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

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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? 

A Mother’s Reckoning by Sue Klebold #BookReview #Memoir

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Title: A Mother’s Reckoning
Author: Sue Klebold
Series: N/A
Format: Digital ARC, 296 pages
Publication Details: February 9th 2017 (reissue) by Ebury Publishing
Genre(s): Biography/ Memoir; True Crime
Disclosure? Yep! I received a free copy in exchange for an HONEST review. 

Goodreads 

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On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold walked into Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. Over the course of minutes, they would kill twelve students and a teacher and wound twenty-four others before taking their own lives.


For the last sixteen years, Sue Klebold, Dylan s mother, has lived with the indescribable grief and shame of that day. How could her child, the promising young man she had loved and raised, be responsible for such horror? And how, as his mother, had she not known something was wrong? Were there subtle signs she had missed? What, if anything, could she have done differently?


These are questions that Klebold has grappled with every day since the Columbine tragedy. In”A Mother s Reckoning,” she chronicles with unflinching honesty her journey as a mother trying to come to terms with the incomprehensible. In the hope that the insights and understanding she has gained may help other families recognize when a child is in distress, she tells her story in full, drawing upon her personal journals, the videos and writings that Dylan left behind, and on countless interviews with mental health experts.


Filled with hard-won wisdom and compassion, “A Mother s Reckoning”is a powerful and haunting book that sheds light on one of the most pressing issues of our time. And with fresh wounds from the recent Newtown and Charleston shootings, never has the need for understanding been more urgent.


“All author profits from the book will be donated to research and to charitable organizations focusing on mental health issues.”

 

Review

I was interested in this book because I remember when I first heard about the Columbine shooting – the first of many tragic school shootings to come (in America), in 1999.

I was of similar age as the shooters and in my penultimate year of high school. I was going through my goth phase (Goths 4eva IDST – LOL!) and was big fan of Marilyn Manson at the time. The media was singling the band out as the reason for the shootings. Because we all know how damaging rock music is to impressionable teens don’t we!? Sigh.

Even back then I knew that was a load of bull, however the media spotlight was infuriating but also seen as some sort of badge of honour. Of course that sounds ridiculous and callous now but being full of teenage angst – it was “cool” to be a Marilyn Manson fan for a while because of that.

This book is the account of Dylan(one of the shooters)’s mother Sue. It’s a really interesting look at parenthood, adolescence, mental illness and tragedy but I can’t say I enjoyed it.

The first 20% of A Mother’s Reckoning seems to solely aim at frantically proving how normal the Klebold family were; what such good, normal parents Sue and her husband Tom were and how they couldn’t possibly understand how their nice, normal son could have killed so many people. The idea of normal really annoyed me throughout this part of the book – Sue of all people should understand that there’s no such thing as normal.

The disquieting reality is that behind this heinous atrocity was an easygoing, shy, likeable young man who came from a ‘good home’. Tom and I were hands-on parents who limited the intake of television and sugary cereals.

This was made even more frustrating by the next 20% of the book where Sue goes from describing Dylan’s perfect childhood and the morals and discipline (a ‘normal’ amount of course) they imparted on him, to all the worrying behavioural signs they missed. One minute he was perfect, the next he was a teenager who had made some worrying life choices.

And the more ‘normal’ and good at parenting she was trying to prove to be, the more strange she sounded; the type of parent I’m glad I didn’t have. A control freak…

I thought of all the times I’d called the mom hosting a sleepover to find out what movie she was planning to show. More than once, I’d asked for a less violent selection.

Now, I’m certainly not one of those people who blame the parents for everything, but don’t write 100 pages with your hands in the air saying ‘look at what good parents we werewe couldn’t possibly have known…he showed no signs,…we couldn’t have done anything’ etc and then tell us the exact opposite. Argh!

I was also not happy about the conclusion Sue came to about Dylan’s actions being caused by ‘depression or some other brain illness’. It is perfectly possible that Dylan was depressed – aren’t most teenagers!? but depression does not a murderer make!

