOME being so ahead on posts! I’ve probably just jinxed myself, but I used to struggle to get them up with less than an hour to spare half the time. Now I’ve got discussions scheduled and ready to go through June 22nd plus eight book reviews also scheduled and ready πŸ˜€ (Seriously, it’s amazing how much easier it is to stay on top of reviews when you just make the posts ASAP after finishing!)

And speaking of that, one of the posts I have is about negative reviews, so I find the timing oddly perfect that I encountered two authors over the week who actually made me happy as a reviewer. One wrote a post basically reminding authors that reviews are not for them, they’re for the readers. The other contacted me because she saw one of my negative reviews and was offering me a review copy of her latest book because she actually wanted criticism so that she could improve her writing. I turned down the offer because her books just aren’t my genre, but it made me happy to know there are authors out there who do appreciate constructive negative reviews.

Lastly, I’m still looking for sci-fi and fantasy books about characters with disabilities, chronic illness, etc. But a real disability/illness, not something that turns out to be a paranormal thing. I know many of you gave me fantastic recommendations already, but I’m posting my request again for anyone who didn’t see it last week.

Books I Received for Review:

No One Dies in the Garden of Syn by Michael Seidelman | reading, books

It was a perfect coincidence that I happened to stumble upon an offer for review copies of No One Dies in the Garden of Syn (here’s the sign-up form in case anyone else is interested) since it’s actually a fantasy book about an MC with cystic fibrosis.

Books I Finished:

Magic Fell by Andi Van | reading, books
Triad Blood by 'Nathan Burgoine | reading, books
Tainted Heart by Melissa Graves | reading, books
No One Dies in the Garden of Syn by Michael Seidelman | reading, books

So the other week it was zombies, and this (last?) week it turned out to be the week of gay paranormal (3 out of the 4 books). Apparently my weeks have themes now lol. Magic Fell was a quick, light, enjoyable read. Triad Blood was my dream come true for reasons I’ll explain in my review. Tainted Heart was also great with so much vampire-y goodness! And The Garden of Syn was great too, so it was a good reading week with one 3.5 star and three 4 stars. (For anyone who doesn’t read M/M romance, don’t worry, I only post one M/M review each week, so there will still be reviews for everyone!)

Song of the Week:

Didn’t have a chance to find a song this week.

In Case You Missed It:

– I shared book covers with silhouettes on them.
– I reviewed Deadgirl: Ghostlight by B.C. Johnson, the second book in a unique YA paranormal series.
– I discussed why I like realistic characters and asked how realistic you like characters to be.
– I reviewed Withered + Sere by TJ Klune, a 5 STAR book with INCREDIBLE writing and amazingly broken characters. (I even shared a snippet of my sailor-worthy personal notes.)
– I shared Part 1 of “All’s Fair in Love, Ice Cream, and Power Outages,” a cute (well, hopefully) short story about a drunk couple.

The Sunday Post Link-Up:

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


Talk to me!

Did you find any good books or movies last week?
Do you also get a lot of reading done when you can't sleep?
How are you doin' on those ARC piles?


Your Thoughts


28 thoughts on “The Weekly Update: 5/22/16

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  1. Deborah

    Well done on being so far ahead Kristen! I had a good reading week last week but will have to cut back this week to catch up on my reviewing. I hate getting too far behind as my mind is like a sieve!

    I hope your laptop gets sorted soon. You should put together a compilation of the time spent in and out of repair and submit it to them!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! And I agree, it’s crazy how much I forget if I wait too long. I do try to take notes for each book though. If I didn’t have those notes, I’d be hopeless for reviews on any books I didn’t review right away.

      I think they know how much time I’ve wasted on this, but clearly they don’t care -_-

  2. Greg

    Maybe third time’s the charm on the laptop?!? I always (well usually) try to write my reviews right after I finish a book, I just like doing it that way. although once in a while if it percolates that’s fine too.

