I’m (finally!) back – and hopefully for good.

Hi friends! It’s with great relief and joy to say that I am now back from my hiatus!

It’s confession time. During my hiatus, I took more time off my blog, sure, but… *whispers* I actually caught up on my 20+ review backlog. I’ve planned all my posts and I have a posts lined up until November. BUT, I did have a lot of fun and I got to relax. (I also got more sleep, was more patient with my other hobbies, and I read more.) Now I’m ready to get back into the grind!

divider

While I was on hiatus, I did a lot of thinking about how I want Read Think Ponder to grow.

Here are the changes:

  • My reviews will now be shorter. (I don’t know if I’m making the right decision doing this. A part of me thinks I am watering down my reviews by making this decision, but.) I love long reviews and I love writing them, but I want my reviews to, first and foremost, accomplish two things: articulate my opinions about a book by giving you a well-rounded picture of what you can expect (if you read it), and persuade you to read the book if I think it is great.
  • I will continue illustrating for my blog! But, gone are the days where I spend three days on an illustration (*shudder*). My illustrations are going to be a little simpler, but will still get their messages across!
  • Every month, I will be posting book recommendations! It will be structured like a ‘top four’ post, and all recommendations will be ‘archived’ in my Book Recommendations page (see above). To ensure that my recommendations are up to date, if I find a new book that deserves a spot in my top four, I will update my recommendations list!
  • I am completely changing how I structure my Let’s Talk discussion feature. If a topic strikes me, I’ll definitely write about it, but for now… see the new thing below.
  • More regular posts! At least twice a week. I promise.

So, here’s the new thing.

divider

NEW FEATURE: JOINT DISCUSSIONS

All of you know how much I love critically analyzing books. After re-evaluating Read Think Ponder, I decided that bookish analysis would be best if it was separate from the book review. Therefore, my new feature is a compromise – I get to still post reviews and I get to analyze the books I read too!

If you follow me on Twitter, you might remember this tweet –

So, let me introduce my new feature: Let’s Talk About – Joint Discussions!

What it is in a few words:

  • You and I can write a discussion post together!
  • It can be about a specific book, about themes and ideas, or we can even gush about books we love and why they’re awesome.
  • The topic can be anything bookish. (Topics listed in this spreadsheet are for those who need ideas!)

This will be an addition to the Let’s Talk discussion series – because what’s better than me actually discussing stuff with someone else? If you are interested in writing a discussion post with me, I invite you to make a submission.

To start, I have some discussion post ideas I have milling around in my head – would any of you be interested in writing about these topics with me?

  • Are problematic characters always bad?
  • Why do we read romance?
  • Is having ‘diverse’ characters enough?
  • Why representations of mental illness are important

divider

One last thing:

My friend, fellow blogger, and generally very awesome person Sydney also returns from a blogging hiatus today! She has created a new blog, and I have it on good authority that she has some very exciting content coming soon – so keep an eye on her and her lovely blog!

Also, in the spirit of returning from hiatuses and relaunches, another blog and its lovely blogger, Kate Marie, are also returning! Maybe stop by Hounds and Habits?

divider

While I was away on hiatus, I read some really awesome books! I’ll be posting reviews for them in due time, but my top 3 reads between May and July were:

  1. Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith (I’ll be posting my review for it later this week!)
  2. One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  3. Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman

So friends, how have you all been? Anything new? Any favourite books? HOW IS LIFE? Tell me all about it. 💕
Have you posted a book review that you’re proud of lately? If so, drop your blog link in the comments and I’d love to visit!

Advertisements

37 thoughts on “I’m (finally!) back – and hopefully for good.

  1. Welcome back! I totally feel you with the decision to post shorter reviews. Mine have been getting longer and longer. They take days to write and a lot of them end up reading more like essays. Also, I’ve end up with all these books I’ve read but haven’t reviewed, and by the time I get to them I’m struggling to remember what I thought of them. I’ve been worried that if I wrote shorter reviews they’d be lacking in substance, but I’m giving it a go this month with the aim to share just those few things that really stuck with me from each book, and to be reviewing books within a week or two of reading them, so that i have time to think about them but not enough time to forget them!

    • Ah, thank you so much!
      I hear you. I’ll be posting reviews for books I read in January this year! So I am very, very behind! Also, I came to that realization myself – I LOVE sharing all these thoughts I have when I read, but then I realized: to the person I want to sell the book to (namely people who haven’t read it), it probably wouldn’t make much sense to them.