In this book Sue Klebold researches what she calls ‘brain illnesses’ (she doesn’t believe the term mental illness is as accurate) and suicide, especially in teenagers. It is researched well and I found it interesting but it just felt like she was trying lay blame on anyone but herself or her troubled son.. I can’t blame her for trying to find a reason for her son’s actions, but I think it was a very one-sided view.

For me there was a huge elephant in the room the whole way through this book. I think working in a prison has given me a little insight into criminal behaviour and how people tick. And the one thing that people never want to believe is that humans are capable of hideous things, without making them evil.

Every single one of us has the occasional evil thought but thankfully most of us wouldn’t dream of acting upon them. Lots of things prevent us from doing so. But something didn’t stop Dylan from that terrible act. In fact it sounds like instead of him having lots of reasons to not act on those thoughts – he had lots of reasons to go through with it. School is hard, adolescence is hard, and his circumstances sound worse than most. As one of the survivors said at the time ‘I’m surprised it hasn’t happened sooner’.

Klebold does make some insightful psychological points which – although few and far between-  did make this book worth reading for me.

The expertise with which desperate people can mask their true feelings and intentions is the far more important message.

It’s nothing groundbreaking but was interesting enough to keep me reading and thinking. This is definitely a book worth reading for those interested in psychology, especially criminal psychology, but despite the fact that this whole book is Sue pouring her heart out, I couldn’t relate to her because I didn’t believe that she completely believed what she was saying. I think there is a huge element of denial here, and that she wrote this story to rid herself of guilt.

I’m not saying she has anything to feel guilty about – who am I to make that judgement – nor am I saying that she doesn’t deserve empathy or closure, but I just felt like she is masking something in this book, which is strangely something that the victims’ friends and family have said from the beginning. Maybe that’s the only reason I’m so suspicious, but maybe not…

unicorn rating 3

 

 

 

Festive Thursday #2: The Christmas lights switch on & Winter Wonderland

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Welcome to Festive Thursday where I’m going to be sharing with you all my Christmas endeavours, including the books I’m reading, the films I’ve watched, gift ideas I’ve found, and any festive events I’ve attended. Because, well, I LOVE CHRISTMAS SO HARD.

The Funtimes

I missed last week’s post because, well, I was just being too festive and didn’t get time to write it. Soz. But on the plus side –  Happy 1st of December!!!

Last week the festivities really started. On Thursday I went to my old town (I moved but it’s still my town, OK) for the Christmas lights switch-on/ opening of the Christmas market. I donned my favourite Christmas jumper, had my first mulled beverage of the year and tried on silly hats – it’s tradition – and it was glorious.

The mulled wine was good, the hog roast was spectacular, but the entertainment was sorely lacking. Unless we somehow missed it all. There were too many people to even see who was turning the lights on but it was certainly someone no one has ever heard of. The giant nutcrackers were a welcome addition to the decorations this year, however.

Despite the wetness of weather, fun was had. Christmas has begun my friends.

Then on Saturday my parents came to visit and we went to Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park. I LOVE WW! Sure, it can get really busy and annoying, but the atmosphere is always great. And I love that they have so many bands and artists playing for free. Most of them are so-bad-they’re-good, but that just adds to the fun.

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This year I actually booked tickets for things for the first time. The Magical Ice Kingdom was definitely impressive and beautiful, but it was a lot smaller/quicker than I expected. The Cirque Berserk modern circus was great though. I went all out and booked us a VIP box which came with champagne and chocolates and my parents loved it. It was a welcome break from sitting in the cold too. Highly recommended.

The Books

Last week I finished two festive reads.

thegirlwhosavedxmasJOURNEY TO THE EDGE OF MAGIC

If magic has a beginning, can it also have an end?

When Amelia wants a wish to come true she knows just the man to ask – Father Christmas.

But the magic she wants to believe in is starting to fade, and Father Christmas has more than impossible wishes to worry about. Upset elves, reindeers dropping out of the sky, angry trolls and the chance that Christmas might be cancelled.

But Amelia isn’t just any ordinary girl. And – as Father Christmas is going to find out – if Christmas is going to be saved, he might not be able to do it alone . . .