    The only disability that comes to mind off the top of my head is a character (Josua) from Memory, Sorrow and Thorn by Tad Williams- he lost a hand but it’s been so long I don’t remember the details. It’s epic fantasy anyway so never mind. Surprised I can’t think of more… πŸ™

    Hey you re- posted your story- are you continuing w/ it?

    1. Kristen Burns

      I doubt it. I have no hope for the laptop. Yeah, I’ve started writing the reviews right away, as in, within a couple days. But then I usually schedule them out enough that I have more time to think on the books and edit the reviews accordingly before they get posted.

      Yeah, the chances of me reading an epic fantasy are pretty slim lol, but I’ll look it up anyway. It’s at least still in the SFF genre, so I might read it if the story sounds interesting enough. But there really just isn’t a lot of SFF with disabled or ill characters out there :-/

      No, not adding anything to it. But I didn’t even give it a proper post the first time, and most of the people following me now weren’t following me then. So just re-posting it in a couple shorter parts πŸ™‚

  3. Maureen's Books (@MaureenHinten)

    Sorry to hear about the insomnia. But I can definitely see why it’s good for your reading. I would love to get ahead on my posts. I feel like I’m always behind. Sigh.. Eight reviews? Wow.. I’m impressed. πŸ˜‰
    My boyfriend is very sensitive for light when he sleeps. So I’m usually not really able to read a lot at night. But when I’m reading an ebook it’s much easier.. But I’m still a paperback girl so most time reading stops when he wants to sleep. LOL!
    Have a great week πŸ˜‰

    1. Kristen Burns

      Right? The silver lining of insomnia, at least I get lots of reading done πŸ˜› And thanks, I’m pretty impressed with myself actually, haha.

      Aha, one of the advantages of being single! It’s funny though, when I was younger, I almost never read in bed because it was too hard with the light and whatnot. But now that I have a kindle, it’s so easy, and I even use the black background white letters so that there’s no blaring whiteness to hurt my eyes! You have a great week too πŸ™‚

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah, I used to do my posts just in time to get them up, but it’s so much less stressful this way lol. Audiobooks are still books though, so at least you got some reading done! You have a great week too πŸ™‚

  4. sjhigbee

    Congratulations on having your review schedule so well organised:). I make it a golden rule to write the review as quickly as I can after I’ve read the book, or that rush of excitement and all the things I want to say about it just fades away… I really enjoyed your blog about realistic characters – I think, wearing my author and editor hat, that it can be a very difficult balance to achieve. So it is definitely a question worth raising and is one that is regularly neglected. I’m looking forward to your review of ‘Triad Blood’ after your enigmatic comment:). Fingers crossed for your laptop and hope you have a great week – preferably one when your laptop is returned in perfect working order! This is my Sunday Post :

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! It’s so much easier just getting the reviews done right away. I do forget too much over time. And thanks for commenting on the character post πŸ™‚ As a reader, it’s just interesting to me to see what other people think about things like that. And as someone who might end up writing a book at some point, I think it’s helpful to get different opinions. I have no hope about the laptop -_- but thank you!

  5. AngelErin

    I love that you’re ahead on posts! That just feels so good, doesn’t it? I struggle with that ALL THE TIME. I’ve been trying to get ahead and stay ahead myself, but it’s difficult. I fell really behind recently and then spent two days catching up writing all my posts. It was horrible. lol.

    1. Kristen Burns

      IT FEELS SO GOOD! I’m becoming addicted, like, I need to make more posts! More posts! Lol. But it’s also good just having a buffer in case something happens and you can’t get around to making posts.

  6. Lola

    Let’s hope they do manage to fix your laptop this time, although I don’t have much faith in it. I hope you’ll manage to get that refund back.

    I don’t have insomnia and actually need my 10 hours of sleep each night, so I can’t really do the staying up late thing too often. I usually fall asleep pretty easily, so that’s good. Although my normal schedule is going to sleep at 3:30 and standing up at 13:30 so I do have a weird schedule. I am so not a morning person and as I don’t have to get up early for my job, my schedule slowly changed to this, in fact one could say my schedule works quite well for my job as most of my customers live in the US.

