{Aside} I’m back! An Update on Blogging and Reading for 2018

So 2017 admittedly got a bit away from me, and I’m sorry for that.

It was all I could do to balance a new job, social commitments and trying to hit my goal of 90 books read by the end of last year. Something had to take a back-burner, and unfortunately it ended up being blogging with regularity, hence my extended hiatus.

Admittedly, I’ve been in a weird funk for the past couple of months that I’m having trouble shaking. I think worrying about whether or not I was going to hit my goal sort of pushed me into a reading slump. There are a number of books I own that I really want to read, but my desire to hit increasingly high numbers for books read last year has sort of kept me away from the books that I’m most interested in.

I’m hoping to refocus my attention this year to the books that are calling to me, rather than the ones that seem convenient or popular in the circles I often read in on Social Media accounts like Goodreads. I’ve set my goal low for 2018: 25 books – knowing full well that if I hit it, I can assess my goal and raise it accordingly at the time. This year is going to be all about not putting so much pressure on myself. It’s something I have to do in order to get myself out of this funk.

So it’s with a little hesitation that I say, I’m back! My blog posts/reviews might come a bit more slowly this year – at least at first – but I really want to put myself back out there and be social again. Basically, I miss all of my blogging and reading friends that I met over the course of last year and really want to re-engage that dialogue I had built with you all. I can only hope you’ll forgive me for my absence and welcome me back!

2017 Wrap Up

According to Goodreads, which keeps far better track of the books I’ve read than I ever manage to do, I read 98 books last year, or 35,089 pages. I figured I’d sort of revisit this last year of blogging with some stats from 2017.

First Review:

The Archived.jpgThe Archived by Victoria Schwab

This was my first book reviewed on my blog for 2017, and the first book I’ve ever read by Victoria Schwab. I loved it! It wasn’t exactly a groundbreaking read by any means, but it was certainly entertaining and the protagonist had a memorable voice that I really enjoyed.

Last Book Reviewed

A Time of DreadA Time of Dread by John Gwynne

Anyone who has been following my blog posts over the course of last year knows that I’m a big fan of epic fantasy, and a big fan of John Gwynne’s work. This book was an ARC review sent to me by the publisher, and the start of his second series. Full of action and memorable characters, yet familiar at the same time, this book paves the way for what I’m certain will be another memorable journey.

Most Viewed Post

Aside{Aside} Rating on Goodreads before You’ve Read It

This blog post was viewed almost 1250 times, and received so many comments it was difficult to keep up for a time! Born from my annoyance at seeing The Black Witch by Laurie Forrest having its average rating destroyed before it was even published, I penned that post in one sitting and never expected it to take off like it did. A happy update I can provide though, is that that negative review of that book that started it all has since been deleted and The Black Witch now sits at a much more fair average of 3.68%.

My Favorite Reads

The Song of AchillesThe Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

tshoehblogThe Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The PassageThe Passage by Justin Cronin

I read a LOT of great books in 2017 – but these are probably the top 3 that my mind returns to the most. I just thought these three had great stories, utterly fabulous writing and fantastic characters. The first two books were standalone stories, but The Passage is part of a series. I’ve decided that finishing out the next two books is going to be a priority for me during 2018!

Most Disappointing Read

ReTRebel SpringThe Falling Kingdoms Series by Morgan Rhodes

I suffered through 3 of these books last year before deciding to shelve the rest of the series permanently. I know that this series is wildly acclaimed as one of the best Young Adult fantasy series out there, but I found each book worse than the last. It’s too derivative of Game of Thrones, and the characters were mostly infuriating and poorly written to me, with motivations that changed the way the wind blows.

What’s next? 

I’m not entirely sure what 2018 will bring. I’ve got plans for what I want to read, and some plans for what I want to write. My blog posts and reviews will probably come a bit more slowly this year – especially as I ease myself back into reading and reviewing again. I also hope that maybe I can share some of the things I write this year. I’m not entirely sure that I like the idea of that pressure, but we’ll see how it goes.

It’s going to be a much more laid back year of blogging for me, that’s for sure. I hope you can all forgive me for my time away.

Let me know how your 2018 is going so far in the comments section below. What have you read while I was away that you loved? Or maybe didn’t love so much?



