Hiatus Recap

It’s been two and a half months since I last posted something here, a long time to be away from my blog, but I’m back now and I figured what better way to kick-start my return to Reading Every Night than with a hiatus recap.

ReDesign Hiatus Recap Header

June and July were really busy months, August seems to be slowing down enough so that I have time to devote to blogging again, and honestly my mental health took a little turn for the worse. I had a slump and didn’t have the energy for anything creative, but I’m coming around the other side of that now. This post is likely to be a little longer than my usual monthly recaps, but I have two and a half months of books I’ve read, TV shows I’ve watched, and general life events to cover in just one post.


I’m going to start by talking a little about why I went on hiatus for two and a half months.

I started feeling slump-y in May; I stopped reading and stopped writing blog posts (I had a lot of drafts saved so I was able to keep posting for a while) but I was feeling a major burn-out coming on so I knew I needed a break. Originally I planned to only be away for June, but before I knew it June was over and I was halfway through July still feeling unmotivated to blog.

My mental health took a turn for the worse, there was a lot going on and it all started piling up on me. I was stressed and anxious, and dealing with a few health issues that only added to everything bad I was feeling. Basically reading and blogging were the furthest things from my mind.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom though. I mentioned in previous recaps that I’d brought a house, well I finally moved in. In June we got some renovations done — replacing the carpets with laminate, re-doing both the bathroom and the en-suite, and getting a fresh coat of paint on all the walls — and in July I moved in. I spent a week packing everything I own up, ordering furniture from Ikea, and driving back and forth between Southend (where I used to live) and Crystal Palace (where I now live). There are still things which need to be sorted out, but for the most part I’m settled in my new home.

Now I’m trying to get back into everything; I’ve started reading again (which you may have noticed if we’re friends on Goodreads) and today is kicking off my return to WordPress. I have a lot to catch up on, I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to catch up on everything I’ve missed, but I figured if I take it slow I can work my way backwards and go from there.

Wish me luck.


ReDesign Reading Update Title

  • The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi — Four stars
  • Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett — Four stars
  • I Was Born for This by Alice Oseman — Four stars
  • First & Then by Emma Mills — Four stars
  • Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston — Five stars
  • The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston — Four stars
  • Radio Silence by Alice Oseman — Five stars
  • Solitaire by Alice Oseman — Three stars
  • This Winter by Alice Oseman — Four stars
  • Nick and Charlie by Alice Oseman — Four stars
  • Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff — Three stars

Hiatus Reading Update (1)

Favourite read; Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston which had everything I loved in one book. The enemies to lovers trope, a cute romance, great characters and a brilliant family dynamic.

Least favourite read; Solitaire by Alice Oseman which I wanted to love — because I really enjoyed Alice Oseman’s other releases — but I struggled to connect with Tori’s character.

Hiatus Reading Update (2)

Well I very quickly fell behind on my Goodreads Reading Challenge; I read nothing in May, nothing in July and very few books in June. Goodreads has recommended I read two books per week to catch up on my Challenge goal by the end of the year, and I read four books last week so I’m (about 90%) confident I can get back on track before too long.

Hiatus GR Reading Challenge


ReDesign Writing Update Title

Like with my reading and my blogging over the past two and a half months I fell into a major writing slump. I had planned to take part in Camp NaNo in July but I was too busy (more on that a little later in this post) and before I knew it July was over. I’m going to get back into writing this month, I’m feeling inspired to write for the first time since I started slumping in May, so I’m going to set a new monthly word count goal and see how it goes.


ReDesign Life in General Title

There was a lot happening in June and July. Even if you take out everything involving my new house and the big move it was still two jam packed months for me.

Highlights:

  • June is my birthday month; I didn’t do anything major to celebrate but I had a lovely meal out with my family and went to afternoon tea with my best friend. It was a quite celebration but those are my favourite kinds.

Hiatus Life in General (1)

  • I saw the live action version of Aladdin with my mum and sister. It was really good and although I wouldn’t consider Aladdin one of my favourites it’s such a feel-good film. Plus I love the soundtrack, Friend Like Me is one of my favourite Disney songs full stop.

Hiatus Life in General (2)

  • I went to Ascot with two of my best friends. It was the first time I’d been and unfortunately the weather wasn’t as nice as I’d hoped it would be, but it was so much fun. I got to get all dressed up and I ended up winning one of the bets I placed, coming out even at the end of the day.

Hiatus Life in General (3)

  • I somehow managed to keep on top of my Dutch learning, a little surprising considering I was slumping in every other aspect of my life. Currently I’ve maintained a 182 day streak and I’m on crown level 108.

