The Looooong and the Short of It with a Giveaway: January 2021 Wrap-Up Post and What to Expect in February

Posted February 1, 2021 by Lisa Mandina in End of the month post / 29 Comments

The Looooong and the Short of It with a Giveaway: January 2021 Wrap-Up Post and What to Expect in February

January, didn’t we just start 2021 last week? What a crazy month. I have started doing Door Dash, although I’m now starting to think I might not continue because I’m really worried about the taxes. I might do it a few more times up until I reach the $600 mark where I will have to worry about taxes. I think I’ll look at maybe another part time job somewhere else. Maybe Target or Kohl’s? My bookstore still isn’t hiring, which makes sense, this is usually the time of the year when they let the seasonal help go. Which is still irritating to me that my manager there this time last year through a fit about me going seasonal at this time.

But anyway, enough moping about that. My school district has decided that as of the end of February they are going to pull back to school the K-5 students. High schools, where I am, are going to have seniors that are in danger of failing come back for a hybrid schedule at the same time. Librarians (like myself), counselors, secretaries, etc., are all going to be considered essential staff, along with senior teachers, so we are expected to start back full time a week or two before the students are back. Our district was getting the vaccine for as many as they could. Supposedly they were starting with those of us who will be working with students. Although I know of one teacher at my school who already got it, but she has not come into school at all that I know of, and is someone who doesn’t really leave her house at all right now. So it doesn’t seem right that she got it before someone like me who is in here all the time.

My reading was down a little this month, 15 from 18 last month. Several reasons I’m sure. One because school was back in and I started coming in more. Plus I read two very large, over 500 page books. Doing the DoorDash might have taken a little time away from reading. And then one of my dogs had surgery halfway through the month, and he has been pretty needy with attention, so instead of reading in bed or on the couch, I’ve spent that time with him more than normal, petting and giving him love. Gotta share the picture of him with his cone of shame on. As of February 2nd, he’ll have the stitches taken out, and I’m hoping we can stop dealing with the cone.

I’ve been binging the tv show Reign this month. About 2-3 episodes a night. Of course this semester I was given two first hour of the day study halls so I can’t sleep in anymore like I had been the rest of this pandemic remote learning. That means I have to stick to my 10:30 pm bedtime if I want to get up in the morning, because I hate mornings.

Oh yeah, and the biggest excitement maybe this month? My Kansas City Chiefs are going back to the Superbowl for the second year in a row!

January Reviews:

Of course a few of the reviews above are from last month’s reads, and I also have my DNF posts listed as reviews as well now. I am behind on the overdue reviews from last month, as well as pretty much any that were not part of blog tours this month. Hopefully I can get those caught up in February.


So I’m really only doing my Goodreads Challenge of 210 books for the year along with this one reading challenge. You can see my sign up post for this challenge HERE. And here is the image with all the books I thought would be read.

My plan was to do 2 a month, with maybe only one in January. While I only did one from the picture above, The Evil Queen by Gena Showalter, I also pulled one book from my TBR shelves and read it as well, Get Inked by Helena Hunting. I haven’t reviewed it yet though. Now I loved the Showalter book, it was an ARC, and I wish I’d gotten an ARC for the second book this year. Although, I don’t know if there was one or not. If you know that there was and might be willing to trade your copy so I can have it, I’d be forever grateful!

I still want to try to find some kind of Instagram challenge too.

For my writing, I had a goal to write just 10-15 minutes a day every day. And I started off great the first weekend of January. Then school started back and I did nothing for the whole week. The next weekend I got a day or two, then nothing. And that was the last time I wrote this month. 🙁

I wasn’t perfect about always commenting every weekend, but I was better about just commenting on other blogs whenever I had time. So I will keep that up!

What to expect in February:

As I mentioned above, about halfway through the month I’ll be back every day at school. Still working on inventory, only got about halfway, or a little over halfway through the collection. My goal is to finish it by the end of the school year for sure. The new SmartyPants Romance releases start coming out this next month, so my reading schedule is filling up quickly!

