I’m Alive!!! (An Update) #IRL

Hi Everyone!

I can’t believe I haven’t posted since May! I really didn’t mean to fall off the face of the earth but that’s kinda what happened.

Basically, work went completely crazy because my colleague left and what was already a very hectic job turned into an impossible task. And then – unrelated to my job woes as I had been looking for new opportunities before the madness started – I got an interview for a new job, and I got it!

So I recently left the prison library (at a terrible time that made me feel very guilty), to become Library Manager of a local public library. Hurrah!

While all of this was going on, my landlord sold his/my house, so I had to start looking for somewhere to live. So yeah, it’s all been a bit mad and this blog was the last thing on my mind.

But things are starting to calm down. The first week as a Library Manager has been good, if not slightly overwhelming in terms of having so much to learn. And I move house next weekend. The end is in sight.

Overall, I’m really happy with the big life changes so far, and hope everything settles down enough for me to decide on whether to keep this blog going, or to maybe start a new one to promote my library? I’m not sure of the rules on that yet (as I was never allowed to do one for the prison library for obvious reasons), but it would be nice to carry on book blogging and be able to promote what we do at the same time.

I will keep you posted. I’ve really missed being part of the book blogging community – I feel so out of touch – so I hope to be back soon in some way or another.

Keep reading!!

Lipsy xx

 

 

Advertisements

This Week in Books 02.01.18 #TWIB

icon2

Welcome to This Week in Books, where we share what we’ve been up to in bookland this week and look ahead to next. 

Happy new year to you all! I hope you had a lovely Christmas holiday and a great New Year.

I had a great time but didn’t manage to get any blogging or even much reading done despite having two weeks off work! It’s nice to be back, but I’ve decided that I’ll be taking a step back for the foreseeable future (after I get my backlog of reviews out).

I’m not quitting completely and hope to post at least once a week (as opposed to 3 or 4 like I used to). I just feel burnt out and want to enjoy reading again.

I hope you’ll enjoy being kept up to date on what I’m reading in this post.

Now

renegades

 

Renegades ~ Marissa Meyer

This has got off to an excellent start and I’m so relieved. The Lunar Chronicles is one of my favourite series, but I was pretty disappointed by Meyer’s last book, Heartless. This definitely seems like a return to form!

Then

 

The Polar Bear’s Explorer Club ~ Alex Bell // Little Women ~ Louisa May Alcott

These were the last two books I finished before Christmas. I absolutely loved The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club, it was such a fun, magical read that’s perfect for winter. I was also really surprised by how much I enjoyed Little Women. I tried reading it as a child but never got through it – I’ve never been very good with the classics – but I liked it. Hurrah!

Next

Probably Flat Broke with Two Goats by Jennifer McGaha. I’m not a huge one for memoirs but love the sound of this one 🙂

flatbroke

A charming memoir of one woman’s unexpected journey from country chic to backwoods barnyard

Just as the Great Recession was easing in some parts of the country, Jennifer McGaha experienced an economic crisis of epic proportions. Her home was in foreclosure; she had $4.57 in the bank; and worst of all, she had recently discovered that she and her accountant husband owed four years of back taxes to the state of North Carolina and the IRS. And then things got really bad…

Flat Broke with Two Goats takes readers on a wild adventure from a Cape Cod-style home in the country to a hundred-year-old, mice-infested, snake-ridden cabin in a North Carolina holler. With self-effacing humor and unflinching honesty, Jennifer chronicles the joys and difficulties of living close to nature, and in the process she comes to discover the true meaning of home.

 

What have you been reading this week? Leave a comment/link and I’ll do my best to take a look 🙂

 

 

This Week in Books 12.07.17 #TWIB

icon2

Welcome to This Week in Books, where we share what we’ve been up to in bookland this week and look ahead to next. 

Hi Everyone! I hope you’re all having a great week. I’m afraid my answers are the same as last week because even though I’ve been off work I’ve been having all of the fun (mainly at Wimbledon watching the tennis) and not had much reading or blogging time. Normality should resume next week. Although I am going to a festival next weekend. Too much going on. LOL!

Anyway, here’s what my week has looked like…

twib17.22.jpg

Now: White Cat ~ Holly Black

Almost done with this. It’s great – just no time!

Then:  The Horse with My Name ~ Colin Bateman

Loved this. After a long break from Bateman’s books it was a welcome comfort read. Funny and action-packed with a perfect balance of violence and silliness!

Next: ???

Probably Retribution Rails which isn’t out until November but I’m really eager to read it. Might sneak Strawberries at Wimbledon in first though.

How have you got on this week? Don’t forget to leave the link to your post or just a comment so we can all come take a look. 

 

This Month in Books: June 2017 #TMIB #BookoftheMonth

ICON5

June. Hmm…June actually felt like a lonnnng old month for once. We had the hottest June on record, although the heatwave only really lasted about 5 days. It did me in. I’m not made for hot climates and once again declared that I need to move to Iceland, as I do every year when it gets hot. LOL.

