The Weekly Update: 6/19/16


Did you all know that Facebook has safety checks now?! There was a shooting in Orlando, and I know a few people who live there, so I went to FB to try and make sure they were all ok, and FB made that really easy. Right in my notifications, there was a “safety check.” Basically, it was a page created specifically for the shooting event, and there was a list of all my FB friends in the area who had marked themselves as being safe. Anyone can add themselves to the list and mark themselves as safe, and you can also send a request to friends to have them check themselves off. And that way, you can see that everyone you know is safe without having to contact them or check individual pages. I hardly use FB anymore, but that is a really awesome feature. I know that most of us bloggers understand the usefulness of social media, but for anyone who still thinks it’s a bad thing, that’s a pretty good argument.

Thankfully no one I knew was at the club, but for anyone who didn’t hear about it, 49 people were killed. According to the news, it was “the deadliest massΒ shooting in modern U.S. history,” so it was really terrible.

I don’t mean to depress everyone reading my blog though, and I never know how to segue out of something like that because I kind of feel bad talking about such seemingly frivolous things after being reminded of something so serious, so let’s just all be thankful now for our loved ones and for the good things we have, like our whole blogging community and the fact that we’re safe and sound enough to even be able to discuss books and music and our weeks πŸ™‚

Blog/Bookish Updates:

Ok guys, first things first, I need your help in titling an upcoming post. What sounds more normal, “Big vs. Small Scope in Books” or “Broad vs. Narrow Scope in Books”?

Moving on from that, I thought I was becoming less of a mood reader, but apparently it was just a phase because my mood reading has come back with a vengeance. Even with a small selection of books to choose from (review copies), I keep struggling with indecision. And then the books that my brain suddenly decides it wants to read are always the ones that don’t come out until September or don’t even have a deadline, whereas I have other books I should be reading that have to be posted a lot sooner.

And speaking of review copies, why is that some weeks go by where there’s nothing good offered, you don’t get any responses for your pending books… and then suddenly everything just piles up all at once in the same week?

I’m also doing a good job of staying ahead on posts. I have 19 posts scheduled ahead right now—12 reviews, 6 discussions, 1 cover characteristics. I’ve never gonna beat Lola, but what can you do πŸ˜›

Oh, I almost forgot, I finally reached 100 followers on Bloglovin’! I’m not exactly gonna have the publishers beating down my door, but it still feels like an accomplishment to have reached three digits πŸ™‚

Last but not least, look at this beauty that arrived this week! (Sorry for the ugly picture lol. It’s my fault, not the book’s!) Thanks again to Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight for the Discussion Challenge Giveaway πŸ™‚

Roadside Magic Paperback

Books I Received for Review:

House of Judges by Keary Taylor | reading, books
A City Dreaming by Daniel Polansky | reading, books
Black-Winged Tuesday by A.B. Rayn | reading, books
Vincent, Survivor by O.L. Eggert | reading, books

Books I Finished:

The Ferryman Institute by Colin Gigl | reading, books
House of Judges by Keary Taylor | reading, books

The Ferryman Institute was really enjoyable and entertaining, but it doesn’t come out until September so it’s going to be forever until I actually get to tell you all about it. As for House of Judges, I managed to read, review, and post it all in one week. Pretty impressive if I do say so myself lol. But it helped that the book was so gripping. By the way, don’t those two books look so pretty together?! Lol.

Song of the Week:

“Hate Me” by Blue October – I hadn’t heard this song for a long time, but then it came up in a playlist I was listening to on 8tracks the other day, and I was reminded of how good it is and have been listening to it a lot this week.


In Case You Missed It:

– I shared book covers with arrows on them.
– I reviewed The Vengeful Half by Jaclyn Dolamore, a YA fantasy with a blind character.
– I discussed the benefits of negative reviews.
– I reviewed Magic Fell by Andi Van, a light YA high fantasy with a positive LGBT message.
– I reviewed House of Judges by Keary Taylor, the latest in a series full of vampires, emotion, and intrigue.

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?
Did you know about Facebook safety checks?
Does that ever happen to you with review copies, nothing and then all the sudden a whole bunch?


