Happy Birthday to Me!

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I can’t quite believe it’s been a whole year since I started this blog but so it has. I’ve had the best time reviewing books and spouting nonsense, and long may it continue!

I just wanted to say a huge thanks to everyone who has read and commented on my posts, to all the authors & publishers who have provided me with review copies, promo material and guest posts, and to the book blogging community in general for making me feel instantly welcome!

Looking Back…

When I realised that Lipsyy Lost & Found was approaching its first milestone I thought I’d have a look back at my earliest posts…and woah, what a difference a year makes. It’s slightly cringe-worthy.

I’m pretty pleased with progress of the blog – not that I have anything to compare it to (and I’m sure other blogs have done much better) – but over the year I…

  • Gained a readership of over 1,100
  • Exceeded 300 WordPress followers
  • Got invited to Emma Donoghue’s book launch
  • Hit 10,600 views and 1,880 comments

Not too shabby.

Looking back on the old posts, as cringey as it was, did make me realise some things though. Mainly that it was nice to have no structure. Over the year, as I’m sure many bloggers do, I’ve become much more structured with my posts, but in the beginning I posted what I wanted, when I wanted.

If I was reading a book and wanted to post about it before writing a review, I did. If I didn’t want to write a proper review I didn’t. That’s a bit trickier these days as probably 65% of the books I’m reading are either ARCS from Netgalley or direct author requests which require a proper review, but I really miss feeling like I can read and post whatever I want.

Going Forward…

In the future I really want to take the pressure off and concentrate on posting what I want, when I want rather than trying to stick to a schedule. I’m also going to introduce Currently Reading posts which I think I did in the very beginning just for something to post, but I really like introducing the book I’m reading before actually doing a review.

And for reviews themselves, I don’t really stick to a structure anyway, but reading the first couple that I did made me realise that the time constraints might have suppressed my personality in the writing a bit, like this first review I did of Soulless. I kinda really like the post-its…maybe that should be a thing!?

Anyway, I’m chuffed that people are reading, and continue to come back, so a HUGE thanks to you all. If you have any insights or opinions on what I’ve just said about going forward, or about Lipsyy Lost & Found in general, pleeeeeeeease leave a comment. You know it makes me happy!!

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Now, where’s that cake???

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts #4

This meme is hosted by the Bookishly Boisterous and the idea is simple. It’s a round-up of your week, in and out of book world. A place to store your thoughts, and basically anything you’d like to share on your blog.

1. I’ve been ill on and off for the past two weeks and it’s really starting to piss me off. It all started with a sore throat, and then my right ear went weird and hurt when I swallowed and I thought I was going deaf. And now, I just have a cold that won’t budge. Even trusty old Lemsip isn’t working. Ugh. I’m putting off going to the doctors because I generally think time heals most things. HURRY UP, TIME!

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2. Despite being ill, last Saturday was Eurovision day and I had a little house party for it because Eurovision is like the best thing ever. As tradition dictates, I instructed everyone who came to bring something to represent the country they were backing, whether it was food, drink or outfit based. Oh man, there was a lot of food. It was awesome.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about (you guys are missing out) you can read what Eurovision is all about on the link above, but basically, it’s a great excuse for a party, and the campest thing ever. BEST NIGHT!

The UK did rubbish, as always, even though we had a pretty good entry this year, but I was glad to see Conchita Wurst, the Austrian drag queen win – screw you Russia! My other favourite was Iceland…oh Iceland you make me happy. Check it out:

3. Eurovision also made me realise that my blog must be coming up to its one year anniversary as I remember my introduction post was a picture of me standing over one of my best friends who had partied a bit too hard at last year’s Eurovision. Whoop…I can’t believe it’s been a year already. I’ll be doing some birthday/round-up posts next week. I think my first post was on the 22nd May 2013. EEEK!

4. I’ve been seeing a lot about Children’s Book Week in blogland this week, which I guess is like America’s version of our World Book Day…anyway, it got me thinking about all the children’s books I love so I’m planning a special post for it on friday – if I have time to write it!