At the beginning of the month I went to visit my friend in Germany for her 30th, which was short but sweet. And I also finally went to Shakespeare’s Globe after over 15 years in London (shocking, I know) to see Tristan & Yseult which is one of my favourite stories ever. They certainly made it their own but I really enjoyed it.

June 2017 Stats

Total Posts: 9 (-4 from previous month)

Books Read: 4 (-2)
The Winter King ~ Bernard Cronwell
One of Us is Lying ~ Karen M. McManus
Broken Branches ~ M. Jonathan Lee
Fear ~ Dirk Kurbjuweit

The Breakdown:
Genres: YA (1/4); Historical Fiction (1/4); Crime/Thriller (3/4)

Formats/Sources: Advance Copy (3/4); Digital (2/4); Hardback (0/4); Paperback (2/4) // Owned (0/4); Borrowed (1/4); For Review/proofs (3/4)

Most Surprising: Broken Branches
Most Disappointing: The Winter King
Most Exciting: Broken Branches
Most Swoon-worthy: One of Us is Lying
Most Beautifully Written: The Winter King

Reviews

Most Viewed Posts

  1. This Week in Books 14.06.17
  2. This Month in Books: May
  3. Review: Broken Branches

Promos, Guest Posts and other Highlights

Awards

botm-jun17

 

TBR Shelf Update

IMG_6725.JPG

Earlier this year I decided I HAD to do something about my physical TBR shelves. Each month I’ll be doing a quick update to see how I’ve done. See my original post here, and my updated TBR list here. 

Previous TBR Count: 85

Books Added: 0!!! 🙂 

Books Read: 1

Remaining: 84

That was my month, how was yours?

This Month in Books: May 2017 #TMIB #BookoftheMonth

ICON5

May was pretty busy IRL. Eurovision was a massive highlight, as was my blog turning four years old. 4!!! I didn’t even realise until WordPress kindly told me. Who would have thought it, eh!? I also went to the launch of Patrick Ness’ new book which was a great night, but unfortunately the book didn’t live up its greatness. I guess you can’t win them all.

May 2017 Stats

Total Posts: 13 (+4 from previous month)

Books Read: 6 (+1)
The Inexplicable Logic of my Life ~ Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Release ~ Patrick Ness
The Marsh King’s Daughter ~ Karen Dionne
The Knife of Never Letting Go (audio) ~ Patrick Ness
The Time Machine ~ H.G Wells
13 Steps to Evil: How to Craft Superbad Villains ~ Sacha Black

The Breakdown:
Genres: YA (3/6); Science-Fiction/ Fantasy (2/6); Crime/Thriller (1/6); Non-Fiction (1/6)

Formats/Sources: Advance Copy (2/6); Digital (2/6); Hardback (2/6); Paperback (1/6); Audiobook (1/6) // Owned (3/6); Borrowed (1/6); For Review/proofs (2/6)

Most Surprising: The Marsh King’s Daughter
Most Disappointing: Release
Most Exciting: The Marsh King’s Daughter
Most Swoon-worthy: The Inexplicable Logic of my Life
Most Beautifully Written: The Inexplicable Logic of my Life/ The Marsh King’s Daughter (too close to call!)

Reviews

Most Viewed Posts

  1. This Week in Books 17.05.17
  2. Review: The Marsh King’s Daughter
  3. This Week in Books 03.05.17

Promos, Guest Posts and other Highlights

Awards

botm-may17

TBR Shelf Update

IMG_6725.JPG

Earlier this year I decided I HAD to do something about my physical TBR shelves. Each month I’ll be doing a quick update to see how I’ve done. See my original post here, and my updated TBR list here. 

Previous TBR Count: 83

Books Added: 4

Books Read: 2

Remaining: 85

That was my month, how was yours?

This Month in Books: April 2017 #Bookreviews #MonthlyRoundup

ICON5

April was good. A group of friends and I rented a cottage in Yorkshire for a weekend which was lovely. Easter was fun. I spent it eating a lot and watching classic films with friends. Perfect. I also started to get my mojo back in the reading and blogging sense – a huge relief after a couple of bad months!