Your Thoughts


44 thoughts on “The Weekly Update: 6/19/16

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  1. Resh Susan

    wow. I am impressed that you are so well organised in your posts. I am always a last min person and it interferes so much with my sleep etc. I wrote my last post past midnight. And now I am so groggy eyed. Nineteen ones lines up is pretty amazing. It eases a lot of tension too. I should follow your method of scheduling posts.

    And congrats on 100 followed on bloglovin

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! It is SO much less stressful being ahead. I used to scramble past midnight for pretty much every post, but I had a lot of books to review and have had lots of inspiration for discussions lately πŸ™‚

  2. Deborah

    I completely agree that everything arrives at once, which is really annoying! Though realise I’m lucky to get books at all. But still….

    I hadn’t known about the Facebook safety check option, so thanks for sharing that Kristen!

    Oh and I like the broad / narrow option by the way…

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah, I really probably shouldn’t be complaining since getting books is still a good thing lol.

      I was so surprised by the safety check thing! I thought it was great.

      Thanks, I probably will go with broad/narrow πŸ™‚

  3. Greg

    Broad vs. Narrow gets my vote. And I’m totally a mood reader so I get that. My problem is I jump around from genres where you seem to stay tighter focused, so you’re probably reading fantasy (mostly) where I might do fantasy then a… whatever lol. Who knows?? So I have that problem. Not to minimize your point tho, cause yeah I know what you mean. A few weeks ago I couldn’t pick (or stick with) anything…

    Nice cover on that Survivor book. Nasties portalling in to wreak havoc in the city? I’m in! Read that one soon so I know if it’s any good. πŸ˜›

    1. Kristen Burns

      That’s 2 for 2 in favor of broad/narrow. Probably what I’ll go with. You weren’t minimizing my point, it’s all good. But even within fantasy, sometimes I feel like something funny, sometimes something super dark, sometimes I want vampires, sometimes it gets really oddly specific like that time I felt like reading a post-apoc book about a group who wouldn’t normally associate coming together and becoming friends lol. And sometimes it’s just a book in particular that I feel like. Or sometimes it’s the dreaded, “I feel like something, I just don’t know what.”

      Lol to telling me to read that one soon. You did just see the mood reader thing, right? πŸ˜› But yeah, normally it takes me days of indecision when I get review requests, but that one sounded totally like my kind of book so I accepted right away.

      1. Greg

        Ha ha it does look good. Love the description. A good cover gets me every time lol. I might have to go read the excerpt… will probably end up buying the damn thing. πŸ™‚

        1. Kristen Burns

          I read the excerpt on Amazon before I made my decision. I liked that the protag was definitely not one of those martyr-type heroes. I got the book from the author, so he might be looking for more reviewers, but honestly I’ve never actually contacted an author who wasn’t explicitly asking for reviews, I’ve only had them contact me, so I don’t know the etiquette on that.

  4. Laura Thomas

    I like the broad/narrow option. I didn’t know about the FB safety check. What a great idea. I’m in a mood mode right now too. reading books that can wait and having to force myself to read ones I should be. I try not to let that reflect in my ratings. One thing I do is start the book, set it aside, and then pick it back up. Not knowing what’s happening peaks my interest in it and then I’m ready to read:) LOL

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks, that 3/3 for broad/narrow, so apparently that’s the popular choice lol. The FB safety check surprised me, and I thought it was as great idea too. And yeah, review copies and mood reading don’t always combine so well. And I do feel bad when I end up not liking a book that maybe I could’ve liked had I read it at a different time. I can’t just put books down though, my interest is already piqued once I start lol.

  5. Nick

    That’s really interesting and great that Facebook has that safety check now. I know what you mean about not wanting to sound too depressing on your blog but also not wanting to not talk about it. I talked about it too, because how could I not? πŸ™
    I feel you about the mood reading. I’m such a mood reader now too. It’s better for me though because I find myself enjoying books more than when I had a schedule and everything.
    I hope you enjoy all your new reads and have a wonderful week ahead!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah, I think that safety check is a great thing. And I don’t often talk about news on my blog, but I guess this one just felt too close to home not to since I went to school in Orlando and know people there. Not to mention how terrible of a thing it was, since so many lives were lost.