And:

thechristmastownDonna VanLiere, New York Times bestselling author of the timeless The Christmas Shoes and The Christmas Hope, is back with this moving and uplifting story about finding love, hope, and family in unexpected places.

Lauren Gabriel spent many years of her childhood in foster homes, wishing her mother would come back for her and be the family she needs. Now twenty-years-old, she still longs for a place that she can truly call home. Her work as a cashier is unfulfilling, and at Christmas it’s unbearable with the songs and carols and chatter of Christmas that she hears throughout the day.

When Lauren ends her shift one night, she finds herself driving aimlessly in order to avoid returning to her lonely apartment. And when she witnesses a car accident she is suddenly pulled into the small town of Grandon, first as a witness but then as a volunteer for the annual fundraiser for Glory’s Place, a center for single mothers and families who need assistance. Could this town and its people be the home she has always longed for?

My review of the Matt Haig book is here, and the other one will be up on Monday.

The Films

I think it’s important to save certain Christmas films until closer to the time itself, but there are SO many that are good, but wouldn’t be too sacrilege to watch before December.

The ones well and truly off my before December list are Elf, Home Alone, Muppets Christmas Carol & Santa Claus the movie. I’m sure there are more but they are the most important.

Last week I watched Krampus: The Christmas Devil (not the recent one) which was truly terrible, and then The Santa Clause – the one with Tim Allen. I love this film and totally think it gets overlooked! Go watch it and feel the festive wash over you.

In other news, I have done about 60% of my shopping and made a start on the Christmas booze cabinet, but more on that next time. Winning all round.

How have you been preparing for Christmas this week?

Next week – more Christmas market fun, I get crafty…and my attention will turn to FOOD!

10 Things about… Prague

As some of you may know, I went on a little break to Prague earlier this month. It was beautiful, and I thought I’d do this little post as a way of sharing some of my holiday photos 🙂

IMG_8615Its nickname, The City of a Hundred Spires’ is pretty apt. And it’s epic.

 

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IMG_8724It’s a little bit creepy. In the best way.

 

IMG_8687Cobblestones are pretty, but perilous. Go easy on the Czech Beer (that’s my mum, she went easy on the Czech beer but not the gin. Never the gin).

 

IMG_8613The Old Town Square is the place to be. It’s also the place you’ll keep returning to when you get lost in the labyrinthine side streets.

 

The castle isn’t your traditional Disney-style castle and will make you rethink your whole idea of what a castle is. And it’s epic.

 

IMG_8584Clocks. There are a lot. Nice ones. With stories.

 

IMG_8685It’s always Christmas in Prague

 

IMG_8610.JPGThis sweet cinnamon pastry thing found on every street corner and market is a delight!

 

The views from Pétrín hill are off the scale. You’d be forgiven for thinking it’s a mountain when you’re scrambling up it…but it’s worth it.

 

IMG_8700There are ancient libraries that will make you want to weep but be warned – you can only look from afar. Apart from these people who seem to be VIPs. 😦

 

It’s such a beautiful city, I’d love to go back!

This Month in Books: March 2016 #TMIB

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I know I say it every month but March was another busy one. I saw The Rocky Horror Show at Wimbledon Theatre, went to a gig which was a blast from the past of my school days (Reef), had a Shadowhunter’s marathon (oh my), had two Germans (friends not randoms) staying with me for a few days, finally saw Wicked, and drank a lot of wine and gin.

OK, so I didn’t read a huge amount but I had a great time! 😉

March 2016 Stats

Total Posts: 13 (-5 from previous month)

Books Read: 3 (-1)
Goth Girl and the Pirate Queen ~ Chris Riddell
The Amber Fury ~ Natalie Haynes
My Kind of Crazy ~ Robin Reul

The Breakdown:
Genres: YA (1/3); Literary Fiction (1/3); Children’s Fiction (1/3); Contemporary (2/3)

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

Most Surprising: My Kind of Crazy
Most Disappointing: n/a
Most Exciting: The Amber Fury
Most Swoon-worthy:  n/a
Most Beautifully Written: The Amber Fury

