The Weekly Update: 8/7/16


Wow, I actually don’t have anything “real life” to talk about this week.

Oh! The Olympics have officially started, so that’s something. I have to admit I didn’t bother watching the opening ceremonies, but I’ll definitely be watching the gymnastics πŸ™‚ It’s not often I actually get to watch gymnastics on TV, so the Olympics is a very exciting time for me lol.

Other than that, as I said, nothing to report. I did have a fairly good bookish week though, so let’s just skip to that part!

Blog/Bookish Updates:

Last week I won a signed paperback of No One Dies in the Garden of Syn by Michael Seidelman, and this week it arrived! Isn’t it purrrrrdy?

No One Dies In the Garden of Syn by Michael Seidelman - Paperback

Sorry it’s not a prettier picture. Just my book and my sweatpants lol (because the book was on my lap). Maybe one day I’ll gather a bunch of stuff to use as props and actually take some nice photos of the books I have.

In other news, I think I’m slightly altering my blog schedule. I’m 99% certain not a single person reading this even pays attention to or cares about my blog schedule, but it helps me feel organized and keep my posts varied. I just haven’t been liking all the topics for Cover Characteristics as much lately, plus I’m afraid that I’m going to run out of stuff to post if I keep going at this pace. So for now I will post 2-3 reviews a week, depending on deadlines and how many I have, my weekly update, 1 discussion, and 1 other. Some weeks the other will be Cover Characteristics, some weeks it’ll be whatever I feel like. But as I mentioned last week, I’m running out discussion inspiration, so those might be spotty pretty soon :-/ I suppose it’s not like a mob of book bloggers is going to show up and lynch me if I have to skip posts some weeks. I’m considering seeing if anyone is interested in doing guest posts, but I feel completely intimidated by the prospect of reaching out to people like that? I’ve always been more of a solo person, and I’m not even sure how things like that work in the blogging world :-/

But speaking of posts, I’m holding steady at 17 reviews, and I managed to get one new discussion post written. Unfortunately I still don’t have a post for tomorrow. Funny how I can be so ahead yet so behind all at the same time lol.

Books I Received for Review:

The Ghost Chronicles by Marlo Berliner | reading, books
Shatterproof by Xen Sanders | reading, books
As Wings Unfurl by Arthur M. Doweyko | reading, books

The Ghost Chronicles is being being offered on YA Bound Book Tours, the other two are from Netgalley. And As Wings Unfurl is a sci-fi with an amputee main character! I’m still on the hunt for SFF with disabled characters, so I snatched that one up right away.

Books I Finished:

Machinations by Hayley Stone | reading, books
Slowly We Rot by Bryan Smith | reading, books
Shatterproof by Xen Sanders | reading, books

Machinations was a complete surprise because I thought it would be all action and robots, but it actually turned out to be mostly emotion and people. If you want my full thoughts, you can check out the full review since I just posted it on Friday. Slowly We Rot was… amazing? I don’t know what happened for a good portion of the book, but when it ended, I felt emotionally overwhelmed, in a good way. My review should be up on the 16th. Shatterproof was a semi-dark read dealing with suicide and depression. That review won’t be up until September. Apparently this was the week of thought-provoking, inner struggle, psychological reads for me.

Song of the Week:

“I Need Some Sleep” by Eels – This came on the 8tracks playlist I was listening to while reading Slowly We Rot, and it was absolutely perfect for the feel of the book at the part I was at. It’s also a nice song in general though.


In Case You Missed It:

– I shared book covers featuring ghosts.
– I reviewed Wings of Shadow by Sherri A. Wingler, a hilarious YA about reapers set in Hell—one of my favorite settings!
– I discussed how different humans would be if we were immortal like paranormal creatures.
– I reviewed The Experiment by Alicia Nordwell, a light M/M sci-fi romance with aliens.
– I reviewed Machinations by Hayley Stone, a sci-fi about an MC waking up as a clone with a surprising amount of emotion and romance.

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 music this week?
Do you have a schedule for your blog?
Have you ever done a guest post or had one on your blog?


Your Thoughts


43 thoughts on “The Weekly Update: 8/7/16

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  1. Greg

    I’m pretty excited about the Olympics, and looking forward to trying to see the events I like, in spite of NBC’s coverage. The opening ceremony was okay (what I saw of it) but the flood of ads made it almost unwatchable, at least for me. I should be used to it by now.

    Love that cover of No One Dies. Nice looking book. The topics for CC have been hit or miss- some I just don’t feel like looking for, so I hear ya there. I wish I could do 2-3 reviews a week. Or maybe just 2- I have trouble some weeks just doing one. Being ahead is good though.

    Machinations has such a nice cover.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah, everything is becoming more full of ads. But now that I’m thinking about it, that’s actually one of the great things about books, those are never interrupted by ads lol. I already missed the men’s gymnastics that was on tonight, but I wasn’t all that worried. I like the women’s gymnastics more.

