Elite Eight

Eight. Years. That’s how long I’ve been blogging almost continuously.

I have written about every book I’ve read in the last seven of those eight years because that first year was a bit iffy. When was the last time any of us did anything for eight years? I guess school would qualify, but I got summers off with that. With the exception of a couple of unplanned hiatuses this has been going strong for EIGHT YEARS. [Don’t you love that nod to sports – I’m hip right?]

In blogger years I kind of feel like this library we stumbled across in Lingfield, England (Wikipedia):

I wanted to come up with some witty repartee about revitalizing my blog and the community around it, but let’s face it I’m just referring to how old the building is. It was built in 1431. FOURTEEN THIRTY ONE. If that’s not old I don’t know what is. I’m still gutted we didn’t get to go into it because we didn’t find it until Sunday and it’s closed Sunday-Tuesday, but it was still awesome to see the outside and the nearby buildings that were all almost as old if not as old as this one.

When I look back on the last eight years, I look at the jobs I’ve had, all the people who have come into my life and those that have left/moved/been forcibly evicted, and all the crazy books I’ve read and lovely bloggers I’ve met.

That being said, I’ve done my annual RSS feed clean up and just under a fifth of the book bloggers that I followed in the past year have disappeared (10 of 51). Many have shifted away from the “longform” (HA!) of blogging to only leaving reviews on Goodreads or as part of the Bookstagram/Instabook community. There is nothing wrong with this, but I know I don’t read longer posts on Instagram and I try to avoid reading Goodreads reviews because we all know how worked up I can get.

As book bloggers, we all love a good list so on to the lists from this past year!

Top Book Posts of All Time from July 2017 – July 2018

  1. Book 272: The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood (April 18, 2014)
  2. Book 121: The Absolutist – John Boyne (July 3, 2012)
  3. Book 110: The Color Purple – Alice Walker (May 14, 2012)
  4. Book 115: Farm City – Novella Carpenter (May 31, 2012)
  5. Book 159: By The River Piedra, I Sat Down and Wept (And on the Seventh Day #1) – Paulo Coelho (December 10, 2012); Book 387: The Heart Goes Last – Margaret Atwood (October 8, 2015)

There are very few surprises in this list. The Absolutist has always had traction, and any time a book I’ve reviewed a while ago is made into a movie/film/series I see a pretty big explosion on my blog about it (see the top 10 at the end). I’m a little surprised about Farm City. I have no idea why it has so much traction or why it keeps gaining traction. I’ve searched numerous times to see how they’re getting to my site but I can’t figure it out. It’s sort of how Huff Post linked to Other Voices, Other Rooms a few years ago and I keep getting traction there, but this time I can’t figure it out.

Top Book Posts Published in July 2017 – July 2018

  1. Book 536: The Self-Love Experiment – Shannon Kaiser (February 20, 2018)
  2. Book 554: Grief Works – Julia Samuel (June 29, 2018)
  3. Book 539: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue (Guide #1) – Mackenzie Lee (March 7, 2018)
  4. Book 550: Quietus – Vivian Schilling (June 7, 2018)
  5. Book 537: The Drawing of the Three (The Dark Tower #2) – Stephen King (February 22, 2018); Book 533: Ready Player One – Ernest Cline (January 22, 2018)

This one is more surprising. Three of these six I did not have glowing reviews for: The Self-Love Experiment, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, and Quietus. The first and last were a lot more negative, but this is still a bit odd to me. I’m getting back into the swing of things and there are more May-July posts than there were earlier ones, so that’s not too surprising.

Top Non-Book Posts Published in July 2017 – July 2018

  1. Dear Authors and Book Bloggers
  2. 2017 and January 2018 Recap
  3. February Recap 2018
  4. April Recap 2018
  5. June Recap 2018

Definitely no surprise here. I only wish that first one, Dear Authors and Book Bloggers, had even more traction. I reposted it a few months after I first posted it and it gained some more traction, but considering I’ve received at least two additional solicitations to join some sort of paid review service they clearly didn’t find that post.

Top 10 Book Posts of All Time from the start

  1. Book 356: The Witch of Portobello – Paulo Coehlo (June 12, 2015)
  2. Book 122: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – Rebecca Skloot (July 5, 2012)
  3. Book 272: The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood (April 18, 2014)
  4. Book 91: A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1) – George R.R. Martin (February 1, 2012)
  5. Book 102: Murder on the Orient Express – Agatha Christie (March 28, 2012)
  6. Book 121: The Absolutist – John Boyne (July 3, 2012)
  7. Book 115: Farm City – Novella Carpenter (May 31, 2012)
  8. Book 159: By The River Piedra, I Sat Down and Wept (And On the Seventh Day #1) – Paulo Coelho (December 10, 2012)
  9. Book 345: How to Be Happy (Or at Least Less Sad) – Lee Crutchley (May 4, 2015)
  10. Book 183: 50 Shades of Gay – Jeffery Self (March 14, 2013)

No surprise here. Mr. Coehlo’s sharing of my review on his Facebook page will forever keep The Witch of Portobello as the most viewed book on my site. The next four were because of film/television/series adaptations, that and my name is Geoffrey and I wrote about A Game of Thrones before it was adapted and a lot of people didn’t know how to spell Joffrey. The rest I have no idea about. I know the last one 50 Shades of Gay (again a not-so-glowing review) is because people are looking for a free pdf/epub copy, but the rest are anyone’s guess.

Year Nine
I still haven’t decided if I’m going to quit blogging, run away and read whatever I want, but Scotland definitely gave me second thoughts about it:

In all seriousness, I do feel like I’m getting back into the swing of things. I’m actually pre-scheduling posts (I’m scheduled through the first week of August), I’m reading again and enjoying it, and I’m even tracking things like I used to which is a sign my personal life is starting to normalize after the roller coaster of the last two and a half years. Who knows what year nine of blogging will bring, but here are a few things I’m currently mulling about:

  • Continuing to read whatever I want (no brainer right?)
  • Finally put my 40×40 into the blog – I’ve already crossed so many off
  • Maybe reach 1,000 posts?
  • Read and review my 600th book (including re-reads :-D)
  • Comment and interact more with other bloggers, I’ve sort of isolated myself over the last few years

12 thoughts on “Elite Eight”

  1. Congrats Geoff! I’m coming up on 8 years myself, not till February though. I take a different approach on my blog (do not review or even mention every book I read) but I get the feeling of “am I still doing this?” and also feel pretty isolated and like I don’t interact, or, let’s be honest, even read many blogs anymore. In my case, I’ve been moving towards Booktube. I watch videos most weekdays, but don’t read blogs nearly as often. I still prefer writing over filming, though.

    I don’t know what the future holds either. I know I read your Dear Authors post at the time but I’m off to reread it. I like a little controversy 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I think that’s where all of our uniqueness comes in and how we write our blogs. Mine is more of a log of my literary journey and others is their experience in the book world.

      I cannot get into booktube. I’d rather be able to read a post as I’m on the bus home or save it for later, versus if I have to watch something I have to set aside the time to watch it and not be interrupted. Probably goes back to learning styles or something 😀


  2. Congratulations on 8 years! That really is impressive longevity.
    Even though we know each other IRL, it has been fun to connect with you in this way. I look forward to seeing what you have to say in year 9!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congrats on 8 years of blogging! I’ll be at 7 in December, I think. I really like your look back at your top posts from different time periods. I’ll have to check out mine, because I don’t have a good guess what they’d be.

    Liked by 1 person

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