And of course the biggest highlight of the past two months was…

  • …YALC

YALC

The end of July means YALC. I didn’t go last year but I got another weekend ticket for this year and spent three incredible days at the convention. It was packed (honestly I think YALC gets busier every year), and it involved a lot of early starts to join the queues at the Olympia London and heavy tote bags full of books which needed to be lugged around all day, but as which the two previous years I’ve attended it was a lot of fun.

Hiatus YALC Recap (1)

YALC Highlights:

  • Meeting Alice Oseman and getting to tell her how excited I am for Loveless, and how much a book with an asexual character means to me.
  • Meeting Vic James and talking about how much I loved her Dark Gifts trilogy.

Hiatus YALC Recap (2)

  • Seeing V.E. Schwab on the Mystical YA panel, and then getting my US editions of the Shades of Magic trilogy signed.
  • Jim Kay’s illustration panel.
  • Seeing Samantha Shannon on the Monsters and their Makers panel.

Hiatus YALC Recap (3)

  • Being one of the first 100 people in the queue and getting my hands on a Adam Silvera Infinity Son ARC.
  • Winning the raffle and getting my hands on a Rena Barron Kingdom of Souls ARC.

Hiatus YALC Recap (4)

In other news I downloaded Scribd and signed up for their 30-day free trial, and it’s the best app on my phone. Four of the ten books I read during the past two and a half months I read last week on Scribd. Also I may not have been reading but I have watched a lot of TV. I binged Good Omens and The Boys on Amazon Prime, and got through all nine seasons of How I Met Your Mother on Netflix.

Hiatus Life in General (4)

I also have a Twitter account, you can find my profile here. Come and follow me, I can’t promise I’ll post much or regularly or with any kind of schedule (because I’m terrible at social media) but I’m going to try my very best.


ReDesign Book Haul Title

Given the fact that I’ve brought a house, and now have a mortgage and bills to pay, I’ve had to cut down on my book buying. That being said when at YALC it’s impossible not to splurge a little, honestly what I ended up buying was me being restrained.

Hiatus Book Haul


ReDesign Looking Forwards Title

I don’t have anything planned for the remainder of August, so to make up for the long recap in this post it’s going to be a short recap at the end of the month. I’m slowly aiming to get back into reading whatever I want to read, catching up on blogging and the many reviews I need to write, and starting to work on my WIP once more.


What have you been up to for the past two and a half months?

What were your favourite least favourite reads of June and July, and now we’re more than halfway through 2019 how is your Goodreads Reading Challenge going? Did you take part in Camp NaNo in July, and if so did you meet your goal or not?

What’s the best convention you’ve been too, bookish or non bookish? Are you hoping to make it to YALC one year (maybe next year)? What was your highlight of the past two and a half months?

Happy reading.

36 thoughts on “Hiatus Recap

  1. I’m really sorry to hear about your slump, but that’s really cool about your new home!! 😀 Cool you went to ascot- I’ve never been. And sounds like your duolingo is going well 😀 Great that YALC was so good- I hope I can go one day- it looks like fun! 😀 And what a great haul!

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  2. Yay. I’m so happy you’re back to blogging ❤️

    Happy belated birthday, I hope you had a lovely day 🎂 I’ve also just come back from a very long, unplanned hiatus. Sorry to hear about your mental health not being great, I hope you’re feeling better. I’m so happy to see you still read some good books! Solitaire was also a bit of a let down for me. Red, White and Royal Blue is on my TBR and I’m excited to read it. YALC looked amazing 😭 I’m seriously jealous, but also so happy you had a good time!

    I’m seriously in love with your new header and graphics 😍😍 Do you mind telling me who designed them?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Michelle, yeah I haven’t quite managed to get fully kick-started blogging again but I’m slowly getting there. Fingers crossed now I’ll be able to fully jump in. 🙂
      Yeah after loving I Was Born for This and Radio Silence Solitaire was kind of a let down, and oh I’d highly recommend picking up Red White and Royal Blue as soon as possible. It’s amazing!
      Thanks so much, and actually I designed them myself. I used a mixture of Paint, Word Swag (an app on my iPad) and Adobe programs, 🙂 ❤

