The Looooong and the Short of It with a Giveaway: December/End of 2020 Wrap-Up Post and Looking Forward to 2021

Posted January 1, 2021 by Lisa Mandina in End of the month post, giveaway / 23 Comments

The Looooong and the Short of It with a Giveaway:  December/End of 2020 Wrap-Up Post and Looking Forward to 2021

Did I say that October and November went by fast? Well December was crazy fast! Usually the first few weeks of the month are long as the kids are ready to be on their winter break and there are finals and we’re all just waiting for time away from work. But with this crazy pandemic year, it all just seemed to roll into day after day. Of course we are kind of glad December is over, and 2020 along with it. Even though it’s not like all the COVID stuff is just going poof, bye-bye now. We are still working on that. But we can only hope that 2021 has better things in store for us.

Still no part time job. I did decide that I would start doing Door Dash in January, even rode around with a friend who does it one night just to see how it works. But when I went ahead and did the sign up thing, it said they didn’t need anyone in my area right now. I might try one of the other services to get started, like GrubHub, because my friend says their bags they give you are better than Door Dash anyway and she just uses those. But with it being really snowy here this week, I’m waiting. While my friend likes to go out and do the orders on these days, she makes good money, my teacher driving self prefers to stay in and order from other people on those days. lol.

I had nice quiet Christmas celebrations with family. With my mom’s side, who I’ve spent time with them since this whole pandemic started, we had actual in person get-togethers. With my dad’s side, who we haven’t done much even though my one sister came home from Scotland, we did a FaceTime gift unwrapping. For New Year’s Eve my 8 year old niece and my brother and sister-in-law and 3 year old nephew put on a private restaurant for us with my mom and stepdad and my sister-in-law’s parents. So a small get-together again, but a tradition as usual.

We always have homemade menus and little dishes and the dessert was totally blown out of the water! We followed up with a game of Life, the kids version, and a countdown at 8 pm for my 3 year old nephew before bed. I headed home where I turned the NYE show on the tv, then read my book until about 11:30, when I got out my Nintendo Switch and joined my Animal Crossing – New Horizon island for our own countdown to 2021. How did you ring in the new year?

My reading was about the same for last month, 18 books. Once again I also had 3 DNFs. One book that I went ahead and reviewed last month before finishing, was actually the last book I finished for 2020 because I kept it by my bed to read a story each night I felt like it until I was done. I also got all my reviews caught up from months past, including the DNF posts for up to last month.

I finished binge watching the rest of the Supernatural tv series from the last two years when I’d quit watching. And I loved how it ended. I tried to get back into The Walking Dead after that, because I quit watching that when Rick left. But I think I’m just not into anything that dark and depressing these days. So then I had to join into everyone else and binge Bridgerton, which I loved, one episode had me with tears streaming down my face constantly!

December Reviews:

So my thoughts about the DNF rating last month didn’t seem to pan out. So oh well. I can still mark the book that way for my own records even if it shows up nowhere on the actual blog. I also did review almost everything I read this month, except for an audiobook that I finished right before the end of the month, as well as a small pamphet and a book that I finished just yesterday.

Challenges Wrap-Up:

None this month. Boy did I fail this challenge miserably in 2020! My goal was to read 2 a month, and the grand total of how many I read this year? Four – a lousy 4.


Shall we discuss the way Chris Evans made an oopsie this past year? LOL. I do think I will be joining a similar challenge for 2021, especially since I’ve kind of already planned out my books to read! Look for my Challenge sign up post later today or in the next week to see what I do.

As I started planning my challenges for 2021, it doesn’t look like this one is going to be continued. :-(. But I really liked this challenge, it kept me on top of lots of things. So I may create my own? Who knows. For now let’s just wrap up 2020.


While I didn’t necessarily do great with my Saturday comment days, I do know that I did a lot more commenting every other day of the week, so I am proud of that and hope to keep it up next year! Now, believe it or not, there were not a lot of books that came out in December, so I only did two posts this month for my Lisa’s Looking Forward To Wednesdays. One was for a publisher that asked me to promote a specific book, and the other was this past Wednesday and actually highlight what is coming out the first week in January. I do intend to try to keep up with these posts I think. Since they really are the only weekly posts I do regularly.

I also did my annual week long Top 10 posts and if you want to check them out, they are here:

Cleaning Up My TBR:

Only had time to go through twice this month again. I started with 2554 books on my Goodreads TBR on December 9th. I am currently at 2475. So not quite 100 gone, however I probably did get rid of more, but I’ve also added a bunch too.


Well, I made my Goodreads goal of 210. Now that is below what I read last year, my 2019 Goodreads goal was 220 and I read 227. I set my goal to start this year at 220 again, but dropped it several times as I saw my reading get behind. I actually beat this year’s goal because I finished 212. I have set 2021’s reading goal at 210 like this year. The only reason I’d be okay with my goal getting dropped any is if I actually spend more time writing this year.


Even though I didn’t do a ton of writing like I’d hoped, I’m going to call 2020 a successful year overall because I did self-publish my first novella! Now I’m still waiting for some more reviews other than a friend’s wonderful review of it. I’m actually kind of ready for a bad review. Because I don’t feel it’s that great. But I am proud of it and think it is at least a fun quick read! I’ve actually even already started 2021 off a little better. After a few suggestions I’ve seen by authors and in author groups, I am going to start off just trying to write 10 minutes a day. Which I did that today already! It may only have been about 500 words, but I actually got some done. And I actually spent more like 20 minutes, because once I sat down I just got into it and got it done. My goal is to get another one of my stories finished and published this next year!