    I have a big pile of review copies that don’t have a deadline, but also some I still have to get through as they need to be reviewed as soon as possible basically as I already missed the release date or get them very close to the release date. I’ll be glad once I get through those pile, so the pressure gets a bit off again. I hope I can fit in some non review books now and then as well.

    And being ahead on posts is the best! That’s great to hear you have so many posts scheduled ahead.
    I have been thinking about your request for illnesses and physical disabilities books, but I can’t think of a lot of books with that. I do remember some books with mental illness or mental issues, but quite some of those are romances/ contemporary books. And I remembered one where the disfigurement got fixed later on and indeed that the illness actually turns out to be something paranormal also happens. And I don’t like reading about illnesses so I haven’t read a lot of books with that. It’s hard to think of books with a specific theme like that, I’ll let you know if I can think of any books.

    I am curious about Trial Blood and why you say it’s your dream come true. Looking forward to your review. I am in an urban fantasy/ paranormal romance mood lately, so I’ve been reading quite some books in that genre. I hope you’ll have a great week!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah I really don’t have faith in the laptop either, but the refund is separate, and I’d better get that back.

      Wow, you are so much better about getting rest than I am. It’s something I really need to work on. But I don’t think your schedule is weird at all since I have also never been a morning person. The only problem for me is that I like to do my grocery shopping and errands during the day while the stores are less busy and there’s lots of close parking spots at my apartment, so that keeps throwing off my go-to-bed-late-get-up-late schedule.

      Reading is so much enjoyable when you’re not stressed about all the other books you still have to get to because of dates, so it will be nice for you once you have the pressure off about those books.

      You’re like the queen of scheduling ahead lol. I’m still not quite on your level πŸ˜›

      I know you don’t read about chronic illness, so it’s ok. If you happen to stumble upon one or something though, you can just let me know πŸ™‚

      I’m pretty sure everyone is going to be really disappointed when they find out my reason for Triad Blood, haha. But yay urban fantasy! I’m always in an urban fantasy mood lol, so I look forward to any reviews you’ll be posting! You have a great week too πŸ™‚

  7. Laura Thomas

    Looks like some great books to while away those sleepless nights. I hope they get your computer fixed and check first before sending it back again:)

  8. Lillian @ Mom with a Reading Problem

    I have the same issue with sleep and reading. I sit on the couch and I’m reading and tired. I head to bed and stare at the ceiling wide awake. What cures that better than reading?! Of course then another four hours goes by and I wind up with no sleep….vicious cycle πŸ˜‰
    I think it’s great that you are caught up on your ARCs. I’ve got a huge pile of backlist books. I had a bad year last year and it’s taking me forever to get caught up. BUT I’m nearly there πŸ˜€
    Hope you have a great week!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Why does that happen?! I’ll also be so exhausted, but then, when I finally get into bed, I lie there wide awake -_- And then once we start reading we don’t want to stop lol, so yeah, definitely a vicious cycle.

      Thanks! And yay, you’ll catch up on your pile soon! You have a great week too πŸ™‚

  9. Tiffany

    It’s great you’re so ahead. I wish I was, since I’ll be on a hiatus in less than a month. Maybe I should take a page out of your book, and come up with some discussion articles. Have a great week!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Having posts scheduled ahead feels amazing, and I definitely recommend that you try it, haha. But it’s hard if you’re just not inspired. My brain has been doing good with the ideas lately πŸ˜› Good luck with your scheduling ahead! You have a great week too πŸ™‚

    1. Kristen Burns

      I agree, oftentimes no news is good news! Thanks, I’m definitely not gonna stop pestering Best Buy until I get that money back. And it is nice to know there are authors out there like that πŸ™‚

  10. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    One sci fi book with a main character with a disability is Nexis by AL Davroe (though she lives in a virtual world for part of the book, so her disability doesn’t affect her there – still, it was interesting to see the effect of that dichotomy).