The Weekly Update: 8-21-16


Time for more gymnastics updates! And let me tell you, the event finals were SO AWESOME. I won’t go through everything or list every winner though, I’ll just tell you my favorite parts.

I’ve never seen a gymnastics competition as emotional as the men’s floor finals. I couldn’t even be upset that the US didn’t medal because those guys who did (Max Whitlock of Great Britain, Diego Hypolito and Arthur Mariano of Brazil) were so ridiculously happy and grateful. You couldn’t look at their faces and not smile. I swear I had tears in my eyes. (In case you all can’t tell, I’m actually a huge sap.) And I just loved the clip below when they were waiting for the final score to come in and Mariano couldn’t even handle it and was just on the floor lol. I don’t know what it is, but the male gymnasts are so much more emotional when they win than the females. I love it because the happiness is infectious. Their competitions also just seem to be more dramatic lol.

Then there was women’s vault—HOLY CRAP. Oksana Chusovitina (Uzbekistan) is not only 41 years old, she also competed the HARDEST vault that there is for women, the Produnova. If you look it up on Google, you’ll see it referred to as “the vault of death.” Very few female gymnasts have ever successfully completed it. She fell on her landing, but she still made it to her feet. Dipa Karmakar (India) also did the vault. Both were impressive. Video here.

But, as if that wasn’t impressive enough, Igor Radivilov (Ukraine) did an even CRAZIER vault, one that has never been competed before. Instead of two front flips like in the Produnova, he did THREE front flips!!! Video here. And numerous others did 2 flips with a half twist. And Kenzo Shirai (Japan) also did a new vault with insanely fast twisting! As the commentators said, it seemed like the guys were just throwing the biggest, craziest skills they had in an all-or-nothing fashion, taking the risk of not medaling at all in order to go for the gold.

I was also majorly impressed by Eleftherios Petrounias (Greece) on rings. I’m not normally a huge rings fan, but wow! Video here. Sanne Wevers’s beam routine (Netherlands) was also incredible—those turns! Turns on beam are so much harder than they look. Video here. Both won well-deserved gold medals.

Also notable was Epke Zonderland (Netherlands) who took a rough fall on high bar, even had a visible red mark on his forehead where it slammed into the mat, but he got back up and finished one hell of a routine and didn’t hold back. Video here. But I just have to say, it really pisses me off that if you Google this, almost all the article titles are like, “Gymnast Falls Flat on Face!” One called it an “epic fail” even. What about how fucking amazing his routine was? And how much guts and hard work it takes to even do that skill in the first place? And how he got back up and perfectly redid the same skill he fell on even while he had to be shaken and in pain? (The video I linked to doesn’t even show how bad it looked from the side.) I’d like to see the jerks writing these things just try and hold their body up on a bar. (Here, I’m including this Buzzfeed video of non-gymnasts trying gymnastics as proof of how hard it is.) It really bothers me when people don’t have respect for the gymnasts that fall. EVERY gymnast falls. Every. Single. One. They also do those skills perfectly a million times. It just depends what happens in that one routine during competition.

Anyway, it was also just really great seeing how respectful and supportive all the gymnasts were of each other. And of course Jonathan Horton’s commentating was so much fun. He also has so much respect for all those gymnasts, and it really shows. Plus his personal stories are the best lol.

Wow! Ok, long intro. Sorry, guys! Probably no one read any of that. If you did, you’re my new favorite. Now let’s talk about books!

Blog/Bookish Updates:

Last week I complained about the new Bloglovin’ feed, but then Sunday night, I think it was, I realized you can actually change it back! So for anyone who doesn’t know, you just have to click the three dots at the top and choose “List View.” 🙂

Also, if you don’t hear from me and wonder why, check your spam folder because one of my comments went to spam on Lola’s blog, and my comments didn’t show up on one or two other blogs even though I think they were blogs I had commented on before. So weird comment stuff has been happening.

Books I Received for Review:

Wriggle & Sparkle by Megan Derr | reading, books

Wriggle & Sparkle has the best content warning ever on the publisher’s website: “Wriggle & Sparkle contains explicit content, including some descriptions of sexual acts involving tentacles.” And on Goodreads, apparently they were just like fuck it because it’s literally just, “Warning: Contains tentacle porn.” So yep, that’s right, guys, I’m gonna try tentacle porn! First time for everything, right? 😉

Books I Finished:

Something Wicked by Carol Oates | reading, books
Cages by Aidan Edwards | reading, books
As Wings Unfurl by Arthur M. Doweyko | reading, books

Something Wicked took me forever to finish because it was slow-paced and I was in a reading slump (not a good combo), but it actually was a good, atmospheric vampire book. Cages… I had too many issues with it. With some editing, I think it might’ve made a better short story. As Wings Unfurl wasn’t bad, but I don’t think it was quite right for me. Just couldn’t get into it. But it was great reading about a main character with a disability (his lower leg was amputated) who was just a normal character, as in, the story wasn’t about his disability.

