The Weekly Update: 7/17/16

 
 

Sorry if I took a little while to respond to comments or comment on anyone else’s blog this week. It’s been kind of a stressful, tiring, hot week.

My AC stopped working properly on Monday and just started blowing room temperature air around my apartment instead of actually cooling anything. And since the room temperature ended up at about 85 degrees, well, you can imagine how useful that was. I hardly got any sleep that night since I was just too hot. It did get fixed the next day, but I got up early for the repair man to come look at it (…and to clean up the apartment before he got here), then I ran some errands, and when I got home, I was so tired that first I fell asleep on my bed, then I moved to the couch and fell asleep there, then I finally made myself get up and do at least a little bit of blogging since it was still only evening. I was still exhausted on Wednesday though, so I didn’t get much done that day either.

Some random good news though, my nails are finally growing! I used to have a bad habit of picking at them when I was a kid, and I picked it back up in the past few years because of stress, but I finally decided to exercise some will power, and they look so much nicer than they’ve looked in years! Although it’s making typing feel different because now my nails are hitting the keys lol.

More random news, I’ve started using castille soap on my hair and face instead of shampoo/conditioner and, well, I already used baking soda and apple cider vinegar instead of face wash, so now I’m trying baking soda and castille soap. I will let you all know how that goes once I’ve tried it for a few weeks. You probably don’t care since this is a book blog, but I’m going to let you know anyway.

Oh! Suits also finally came on TV for Season 6, so that made me happy.

And that was about it for my week :-)


Blog/Bookish Updates:

I am getting SO tired of publishers and authors not making it known when a book is actually the first in a series rather than a standalone. Who is benefiting from this? All they’re doing is missing out on people who actually want to read series, pissing off all the people who want standalones, and losing readers who might not realize there’s going to be another book and don’t ever think to look for the next one in the future. I wonder how many first-in-series ARCs I’m missing out on simply because I turn them down thinking they’re standalones. And also, it aggravates me because I create a graphic for each review that includes the series name. So it screws up my graphics when there’s no name yet. Hmph.

Books I Received for Review:

Look, Ma, no ARCs!

Books I Finished:

The Experiment by Alicia Nordwell | reading, books
Pieces by T. Aleo | reading, books
 

The Unquiet Dead was great and had super realistic and relatable characters, but it took me a while to read simply because it lacked urgency. I had some issues with the romance in The Experiment, but other than that I enjoyed it. Pieces I had some major issues with, which was unfortunate because it was actually a pretty good story with some good characters.

Song of the Week:

“Trees” by Marty Casey – I didn’t find any good new song this week, so here’s a not-so-new song that I’ve always liked but I feel like was never well-known.

 

In Case You Missed It:

– I shared book covers featuring cloaks and hoods on them.
– I reviewed The Vampires’ Last Lover by Aiden James & Patrick Burdine, a new adult vampire book with a somewhat unique premise.
– I discussed whether or not books should have content ratings like movies.
– I reviewed The Paranaturalist by Ki Brightly, a M/M paranormal romance about a [fictional] ghost-hunting reality TV show.
– I talked about 5 ways I’ve changed as a blogger after one year of blogging.

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 movies last week?
Have you been staying cool wherever you are?
Are you also excited for Season 6 of Suits?

 

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  1. Greg

    I had the air go out once a couple summers ago and it got in the 80’s- it was terrible. It was too hot to do anything, couldn’t even sleep. Fans didn’t really help. Glad you didn’t have to go TOO long- that would suck.

    I’m not sure either why publishers/ authors aren’t being more up front about first in a series. You’d think they would want people to know… ? Kinda strange. I haven’t really come across it much but I know you’ve mentioned it before and I’ve seen other comments too about it. Nice that you finished three books- I hardly read at all last week- and even skipped a review I was going to do on Thursday. Oops.

    I’ve never seen Suits…

    1. Kristen Burns

      It’s like impossible to sleep when you’re hot. It sucks. And fans only do so much when it’s above 80, but they’re better than nothing at least. But thanks, yeah, I was glad it was able to be fixed really easily.

      I have complained about that before, and it keeps happening! I’m getting increasingly aggravated about it -_- I was actually surprised I finished three since I didn’t start the last one until Friday, but it ended up being pretty short and going by fast.

      Idk if Suits would be your thing since it’s not SFF, but I got totally hooked on the characters!