Reviews: 3 (-3)

    • The Amber Fury by Natalie Haynes, 3/5 (View)
    • All Things Cease to Appear by Elizabeth Brundage, DNF (View)
    • The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell, 5/5 (View)

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  3. TTT: Spring TBR

Promos, Guest Posts and other Highlights

Awards

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TBR Shelf Update

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Earlier this year I decided I HAD to do something about my 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: 77

Books Added: 2

Books Read: 2

Remaining: 77

April Releases

Here are the April Releases I will be reading & reviewing

  • PETA’s Vegan College Cookbook (5th)
  • Can You Keep a Secret? (12th)
  • The Glittering Court (sample only) (5th)
  • Murder at the 42nd Street Library (26th)

Are you looking forward to any of these?

This (last) Month in Books: February 2016 #TMIB

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February was another busy month. My mum came to visit to come to a ‘celebration of the music and life of David Bowie’ night which was amazing, but of course bitter sweet. He was a legend, and my hero, something which my mum and I both shared so it was really lovely that she came to London for the occasion.

My brother also came to visit at the end of the month as he bought us tickets to the UFC at the O2 for my birthday, which was awesome. Yes, my interests are diverse and sometimes bloody. LOL. So, it’s been a bit of a family affair this month. 🙂

I also read some really excellent books, and had a great blogging month in general so let’s take a look…

February 2016 Stats

Total Posts: 18 (+8 from previous month)

Books Read: 4 (-3)
Only Ever Yours ~ Louise O’Neill
The Glass Castle ~ Trisha White Priebe
Into the Dim ~ Janet B. Taylor
The Madwoman Upstairs ~ Catherine Lowell

The Breakdown:
Genres: YA (2/4); Literary Fiction (1/4); Children’s Fiction (1/4); Sci-Fi (2/4)

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

Most Surprising: The Madwoman Upstairs
Most Disappointing: Only Ever Yours
Most Exciting: Into the Dim
Most Swoon-worthy:  The Madwoman Upstairs
Most Beautifully Written: Into the Dim

Reviews: 6 (+3)

    • The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen, 4/5 (View)
    • Angel of Vengeance by Trevor Munson, 3/5 (View)
    • The Merciless by Danielle Vega, 4/5 (View)
    • Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill, 3/5 (View)
    • The Glass Castle by Trisha Priebe, 3/5 (View)
    • Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor, 4/5 (View)

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Promos, Guest Posts and other Highlights

Awards

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The Murder at 42nd Street Library is actually out in April but I’m hoping to get to it in March

TBR Shelf Update

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Earlier this year I decided I HAD to do something about my 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: 81

Books Added: 1

Books Read: 5

Remaining: 77

How did you guys do last month?

We Need to Talk About… ARCs #Discussion #BookBloggers

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We Need to Talk About…is my new discussion post where I ask the blogosphere for opinions/advice/rants on anything from ‘how do some bloggers read so many books?’ to ‘how do you rate books?’. 

When I first started blogging -over three years ago( !)- I used to do a lot of discussion posts, and I never meant to stop, but somehow it just happened. Hopefully, with the introduction of this regular post I’ll get back into the habit. I have so many burning questions and ideas to get opinions on, so please get involved!

This time, I want to talk about ARCs

There are two very different things that have been bothering me about ARCs:

  1. Do You Count ARCs as books you own?
  2. Why are some ARCs formtted so badly?

1. I’ve been thinking about this for a while. In my monthly round-up posts I do a breakdown of the books I’ve read into books I own or have borrowed, as well as which format I read – paperback, hardback, or digital, and I never know whether to include ARCs as books I own or not.

What do you think? Do you count ARCs as books you own? 

I kind of feel like ARCs should only ever be ‘owned’ by the author & publisher, and that we as bloggers get a sneak peak before anyone else can own that book. So going on that theory I guess I should include them in the borrowed books bracket. But that would just confuse people, right?

2. Bad formatting of ARCs can seriously dampen the reader’s enjoyment of it, I’m sure a lot of you will agree with me. I always try my very best to not let it affect my opinion of the book, but sometimes ARCs are so bad they’re impossible to read…why are they released like that?