55 thoughts on “{Aside} I’m back! An Update on Blogging and Reading for 2018

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    1. Thank you Inge! It’s funny, I debated starting myself out last year with a goal of 25 books – but then I threw my goal up to 90 and decided to make a go of it as a blogger. It was definitely an interesting year, but I’m all about low-pressure this year. It’s a bit better for my sanity and stress levels.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Welcome back! I was wondering where you were haha

    I like your plan of putting less pressure on yourself & reading what you want to. It’s so much more fun and reading should not be a chore.

    I hope you come across lots of awesome books this year!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. AHHH YOU’RE BAAAAAACK! i’m so excited i could scream!!! i’m sorry you’ve been feeling slumpy/off – that’s the worst ever 😦 hopefully it begins to fade fast!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Briana! As for that review – I know that near the end of last year that reviewer really started coming under fire with the rest of Goodreads and social media outside of her twitter feed. Vulture and a few other media websites even wrote articles about her reviews. I think she ended up deleting her entire account on Goodreads after that.


  3. Welcome back dude! I was wondering how you were doing 🙂 I’m the same with reading too, I’m glad I’me not alone lol. I didn’t get a Goodreads book goal this year that I hope will help. Can’t wait for your future posts 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Welcome back, Bentley! Sometimes it’s hard to keep up blogging AND real life. I too, took a hiatus in the fall, it was all just too much and I was in a pretty back funk myself.

    Pacing yourself is good. Have a great week! Looking forward to your posts 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’m so glad you understand where I was coming from in needing to take some time for myself. It feels selfish to sort of abscond from my duties as a blogger for a little while, but I agree that getting back to a place where reading is fun is so important.


      1. It really is. I get myself into an internal panic about arcs sometimes that I need to read asap and then I don’t want to read them!!! So I have a word with myself (!) and move on to another book that I do want to read! Blogging can be stressful!!!! 😁

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Welcome back (?) although that’s odd for me to say as well since I also went MIA for a good, oh, three-quarters of a year. I think part of it was just life in general that sucked all the energy out and all I wanted to do was mindlessly watch television and/or YT haha. Here’s to hoping we can both continue with this blog thing, Bentley!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well belated welcome back to you too Joey! I totally felt the same way when it came to blogging and reading at year end last year. I just got overwhelmed, and then the prospect of trying to play catch up on reviews and reading drained my will to do it at all. I’m all about making reading fun for me again this year. Less obligation and more focused on just reading at my own pace, and reviewing when I feel comfortable.


  6. It’s good to see you back Bentley!! It seems I’m not the only one that hit a bad slump at the end of last year. 😦 I’m sorry to hear that the pressure got to be too much though I’m glad you got to take some time away for a break, sometimes it’s needed! Setting your goal low sounds like a good idea instead of pushing for some super high goal (which btw congrats on surpassing it anyway!)

    As for my 2018, it’s been up and down, but I’ve been getting back into reading and getting my life together, so it’s been mostly positives so far, tons of life changes! I’ve been reading graphic novels and poetry mostly, I’ve been in the mood to pick up some new things that I don’t normally read.

    Anyway I look forward to seeing your posts on my feed again, your reviews are always a joy to read. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the warm welcome back Jamie! 🙂

      I’m sorry to hear that the dreaded slump hit you too. It’s really hard at year’s end in my opinion, because of the pressure, and because the end of the year also has a lot of external social commitments (holidays, parties, etc.) Makes it difficult to find the time to read and review with any regularity.

      I’m glad things are looking up for you again this year. I totally feel you on reading graphic novels and poetry. I actually have one graphic novel that I’m planning on reading and reviewing next month simply because I anticipate it being a lighter, faster read for me and I’m all about that right now.

      Good luck to you with all your endeavors this year!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Welcome back! It’s nice to see you back on WordPress and you’re blog! I get the feeling…I had a bit of a slump end of December and most of January. I really started to organize better though so hopefully that helps for the remainder of this year! You did great in 2017 so I can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2018!!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Apparently! I never thought I’d get blogger burn out but with work and work overtime and so many other things… it just became so overwhelming… and me too! It was nice to just plan and organize everything in January 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m totally with you on feeling the pressure to read all the things vs actually immersing in the books and enjoying them. It’s something I’ve struggled with too because it seems like I add 10 books to the TBR for every 1 I read. I think your new goal is a great idea! It puts the focus on reading the best books first, then worrying about numbers later. I’m taking inspiration lol. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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