      I’ve never actually disliked being a mood reader, I do think it allows me to enjoy books more when I do find one that hits the spot perfectly, but mood reading definitely has its drawbacks too! Especially when you have review copies.

      You have a great week too!

  6. Trish @ Between My Lines

    The shooting in Orlando was just awful. I do love that FB feature though, I used it after the Paris attacks to check up on friends there and it was so reassuring.
    And I think this just flows better – Broad vs. Narrow Scope in Books – in my head anyway. Can’t wait to see the post on it!
    Well done on the scheduling (makes life so much easier) and huge congrats on reaching triple digits.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I had never come across the safety check before (which, really, is a good thing), but I agree, I think it’s a wonderful feature.

      Thanks, I’m gonna go with broad/narrow πŸ™‚

      Having posts ahead of time really does make blogging less stressful! And thanks, it’s always a good feeling to reach little milestones!

  7. Kei @ The Lovely Pages Reviews

    Oh yeah, Facebook had the same feature for earthquakes and the other disasters – so awful what happened, I love that you mentioned it, I does feel like we as a book community need to acknowledge those more often.

    Broad/Narrow seems better to me!

    Totally get what you mean, it happens all the time, my shelf goes from 0 to a billion books in no time, crazy! Yay for being ahead, feels good right? Have a great week!

    1. Kristen Burns

      I had never come across that FB feature before, that’s great that it does it for natural disasters and everything too. But yeah, I understand if people don’t want to mention these things on their blogs, but I just couldn’t not mention this one myself.

      Thanks, I’m going with broad/narrow πŸ™‚

      Seriously, why does everything always come all at once?! Being ahead feels so much less stressful! You have a great week too πŸ™‚

  8. Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

    When I think about what happened in Orlando, my heart gets so heavy, and my eyes teary. And I actually knew about the Facebook thing from the Paris massacre last fall. I have many friends who live in Paris, so I agree – it was so reassuring to know that they were safe.
    You’re doing great with your blogging ahead! I only have posts ready for next week – I’ve been slacking way too much lately, but it’s OK, sometimes that’s just necessary.
    Ha! I want to read a couple of books that won’t be released until next year, but I’m making myself wait!
    Have a wonderful week ahead and happy reading.

    1. Kristen Burns

      It really is awful. I also got teary reading about it. But that FB feature is fantastic.

      Thanks! It feels great being ahead, though it’s kind of sporadic since I have some posts ready for months from now but still don’t have all my posts for next week ready lol.

      My goodness, it’s a good thing I don’t have any books that come out next year or I’d probably be reading those, haha. You have a wonderful week too!

  9. Samantha

    This week was a boon of ARCs for me. Books that I had requested a awhile back and forgotten about suddenly all got approved on the same day! Crazy!
    And I prefer Broad/Narrow!
    Have a great week!

    1. Kristen Burns

      That’s happened to me too, books I requested a while ago all suddenly come in one day. Maybe it’s some weird Netgalley glitch lol.

      Thanks, I’ve decided to go with broad/narrow πŸ™‚ You have a great week too!

  10. sjhigbee

    Yes… I agree with everyone else – broad & narrow:). The FB safety check sounds, sadly, like a good idea in these fraught times. I was horrified about Orlando atrocity and am now reeling that we lost a wonderful, passionate MP and mother to young children. Life seems ugly right now!
    I’m very impressed at just how organised you are – I thought I was ahead earlier, until one hefty read made me realise just how fast the days can slip by and now I’m only just keeping up with my NetGalley schedule. Oh well. Have a great reading and blogging week and take care. This is my Sunday Post

    1. Kristen Burns

      Haha, every single person has chosen broad/narrow, so that’s definitely what I’m going with! The FB safety check really is a great thing though. It is sad that we need something like that, but at least we have it. And wow, this really has just been a horrible week with way too much tragedy.

      Thanks! I have a feeling I’ll be falling behind again soon enough lol. I just had lots of discussion inspiration lately and had lots of books to review, including some I read a while ago but just hadn’t reviewed yet. So that made it easy to get ahead. You have a great week too πŸ™‚

  11. Molly @ Molly's Book Nook

    That’s really great that FB has that feature! That’s how so many people check in on each other, so that’s great.