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  3. Ahh Beth welcome back, it’s so, so good to see you posting on your blog again and I’m glad that you’re feeling better, as well. I missed you and your posts so, so much ❤ Congratulations on moving in and yay for all of the changes in your life, i hope you'll love your new place and everything! 🙂
    I'm so happy you've read some great books here, too, yay! I loved red, white and royal blue so much, such a great read. and I'm so happy you had such a great time at yalc, I really need to make it there one year 😀
    Wishing you a great return to blogging, Beth, and take your time with it all, don't worry about catching up too much, just do things at your own rhythm and enjoy it 🙂 sending you love! x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Marie. 🙂 It’s good to finally be posting again (it took me a while bit I got there again in the end). I missed seeing your posts, and seeing everyone’s posts, and blogging in general.
      Thanks so much, it’s been a long journey but overall I am loving my new home, and oh Red, White and Royal Blue is in the running for my favourite read of this year!
      It would be brilliant if you did make it to YALC one year, I’m sure you’d love it so much, and thanks again. Yeah I’m just taking my time, getting back to enjoying blogging again and catching up on everything. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Welcome back, Beth! I’m sorry about the slump, but it seems like you have a lot of things happening in the past few months! I’m super excited to watch the tv show of Good Omens, unfortunately I couldn’t get into the book. I’ve been in a blogging slump for the past few months too because life just has been so hectic. I can’t wait for things to settle down a bit so I can back into my old pace, I really miss it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Tasya. 🙂 I’m glad the slump is over but I did have a good few months despite everything else. Oh well hopefully you’ll enjoy the TV show more, maybe you’ll find it easier to get into.
      Oh sometimes life does get in the way doesn’t it. It won’t last forever though so hopefully you’ll be able get back again soon. 🙂

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  5. Hi Beth!!
    I was worried about you for a while since I haven’t heard from you, but I am so glad that you are back! Sounds like you’ve had a rough time earlier on this year, but are you feeling better now? That’s awesome that you’ve moved into your new home, and sounds like you’ve been productive getting renovations done! Are you settled in already? 🙂
    That’s so exciting that you went to YALC!! Really love the pictures of your haul!! That’s great that you got an ARC of Infinity Son! I love the cover so much. It seems different from the usual Adam Silvera-type book doesn’t it?! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on that one 🙂
    Yay! You’ve joined twitter! I followed you 🙂
    Wishing you all the best for the rest of the month!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah it was a majorly unplanned hiatus, but when it came down to it I just needed to get away a bit and with everything going on I just didn’t have the time. I’m definitely feeling better now, but I’m taking the time to properly get back into blogging again.
      Settling in nicely, there’s still a few things we need to get done but for the most part we’re all sorted.
      Thanks so much, they were giving out copies to the first 100 people so I rushed to get one on the second day. Definitely sounds different to his usual books but I’m hoping I still love it.
      Thanks Sophie, I hope you have a brilliant rest of the month too. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s nice to get away and let our mind get some rest. Sometimes life happens, and it’s all right to take a break 🙂 Glad that you’re feeling better now.
        That’s great that you have things sorted out in your new home! That is so exciting that you have your own place now. Hope that you’ll enjoy 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Welcome back! I’m glad you’re climbing out of your slump. Anxiety can be so draining.

    It sounds like you had some really positive experiences over the summer, though. Your birthday tea party sounds lovely, and YALC sounds fun, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Welcome back, so happy to see you on my feed again! ❤ I’m sorry that the past months have been full of slumps and anxiety, I hope things are going to be better soon! I definitely got behind with writing as well, so I’m slowly getting back to it after not doing much for months – we can do it! 🙂 I’m also happy to see that you liked Radio Silence so much, I read it in June and loved it sooo much 🥰 I also watched Good Omens and fell in love with it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Car. 🙂 It’s nice to be back blogging again, and having posts on people’s feeds. 😀 Things are looking up at the moment, I’m definitely out of the worst of it when it comes to slumping and anxiety issues. I think getting back into reading, blogging and writing properly will help massively too. (Yes we definitely can do it. Go us!)
      I thin Radio Silence is my favourite book by her so far, although I have high hopes for Loveless, and yes Good Omens was everything I’d hoped for and more, I’ve already re-watched it more times than I can count! 🙂 ❤

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  8. Aahh Beth, I’m so happy to see you back! I’m so sorry to hear that you struggled with your mental health, but I’m really glad that you’re feeling better ❤ Take your time easing your way back into blogging — it's so important to take care of yourself after a bad mental health period and you deserve to be kind to yourself! 💖