      No One Dies has such a great cover! That’s one of the reasons I was so excited lol. And yeah, the CC have mostly miss for me lately. And I just don’t have the motivation to think of a million topics for myself. My reviews might slow up eventually, for now I’ve got lots of copies with release dates coming soon or already passed, and I’m getting a lot read, so less than 2-3 would just put me behind.

      It’s funny, the cover would never have made me interested in Machinations. Not my kinda cover I guess, but that just goes to show how everyone has such different tastes!

  2. Literary Feline

    I always enjoy catching the opening ceremony, seeing what cultural offerings the host country has to offer. They sure are long though, and that’s a big downside. I’m limited in what I can watch of the actual games because of work, but I try to catch some of the games. I really like the gymnastics too. This year I’ve gotten into the women’s soccer. My husband likes the beach volleyball. And swimming is always popular in our house. One of my coworker’s goddaughter is in the high jump competition and so we’ll likely be watching that as well if we can.

    I am glad you had a good bookish week! I feel like I did too. Cool about you winning a signed copy of No One Dies in the Garden of Syn!

    I have a blog schedule I loosely follow. I have anchor posts, like my Sunday Post and some of my meme posts. Other than that, it’s a free for all. I do what I can when I can and try not to sweat it when I can’t. As for guest posts, I’ve had authors visit and, less so, other bloggers. Earlier in my blogging career (did I actually just use the word “career”?), I used to ask for volunteers among my blogger visitors to write guest posts for me. I was always surprised how many people were willing to volunteer!

    I hope you have a great week!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah, the opening ceremonies are just too long, and my computer is in a different room than my TV, and I just didn’t have the time to sit through that while being unproductive. I am definitely going to try and catch as much gymnastics as possible though or find it online if I miss it since it’s the one sport I’m actually into lol. And how cool that your coworker’s goddaughter is competing!

      Thank you!

      I was considering reaching out to authors actually, but again, intimidating lol. I feel like reaching out to authors is even more intimidating than bloggers, and I wouldn’t know how to do that! I mean, I do like self-pub authors, so they might be happy for the chance to get more publicity, but I don’t know.

      You have a great week too!

  3. roro

    I agree No One Dies in the Garden of Syn is purdy. I haven’t done anything productive today it’s the Olympics fault i say!!! Haha. I loved beach volleyball , gymnastics and swimming. Especially the men’s events. They are amazing at what there doing and the dudes are so freaking hot. I’m rooting for the Tongans. Honestly Amini Fonua( It’s so cool to see an openly gay Pacific Islander , I’m indigenous myself) and Pita Taufatofua are so hot. Secondly because i love rooting for fellow smaller countries. Suriname has 1 gold and 3 bronze , Tonga has 2 silver . It would be cool that they scored some gold.

    My book week was decent. I got the second hand. You should try better world books, they have international free shipping . I also got in the mail
    I can’t wait to read the reviews of As Wings Unfurl and Slowly We Rot.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I just love the cover! And Lol you get a free pass for being unproductive when it’s Olympics time. I actually prefer the women’s gymnastics over the men’s though. I do like looking at hot men, haha, but I used to be a gymnast, so the women’s gymnastics is what I know and love, and it’s just more artistic. I looked up the guys you mentioned though, and they are hot, I can see why you like them πŸ˜› It would be cool for some smaller countries to get gold medals, I do feel kind of bad when there are so few athletes, but I gotta root for my Team USA since this is my home!

      Sorry that my comment system seems to have eaten your original links? Lol. Those do look like some interesting books! The artwork on the cover of Monstress is gorgeous.

      I am already so excited to post my review for Slowly We Rot, so I’m glad you’re looking forward to it!

  4. Christy LoveOfBooks

    There was some opening ceremony thrown in with all the commercials, so you didn’t miss too much. πŸ˜€

    You could just put it out there in a post like this that you’re looking guest posts and have them contact you. Or use a google form they can sign-up with. I only post 2 times a week and still want to cut back. lol.

    That’s a pretty good song. Thanks for sharing! Have a great week.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Hahaha yeah Greg mentioned all the advertising too. Good to know I didn’t miss much though!

      Hmm, using a google form or putting something in my sidebar is not a bad idea. I’d really like to get some indie author guest posts, but that seems even more difficult and intimidating. And lol, yeah, I’m pretty sure I’ll eventually cut back since 5-6 posts is a week does feel like kind of a lot. But for now it’s working for me.