    Broad vs Narrow sounds better to me. Also, how are you so ahead?!?!?! Tell me your secrets! (seriously, I want to be 16 posts ahead of schedule! The most I’ve ever been is like…5.) Also, also, CONGRATS ON 100 ON BLOGLOVIN ! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    1. Kristen Burns

      It really is a great feature. I hadn’t known about it until now.

      Thanks, I’m definitely going with broad/narrow πŸ™‚ Haha I’ll never tell you my secrets! πŸ˜› Honestly it’s just that I’ve had lots of discussion inspiration lately and I had lots of books to review, including some I’d read a while ago but never actually reviewed. I just write my discussions and reviews asap after getting the idea or finishing the book, and that way I don’t get overwhelmed and start that vicious cycle of procrastination.

      Thank you!

      1. Molly @ Molly's Book Nook

        Whenever I try to write posts more than a week ahead I always think “eh, I have plenty of time” and wait till the next week xD I need to start just writing them while I’m on the computer watching youtube videos hahah

        1. Kristen Burns

          Lol see, you can’t think like that! You gotta think, “What if someone invites me on a kickass ski trip next week and I don’t have any time to write posts? I’d better do them now!” Not that I’m sure you’d actually want to go on a ski trip, but you get the point πŸ˜›

  12. Myrthe Dijkslag

    100 followers on Bloglovin? That’s awesome! I’ve got maybe ten on there. So, maybe publishers won’t be standing in line yet, but it’s still an accomplishment you can be proud of!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you! I still don’t know how some people have thousands or even tens of thousands of followers on there though! I didn’t even know there were that many people reading book blogs in the world lol.

  13. Caitlin Evans

    I think Broad vs. Narrow Scope in Books sounds better! Coming up with snappy blog post titles can be such a pain sometimes! And big congrats on being so organised, you put the rest of us to shame haha! Have a good week!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks, broad/narrow is what I’m gonna go with πŸ™‚ I usually go for the direct route rather than snappy, but even that can be difficult to figure out how to portray what the post is about in just a few words!

      Thanks, I’m enjoying being ahead on posts while it lasts! You have a good week too πŸ™‚

  14. Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library

    I hadn’t realized about the FB safety checks. That is such a good idea and so efficient. I think NetGalley conspires against us. I’ve had requests that sit there for weeks and nothing and then I get like 10 approvals at once. I have post scheduling envy. 19 posts! Seriously impressive. Have a great week!

    1. Kristen Burns

      I hadn’t known about the safety check either, but I thought it was really great too.

      Seriously, is Netgalley purposely waiting and sending our acceptances all in one day? Lol.

      Haha, thanks! You have a great week too πŸ™‚

  15. Lola

    I didn’t know anyone who lived in Orlanda, but I heard about the shooting. It’s so sad to hear what happened. And I heard about that facebook feature last year with the terrorist attack in France I believe it was. I know a blogger/ reviewer who lived close by, so it was good to hear she was okay.

    I think narrow scope sounds better, but then wide and narrow might fit better?

    I actually have been doing well keeping my moodreading ways under control lately. I got so many review copies, I’ve been on a strict review books reading schedule, but I have enough different genres, that I still can sorta use my mood. It does make me grumpy sometimes though.

    And you have a fair chance of getting ahead of my with posts scheduled :(. I am at 24 posts at the moment and that’s with cheating and scheduling some end of the year recap posts already. It’s been crazily busy at work this week and I haven’t had much time to write any posts except reviews and I’ve also been reading more slowly.

    That’s great about the 100 bloglovin followers. I think I am only slightly above that number myself. I have the same thing happen with both review copies and work it seems, weeks nothing and then in one week all the new review copies or work arrives at once.

    Yay for winning Roadside magic in a giveaway! I remember how much you enjoyed that book, so that must be exciting to have a physical copy now!

    1. Kristen Burns

      The shooting is so sad, and it seems like so many other tragedies happened this week too. But the FB safety check really is a great thing.

      Thanks, I’m definitely going with that option since that’s what everyone chose, but I already made the graphic for broad vs. narrow lol.

      I’ve been mostly sticking to review copies, and I thought that was what was helping me, that I could just grab the next one on the list if I couldn’t figure out my mood, but now that’s not working lol. The moods are too strong!

