A Trip Down Book Blogging History | Top Ten Tuesday

April 22, 2019 37 Comments

Hey, there happy readers! It’s another new week which means another edition of Top Ten Tuesday April 23.

That Artsy Reader Girl | April 23: (First Ten) Books I Reviewed (These do not have to be formal reviews. A small sentence on a retailer site or Goodreads counts, too! Submitted by Rissi @ Finding Wonderland)

Going back into your archives is both fun, and something that makes me cringe. The reason for this being the way I used to write. Hopefully through the years, I have improved that particular hobby of mine, and the change reflects in how I write a review. It’s still fun to see what I read once upon a time, and discover what I liked or didn’t like some seven+ years ago.

There’s some contemporary, historical and YA. Basically all the kinds of reads I still enjoy, but looking back, I’ve realized I don’t think I’d care for some of these books as I perhaps did at the time.

Let’s have a look at the first 10 reviews (and books!) I featured on this interwebs space.

Top Ten Tuesday April 23

Books sorted by review publication date

(This post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Read the disclosure page for details.)


1: A Journey By Chance by Sally John | This is the very first book I have labeled as a “book review.” Hopefully it’s accurate since I didn’t manually go in to double check. Following it up were the three books in this series, which I don’t list just so this list can have some variety. Also, I review the other books in the series that would technically fit with the “first 10 reviews,” but opted to skip them so as to feature other novels instead. Amazon | Goodreads

2: Beastly by Alex Flinn | I vaguely remember reading this one, and thinking it was way more “YA” than even the film. It’s the kind of book I have nostalgic feels for and because of this, I would re-read it on a “just because” basis. Sometimes that’s good enough. Amazon | Goodreads

Top Ten Tuesday April 23

3: Heiress by Susan May Warren | Susan May Warren can do no wrong when it comes to her talents. She writes in every genre (contemporary, suspense and historical did you know this!??), and she does it so well. This is the first book of a saga (a legit one at that) that spans a number of years, and encounters many highs and lows. Amazon | Goodreads

4: Within My Heart by Tamera Alexander | Another author and series I used to love. Perhaps this is why I’m so burnt out on specific time period historicals? Because yes, believe it or not, once upon a time I read a ton of the genre. Amazon | Goodreads

Top Ten Tuesday April 23

5: Remembrance by Michelle Madow | Another of my early days YA reads. This one is inspired by Taylor Swift’s ‘Love Story’ and its really (really!) sweet. Amazon | Goodreads

6: Leaving by Karen Kingsbury | Read this entire series once upon a time, and my memory of it is that I liked it, at the time. As I grew up, I realized the writing style of Karen Kingsbury and I just don’t mess. Her stories all have a common thread which is tragedy, and that’s not something I look for in my reader life. Amazon | Goodreads

7: Baroness by Susan May Warren | Book two in Susan’s historical series! Amazon | Goodreads

8: The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks | Ah, Nicholas Sparks! It’s been forever and a day since I read one of his novels, but I would still read them. Just have to find the next one I want to read aka one that doesn’t have a TRAGIC end or happening (I actually have to pick one now that there aren’t films to determine my next read!). Amazon | Goodreads

9: The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck by Kathleen Y’Barbo | Another of my past-reader self’s “western reads.” I don’t remember much about this book, but do recall loving this series; it made me giggle. Amazon | Goodreads

10: Winning Balance by Shawn Johnson | One of the first novels I received for review, and unless I’m mistaken, this is the only book on my list that I received for review. The rest were books I bought; I didn’t start blogging because of books, but that’s a post for another day! Amazon | Goodreads


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*no ‘Top Ten’ video this week; channel linked above

Today, Finding Wonderland joins a #bookish meme and takes A Trip Down Book Blogging History | #TopTenTuesday April 23 Click To Tweet

Your turn! Tell me, friends, what were your ‘early days’ reviews and book features? Did you review books from the start? Did you receive review books from day one? Comment all the thoughts down below!

If you joined Top Ten Tuesday – or have a blog, please introduce yourself below. I’d be glad to visit your bookish spaces, too.

Thank you for visiting Finding Wonderland

ps: please excuse the “disorder.” you can read more about Finding Wonderland’s changes, new follow options and why archive posts are a royal mess in my “Disorder + Feedback” post!

Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

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37 Comments

  • Greg April 22, 2019 at 11:27 pm

    It is fun to go back! Even though I cringe at some of my earlier reviews, it’s also super fun to go back and see what I was reading at the beginning. How times have changed!

    I think I’ve only read one Karen Kingsbury book- it was a short Christmas one, if I recall, and I remember grabbing it off a Christmas table at Barnes & Noble cause it looked so festive haha! But yes I’m not a big fan of tragedy in my reading either.

    Great list!

    • Rissi April 23, 2019 at 12:13 am

      Times do indeed change; whether it’s the books we read (and how they’re presented) or the blogging landscape, they’re been a lot over the years!

      I’m all about the happy-endings. Life is challenging enough without adding more in my reading life. :) Thanks for visiting, Greg.

  • Chrissi Reads April 22, 2019 at 11:39 pm

    It is fun to look back at our first reviews. Thank you for this prompt! :-) A very fun idea.

    • Rissi April 23, 2019 at 12:14 am

      Fun, but for mine also a bit scary. ;) I meant to link mine, but then forgot, which may be just as well since they need to be reformatted. Thanks so much for the visit, Chrissi. :)

  • Melanie Parker April 23, 2019 at 12:59 am

    It is really fun/interesting to see how our review styles change over the years as well as our reading styles. I’m sure some of my ratings would change at this point as well. I’ve never read Beastly but I know it was a big YA one for awhile some years back .

    • Rissi JC April 30, 2019 at 10:49 pm

      Right? Mine has changed DRASTICALLY. I think I started not writing much before I merged into ALL THE WORDS (aka wordy and lengthy), and now I’m trying to return to the “less is more” philosophy. I think I’d rate some of my oldie books differently today too, but at the time, the rating was a fair assessment of my enjoyment. It’s just that we tend to outgrow some things, you know? :)

      Thanks so much for visiting, Melanie.

  • Louise @ Foxes and Fairy Tales April 23, 2019 at 4:38 am

    It’s so interesting to see how we’ve changed! I remember a lot of hype around Beastly at the time, but I think I only watched the film instead of reading it.
    My TTT for this week.

  • Dini @ Dinipandareads April 23, 2019 at 4:44 am

    I’ve only just started writing reviews (started on Goodreads and now on the blog) but it was still fun to see how I started writing them! Thanks for suggesting this prompt, it was definitely a fun TTT to answer :)

    My TTT

    • Rissi JC April 30, 2019 at 10:53 pm

      Hi, Dini! Nice to meet you, and thank you for joining this suggestion. It was fun to put together. :)

      Congrats on your blog! That’s awesome. I hope you’ve enjoyed the book reviewing world/community. Thanks for the visit.

  • Jess @ Jessticulates April 23, 2019 at 5:44 am

    Great list! I haven’t heard of a lot of these, so I’ll have to check them out.

    Jess @ Jessticulates recently posted: Top Ten Tuesday | The first books I reviewed
  • Lydia April 23, 2019 at 6:42 am

    All of these books have such pretty covers.

    My TTT.

  • Brittaney B April 23, 2019 at 9:58 am

    I LOVED Susie’s Daughters of Fortune series. I also remember reading Charlotte Beck and giggling. Somehow the historical screwball comedy theme works.

    • Rissi JC April 30, 2019 at 10:58 pm

      I don’t remember much about Susan’s series, but do now, at the time I thoroughly enjoyed them. Perhaps a re-read will be in order. SAME! I giggled my way through the entire series by Kathleen; they were so entertaining. :)

      Thanks for the visit, as always, Brittaney.

    • Rissi JC April 30, 2019 at 11:01 pm

      I don’t remember Susan’s series, but at the time, I do recall thinking they were fabulous! SAME! Kathleen’s western series made me giggle the entire way through; they were SO entertaining. :)

      Thanks, as always, for the visit, Brittaney!

  • Cora @ Tea Party Princess April 23, 2019 at 10:18 am

    I’ve only read one of these, I thought Remembrance was a pretty sweet story too :)
    Cora | http://teapartyprincess.co.uk/

    Cora @ Tea Party Princess recently posted: Book Review: Meat Market by Juno Dawson *AD Gifted
  • Poinsettia April 23, 2019 at 11:05 am

    I never read Beastly but thought it sounded interesting. I might have to pick it up someday. Here is my Top Ten Tuesday.