What to Expect in January 2021:

Well, a challenge post should be coming soon so you can see what I’m working on getting done this year.

I plan to continue working 2-3 days a week in my library at school even though students are still learning remote until April. We are planning at this point to do winter sports, and since I am the assistant bowling coach, we will be doing that. We only have 4 meets scheduled since most bowling alleys will only allow two schools to be in the alley at one time. But that’s okay. Like I mentioned above, I may try to start doing one of the food delivery companies, if there are any that are hiring right now. I’ve got two books from my TBR already planned to read, although my two I had hoped to read in December didn’t get finished so we’ll see, but I did get ahead on one of the ARCs that I’ll be sharing a review of tomorrow.

Here is my proposed January TBR based on blog tours and ARCs that I have:

  1. Be Dazzled by Ryan La Sala – already read and posting the review tomorrow the 2nd.
  2. The Ever After by Amanda Hocking – reading right now and hope to have done to post a review on Sunday the 3rd.
  3. The Strike Out by Meghan Quinn – reading as part of her ARC team and also posting my review for a blog tour on the 4th
  4. Fourth Time Charm by Maya Hughes – reading as an author request for a review on the 8th.
  5. Lycanthropy and Other Chronic Illnesses by Kristen O’Neal – the publisher reached out to me in September and requested me to do a review. Should be posting on the 10th, although Goodreads shows a different pub date than what I had listed.
  6. Maybe Fetching by Kylie Gilmore? I have down a blitz for January 12th, with review in parentheses, so not sure if I’m reviewing or just doing a promo post.
  7. Dateable by Natalie Decker – reading for a blog tour review post on the 15th.
  8. In the Penalty Box by Lynn Rush and Kelly Anne Blount – reading for a blog tour review on the 18th, 19th, 25th, or 26th, haven’t got a set tour schedule yet.
  9. Maybe Escape with Me by Kristen Proby – I thought I signed up for a blog tour review on the 20th, but then I sort of remember maybe getting an email saying I didn’t get chosen for an e-galley for it, so I don’t know now if I’m reading it or not?
  10. Checkmate: This is Reckless by Kennedy Fox – I’m getting to listen to this audiobook from the author and should be posting my review on the 21st. Listening to it right now!
  11. Not My Match by Ilsa Madden-Mills – I should be reading this as part of the ARC team and for a blog tour review on the 22nd.
  12. Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly – this is one of my planned TBR pile books to read. It is an ARC from 2019. I’m hoping to read it and post a review by the 24th. Unless I go back and do the one book I had planned to do in December, From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout which will now count for that challenge since it is from 2020 and it is 2021.
  13. The Bromantic Comedies by Erin Mallon – should be an audiobook that I hope to listen to and review as part of a blog tour on the 28th
  14. Blood and Bone by Paula Dombrowiak – an author reached out to me on Instagram about reading and reviewing this. I hope to post a review on the 29th.
  15. The Obsession by Jesse Q. Sutanto – I’ve got an ARC of this that I hope to post a review of on the 31st.
  16. Much Ado About You by Samantha Young – I’ve been on her ARC team in the past, so hoping to get this one to read for a review on February 1st
  17. Yesterday is Still History by Kosoko Jackson – I’ve got an ARC to post a review on February 2nd


The fun #tbtbsanta Christmas card exchange! I want to do this again next year! One Facebook group I’m in is even thinking about a Valentine’s Day card exchange. Fun!
I thought I had a hockey background to do this image but didn’t. Still on the lookout for some scrapbook paper that is hockey themed!

So how was your December? I hope you were able to get some joy out of the season if you celebrate any holidays. And I hope your new year is starting off as well as it can!


Below are ARCs I’ve finished and also a couple of finished copies, the winner will get to pick out 3 books from the list. There may even be a few more choices by the end of the month! I will make the giveaway international in that you can pick a book for under $10 if The Book Depository ships to you. Just fill out the Rafflecopter below the picture.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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23 responses to “The Looooong and the Short of It with a Giveaway: December/End of 2020 Wrap-Up Post and Looking Forward to 2021

  1. danielle hammelef

    It sounds like you had a wonderful holiday season with family. We stayed home and had just the 5 of us for Christmas. I made vegetarian lasagna which was devoured by the next day (yay for me!) and roasted potatoes. I also baked two kinds of cookies for dessert and my oldest daughter made bread. It was so nice to sit down together and eat and talk without work/school/etc. keeping our schedules so different. Good luck with the delivery service job–front line workers are my heroes.

    • Lisa Mandina

      Glad you were able to have a nice relaxing holiday. Hope your family is all doing well and staying healthy.

  2. That’s so fun what your family did with the menus and whatnot. It’s great you were able to be together. Good luck with the part time job. My nephew did Grub Hub (maybe still does one day a week). He said it was ok.

    • Lisa Mandina

      My sister-in-law’s degree was in art, and my niece is artistic as well, so they always make the awesome menus. They get a little fancier every year! I think I need something. I will be assistant bowling coach, but we don’t get paid for that till the end of the season, so not till March. Thanks for visiting!

  3. Happy New Year! I’m glad you had a nice holiday and were able to see some family.

    I didn’t know you helped coach bowling. How fun! I’m not great at bowling, but I do love it. lol

    I hope we can BOTH get more reading done this year!! 2021 will be the year of finishing up writing projects! 🙂

    Oh, and yay for still doing your Looking Forward To posts. I love finding new reads this way!


    • Lisa Mandina

      Yeah, I’m not good at bowling either, so my family has made fun of me since I signed up to do it last year. But I don’t really do anything other than be an extra adult chaperone for the most part. Thanks so much for stopping by, hope you entered the giveaway!

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