Song of the Week:

No song this week. Too busy watching the Olympics, no time for music!

In Case You Missed It:

– I shared book covers featuring mountains.
– I reviewed Slowly We Rot by Bryan Smith, an emotional, psychological, dark “zombie book” that was more about alcoholism and people than zombies. (Seriously, people, this book affected me. I don’t give 4.5 stars often.)
– I discussed whether or not it’s worth it to read series that have been abandoned.
– I reviewed Pale as a Ghost by Stephen Osborne, a light, fun M/M ghost paranormal.

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?
Did you watch any more of the Olympics (especially the gymnastics)?
Are you also sad the Olympics is already over???
What's your #1 way to get out of a reading slump?


Your Thoughts


40 thoughts on “The Weekly Update: 8-21-16

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  1. Laura Thomas

    The Olympics have sure been exciting! Wiggle and Sparkle sounds fun. Love that title:) I had someones comments go to spam and they’ve been a frequent visitor. I think it’s happening to a lot of people. Thanks for the heads up about Bloglovin. Will go check that out!

    My Sunday Post

    1. Kristen Burns

      It’s titled that because one character is a kraken shifter and the other a unicorn shifter lol, and that’s why I couldn’t resist the book. Yeah, I also had a comment end up in my spam. So it’s like a weird week for comments. No problem about Bloglovin! I was just so happy to be able to make it normal again lol.

  2. Greg

    I didn’t see all the gymnastics finals but what I did see was pretty impressive. In fact I thought this was a pretty good Olympics all around in terms of cometition- a lot of events just had amazing results. Just fun to watch. Plus hey drama- drunk Americans making up stories lol and all kinds of scandals. Good times! Seriously though I’ll miss the Olympics a bit.

    Those vault videos are seriously impressive. I didn’t see that competition but those are some gutsy attempts.

    Like the cover of Something Wicked, the blood is a nice touch.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Wait, drunk Americans making up stories and scandals? Did I miss something? Lol. I think I’m gonna try and watch some of the diving online since that was cool and I hardly saw any of it.

      Those vaults were CRAZY! I didn’t even know a front handspring with three flips was physically possible!

      I agree, the blood is a nice touch, especially since it’s about a vampire 🙂

      1. Greg

        I know? Seriously the first week all I heard about was results, and this week it’s all been about drunken swimmers and the behind the scenes stuff. And I didn’t see enough diving either- I love watching the whole competition, not just the edited bits for TV. Especially those high springboard dives where they do the handstand first. Seriously??

        And yeah that one vault where the guy actually landed on his feet he just fell on his butt because momentum- I mean it does look almost impossible, that third flip. amazing.

        1. Kristen Burns

          Apparently I did miss something since I didn’t hear about the drunken swimmers. Why does it seem like it’s always the swimmers that have the drama? And yeah, the diving is awesome. Admittedly I’m actually really good at handstands lol, but even I am impressed by how perfect their balance has to be to start a dive like that. It seems risky because imagine if they lost their balance and fell before even doing the dive??! And how hard it must be to do skills out of it like that.

          Seriously that’s one of those skills that’s kind of scary to watch because it doesn’t seem like he’d make it around!

  3. Annemiek

    Epke falling flat on his face is more entertaining for those that don’t care about the sports I suppose. It was sad to see to be honest because his routine was pretty good and he had a really good shot at the gold again. But at least we had Sanne this time too who did really great.

    Yeah, the weird comment stuff has been happening for a while everywhere. It doesn’t seem to be just one platform that has this.

    1. Kristen Burns

      It just shouldn’t be entertaining for anyone though to see someone fall like that. Not only is it painful and rattling (I don’t think people realize how painful or jarring some falls can be because these gymnasts just get up and don’t show it), it’s heartbreaking for any gymnast to fall at the Olympics because most of them have done that skill or that connection perfectly a million times in practice. And yeah, his routine, aside from that one mishap, was fantastic. And Sanne’s beam routine was amazing too, I’ve never seen turns like that.

      Yeah, I had a comment end up in my spam this week too even though she comments all the time. So I don’t know what’s happening!