      Glad you liked it! You have a great week too πŸ™‚

  5. Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

    Yeah, coming up with discussion topics can be hard. There are times when I come up with a ton at the same time, and then, nothing for a while. It’s all good, though, right? I have never been lynched, and I’m pretty sure you won’t be either πŸ˜‰
    I haven’t actually watched the Olympics either, Kristen. I’ve only seen a photo of one of the French male gymnast’s leg… and that sure wasn’t pretty o.O I do love gymnastics, though, and also synchronized swimming. It’s so elegant.
    Have a wonderful week ahead and happy reading.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah, for a while, I was coming with a whole bunch of discussion topics, but not so much lately. Good to know that I won’t be lynched though πŸ˜›

      I just looked up the French gymnast thing and oh no πŸ™ That makes me so sad because even though I obviously want my team to win, I never actually want other gymnasts to get hurt, you know? They work so hard and do every skill a million times only to have the one time they mess up like that be during the Olympics. And this poor guy also apparently injured himself right before the 2012 Olympics too. Now I just feel horrible for him.

      I should check out the synchronized swimming. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen it, but I imagine it would be elegant. You have a wonderful week too πŸ™‚

  6. Trish @ Between My Lines

    I love watching the Gymnastics at the Olympics and that is generally the only time I watch it. I become an armchair expert by the end of it and then I have to wait 4 years to see more!
    Your new book looks interesting and it’s always great to win physical books. I love them slipping in through the letterbox. Have a good week πŸ™‚

    1. Kristen Burns

      When I lived with my parents, they had the good cable package and could record shows, so I got to watch college gymnastics sometimes, but other than that there really isn’t much gymnastics on TV!

      It’s so great winning physical books! It’s like unwrapping a Christmas gift even though I already know what’s inside the paper lol. You have a great week too!

  7. Lola

    I don’t really watch the Olympics, but I did heard that they started yesterday. I hope you’ll enjoy watching it.

    Yay your won book arrived! It sure looks pretty! I usually don’t really care what people post when, but when they post the same thing consistently on a certain day I do notice it. Like your discussion posts are always on Wednesday day and your recap on Sunday. And if you don’t have inspiration for the discussion posts you can always skip them a few weeks.

    Concerning guest posts I have done a few on other blogs and I think I had one blogger do one for me once. In most of the guest posts I’ve done for others it was the blogger reaching out specifically to me and ask if I wanted to do a guest post for them or it was more of a general call for guest posts that i saw in a facebook group for example. The guest post I had another blogger done on my blogs was about audiobooks as I don’t know much about that myself I thought it was interesting to ask someone who does listen to them to do a guest post on my blog.

    I hope you’ll enjoy the ghost chronicles! I like the cover for that one. I am looking forward to your review of Slowly We Rot, that cover is so original and it sounds like you enjoyed it. I can already tell Shatterproof won’t be a book for me, but that’s good to know as well :).

    You already saw my new books this week. Concerning music, I mostly listened to the soundtrack for Viridi (a game about growing plants) as it’s very calming. I hope you’ll have a great week!

    1. Kristen Burns

      You should totally watch the gymnastics πŸ˜›

      Haha, yes, I do post discussions on Wednesdays. I don’t really notice the days that other people post either, but I still think it helps me stay organized with my own blogging. And exactly, I’ve had to skip posts before. I’d prefer to have all the posts go up each week, but I don’t freak out if I miss one post in a week or something since I still have other posts, so it’s not like the blog will be empty.

      I’m thinking about maybe contact some authors about doing guest posts. Though it’s intimidating. I don’t know, like I said, I’m such a solo person that I don’t even know how to do these things and always feel like I’m gonna screw something up somehow lol.

      Thanks! I had been wanting Ghost Chronicles, so I was happy when it was offered on YA Bound. Surprisingly, Slowly We Rot was actually way more emotional than Shatterproof, and it also dealt with mental illness and heavy topics, but in a completely different and way more unsettling way. So Shatterproof would be far more the book for you than Slowly We Rot lol. Shatterproof didn’t have much of an emotional effect on me, so it disappointed me a bit in that regard.

      Sometimes calming music is good πŸ™‚ I don’t listen to a lot of ambient type music, but I do listen to a lot of melancholy type music. You have a great week too!

    1. Kristen Burns

      I gave Shatterproof 4 stars, so it was pretty good πŸ™‚

      I actually did catch a small part of the opening ceremony and it looked rather strange and I just wasn’t interested lol.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Haha that’s the great thing about the Olympics, people end up appreciating sports that they otherwise don’t usually pay attention to! You get to learn about the sports by watching πŸ˜› Thanks!

    1. Kristen Burns

      I kinda feel the same way, to be honest. But gymnastics is so rarely on TV that I don’t want to miss that. I already kind of just forgot yesterday and missed the men’s trials though, so yeah, I understand the blah feeling.