5. And while we’re on the subject of children’s books, I came across this awesome article by John Green, discussing why he thinks YA fiction appeals to adults – YOU ARE NEVER TOO OLD FOR YA FICTION… it does surprise me that besides from a few of my friends and the book/blogging world, most people don’t understand why I read so many books aimed at teenagers when I’m 30 years old! BECAUSE THEY ARE AWESOME, HELLO. I hate when it gets looked down upon too, but it’s nearly always non-readers that do that. Idiots.

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6. I bought a little rose plant a few weeks ago. I don’t really do flowers or plants usually, I’m just not that person, but I saw it and thought it looked cute, and now I’m having a bet with myself to see how long I can keep it alive. I’m pretty rubbish with these things. The label on it said that the soil should always be moist and it needs feeding twice a week. Is feeding the same as watering? Seriously guys, I’m clueless. And people ask me if I think about having kids…LOL@YOU…I don’t even know how to keep a plant alive!!! I’ll probably get drunk and try to eat it or something. The plant, not the fictional baby.

7. I really need to get back into writing. As much as I love doing this blog, it’s completely taken over the time I used to spend writing (plus all the time I spent doing god knows what…). I have a YA novel and a handful of short stories that still need work (especially the novel…it’s so terrible ATM) and about a million other ideas for things I want to write but haven’t gotten round to. I really need to set aside some time each week to do that!

Dear Netgalley….

…You have been an invaluable service to me and my blog. You have allowed me read an abundance of books before their release date. You are extremely easy to use, and have asked for little in return – a review.

However, if you ‘archive’ one more book BEFORE the publication date so I can no longer download it, and therefore can not read and review it, we are going to have words. This has been the second time in as many months that a book when originally requested, had no archive date set. And then, at least one week BEFORE the publication date you have suddenly archived it, making it redundant.

It’s not just the missing out on reading the book itself, it’s more what it is doing to my NetGalley profile. I now only have a 60% feedback to approval ratio. That can’t be good can it? Can I dispute it?

Answer me, Netgalley Gods!

Sincerely Annoyed,

Lipsy

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts #2

This meme is hosted by the Bookishly Boisterous and the idea is simple. It’s a round-up of your week, in and out of book world. A place to store your thoughts, and basically anything you’d like to share on your blog.

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1. Divergent

At some point this week I will be watching Divergent. I can’t wait to be able to rant about it! Last Saturday I walked through Leicester square and they had it all set up for the UK Premiere the following day, and I must admit seeing all the faction flags was pretty exciting.

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I did have a chuckle at all the kids who were already queuing up (overnight!) to get a good view of the red carpet. I had to text Di about it, apologies for the ‘freaks’ comment…all in jest I assure you (I was secretly really jealous, obvs)!

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And while we’re on the subject, the awesome Di has an amazing rant some thoughts on Insurgent which I’ll hopefully steal off her for a guest post. Watch this space.

2. We like Graves

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This is turning into a bit of a Dianne Tanner special, but this weekend just gone, Di and I had a lovely time wandering round Nunhead Cemetery, taking photos, looking for Narnia, and generally enjoying the spring-time sun.

Check out her photography blog, Icefloe which will feature much better Nunhead photos than these at some point.

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3. Crazy Golf is best with Dinosaurs

I had a work outing on friday to Jurassic Golf which is so much fun, despite them playing the Jurassic Park Theme Tune ON REPEAT. I’ve been humming it all weekend. Also, I didn’t lose for once, and my team came in second place (OK so there were only 3 teams). I also bet on the Grand National and came 2nd with Balthazar King. I’m waiting for my dad to let me know how much I won…maybe even a whole five pounds!

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4. ❤ Patrick Ness' Twilight Tweet-Along!

Patrick Ness had me in creases last week as he read Twilight and tweeted about it. I like that his tweets were hilarious, but not derogatory or patronising. He made it clear that any book that has been that successful deserves respect.

Here were some of my favourites:

Seriously, they are all gold! Go and read them all and behold the joy!

5. Fail

Regular readers or Goodreads followers may have noticed that I started Marcus Sedgwick’s A Love Like Blood. I was really intrigued to see what his first adult book would be like but I had so any ARC deadlines at that time and I fell behind. I did start it, but I only read about 5 pages and really couldn’t get into to it. Plus, I was desperate to get to Vampire Academy 2 which had just arrived in the post. So when A Love Like Blood was archived in NetGalley just a few days after the release date I decided to just scrap it. :s Hopefully, I’ll give it another go sometime!