      I’m pretty sure I won’t ever be ahead of you lol. This is probably the most I’ll ever have since I’ve been reading slower now too (only two books last week) and really only got so ahead on reviews because I had books I read a while ago but just hadn’t reviewed.

      Thanks πŸ™‚ It’s just nice to hit little milestones. But yeah, it seems like everything in life is like that, right? Nothing, and then everything all at once.

      I am SO excited to actually own the paperback of Roadside Magic! Now I just need the other two to complete my gorgeous trilogy!

  16. Got My Books

    I reviewed a book awhile ago, The Martian Conspiracy, that extrapolated from today’s social media check-ins after a huge disaster. I immediately thought of Facebook and their recent efforts in this arena.

    I like Broad and Narrow better. / I just reached 1 each (review & discussion) blogged ahead, so you’re a long way ahead of me. / Congratulations on reaching 100.

    1. Kristen Burns

      That’s interesting that the book did something like that. I definitely think it’s a great use of social media.

      Thanks, I’m definitely going with broad/narrow πŸ™‚ Lol you cracked me up, but hey, even being one ahead on each is good! I used to scramble to get every post up the night before. And thank you πŸ™‚

  17. Literary Feline

    The situation in Orlando was so heartbreaking. I first heard about it when I woke up Sunday morning–and due to a FB safe message from a friend living near the nightclub. Be glad you aren’t on FB much. Between the political posts and now the arguments over who is at fault in Orlando . . . It’s not a friendly place to be.

    Good job staying so far ahead with your posts! I’m slowly working on being in a similar position. Next month will be more challenging for me, I think, since my mom will be in from out of town. It’s always hard to make time to work on my blog when I have company.

    I was just thinking how The Ferryman Institute and House of Judges covers look great side by side. πŸ™‚ I would like to read both.

    We saw the movie Finding Dory this morning. My daughter loved it, despite her fear it would scare her. I thought it was cute, but nothing that stands out.

    I hope you have a great week, Kristen!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah, I find that looking at my FB feed usually just ends up being depressing, so I really only use FB for keeping in touch with a few people who live far.

      Thanks! It’s good to be ahead for when things come up and life does get busier, especially since you never know when something unexpected might pop up.

      Haha, the colors match so perfectly on the covers! And I recommend both πŸ™‚

      Ooh you got to see Finding Dory? I’d like to see it, but I don’t do movie theaters, so I’ll be waiting a while, probably until it comes out on TV since I don’t really rent movies either. Kinda disappointing that it didn’t stand out, but I guess it’s hard to follow up a movie like Finding Nemo.

      You have a great week too πŸ™‚

  18. Maureen's Books (@MaureenHinten)

    That FB safety check is definitely a great thing. I saw that on FB after the bombing in Brussel. Hearing about the shooting in Orlando, definitely makes you realize how fast life can change and that it is important to tell the people you love how much they mean to you as much as you can.
    Love your new book haul and those covers are beautiful.
    I’ve been having some internet issues.. So Sunday posting a little late. Have a great week πŸ˜‰

    1. Kristen Burns

      The FB thing really is great. But yeah, these types of occurrences do remind us of how suddenly and unexpectedly things can change.

      Thanks, I really like some of those covers too!

      No worries about the late post πŸ™‚

  19. Eva @ All Books Considered

    That is great to know about FB. I am still reeling from the news last week — so awful

    19 posts scheduled?! Dang, that is awesome! Especially six discussions — wow!!

    Yay for winning the discussion challenge giveaway!!

    1. Kristen Burns

      It’s such a helpful FB feature, but it’s definitely sad that it was needed since the news was awful.

      And thanks πŸ˜€ About the posts and the giveaway!

  20. S. J. Pajonas

    Lol. Lola is the queen of blogging ahead, isn’t she? I can barely blog ahead by a week! I bow down to her. The Orlando shootings really got to me as well, and I was glad for that safety check. Plenty of them came through in my notifications, so that was nice. It was still very sad.

    PS) I like Broad vs Narrow. πŸ™‚

    1. Kristen Burns

      She really is! I don’t think I’ll ever quite reach her number. It was so helpful having that safety check, but definitely sad that we needed it at all.

      Thanks, everyone liked broad/narrow, so that’s what I’m going with πŸ™‚