      I don’t think you have anything to be concerned about! Your reviews are informative, and I am positive you’ll be able to convey that depth and thoughtfulness in a more condensed version.

      Haha I hope I’ll get to that point! But go you, and all the best to you. I’ll be sure to stop by and visit your blog when I do a blog hop!

  2. Welcome back, CW! 💗 I am excited to read your book discussions and it’s nice to hear you love Hello Goodbye and Everything Betweem by Jennifer E. Smith (i love her books and I can’t wait to read this along with Geography of You and Me).

    • Thank you Bea!! Aw, thanks for the support – I really appreciate it!
      Oooh I haven’t read her other books but I definitely will! I loved loved loved Hello Goodbye and Everything in Between, and I loved Smith’s writing too. Which of her books do you recommend?

  3. I am so happy you’re back! I had the same realization about my reviews. I think I’m going to give the condensed opinion thing a shot. It’s far too time-consuming and I think some fat needs to be trimmed, yep.

    Anyway. I’m looking forward to those discussions! They seem to be pretty interesting and I know I’m just going to adore your take on them! Welcome back, girl!!!

    • Thank you Shealea!! I’m happy to be back. c:
      That’s great! I support your decision. I completely understand what it’s like to write suuuuuper long reviews – some of the difficult ones took me 3 days and whilst I was proud of them, it wasn’t efficient and it stressed me out. X’D But of course, whatever works for you the best is the best way to go!

      Thank you!! I’m really excited to see where RTP will go within the next few months. I can’t wait til YOUR return! I’m counting down the days. <3

      • Exactly! Oh em, I’m counting down the days too, but my college enrollment is such a bitch. I’ve been lining up and approaching different departments for the past three days now and I still lack the number of required units I need for the semester. 😭 Being in a state university is incredibly inconvenient and inefficient. I haven’t touched my blog in days because I’m worried I won’t be able to enroll for the semester. 😞 Hopefully, it will all work out soon!

        Anyway. Everything you’ve mentioned so far sounds fantastic! I just know you’re going to slay. 😉

  4. Welcome back, CW!! I’m so excited to see your posts in my WP Reader again and I can’t wait to read more of your AMAZING discussions and I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts about One True Loves. :)

    • AW thanks Ari!! GAHHH you are so sweet and lovely, thank you! I’m excited for my new content, so I’ll do my best to not disappoint!! And omg, I struggled so hard with that review because I just tore up thinking about parts of the book.

  5. Welcome back! I can’t wait to see what you come up with in that joint discussion series. Discussions are the bane of my existence, I never know what to talk about and it always ends up being such a simple topic that most people don’t discuss with me 😕 so I can’t wait to see how your new feature works out! ❤️

    • Hi Sara, and thank you! Hehe, I’m pretty excited too! I want to have people who are interested have more of a say. I just want to facilitate discussion and see where it goes!
      If you want to write one with me, I’d welcome it! Even if you don’t have an idea, we can brainstorm and we can find an awesome topic to write about! :)

  6. Sounds like you’ve got a lot of exciting things planned! And posts scheduled until November! I envy you haha. Looking forward to all of your new content! I would love to write a discussion post with you about why representation of mental illness is important :)

  7. Welcome back! I love your idea for joint discussions, I’ll have to get in on this soon. My reviews tend to go back and forth where they’re just a quick review for people to add the book to their TBR, and other books like The Book of Ivy where I’m writing a full blown analysis of its themes on feminism, democracy vs authoritarianism, etc etc. Some books just beg for that kind of discussion.

    • Thank you so much!
      Yes please! I’d be thrilled to have you participate in a joint discussion! I love writing discussion posts so it’d be even better if I did it with someone. c:

      Agreed! The books that make me think or feel are oftentimes the books that will make me write a 2000+ analysis. I’ve never heard of The Book of Ivy but I just looked it up and it sounds really interesting. I enjoy dystopia but it’s difficult for me to find a YA dystopian that suits my tastes. I’ll give this a go though; thank you for mentioning it! <3

  8. Hi! It’s great to meet you and welcome back. It sounds like you figured some things out and took some time for yourself on your hiatus. I’ll probably need to do that at some point, though I am still a fairly new blogger. I try to post every day, but I think it’s going to be too much once I go back to college. Two or three times a week sounds manageable. Look forward to your future posts. :)

    • Hi Jessica! Great to meet you too, and thank you! I definitely did, and it was so liberating. The break was much needed but now I’m happy to be back. Tbh, whenever you need a break, just take it. c: The community is always super supportive and understanding, so you’ll never have to worry on that front.