  2. sjhigbee

    I think the reason why is that there are times when a book is released as a standalone and then when the sales support it, the publishers go ahead and ask the author to write the sequel. This seems to be an increasing trend as publishers know that the first in any series usually gets the best sales, with each subsequent book in the series making less money. Though it is aggravating for readers… My granddaughter picks her nails when she’s stressed – it’s such a difficult habit to break, isn’t it? Huge congratulations for growing them:)

    1. Kristen Burns

      You’re probably right, but that still makes me an angry reader and likely causes the publisher to lose potential readers and make others frustrated. I mean, marketing a book as a standalone when it’s going to be a series is marketing it to the wrong audience. So that only makes it more likely that the next book in the series will do worse. And if I notice a publisher not completing a lot of series, I’ll just avoid reading any of their books.

      Habits in general are just so hard to break! Thanks :-)

  3. sherry fundin

    That’s one of my biggest peeves too…series. I love series, but I want to know where I’m at. If this is the second book and I must read the first, what good is having the second book? I feel like they’re trying to fleece me. I have so many books and so little time, if you want me to read yours, help me out, otherwise…I might just pass you by. :-)
    sherry @ fundinmental My Sunday Memes

    1. Kristen Burns

      I don’t usually have a problem with later books since those are usually marked on GR and Amazon. It’s just those first-in-series that don’t indicate in any way that’s it going to be part of a series. Though I have come across a few that make it super difficult to figure out the order of the books, and yeah, I shouldn’t have to work to figure that out and will probably just not bother.

  4. Lola

    Seems like we both had the same problem this week with getting behind on comments. I hope to reply to my review for July and my Ramblings post comments today finally.

    I had to ask google what 85 degrees was in Celsius and yes that’s warm. Here in the Netherlands almost no normal houses have AC, but it hardly gets that warm in summer here. It’s about 73 degrees Fahrenheit here at the moment in house or 77 degrees max in our house usually in summer.

    I can imagine you didn’t sleep well in the heat and then also had to stand up early that really messes with your sleep. i hope you managed to catch up on sleep now. And that’s great you managed to stop your habit of picking your nails. I fidget with my braid or my socks and even more when stressed, it’s a habit I haven’t managed to kick. But it sorta takes the edge of my stress, so I guess I just need to find something else to fidget with instead, just not sure what.

    And yes I wish publishers and authors would make it clear form the start when a book is a series or not. I read both standalones and series, but I still prefer to know it in advance if a book is a series or not. A standalone or first book in a series book reads differently and it’s nice to know if it’s a series or not, so you know what to expect.

    At least you manged to read more books than me this week. The unquiet Death looks kinda creepy, but I am glad you enjoyed it. too bad you had some issues with the others. Looking forward to read your reviews for these books. I hope you’ll have a great week!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah, and I’ve also kind of inadvertently changed my schedule, so now I usually don’t get on a computer until nighttime which means my comments pile up during the day and on Sundays I feel bad for taking forever to visit everyone else’s blogs.

      Lol yeah, I never know what temperature anything is when people use Celsius. That’s crazy that you don’t have AC though! Like, I just can’t imagine living without it. But what about in the winter, does it get cold? Do you have heat?

      Thanks, but I feel like I’m still off with my sleep. And I am really enjoying my new pretty nails lol. I love being able to tap them on my desk and hear that sound. But fidgeting with your braid or socks isn’t so bad, is it? I mean, it’s not like you’re harming your body or, like in my case, I was making my nails ugly. Maybe you could just get like a stress ball or something to hold in your hands and fidget with?

      Seriously, I keep getting so frustrated with this not-labeling-series business.

      Yeah, I didn’t think I’d make it through three books, but that last one was quick. The Unquiet Dead actually wasn’t particularly creepy, it just involved a spectre trying to take over the city and supernatural stuff. Thanks :-)

      1. Lola

        It would be so much easier if the whole world used the same measurements for things. Fahrenheit just isn’t an intuitive for me as Celsius, although I do know that 100 degrees fahrenheit is warm and 30 is cold for example.

        And yes we do have heat, we have central heating. I think that’s the correct word, those white things in every room of our house that give off heat when you turn on the heating. We just don’t have AC in houses, some rich people have them or companies, but most normal houses don’t. And just after I said it didn’t get too warm here, we’re getting a warm week, ugh!

        I have stress balls, but they aren’t quite right for my fidget needs, lol. I do ruin my socks now and then, but it takes a while. But yes, there are worse habits to have then fidgeting with my hair and socks I guess.

        It helps when one of your reads is short, I am able to read more books in a week as well when I pick up some shorter ones. Maybe I’ll do that this week.

        1. Kristen Burns

          It would be easier, though of course it’s mainly the US who is the odd one out, and that would mean I’d have to relearn all my measurements, and I kinda don’t wanna do that, haha.