  8. Mareli Thalwitzer

    I admire you for sticking to a schedule – goodness for KEEEEEEPING a schedule. I am going to be looking in to a few other features this week. Cover Characteristics is a lot of fun, but I really get NO traffic on it. So somehow it doesn’t work for me…. I do love your discussions Kristen, stick to them. Reviews, I need to work on that. I need to get more time for reading!! Maybe that will work…. But I can learn from you. Hope you will have a great week and good luck with that schedule,

    1. Kristen Burns

      Haha, thanks. Cover Characteristics never gets a whole lot of traffic for me either, but I like doing that one when the topics are good because I’m a little obsessed with pretty book covers lol. Thank you about the discussions! I’m trying to keep doing them. Don’t fret too much over reviews. Just post however many works for you! Blogging is a hobby, not a job. I just happen to have a lot of books to review right now lol. You have a great week too!

  9. Laura Thomas

    My blogging isn’t really on much of a schedule. I did quit some themes and start new ones. It’s especially hard to maintain a schedule during the summer when I’m traveling and taking time away from the blog. Enjoy your books and have a great week!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah, if you’re busy and traveling and all that, I can see how maintaining a schedule would be hard. I’m just home lol, so it works for me! Thanks, you have a great week too πŸ™‚

  10. Kei @ The Lovely Pages Reviews

    It seems I’m the only one that missed the opening ceremony due to timezones, Europe is unlucky like that! I cannot keep a posting schedule, it’s impossible. I only do it for blog tours and ARCs that have a release date coming up and the memes but other than that anything goes. Have a great week and enjoy your books!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Well, I didn’t see the opening ceremonies, but that wasn’t because of time zones, it was because I didn’t care lol. That does suck though that the time zones screwed you over. Lol I feel like my blog would be all over the place if I didn’t have my schedules. I’m very much a planning type person! You have a great week too πŸ™‚

  11. Got My Book

    I instituted a weekly schedule in May (2 reviews, 1 New Audiobook Releases, 1 Discussion, and my Sunday Post). I will be increasing to 3 reviews a week in September; and I have recently begun to divide my discussions into sub-types, and am putting them on a rotation. Like you said, most readers won’t notice or care but it really helps me with my planning.

    1. Kristen Burns

      When I was doing some mini-series with my discussions, like about realism in book and double standards, I rotated those, just to make sure I kept a variety instead of posting about similar topics numerous weeks in a row, so I think rotations for things like that are a good idea. People probably don’t notice, but it makes for a more varied and organized blog, and people might notice *that* at least!

  12. Annemieke

    The opening ceremony was okay. Kind of sad they only had to walk in a straight line. I love it when they walk around in a circle type, you know. I’m waking up especially for swimming. πŸ˜€ Shatterproof has such an interesting cover.

    And yeay to us for winning books. πŸ˜€

    1. Kristen Burns

      Doesn’t sound like I missed too much. I didn’t really watch the swimming, but I don’t mind looking at the men’s bodies πŸ˜‰ And winning books is the best! Definitely yay to us!

  13. Barb (boxermommyreads)

    Looks like you got a lot of good reading in this past week. I really enjoy watching gymnastics as well. I wish I would have had the opportunity to do it as a child, but then I’d probably have killed myself. I’ve been trying to keep ahead on posts too and usually post 2 reviews a week, but had to double up some this week due to release dates and needing to get some of the ARC reviews posted. That’s where I have trouble scheduling. I love your cover characteristics post but I bet if you don’t enjoy the topic, they would be very hard to complete. Hope you have a great week reading!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Nah, you wouldn’t have killed yourself lol. You would’ve started with the little, non-dangerous things and worked your way up!

      Yeah, the release dates and all that for my review copies are killing me. That’s why I had to up to 3 reviews a week even though I used to do 2.

      I’m glad you like my Cover Characteristics posts πŸ™‚ But yeah, it’s no fun for me for certain topics. I like picking out SFF book covers, and some topics just aren’t suited to that. You have a great week too!

  14. AngelErin

    Yey for the Olympics!! Love that cover for No One Does in the Garden of Syn.

    Good luck with your posting schedule!! Also, I totally get what you mean. I’ve thought about doing guest posts, but I really just like to do my own blog thing. Besides I don’t even like to author interviews or anything like that LOL!!

    1. Kristen Burns

      I love that cover too!

      Ugh, I don’t any sort of collaboration or interviews or anything either! But I feel like I kind of want to. Like, I kind of don’t because I also just like doing my own blog thing lol, but it could make for some good post variety I think.

      1. AngelErin

        You should try it then! Let me know how it goes. I would sort of like to try new things for variety, but I feel like I have too much anxiety to collaborate or come up with interview questions and what not. Good luck!!

        1. Kristen Burns

          I want to! I just don’t know, like, where to start or how to try it. I’m too intimidated lol. I also don’t know what to ask in an interview or anything!

    1. Kristen Burns

      I haven’t seen any of the trampoline, but I’ve seen some trampoline routines in general, so I’m sure it was amazing! You have a great week too πŸ™‚