    And it makes me SO glad to hear that you loved Red, White & Royal Blue — I read that in June and it's my favorite book of the year so far! It's just absolutely hilarious, I loved the characters, and it made me feel so so hopeful and happy. And I'm also glad you had such a good time at YALC! You got some amazing books, and I can't wait to see what you think of Infinity Son (especially since the early reviews I've been seeing have been pretty negative… 😭)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I guess I needed to get away for a bit. There was so much going on in my life that I needed to prioritise and blogging just fell way down to the bottom of the list. Oh definitely feeling better now, it’s still going to take a while to catch up but like you said I’m going to go slowly about it.
      Red, White and Royal Blue is up there for me too. I actually credit it with being on of the things that forced me out of my slump (finally). It’s high on my to-re-read list I’ll tell you that as well. 😀 YALC was amazing, I’m already looking forwards to next year, but oh that’s a shame about Infinity Son. I haven’t seen any reviews myself so I guess I’ll just have to read it and see what I think.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Welcome back! Glad you’re feeling better and getting back into the swing of things. Good luck with all you want to achieve this year.
    My best and worst reads over the last month or so are …. best read – Dave Eggers book Zeitoun. I’ve blogged bout it here. https://aliterarybent.wordpress.com/2019/08/10/hurricane-katrina-from-one-families-perspective-zeitoun-by-dave-eggers/
    Worst book was Mary Kuvica – When the lights go out. I reviewed it here…. https://aliterarybent.wordpress.com/2019/08/09/book-review-when-the-lights-go-out-mary-kubica/
    I’m not involved in Goodreads or the NaNo thing. Neither have I been to any conventions recently. One highlight a few months ago was meeting a New Zealand author, Robin Robilliard, well into her 80’s who was at our local bookshop Wardini’s doing a reading from her autobiographical book Hard Country. She was wonderful to listen to and to chat with afterwards. And she very kindly signed and wrote some nice words in my copy of the book. And yes I blogged about that too…. here….
    https://aliterarybent.wordpress.com/2019/03/06/an-inspiring-story-of-a-determined-woman/
    On the downside of life, I had a bout of depression….first one since being a teenager. I’m all OK now though and back to enjoying life. I even blogged about that too. It helped to write things down.
    https://aliterarybent.wordpress.com/2019/07/24/loneliness-and-depression/
    Hope you don’t mind me adding my post links to the comments here. Looking forward to your next post. Bye for now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, it’s always a bit of a struggle coming back to something like this after so long away but sometimes you just have to jump in, and that’s what I’ve finally managed to do now.
      It must have been great meeting Robin Robilliard (definitely amazing she’s still doing signings into her 80’s). I always love meeting authors, the events are just great to take part in aren’t they?
      I’m glad you’re feeling better now too. We all have ups and downs when it comes to our mental health I guess the main thing is we come back from them. I’m glad writing everything down helped you.
      No I definitely don’t mind. I’m slowly catching up on blogging myself (I’ve missed two and a half months so it’s going to take me a while) but I’ll definitely check out your links when I have a chance.
      Thanks. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Welcome back, Beth! It’s good to hear that you’re feeling better, and I hope things keep going well for you 🙂. (Also you look very lovely all dressed up for Ascot 🌟!)
    Everyone’s raving about Red, White, & Royal Blue—I really need to pick it up! I was also really behind my Goodreads challenge a month ago, but I’ve been coming out of that slump and listening to more audiobooks. That’s nice that you were able to catch up with so many shows though! I’m debating if I should just watch Good Omens because the book wasn’t working for me 🤔. Also, YALC sounds so exciting! I’ve never been to any book con, or any type of convention for that matter, but a bookish one would be a good place to start 🙂.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, oh definitely. I’m just keeping my fingers crossed now things keep going well. Thanks again, Ascot was such a lovely day, a brilliant experience.
      God it’s amazing, I actually credit Red, White and Royal Blue as being one of the books which forced me out of my reading slump. Oh I’ve gotten into audiobooks recently too, I have a few saved for when I have slow days at work. 😀 I’d definitely recommend the TV show, I think you’ll enjoy it more than the book but it does stay true to the book as well, so you don’t need to read it to understand the story you know?
      YALC is incredible (and another thing that helped finally pull me out of my slump), I’m already looking forwards to next year! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  11. BETH! Welcome back! It’s so good to hear from you! 😀
    I’m glad to hear you’re out of your blogging and reading slump!
    It must be very exciting with your new place! I know all about taking carpet and replacing with lament, we did our stairs and hallway last month, such a pain but it looks so much better. It looks like you did some fun things! Happy belated birthday, I’m glad to hear it was nice!
    Here’s to a good reading month in August! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, yeah it’s been a while but I’m ready to get back in blogging and everything (about time too!)
      Slumps are terrible, and this was one of the worst I’ve had but I am out the other side of it. God I could tell you horror stories about everything me and my friend had to go through re-decorating, but you’re right it’s always worth it because everything looks so much better now.
      Thanks so much, and yes I hope you have a good reading month this month as well. 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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