          Well that’s good that you have heating, but considering how hot it gets here, I just can’t imagine the concept of living without AC!

          Yeah, stress balls aren’t very good to fidget with. Maybe like a piece of fabric so that it’s like your socks but you won’t ruin your actual socks?

          Sometimes you just need those quick reads! They are helpful sometimes.

  5. Geraldine @ Corralling Books

    In Australia, it’s actually winter – so no need for an AC to cool things down! xD
    But I’m super glad to hear that your nails are looking good! Good things can come from lots of patience and discipline! :)
    And I TOTALLY AGREE WITH THE ARC THING AND STANDALONES AHH – there have been times I’ve requested ARCs for the fifth book in a series or something like that, and been thrown completely off! :/

    1. Kristen Burns

      Haha, yeah but you probably need heat instead! I’m actually far better with the hot than the cold.

      Thank you! Yeah, I saw an old photo of myself but my hands were like close to the camera and I noticed how I pretty my nails looks and suddenly decided I wanted them to be pretty again and that was what it took lol.

      I’ve never actually had a problem requesting later books in a series since I always check GR, but sometimes the first-in-series don’t indicate ANYWHERE that they’re going to be a series. You don’t know until you get the end and there’s a cliffhanger or something -_-

  6. tonyalee

    Ah, you week sounds frustrating! Mine wasn’t great either, if that helps LOL

    The series thing, I think some do that because the knowledge of a series is unknown. I for one, hate when books are labelled as series but are really just standalones LOL

    Hope your week is better than last!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Lol misery loves company, I guess? Sorry yours wasn’t so good either though!

      If it was like a book that works as a standalone but could be made into a series, that’s one thing. But I’ve come across books that ended with major cliffhangers or used the ending to set up for the next book, etc. I’ve never come across a book labeled as a series that was actually a standalone, unless you count those types that are like just a bunch of standalones all set in the same world but about different characters. I don’t like those -_-

      Thanks, same to you!

  7. Aj @ Read All The Things!

    Ugh, it’s been really hot here, too. I can’t stand it. And, I totally agree with you about publishers needing to make it clear when books are part of a series. I prefer standalones and usually don’t want to read series.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I mean, I’d rather it be hot than cold, but with no AC it’s just TOO hot. And yes, exactly, everyone prefers different things and is going to be disappointed or missing out if it’s not labeled correctly.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I’ve used ACV on my hair too, but then I switched to a pretty natural, chemical-free tea tree oil shampoo and conditioner, and that kept my hair really natural feeling without needing the ACV rinses. I’ve never heard of mud wash though! I’ll look it up :-)

  8. Samantha

    I felt the same way about Pieces-it could be good but as it was, it was kind of a mess. I am hopeful that she will get it together by book 2 and things will make a bit more sense!
    Glad your AC is fixed. I can never sleep when its hot! A few times when a storm has knocked out power over night are the only times I have had to experience it!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Exactly, it had potential, but I just couldn’t overlook some of the issues. I don’t plan on continuing the series, but I can see that it might get better if she fixes certain things.

      Seriously, it’s impossible to sleep when you’re hot!

  9. Lillian @ Mom with a Reading Problem

    When we moved into our new place two weeks ago, we were without air for the weekend. It was awful!!! Trying to move furniture, unpack and rest with no air….*shudders* hope I never have to do that again! Glad you were able to get it fixed quickly. It’s been slow reading for me because of the move, but I have gone to the movies a few times ;) The new Ghostbusters movie is really funny and The Secret Life of Pets (not sure who enjoyed it more, me or my son). Hope you have a great week!
    Here’s my Sunday Post.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yikes, that would be awful! Just sitting around with no AC is bad enough, I can’t imagine moving without it!

      We all have slow reading weeks sometimes, it’s all good :-) I haven’t seen either of those movies, but the Pets one does look really cute and funny! You have a great week too :-)

  10. Kathy

    I’m also behind on my comments. I’ve tried setting a specific day of the week to reply and visit blogs but something always comes up to ruin my schedule. I’m sure everyone goes through busy moments so they understand that we get behind. But I also can’t help but feel bad about it. At least we are trying lol.

    Glad your AC is fixed and I would also get up early to clean up before the repair guy shows up. I’m always doing this because stuff piles up.

    I hope you have a great week!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah, I never even bother trying to set specific days for things because I know it’ll never happen lol. And I agree, we all get a little behind sometimes or need a day or two off, and it’s not like I hold that against other bloggers, but still doesn’t stop me from feeling bad when I’m the one doing it!