I mean, I understand spacing issues and typos and all of those things that might not have been picked up on on early edits, but for example, I recently read one where there were no capital letters at the start of sentences, or hardly any punctuation which made it really hard to read.

At first I wondered if maybe that was a style choice by the author because surely the original manuscript would have had capitals and full-stops? But it really wasn’t the kind of book that would do that on purpose.

So what I don’t get is what happens to manuscripts that alters them so much when converted into an e-book format? Insights, anyone?

What bothers you about ARCs? Let’s rant….

 

Festive Thursdays are back!

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For the next couple of Thursdays I’m going to be sharing with you all of my Christmas preparation, the books I’m reading, the films I’ve watched, gift ideas I’ve found, and the festive events I’ve attended. Because, well, I LOVE CHRISTMAS SO HARD.

I know I say it all the time, and so does everyone else, but WHERE THE HELL HAS THIS YEAR GONE? I’ve been so busy with work and RL that even December crept up on me this year. I’m usually cracking out the Christmas films as soon as Halloween is over, but this year has been a bit more slow on the up take.

I have however, finally made a start, and managed to do quite a lot of Christmassy things in the last week or so.

Christmas Markets: 
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The first time I feel festive usually coincides with the start of the Christmas market in my town and on the Southbank. I didn’t manage to make it to the lights switch-on this year, but I have already sampled the mulled wine (much better this year), and devoured a hog roast from the local market and it was gooooooood.

Festive Reads:

I had a really hard time deciding which seasonal reads to add to my shelves this year. I bought a couple from a charity shop a couple of weeks ago, and I was approved for the following book on Netgalley which I’ve just finished.

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Decorations:
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Yes, my decorations are up and I love them! I went all out this year and bought some new items which I hope I’ll keep for a long time.

I also made some of my own decorations this year, from melting glitter beads in the oven, in cookie cutters. They were so much fun and easy to make and they look amazing hanging in front of fairy lights on the tree. I sold a set on Etsy, and there is still one set of 6 up for grabs. You can see them here.

Gremlins: 

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I went to see a special screening of Gremlins at my favourite cinema in London, in which BILLY did a Q&A, and brought Gizmo with him, of course. It was great! It’s one of my favourite Christmas Films!

Christmas Cake:
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I’ve had my fruit and spices soaking in brandy for around six weeks now. I was only planning on around 3 weeks but I just never made the time to bake the cake. I did finally bake it last Sunday though….it better be good! All that’s left to do is feed it more brandy syrup (of course) and ice it. I use this recipe here, which has great results even without soaking your fruit – so there’s still time!

Next week: Winter Wonderland @ Hyde Park, Christmas Pudding Vodka and Christmas muffins, and what I’m reading and watching!

Lipsyy Lost & Found Vintage Book Shop Update

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It’s been a really lonnnnnnnng time since I last did a shop update! And to be honest, that’s because not a lot has been going on. I haven’t sold any books in the last few months, but now I’ve added more stock I hope it picks up.

Click on the book titles to view in store.

Added to the shelves (on sale now!)

Christine (1984) & Night Shift (1987) – Stephen King
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I love these retro paperbacks. If I had the space I’d keep them and try to collect them all, but I don’t! Night Shift is King’s first short story collection which includes The Children of the Corn and the story which was adapted into the movie Cat’s Eye. Both of these books have creased spines but I think it adds to the retro feel. They would look awesome on any bookshelf!

The Running Man (1989) – Stephen King (writing as Richard Bachman)
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The original dystopia? If you haven’t read this book or seen the movie adaptation you might not realise how much it has in common with The Hunger Games – and if you’re a fan then you MUST read it. So, so good. This movie tie-in paperback is in great condition and I love how 80s it looks.

The Shorter Poems of William Wordsworth (1927)
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This is my Book of the Month! It is so stunning. I am completely in love with the old Everyman’s Library collection with their beautiful endpapers. Every book in the earlycollection has these, and along with the gold gilt text…just LOVE. I’ll be really surprised if this doesn’t get snapped up quickly (but I’m secretly hoping that it doesn’t so I can keep it)!