  4. Christy LoveOfBooks

    Darn, the video was disabled. I didn’t watch any gymnastics this year. Shame on me! I only watch certain equestrian events, and a whole lot of track. So proud of the distance runners, especially, Rupp is running marathon tomorrow, so one last chance to medal. Yeah, you’re comments used to go to my spam until I marked it. Have a wonderful week!!

    1. Kristen Burns

      The video’s just disable for playback on other site, but you can see it on YouTube 🙂 I watched most of the gymnastics online since the TV coverage just wasn’t cutting it. I wanted to see all of it, not ten minutes like they were showing some nights. I didn’t watch any running, but that’s impressive too!

      The spam thing was weird though since I comment on her blog all the time, and it only happened this one time. It just seems weird comment things have been happening. You have a wonderful week too!

  5. Trish @ Between My Lines

    I did read all the intro! I’m fascinated by gymnastics and I loved your commentary this week and last week on them. It’s so true about those that fall, it’s just the worst timing for them, but it doesn’t take away in the slightest from the unbelievable routines that they are performing. By the way have you read Letters to Nowhere by Julie Cross? It’s a YA book set in the world of elite gymnastics, sounds like it would be right up your alley!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yay! In that case, you’re my new favorite 😛 I’m glad you liked my commentary 🙂 And when they fall, it’s just unfortunate that it had to happen during the Olympics rather than during a random practice. Not that falls like that one are ever good, but still. The routines are still amazing. I have not read that book! It turns out there are more gymnastics books out there than I thought, I’ll look that one up, thanks for letting me know!

  6. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    I love your comments on the gymnastics because I get it and I am just this person who knows nothing and thinks it’s amazing how skilled everyone and I know you know way more about gymnastics so you get really excited about it because you know why the skills these gymnasts have are amazing. I completely agree with your comments about Zonderland (isn’t that just such a cool surname?) and his fall on the bars. I could tell he was going all out on his routine and the things he was going to do on the bars was amazing. He went to do something which was difficult and slipped and fell. If he had managed to do it successfully he would have owned that high bar final because it was so impressive but unfortunately he didn’t and that sucks. it was a hard fall and you could tell with the marks on his face and he would have been hurting and shaken and he continued and that is so impressive! I know gymnasts practise all their routines so much and they will have fallen many times in their years of training but do it at the Olympic finals would make many want to give up but he didn’t and people should be celebrating that fact!

    Anyway, onto bookish things! The fact you are going in and reading tentacle porn is amazing, I want a review because I want to know if it’s good or not. I mean, that is not the kind of book you come across often so really I am intrigued by the warning alone. It sucks your reading week has not been amazing, I know that feeling of reading books and just not being able to get into them as you’re in a slump. Especially when you know you are enjoying a book less because of it. I wish I could recommend a way out of a bookish slump but I don’t know one. I sometimes try and reread old favourites because that gets me excited for reading again otherwise I just have to hope I find that book which clicks for me and makes me want to read over all other things.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I love your entire comment so much lol. I’m so glad you like my gymnastics comments! It’s the only sport I know anything about, I gotta enjoy it while it lasts 😛 Zonderland’s routine was incredible. I mean, if you were to, like, edit the fall out, he was just phenomenal and probably would’ve won. Exactly, he took a risk by trying to do something more difficult, something I’m sure he’s done a million times, but this one time he happened to slip. I don’t think a lot of people watching realize though how painful and rattling some falls are because the gymnasts don’t show it, they just get up and keep going like nothing happened.

      Hahaha well it’s a review copy, so you’ll be getting that review that you want! From the other reviews I’ve read, it’s supposedly rather classy/low-key as far as tentacle porn goes, so that’s probably good for my first time reading it 😛 I see other people on GR talk about tentacle porn sometimes though, so I’m kinda curious what all the fuss is about! Something Wicked wasn’t really unenjoyable, but I think I might’ve been more into it and gotten through it a lot faster if not for my slump. The other two though, honestly, I don’t think I would’ve liked them any better regardless. I actually have one book in a series I like that recently came out, so I’m reading that, and I think it’s helping 😀

  7. Samantha

    I loved watching the Brazilians win in men’s gymnastics. Mariano’s smile was just so adorable!! And the guy that fell from the high bar?!? Oh my gosh I gasped out loud when I saw it! Watching it in slow motion you can see how hard he hit-it actually snapped his neck back a bit!
    Enjoy your new books! Have a great week!

    1. Kristen Burns

      I think the Brazilians winning were my favorite part of the entire Olympics! And yes, his smile was ridiculously adorable! I gasped too at the fall. I don’t know if you watched it online or on TV, but online they didn’t show him getting up right away, they just showed him flat on the floor, and I was worried he was seriously injured. And online they show the slow-mo from the side, and yeah, you can see how bad the fall was, especially on his neck. I’m sure he was sore the next day.