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

  1. Yesterday is History by Kosoko Jackson – actually read and the review should be up tomorrow!
  2. The Bookworm’s Guide to Flirting by Emma Hart – I think this is still coming out this week or next, and I should be posting a review to it this Friday, the 5th, but I also might be doing it on the 16th? Not sure because I have it listed both days in my blog calendar.
  3. Take a Chance on Me by Beth Moran – should be reading and reviewing for a blog tour on the 6th.
  4. A Pho Love Story by Loan Le – this was one of my most anticipated books for 2021 and I was lucky enough to get an ARC that I hope to read and post a review on the 7th.
  5. Defensible Space by Lane Martin – this is part of the K. Bromberg’s Everyday Heroes world, and I am reading and reviewing for a blog tour on the 11th.
  6. The Art of Falling For You by Maya Hughes – I think I’m reading this as part of the author’s review team for a post on the 12th.
  7. This is Effortless by Kennedy Fox – I’m listening to this audiobook right now for a review for the author. Now I loved the first two books, but the last one, This is Reckless, wasn’t the best for me. I may have to take a break from this series after I finish this one. I’m planning to post a review on the 13th.
  8. Muted by Tami Charles – Now the publisher sent me an ARC of this. And even though the storyline sounds good, it is in verse, and I’m not the biggest fan of those. I might ask a teacher here at school if she would be willing to read it and do a review guest post on my blog. Either way, I hope to post a review on the 13th.
  9. Hard to Score by K. Bromberg – I’m on this author’s review team as well, and I love this series, so I think I’m posting a review as part of a blog tour on the 15th.
  10. Pushing You Away by Kennedy Fox – Another author review team I’m on, so I’ll be posting this review on the 16th.
  11. Pride by Ibi Zoboi – This is an ARC I think I got at ALA summer convention in 2018? Not sure. But it is part of my Beat the Backlist Challenge list. My goal is to read it and review it on the 18th.
  12. The Dog Sitter by Zara Stonely – I plan to read and review this as part of a blog tour on the 20th.
  13. Bet the Farm by Staci Hart – should be reading per a request from the author and posting my review on the 22nd.
  14. Steal My Magnolia by Karla Sorensen – the first book in the next round of SmartyPants Romance books. It’s in a series that is now separated from where it was originally. And I don’t know if I’m a fan of the new hot guy cover compared to what it had been. But that’s okay, still can’t wait for these characters. My review should be posted as part of a blog tour on the 23rd.
  15. Four Weddings and a Swamp Boat Tour by Erin Nicholas – I’ve been wanting to read something by this author for awhile, but haven’t had time to fit any in. I was able to sign up for a tour to review this on the 25th.
  16. Dry by Neal Shusterman – I’ve got an ARC of this that I think I got through some books for trade deal on Twitter. It is my second Beat the Backlist title for February.
  17. The Wedding Game by Meghan Quinn – Another author review team I’m on, and instead of signing up for a blog tour this time, I wanted to schedule this review when there was nothing else scheduled, so I plan to read and post a review on the 28th.

Reviews that are overdue and should be possibly posted in February:

  1. Checking Progressive Privilege by Carrie L. Lukas
  2. Girl in Luv by Jay Crownover and Rebecca Yarros – audio
  3. Come Again by Poppy Dunne
  4. Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer
  5. Get Inked by Helena Hunting


I also started doing Weekly Wrap-Up posts, which is a nice way to check in each week and see what is going on.

How did your 2021 start off? Hopefully better than 2020, although it seems like 2021 still has its claws dug in a bit.


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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29 responses to “The Looooong and the Short of It with a Giveaway: January 2021 Wrap-Up Post and What to Expect in February

    • Lisa Mandina

      I got an email this morning saying that I should probably be getting it this Friday. Fingers crossed! But yeah, so unorganized.

  1. Danielle Hammelef

    I’m wishing you safety and health as you have to return to school. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that you are able to get the vaccine soon. I hope Sunday’s game is a close one–I love when the teams are well-matched and both play hard. LOL I never make it to the end of the game now–too late for me.

    • Lisa Mandina

      I like to think the game will be one worth watching. Both teams are good! I have to say that even though I want my team to win. Thanks for visiting!

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