{Wrap Up} October 2017 – Week 1

I skipped doing a blogging wrap up last week, as I kind of had a slow reading and blogging week that didn’t feel very eventful. This wrap up post will be a bit longer than usual, just to catch up on everything from the last 2 weeks worth reporting on. This is also a special week for the blog, for two reasons.

  1. The blog reached 600+ followers! It’s blowing my mind how fast this blog has grown. I started it just to give myself a place to record my thoughts on the things I was reading this year, and never expected people to actually care to read them. I’m grateful to all of you and thoroughly enjoy our conversations through comments/emails/Direct messages.
  2. I have a special guest reviewer I’ll be featuring this week! More on that below.

What I Reviewed:

As always, my reviews are linked to each photo included. Simply click on the photo to be taken to the review if you’ve not yet seen them. 🙂 

by John Gwynne

Epic Fantasy. This is the fourth and final book in the Faithful and the Fallen series, and what an epic conclusion it was. I swear, this is a series that got better with time and age and while I’m so sad to put these character’s stories to rest, I’m so glad I took the journey with them.

The Dark North
Illustrated Horror Anthology
The Dark North

Art / Horror Anthology. A blend between illustration and storytelling featuring Scandinavian myths and legends, this was a quick and deliciously dark read.

Dark Matter
by Blake Crouch
Dark Matter

Science Fiction / Thriller. An unexpectedly compelling read, and a quick burn to boot. One of my favorite reads of the year so far!

What I DNF’ed:

The Tiger’s Daughter
by K. Arsenault Rivera

Fantasy. I hated to DNF an ARC, but I just couldn’t bring myself to finish this. I was bored by the story, and I hated the way in which it was told instead of shown. I don’t really want to feature a DNF review on my blog, so if you’re interested in my full thoughts and reasoning for not finishing, click on the picture to be taken to my Goodreads review.

What I’m Currently Reading:

A Monster Calls
by Patrick Ness
A Monster Calls

Fantasy / Contemporary / Young Adult. I actually just finished this book this morning! Once I compose myself a bit, I’ll start work on my review. Keep an eye out for that in a day or two!

The Golem and The Jinni
by Helene Wecker
The golem and the jinni

Historical Fiction / Magical Realism. I’ve owned this on my kindle for about a year now, and finally felt like it was time to prioritize it. I’m about 40% in at the moment. So far it’s beautifully written – albeit a trifle long-winded for my taste – but I’m truly enjoying it at the moment and am eager to see where the story is going.

My Best Friend’s Exorcism
by Grady Hendrix
My best friend's exorcism

Horror / Paranormal. This is one of my most anticipated October reads! I’ve been looking forward to it for about a month now. I haven’t cracked into it yet but am planning to tonight or tomorrow. Here’s hoping it lives up to expectations!

Books I Hauled:


Netgalley/Edelweiss Update

I’ve got one new approval to report on this week!

Tess of the Road
by Rachel Hartman
Tess of the road

Young Adult Fantasy. I am in love with this cover! It’s stunning. Publication date is in February of next year, so my review will come sometime early next year before the release. Synopsis as follows:

In the medieval kingdom of Goredd, women are expected to be ladies, men are their protectors, and dragons get to be whomever they want. Tess, stubbornly, is a troublemaker. You can’t make a scene at your sister’s wedding and break a relative’s nose with one punch (no matter how pompous he is) and not suffer the consequences. As her family plans to send her to a nunnery, Tess yanks on her boots and sets out on a journey across the Southlands, alone and pretending to be a boy.

Where Tess is headed is a mystery, even to her. So when she runs into an old friend, it’s a stroke of luck. This friend is a quigutl–a subspecies of dragon–who gives her both a purpose and protection on the road. But Tess is guarding a troubling secret. Her tumultuous past is a heavy burden to carry, and the memories she’s tried to forget threaten to expose her to the world in more ways than one.

Writing Update

I was bad about keeping track of my wordcount this week, but I’ve estimated it out as somewhere in the realm of 4,000. It’s not as much progress as I’d like to be making, but I also didn’t dedicate quite as much time to writing this past week as real life and reading goals had me a bit distracted.