      Thanks! You have a great week too!

  8. Keionda @Keionda Hearts Books

    I didn’t watch the Olympics myself, BUT my parents did. The only thing I know is that I remember my mom constantly cringing and yelling at the screen so I guess that meant is was good?? Teehee! I actually just saw the Bloglovin feed and knew something was off but never knew what it was until I read your post… o.o

    1. Kristen Burns

      Haha cringing and yelling at the screen means she was super into it, so yeah, I’d say that means it was good! Lol I immediately hated the Bloglovin’ feed when it changed, so I’m just glad I could change it back and thought other people might be too!

  9. Karen Blue

    I watched all of the women’s gymnastics. Some of it was devastating, mostly I smiled watching the athletes reactions to their scores and winning a medal. I totally missing the men’s gymnastics, so thanks for including the video links. That guy from Greece was amazing on the rings.
    Usually I read a lot of reviews when I am in a reading slump. I try to read book in publication order, so sometimes I need to find that no-fail book to get me back into reading again. I am sure this will pass for you. Have a great week!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah, sometimes seeing the reactions was just as great and seeing their routines! I actually missed the men’s trials and team finals the first week, but then I started streaming online instead of waiting for the horrible TV coverage. And right? He was incredible on rings! Made it look so easy!

      I was trying to read books in publication order, but I mood reader, so eventually I gave up and just had to go more with my mood. I’m sure the slump will pass too though, it just sucks while you’re in it! You have a great week too 🙂

    1. Kristen Burns

      Hahaha bad Amber! It seems like a lot of people just didn’t really get into it as much as usual this year though, so you’re not alone.

      No problem! I hated the new look and was really happy when I figured out how to change it back, so I figured other people might want to change it back too!

  10. Tiffany @ I Was Angelized_1st

    Those were all great vids. Spectacular! You’re right, it was very shitty for people to talk about Epke Wonderland’s fall. His routine was phenomenal, and very difficult. Yeah he fell, but he was a sportsman, and got back up to finish. That’s what should be newsworthy.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I’m glad you enjoyed them! The event finals were so much fun to watch, but those were all my favorite moments. And exactly, Epke’s routine was phenomenal. Without that fall, I think he’d have won gold because it was a gorgeous routine. And it sucks that he just happened to fall during that particular routine, the one at the Olympics, but that doesn’t make him any less amazing of a gymnast. I’m still aggravated about the headlines.

  11. Heather @ Random Redheaded Ramblings

    I have been dipping in and out of the Olympics, the time difference is always a pain but what I have seen has been amazing. I was watching the women’s diving the other day and they are incredible. I am looking forward to the Paralympics, I think those guys are so amazing in what they can do!

    Have a great week!

    1. Kristen Burns

      I’ve been watching online since the TV coverage was awful anyway. The diving is also really amazing! I might try to stream some more of that online since I didn’t see much. I’ve never watched the Paralympics, but now that you’ve mentioned it I’m gonna look it up and see when it’s on and see if I’ll be able to stream that online too!

      You have a great week too 🙂

  12. Lola

    Sounds like you really enjoyed watching the gymnastics. That’s a shame the reporters only focus on the fall for that one instead of on his routine. And that must be quite emotional for them to be waiting for the scores and if they won a medal or not. It was fun to read and hear how enthusiastic you are about the gymnastics, even though i didn’t watch anything, it’s still fun to read your post.

    That’s neat you can change your bloglovin feed back. It’s nice when companies do that and give you the option which layout to use. Weird comment stuff has been happening to me all day. I had to contact 4 or 5 different bloggers about comments going to spam, so that was almost every comment I left today. I am going on another comment spree now, so i wonder how much more comments go to spam :(.

    Wriggle and Sparkle sounds fun! I hope it’s a good one. And that’s interesting about those content ratings. Sorry to hear Something Wicked took you so long to read, but it does sound like it was a good read. Too bad about those other two and how they didn’t fully work for you. I hope you’ll have a great week!

    1. Kristen Burns

      I loved the gymnastics!!! But yeah, it wasn’t NBC or the commentators who said anything bad about his fall, just all the idiots on those other sites. They’re probably those type of people who think they could do all the things gymnasts do but in reality can’t even do a pull-up -_- Glad you liked my thoughts on the gymnastics though 🙂

      I think most of my comments have been going to spam too :-/ Except I don’t contact other bloggers the way you do since I’m never sure if maybe it just needs to approved or something. When I had issues with my emails going to spam, I was told it had something to do with the servers or something. Like, if another website on the same server is spammy, you get marked as spammy too, but that’s why they switch them every so often. So I would say that maybe it’s something like that, except it’s weird that it’s happening to both of us right now. So maybe it is something to do with the update? Or maybe the update + some plugins that we have? But that’s nearly impossible to actually test. I’m afraid people are going to think I’m not visiting or commenting.