      Thanks, and haha, yeah, I’m really organized on my blog but not so much in real life. You have a great week too!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Haha, I love the AC too! And yeah, I feel like I’ve been falling behind a bit more lately, but I manage to get around to it eventually lol. I mean, it is our *hobby*, so we shouldn’t stress so much if we’re not, like, responding immediately! You have a great week too :-)

  11. Tiffany @ I Was Angelized_1st

    The heat this past week was kinda bad, but it’s been better for me this weekend. Glad you got your A/C fixed! I’ll be going through that come August when it gets crazy hot here. I int even have A/C in my house. Don’t worry about falling behind on commenting. It’s the summer! Have a great week!

    1. Kristen Burns

      The heat has been nuts. I can’t even buy frozen veggies from the store I normally buy from because they literally thaw by the time I get home -_- But wait, what? You don’t have AC??? How do you survive?! And haha, yeah, I always get around to commenting eventually, so I try not to stress over it :-) You have a great week too!

  12. Got My Book

    Sorry to hear about your AC. I only have swamp and it has not been keeping up at all. It has gotten up to 85 in my apartment several days. I have been living in front of my small supplemental fan.

    I tried the baking soda & vinegar thing on my hair and loved it (my hair has never had so much volume and after using it awhile I only had to wash my hair twice a week). But then I started to have a lot of the same problems that others have warned about (especially breakage), so I no longer recommend it. I haven’t found anything I like as well, unfortunately, and am just using a regular store bought shampoo right now.

    Sunday Summary #11

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yikes, I couldn’t deal without my AC. Now I feel bad for complaining when you deal with that often!

      Yeah, you’re only supposed to use baking soda on your hair like once a month because it’s harsh. It works so well on the face because it works like an exfoliant, so I can see how it’d be damaging to hair. Before the castille soap I’m trying now, I was using a natural, chemical-free tea tree oil shampoo, but I had to order it online which wasn’t really expensive but just kind of a pain.

      1. Got My Blog

        Don’t feel bad about complaining, I do it all the time; and then I remember the people in places where they don’t even have electric fans.

        I do still use the baking soda on my face.

        1. Kristen Burns

          That’s kind of what I remind myself of when people complain to me about things I’d love to just have in the first place—that we all take things for granted without meaning to, and we as humans are pretty much always going to complain about the worst things in our lives. Some people’s worst things are just worse than others.

          I feel like baking soda is the best kept secret for having nice skin lol, simply because many people don’t trust natural things as much as the specialty products. I can’t even stand not to use it anymore because my skin just doesn’t feel clean and smooth without it.

  13. Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

    Our air conditioner stopped working as well not last week but the week before! And it was simply a question of the filters being clogged – so quick fix once the repair man arrived :)
    We don’t have the same kind of baking soda you guys have, so I wouldn’t be able to use that on my hair or my face, I’m sure. I hope it’ll make your hair all volumy and shiny :D
    Way to go, Kristen! No ARCs :D
    Have a wonderful week and happy reading.

    1. Kristen Burns

      That’s good that your AC was a quick fix too! It would suck to be without it for too long.

      I didn’t know there were different kinds of baking soda. Thanks :-)

      I was pretty damn proud of myself for getting no ARCs this week since I’ve been trying to cut back!

      You have a wonderful week too :-)

  14. Jane @ Rain City Librarian

    Books in a series that aren’t obviously marked drive.me.NUTS. I’m often helping patrons connect with books, and I never want to send someone home with the wrong book in a series, so let me tell you, Wikipedia has been my saving grace on more than one occasion!

    1. Kristen Burns

      They drive me nuts too, but even Wikipedia can’t help in my case since my issue is usually with brand new first-in-series books, often from indie pubs. But you’d think authors and publishers would do a better job since it’s not going to make their readers happy not clearly marking things!

  15. Angela @ Simply Angela

    I’ve been behind on just about everything since the start of July. I put in an outside pole light and ended up doing something to the electric in my house so everything has been on the fritz, including my AC, although mine’s going the opposite way. It’s refusing to shut off so the temp in the house was 52. I had to go outside to get warm. lol Plus, I’ve been having internet issues, again.

    Have you ever tried baking soda and green tea to wash your face with? I have extremely sensitive skin and my dermatologist recommended it.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Oh no! That electricity thing sounds incredibly frustrating. And holy crap! I’d actually rather it be 85 than 52 to be honest. I already naturally have a low body temperature, so my body can’t handle cold. When I was in school there were times when I’d have to ask for a bathroom pass just to go stand outside in the sun lol.

      I’ve not tried green tea on my face, but I’ll keep that one in mind! I’m actually surprised to hear that a dermatologist recommended that since they usually just seem to want people to use special face washes and whatnot, even though those only ever dried out my face.