6. Game of Thrones

GoT!!! That is all!!!

7. M’s the word

The ‘m’ on my laptop keyboard is buggered I have to hold it down and show it soe love before the M actually works, see! MMMMMMMMMMMMM. Danit. So if you see soe missing mmmmm’s, please fill in the blanks. Why thanks.

Have a good week everyone.

Top Ten Tuesday: Things on my Bookish Bucketlist

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the image to visit them) who pick a different topic each week. This week the topic is Top Ten things your your Blogging/Bookish (or not so Bookish) Bucketlist. My list also includes my writing bucketlist.

  1. Live in a castle. It’s not too much to ask is it? IS IT?
  2. Write something amazing. Get Published. Win at life.
  3. Open Vintage Bookshop (one of my dreams is to own a actual book shop but I’ll settle for an online one I suppose).
  4. Attend Launches, Book Blogger/Publishing Events etc
  5. Do  (& pass obv) an MA in Creative Writing/Publishing.
  6. Go to Hay festival.
  7. Win at NaNoWriMo!
  8. Get a ‘Never is an awfully long time’ tattoo.
  9. Read the Iliad.
  10. Go on a Writer’s retreat.

Back to Normality!

I don’t know about you guys, but I feel like I need a massive push to get back to normality after the (happy) disruption that Christmas and New Year had on my blog. I never really meant to take so much time off but I couldn’t pull myself away from family, friends, the pub, or the TV so I barely got any reading done either.

I feel so far behind! There were loads of end-of-year things I meant to do, and I’m behind on my ARCs but I am going to spend this week really trying to catch up. I promise!

It was also my Birthday on Sunday which I was dreading but actually turned out pretty good. I should probably change my About Me page too as I’m not nearly 30 anymore. SOB.

Anyway, I just wanted to say Happy New Year to you all, and here’s to a great year of blogging and book ranting.

 
Currently Reading:

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Like any girl who is loved by her family, Abigail Nussbaum loves to chase butterflies, enjoys lying on her back looking for shapes in the clouds, and happily teaches young children to make daisy chains.

In the eyes of certain people, however, Abigail has committed a heinous crime. The year is 1940; the place is Poland; Abigail happens to be Jewish.

Along with half a million other Jews, Abigail and her family are evicted from their home and forced to live in the bombed out ruins of Warsaw, the Polish capital.

Although a handful decide to fight back, is the uprising strong enough to save Abigail’s spirit?

Blog Talk: The average time-span of a Book Blogger?

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I’ve been doing this blogging thing since May, so just under 7 months, and I still consider myself pretty new to it. I’m constantly coming across things that I feel I should be including on my blog, and spotting things that I can improve on, such as the quality and volume of reviews, keeping more up to date in the book world, and ways of making my blog look better. For me, it’s a work in progress (as is trying to read quicker!!). Some things work, and some don’t, but I’m just enjoying sharing my book-geek, fangirling ways with the blogosphere.

Because I still feel like a Newb at this, I always just assumed that most of the blogs I follow and love have been around for much longer than mine, and are more established, experienced sites. But more and more lately I’ve been seeing ‘6 months’ or ‘1 year’ anniversary posts or ‘I hit 100 followers’ posts and I’m always surprised that those blogs haven’t actually been going for very long. Which led me to wonder two things:

1. How long is the average time-span for a book blogger?

There’s no doubt about it, book blogging is a lot of work. A lot more work than I was expecting, so I guess it’s not surprising that people would start them up and realise that they just don’t have the time, or will to continue.

2. What is the key to longevity?

Like I said, I’ve been enjoying blogging a lot, and quite soon after I began it just became part of my life. But it is hard to keep motivated sometimes. With working full-time, blogging, and trying to have a social life, my own writing has well and truly taken a back-seat so I do sometimes think what is the point? I just hope the pros (free books, writing practice…) continue to outweigh the cons (too many hours in front of a computer, lack of sleep…).

So I ask you, lovely Bloggers: How long have you been blogging/ How long do you think the average time-span for a book blogger is? And what keeps you going?

And go!