      I’m fairly certain Wriggle and Sparkle will be too cutesy and unrealistic for me, but I couldn’t resist when one character is a genderfluid kraken and one is a bisexual unicorn. Something Wicked was good but yeah it just took me an entire week to read. Thanks, you have a great week too!

      1. Lola

        I just send the blogger a DM on twitter if my comment doesn’t post, because else my comments might keep landing in spam and I don’t want anyone to think i am not visiting them. The sites I comment on regularly I remember if my comment shows up immediately or not. And those that have moderation, usually say so. And I guess the worst thing that can happen is that my comment still needed to get approved and I sent a message for nothing. I do feel bad for bothering everyone though, but I know that if it was my blog the comments don’t show up I would want people to tell me.
        It’s probably some spam filter of a plugin or something that got changed or tightened.

        Wriggle and Sparkle does sound cute and unrealistic, but hey if you know that before you start reading. And it does sound very original with the genderfluid kraken and bisexual unicorn.

        1. Kristen Burns

          I don’t know, I feel awkward contacting other bloggers if I’m not, like, friends with them? I know that’s stupid because, like you said, the worst that can happen is my comment just needs approval and the message wasn’t necessary, but still. I do periodically check my spam anyway though, so I think I usually find any comments that accidentally end up there.

          Hmm, I was thinking that maybe the update combined with some plugin that you and I have could’ve caused our blogs to be marked as spammy, but maybe you’re right, maybe it’s a spam filter plugin that got affected or something.

          Yeah, I’ve never read about a unicorn (though, surprisingly, I have read about a kraken this year lol), and I like books about characters with different sexual orientations, so I just couldn’t pass it up.

  13. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    I loved reading your comments on the gymnastics – it’s so interesting to see the perspective of someone who’s done it. (My daughter has a little bit of that perspective, but she’s only a level 4 so …) You’re right that it’s frustrating when people point out the negatives instead of focusing on how amazing these skills are!

    1. Kristen Burns

      I think you may be overestimating the gymnastic ability that I used to have, haha. Even a level 4 knows what’s hard and what’s not quite as hard though, so I’m sure your daughter knows! But I’m glad you liked my commentary 🙂 It really does bother me though to see people joking or laughing about a gymnast falling like that, and at the Olympics no less. It doesn’t make what he did any less amazing! If anything it should show people how tough gymnasts are and what they go through to make it to that high a level and to be that good!

  14. Got My Book

    Actually (please don’t shoot me), I’m glad the Olympics are over. I don’t watch TV etc and my blog stats took a plunge when they started.

    My favorite way to deal with a reading slump is to do a “roll-through.” I go through my audiobooks listening to all my favorite parts.

    1. Kristen Burns

      You’re allowed to be glad the Olympics are over lol. I don’t pay much attention to how much my stats fluctuate, but I spent so much time watching the Olympics last week that it was probably good thing if I got less comments since I had less free time for blogging, haha.

      That’s an interesting way of getting past a reading slump, haven’t seen that idea before!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Haha yes I used to do gymnastics, so that is where the love comes from. I was never particularly good, mostly because I was a scaredy cat, but I loved it nonetheless!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Well my confession is that I’m not that into the Winter Olympics, so no worries, haha. Really I only like watching gymnastics and anything similar to gymnastics, like diving. So in the winter the only thing I ever watch is figure skating 😛

  15. Kei @ The Lovely Pages Reviews

    So many reading slumps around and that’s weird since there have been so many amazing releases lately and Netgalley is full of books more than usual.

    I enjoyed the Olympics, not like other years due to the timelines because I missed pretty much everything I wanted to see and it’s not fun watching it afterwards when you know the outcome. Have a great week!

    1. Kristen Burns

      I’m not usually a fan of the big releases, so those don’t really have an effect on my reading lol. And Netgalley… I have a whole bunch of pages bookmarked for books I’m considering requesting, but none of them are like “THIS IS EXACTLY YOUR KIND OF BOOK, KRISTEN!” you know? But it’s not even that there are no good sounding books, it’s that I just haven’t felt like reading period.

      Aww sorry the time screwed you up. I watched most of the gymnastics online and did a pretty job of avoiding spoilers. But you’re right, it isn’t quite as much fun when you already know who wins. You have a great week too!