One thing about my writing that I’m trying desperately to curb is the desire to self-edit during the first draft stage. I know that most teachers and authors preach letting the first draft be as bad as it needs to be, as long as the story gets told. I have trouble letting my prose feel clunky in order to move the story along. I find myself editing paragraphs quite often as I go, which is a bit frustrating. Do any of you who write creatively have any suggestions or tips on how to avoid the need to edit on the go?

Special Announcement – BookBastion gains a Guest Reviewer!

As much as I love to read, I’m beginning to find that my huge reading challenge goal for the year is standing a bit in the way of my desire to write. I still want the blog to be active and have content for everyone that’s following me though as I partake on this writing journey – so I’ve been strongly considering bringing on some guest reviewers in the future. If you’re interested, please shoot me an email at Bentley@bookbastion.net

This week, my first guest reviewer to join the blog is Michelle, and she’ll be reviewing Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco. She’s prepared an introduction for you all below:


Hi, all! I am Bentley’s (Book Bastion) big sister! I am new to this reviewing thing, so go easy on me. 🙂

I am going to be providing my reviews from a simple, occasional reader’s standpoint.

Keep in mind, I have literally no knowledge of literature or how a book is supposed to be written. My opinions are strictly just for fun.

My rating scale will also be a bit different from Bentley’s, as I have no right to seriously judge something I know nothing about. So, my ratings will be in whether or not I would watch it in movie form (because, yes, I am the type of person that would just as soon watch the movie over reading the book. **Hello, Harry Potter!**)

My ratings will be as follows:

Best (I would love to see this in the theater!) = Bought movie tickets!
Okay (I would rent it when it came out on DVD) = Hopefully Redbox has it.
Mediocre (If it’s on, I might watch it) = Maybe, if it’s on TV.
*And if it ever gets this bad*
Worst (You couldn’t pay me to watch this) = That’s time from my life that I will never get back.

See you all soon with my review of Stalking Jack the Ripper! 


How is your month going? Reading anything great? Writing anything? Let me know in the comments section below!



21 thoughts on “{Wrap Up} October 2017 – Week 1

Add yours

  1. Congrats on the followers dude! You totally deserve it 🙂 I feel bad with DNF’ing stuff too, but I remind myself that your reading time is important and forcing yourself to finish something is never fun. Do you have any suggestions/advice for Edelweiss? I’m struggling with it right now

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! I agree with you, my time is precious and there’s too many books to waste time on ones we’re not enjoying. 🙂

      As for Edelweiss, what are you struggling with? Its interface? Or just in getting approved? To be quite honest, their interface is confusing and I’ve only been approved 3 times on Edelweiss. They’re a lot more tough than netgalley!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Both my things with Edelweiss is the approval as well as trying to word the request correctly. I don’t want to sound silly when I try to request something; any advice on that part? I do agree that the interface isn’t great; I’m just surprised with how long you have to wait for an answer

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think Edelweiss is MUCH more difficult to get approved on because they’re typically meant to be requested by either media, or librarians. The smaller publishers are much more likely to approve book bloggers there than the large ones are.

        As far as what to say when requesting. I use a generic intro. It’s something like: “Hi, I’m Bentley. I review books at http://www.bookbastion.net.” with some short stats about my views and how many followers I have, as well as what genres I read in. I also try and compliment the book or the author, and what drew me to it. I hope that helps!


  2. Congrats on reaching 600 followers! That’s amazing 🙂
    I tried ‘The Golem and the Jinni’ a while ago and ‘long-winded’ is a good way to describe it. I didn’t get very far, it just wasn’t for me.
    Good to see that the John Gwynne series stayed cool until the end! It’s still on my to-read list,after I liked the sample.

    Also, welcome Michelle! Looking forward to what you have to say 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I’m so glad I found someone who understands how I feel about the Golem and the Jinni. I think it’s quite well written and the prose is beautiful, but man can the author drone on and on about things I don’t really see the point in focusing on.

      And thanks for welcoming Michelle too! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Congrats on 600 followers!! Oh I’ve heard so many good things about Dark Matter, that’s great it was one of your favourite reads! Yes I have the same problem you do about editing your writing before you’ve finished the first draft! I don’t know how to just leave it at all. I haven’t been writing much lately because of uni, but I’m so excited about NaNoWriMo!! Are you going to do it?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so glad to see you liked Dark Matter, I have heard some mixed reviews on it. I just got a copy a little while ago on sale, and I’m looking forward to getting into it.

    Liked by 1 person

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