April 2017 Stats

Total Posts: 9 (-5 from previous month)

Books Read: 5 (+1)
The Wingsnatchers ~ Sarah Jean Horwitz
One False Move ~ Dreda Say Mitchell
The Last Act of Love ~ Cathy Rentzenbrink
Six of Crows ~ Leigh Bardugo
Sucktown, Alaska ~ Craig Dirkes
The Breakdown:
Genres: YA (2/5); Children’s Fiction (1/5); Memoir (1/5); Crime/Thriller (1/5)

Formats/Sources: Advance Copy (2/5); Digital (2/5); Hardback (0/5); Paperback (3/5) / Owned (1/5); Borrowed (1/5); For Review/proofs (2/5)

Most Surprising: The Last Act of Love
Most Disappointing: Six of Crows
Most Exciting: The Wingsnatchers I guess
Most Swoon-worthy:  Six of Crows
Most Beautifully Written: The Last Act of Love

Reviews

Most Viewed Posts

  1. This Week in Books 17.04.17
  2. Spotlight: The Norwich & Norfolk Festival
  3. This Month in Books: March

Promos, Guest Posts and other Highlights

Awards

TBR Shelf Update

IMG_6725.JPG

Earlier this year I decided I HAD to do something about my physical TBR shelves. Each month I’ll be doing a quick update to see how I’ve done. See my original post here, and my updated TBR list here. 

Previous TBR Count: 84

Books Added: 1

Books Read: 2

Remaining: 83

That was my month, how was yours?

Blog-Life Crisis: To Blog or Not to Blog? #Discussion #Blogging #Bloglifecrisis

icon-discussion

Lipsyy Lost & Found is coming up to its fifth anniversary (in May). Which is a bit mad! It’s mostly been a joy, but it’s also felt like a burden at times and I’ve just emerged from what appears to be my annual slump/crisis/blog-meltdown.

I always like to take some time off at the end of each year and start of the next but every time I do I have this sudden feeling of relief and freedom which leads me to wonder if I want/need to keep the blog going.

Does anyone else have these melt-downs?

I’m completely aware that the pressure I feel is all self-induced but that doesn’t make it any easier. This year has been my biggest slump yet, and I was very seriously considering not coming back for so many reasons which I’m sure will resonate with many of you too…

The grand ole issue of time: 

This has always been a problem and always will be for those of us with full time jobs & commitments. I started the blog when I had a very boring office job and could work on it during the day. I haven’t had that luxury for three years now so all of my blogging (including reading/commenting on other blogs) takes place in the evenings and at weekends.

Also the more I blog, the less I can read and the less I can read the less I can blog…and I won’t even get started on writing – which leads me to…

What am I really achieving apart from unnecessary stress? Sure, getting free & advanced books is nice and all the other little perks that come along with book blogging but I really started the blog because I wanted to take reading more seriously. I was in desperate need to get a job I was passionate about, so I thought having a book blog would look good when looking for publishing/bookselling/library jobs (and I was right – it did, and I did and…see full circle!?)

But that wasn’t my only aim. I also wanted the structure of writing every day. I dreamed of being a journalist for years, then, whilst studying, I decided I preferred creative writing. After years of trying my hand at a few stories here and there it became obvious that I needed to improve on a myriad of things to ever hope of getting published. I hoped that reviewing books would force me to think about what makes a good story and why, and improve my awareness of story structure and language. I think that maybe it did at first. Back when I put a lot of thought into reviews and what I was reading. But I feel like I’ve just been churning them out lately, trying to get through as many books as possible and rushing through reviews.

This is my main issue at the moment. A lot of the joy has been stripped away. I feel like I’ve created a monster and lost sight of what I wanted to achieve. Before I knew it a hobby turned into a second job, and without the outcome I was hoping for. The all-important time issue has meant that I’ve been posting without editing, reviewing without thought and reading without enjoyment. Which is all a bit pointless really….

However, after a month of really thinking about it and weighing up the pros and cons I realise that I don’t want to give up my little blog, or give up on what I wanted it to achieve. I do think my writing style has improved, and will continue to improve with this blog. I would also miss all of you fellow bloggers who I am forever inspired and entertained by.

And so, the conclusion I’ve (finally) come to is to carry on blogging, but a little bit differently. 

  1. Restrict ARCs/ review requests to one a month leaving time to read what I want to read when I want to read them.
  2. Only reviewing a book when I have something to say: There’s nothing worse than trying to frantically get reviews done when you don’t really have anything to say about it anyway. I may do a summary of books that didn’t warrant a comprehensive review but I won’t be forcing myself to write them for everything I read.
  3. Quality not quantity: This is the big one. I mean it as far as reading and posting goes. No more power-reading! And posts will be written in advance and edited.
  4. No more self-imposed pressure: It’s hard not to get click-happy on Netgalley and to say no to review requests when you like the sound of the book but NO is my new friend. And if a book doesn’t get reviewed on time? Tough!
  5. Introducing new content: I have a lot of other things going on in my life that I love, such as my vintage bookshop on Etsy, my work in the prison library and my own writing (which I hope to do more of with this new approach to life- LOL) so I would like to include those on my blog more instead of just posting memes and book reviews.

What do you think, can it be done?

 

Join the discussion, leave a comment…

Why do you blog about books and what keeps you going?

Do you ever want to give it up?

Do you have any advice for bloggers like me who love blogging but find it difficult to fit into a busy life schedule?