The Anatomy of Melancholy, Volume 1 (first edition) by Richard Burton (1932)
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Another of the Everyman’s Library collection and just as stunning. I wasn’t sure how much to sell this for, seeing as it’s a first edition, but I don’t want to be greedy – I just want them to go to a good home and get a bit of pocket money in return – LOL. So this could be the deal of a century…who knows? 😉

About the Shop

I opened the shop because I love nothing more than scouring second-hand bookshops, markets and car-boot sales for vintage books. I love the way they look, the way they smell and the way you can imagine the history of them.

I can’t however keep buying books indefinitely. I have limited space, and limited funds, and therefore I opened this shop in order to generate a bit of a return in order to carry on doing what I love – buying books! And the way I look at it, if they don’t sell I get to keep them – DOUBLE WIN!

Exciting News

I have decided to widen the range of things I sell on Etsy as well. At Christmas, when I was out of work, instead of buying presents I made each member of my family Christmas hampers, and they went down a storm. I am now back in work (and I love my job soooooo much), but having taken a large pay cut I find myself struggling for money, so I thought why not try to make some extra spends by selling handmade gifts!?

It might all go terribly wrong, but I’m currently working on a range of handmade candles using all recycled materials, and other handmade gifts to sell. I’m hoping to add these to my shop in the coming months, and especially in the lead-up to Christmas.

So if you want to help a girl out, keep checking back. xxx

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Book Quotes

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

The topic for this week is: Top Ten Inspiring Quotes From Books (anything that inspires you, challenges you, makes you think, encourages you, etc).

Ahhh I really love this week’s topic; it was really hard to stick to ten. And I just know there’s so many of my favourites I’ve missed out too, but I didn’t want to pick ones I thought everyone else would so I’ve avoided some of the classics. I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone else has picked!

In no particular order…

1.

I used to think that when I got older, the world would make so much more sense. But you know what? The older I get, the more confusing it is to me. The more complicated it is. Harder. You’d think we’d be getting better at it. But there’s just more and more chaos. The pieces – they’re everywhere. And nobody knows what to do about it. I find myself grasping, Nick. You know that feeling? That feeling when you just want the right thing to fall into the right place, not only because it’s right, but because it would mean that such a thing is still possible? I want to believe that.”

David Levithan & Rachel Cohn, Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist

2. “If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”

― Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood

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4. “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.”

― George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons

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― A Million Little Pieces

6.

I wanted to tell them that I’d never had a friend, not ever, not a real one. Until Dante. I wanted to tell them that I never knew that people like Dante existed in the world, people who looked at the stars, and knew the mysteries of water, and knew enough to know that birds belonged to the heavens and weren’t meant to be shot down from their graceful flights by mean and stupid boys. I wanted to tell them that he had changed my life and that I would never be the same, not ever. And that somehow it felt like it was Dante who had saved my life and not the other way around. I wanted to tell them that he was the first human being aside from my mother who had ever made me want to talk about the things that scared me. I wanted to tell them so many things and yet I didn’t have the words. So I just stupidly repeated myself. “Dante’s my friend.”

― Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

7.

“Never, is an awfully long time.”

― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

8. “Choices may be unbelievably hard but they’re never impossible. To say you have no choice is to release yourself from responsibility and that’s not how a person with integrity acts.”

― Patrick Ness, Monsters of Men

9.

“Sometimes, you do things and you do them not because you’re thinking but because you’re feeling. Because you’re feeling too much. And you can’t always control the things you do when you’re feeling too much.”

― Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (I could have probably done all ten from this book <3)

10. “No one bends further than someone made of completely straight lines”

― Will Elliot, The Pilo Family Circus

Almost made the Top Ten…

“It was one of those moments when you wonder whether there is some kind of big misunderstanding and really this is all just a dream or a made-up story, and not the real world like you thought it was.”

― Chris Beckett, Dark Eden

“I like the night. Without the dark, we’d never see the stars.”

― Stephenie Meyer, Twilight (Couldn’t resist!)