      Thank you! Looking forward to getting to know your blog better. <3

    • Thank you Paige! Yes, definitely. Before the hiatus, I had pressured myself waaaay too much. Compounded with work and other things, it was just stressful. So I’m really happy to be back with renewed energy. c:
      Thank you so much!! I can’t wait to see more of your blog too! <3

  9. Oh my gosh, welcome back, Chooi! I still kept up with you on Insta (since you can probably tell by now but I don’t really use Twitter, lol), but I’ve missed you so much!! So glad to hear that you’re back and that you’ve made modifications to RTP that you’re happy with. As for the joint discussions, that’s such a fab idea! I can’t wait to see what you have store for us in the future. (Also, you go girl for scheduling that many posts so far in the future! :o :D )

    • HI SUMMER! Hahaha I’m terrible at posting on my insta, my life is just so incredibly boring. X’D
      I’VE MISSED YOU TOO!! I was thinking about you the other day, so yaay I’m glad to be back. I shall be visiting your blog sometime soon – I have such a big list!

      Hehe thanks! I’m excited to see where my blog will go. Aw, thanks for your support! I’m very optimistic about it, so I can’t wait as well! 😊

  10. Hey! I’m so glad you’re back!

    I still read posts days after they were written.

    I love the idea of those discussion posts. I will try and think of something I will sound smart talking about and pitch it to you. Even though I write reviews all the time, when I actually call something a discussion I get all intimidated, but it’s something I definitely want to write more of.

    In terms of books, I just read Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and WOW. I am emotionally ruined. It’s a book about the Nigerian civil war (which, to be totally honest I didn’t even know happened. I have been reading all about it since finishing the book. It happened for a bunch of complex reasons, but a lot of it comes down to the terrible legacy of colonialism. How the people from this tiny island I live on managed to screw up so much of the world I will never understand). I mention this partly because it made me think of the conversation we had on Twitter the other day about how white people should stop telling stories that aren’t theirs. Half of a Yellow Sun is written from several different POVs, and one of them is this guy Richard who has moved to Nigeria from London. He is determined to write a great novel about Africa, and his major arc across the book is to learn that it’s not actually his story to tell. It’s so good. Generally speaking it is a devastating book, but the best thing I have read in ages. Lately I am getting much more interested in reading that challenges me.

    I look forward to all your reviews and recommendations :)

    • LYDIA, I have missed your super in-depth replies. ♥
      Aw you are so sweet. I have your blog on my list of blogs to read (eheheh), but I’m reading 3 blogs a day so I don’t overwhelm myself. So I’ll get to your blog soon!!
      (And girl I’ll DM you about writing a discussion post together!)

      Wow, Half of a Yellow Sun sounds incredible. I’ve read her ‘We Should All Be Feminists’ but none of her fictional work. I definitely have to check that out though – I’m REALLY interested in colonialism and post-colonialism, so that really does sound like a book I’d enjoy.
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me – now I’m really intrigued to read this book. I must find a copy as sooooon as possible! 😊

  11. I’m so glad you’re finally back, CW, and I can’t wait to read more of your reviews and blog posts again. I’m excited for this new discussion feature, it sounds awesome, and when I’m back for good to blogging, I would love to do something with you! I need to think about a topic though :)

  12. *dances around in glee because CW IS BACK YESSSS*
    We’ve missed you! Actually I went a little AWOL last month but I actually starting to feel inspired again, thank goodness. And seeing you back at it fills me with even more inspiration!!
    Okay, I am soooo in love with this Joint Discussions idea I signed up like .343 seconds after I saw it. I’m so excited!

    • AWWW THANKS BECCA! *dances with you!!*
      Aw, yay! I hope you can come back soon too! I missed blogging, and it wasn’t til I came back til I realized how much I did. c:
      YAY I haven’t checked my email (ooops) but will do so now!

  13. Pingback: October Recap: Being real; my journey with health & learning from my failures | Read, Think, Ponder

Leave a Reply! I'd love to hear your thoughts/comments. <3

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s