  • Alicia @ A Kernel of Nonsense April 23, 2019 at 2:23 pm

    I read Beastly years ago too, but most of my memories of it have been replaced with the movie, haha.

  • Becky April 23, 2019 at 3:08 pm

    This is such a fun topic, Rissi! Crazy how our reviews change over the years…I definitely cringed when I looked back at some of mine :-)

    • Rissi JC April 30, 2019 at 11:06 pm

      I agree, it is crazy! (And I can RELATE on the cringe factor.) I forgot to link my reviews in this post, but it’s just as well since the format is terrible because I haven’t fixed them from the Blogger to WP swap. Oh, well! Next time.

      Thanks so much for visiting, Becky. :)

  • Brooke Lorren April 23, 2019 at 3:44 pm

    These books are all new to me, although the Shawn Johnson one sounds good. I had been writing reviews of stuff for more than a decade before I even realized that people would give you free books to review. They all disappeared whenever Epinions went away.

    A few months ago, I actually took down my first blog. It had a lot of politics on it, and I don’t necessarily think it’s really good to have that up as a would-be author. So I guess it’s good my first blogs aren’t up? Although my second two novels are…

    • Rissi JC May 6, 2019 at 10:30 pm

      I didn’t know book reviewing was a thing prior to starting my blog, or if I did I didn’t realize the “scope” of it. But that’s a post I’m working on for another day. :)

      I don’t talk about politics only because I LIVE every day life, so when I blog or go on social media, I want it to be a fun place to be. It’s certainly changed since I started because it’s WAY more political than it once was, but I keep to my choice and way of blogging, and so far, it’s something I still believe in. :) Thanks so much for visiting, Brooke.

  • Anne@Headfullofbooks April 23, 2019 at 7:37 pm

    How long have your been blogging? I cringed over my first reviews, too. It took a while to grow into being a reviewer that isn’t embarrassed of her own reviews. Ha! My TTT list

    • Rissi JC May 6, 2019 at 10:31 pm

      Eight years… I think. I cringe over my oldie reviews ALL THE TIME, Anne. But I’m slowly making the effort of going into the archives and re-editing them. Not my conclusions, just *how* I say them. :) Thanks so much for visiting!

  • Tracy @ Cornerfolds April 23, 2019 at 8:58 pm

    A lot of these are new to me, but Beastly is one I’ve always been interested to read. I also found that I don’t even remember some of the books I rated very highly back then!

    • Rissi JC May 6, 2019 at 10:34 pm

      Same, Tracy. I forget easily what I was reading and rating back then. In some respects I feel like I’m more generous with my ratings nowadays, but I think that’s more because I know what I like vs. don’t care for. :) Thanks for visiting!

  • Heidi Robbins April 24, 2019 at 2:48 pm

    I started posting reviews for review books, my first one was Longing for Home by Sarah Eden and it was three sentences!

    • Rissi JC May 6, 2019 at 10:38 pm

      Nothing wrong with that! We all change, and it’s a fun progression to watch. :) Thanks for visiting, Heidi.

  • Genesis @ Whispering Chapters April 25, 2019 at 5:22 am

    I never knew that Beastly was a book before the movie came out. I only ever watched the movie over and over LOL And Nicholas Sparks book are so good!

    Genesis @ Whispering Chapters recently posted: Delicious Alpha Male + Tension-Filled Romance: Savior by Fiona Cole
    • Rissi JC May 6, 2019 at 10:41 pm

      I’ve seen “Beastly” a few times, but it’s been quite a while since the last re-watch. Someday I’ll have to remedy this because it’s cute. :) Thanks for visiting, Genesis.

  • Rel Mollet April 25, 2019 at 9:58 pm

    Fun list, Rissi, and such a great topic. Are you sworn of historicals for life now?!

  • Jessica at Booked J April 26, 2019 at 5:55 pm

    Loved this topic and seeing your trip down memory lane. It is so interesting looking back at what we used to think about certain things and then realizing, dang, my opinions have probably changed a lot for this. Anyways, YES. You know it’s a bit of a throwback when Beastly is on the list.

    Jessica at Booked J recently posted: Top Ten Tuesday: First Books I Reviewed (#37)
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