Happy 4th Birthday to Grab the Lapels!

I started Grab the Lapels on Weebly four years ago after I got mad at a book written by a man that made women look so stupid — and I was supposed to review it for a magazine. I realized most books I was offered to review for other magazines and blogs were by men, and that most reviewers with national platforms are men. So, I told writer Kelcey Parker over coffee, “Hey, I should start my own blog! And I will take books only from women! And it will be all small-press published!” And I did, the next day.

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A year later, I headed over to WordPress, which actually helps bloggers find new readers. Although there have been ups and downs in my attitude about blogging, mostly over questions of whether or not what I write means anything to anyone, I’ve never quit Grab the Lapels, not even for a hiatus. I changed “books by women” to “books by anyone who identifies as a woman.” I don’t read reviewer copies so much, as I’m working through my personal collection now, but I love to get to know authors through my Meet the Writer series.

And I’ve loved getting to meet new friends across the globe — that’s the best part about blogging. I used to think Grab the Lapels was a “we,” and “we” would bring you some great reviews. Mostly, I wanted to sound like a “real” organization, you know, with staff. It’s just me, friends: Melanie.

Thank You, Friends*!

Alicia @ Kernel of Nonsense (California, United States)

Amal @ The Misfortune of Knowing (United States)

Amanda @ Cover 2 Cover Mom (Ohio, United States)

Ami @ LuvToRead (California, United States)

Anne @ ive read this (Canada)

Anne @ Tsundokist (Australia)

Bill @ Australian Legend (Australia)

Cathy @ 746 Books (Ireland)

Chitra @ Books and Strips (India)

Diana @ A Haven for Book Lovers (Kenya)

Eveline @ Avalinah’s Books (Lithuania)

Jane @ Greenish Bookshelf (not sure!)

Jackie @ Death By Tsundoku (Wisconsin, United States)

Karen @ Booker Talk (Wales)

Laila @ Big Reading Life (United States)

Lilyn @ Sci-fi and Scary (United States)

L— @ FictionFan (Scotland)

Lou @ LouLouReads (England)

Margot @ Confessions of a Mystery Novelist (United States)

Margot @ Lectito (Australia)

Naomi @ Consumed by Ink (Nova Scotia, Canada)

R— @ Napoleon Split (Texas, United States)

Savanah @ Off-Color Literature (United States)

TJ @ My Book Strings (Germany)

Vijayalakshmi @ The Reading Desk (United States/India)

*If I got your country wrong or would be willing to let me add a state/province/cardinal directions e.g. “south-east Brazil,” I would love to add that!

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Please note that all Pusheen the cat images are created by Claire Belton. You should go to the Pusheen blog and buy some of the freaking adorable Pusheen stuff. If I were single, my house would be Pusheen themed. ❀


  1. Glad/Proud to be counted amongst your friends. Congratulations on your anniversary. You will have to imagine I have sent you a bunch of flowers, or let’s say, a pot of Sturt Desert Peas (it’s probably illegal to pick them).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations and Happy Blog Birthday! Thanks, too, for the kind words. Your blog always has interesting reviews and ‘food for thought’ – it’s one of my ‘must visits.’ Here’s to many more years of great posts!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congrats on your blogiversary! You write some of the most insightful reviews I’ve come across and I’m glad to be a part of this community along with you. Here’s to many more auspicious blogging years! And also, thank you very much for the shout out ❀❀❀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a lovely way to appreciate people you’ve ‘met’ only virtually. I wonder one day if we could get the technology to work we could do video chats. In the meantime happy anniversary and long may you continue blogging

    Liked by 1 person

  5. FOUR YEARS?! Holy buckets! That’s a HUGE milestone! Congrats!!! And what a reason to start a blog. I just wanted someone to talk to, instead of just blabbering into a black hole. You have come in with a mission and vision– it makes me so happy to see you’ve stuck with it, too. Your story is certainly inspiring. I hope I can keep up the momentum over time, just like you.

    D’aw. Thanks for the shout out! I agree– it takes a village, right? Without my community, I don’t know where I’d be. And I count you as one of the most important members. You challenge me– how I think, how I write, how I view the world. I need that and want that in my blogger community. Thank you for being a part of that!

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  6. First… Happy 4th Blirthday!! I love hearing about how your blog got started. And I’m so glad to have discovered it at some point (I can’t really remember when that was). And that you consider me a friend. πŸ™‚

    Second… I love that cat! I had no idea he/she (?) even had a name, or a website. But I like to use pictures of him/her when sending messages to my friends and family on facebook. I’ll off to learn more about him/her!

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  7. Wow! It was so great learning the origin story for Grab the Lapels! You do such a great job! πŸ€— I love your reviews that are so thought and detailed. So glad to be your bloggy friend. Thanks for the mention here!
    Wish you many many more years of great blogging! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Happy blogiversary!!!!! 4 years?!?! Kudos to you my friend!

    I think we all question our blogs & if anyone care at one point or another. I’ve told myself that I blog for me and if no one reads it, it doesn’t matter because it makes me happy. I can assure you that at least one person cares about your blog… ME!

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  9. Happy blogiversary and well done for sticking with your original plan! I originally had a LiveJournal book blog and then a WordPress blog about being self-employed, then brought the books into the self-employment blog. And we all worry about whether our own blog matters but enjoy reading everyone else’s, by the way, don’t we!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Happy, happy blogiversary and I’m honoured to be included in your list of friends! What I like about Grab the Lapels is that we read almost entirely different types of books, so while I’m not always tempted by your choices I feel I always learn something about what’s going on in the world of fiction. Keep up the good work, my friend! πŸ˜€

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    • I do know that on more than one occasion I’ve answered a trivia question correctly thanks to your blog! πŸ˜€ I don’t like to read mysteries or big history novels, but I agree: I learn a lot from your blog, too. The funny thing is I love reading ABOUT mystery books! When I read them myself, I get very, very frustrated. As I’ve mentioned before, I want to know more before it’s revealed in the book, but because I DON’T know more, I assume I’m stupid and missed something.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Yay! Congratulations! Happy 4th Birthday!! πŸ™‚ I love reading your posts. You always write about such interesting sounding books, ones that other bloggers aren’t writing about. I love it! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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