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

Posted July 2, 2021 by Lisa Mandina in End of the month post / 38 Comments

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

Wow, it feels like June flew by! I can’t believe it is already July! And my summer break is half over, kind of more than that since I have meetings and trainings for my new job coming up at the end of July. Plus, I don’t have any trips scheduled for this summer, so it is kind of feeling like I’m not getting a lot done. Other than I have finally been somewhat productive with some writing, and I hope to participate in Camp NaNoWriMo this month and get another of my novels finished so I can start polishing it up and maybe self publish it!

Weather this month has been a ton of really hot days the first half, then while still warm and muggy, started getting a lot of rain at the end of the month. Which I was glad for, because it means the ground won’t be dangerously dry for when the fireworks go off on the 4th.

I’m eager for July though. I have decided I am going to take out my 8 years of retirement from working in Kansas the last 8 years, and use it to pay off credit cards and maybe get somethings done around my house that need to be done. I know they’ll take like 10-20% off the top for taxes and penalties for early withdrawal, and then I’ll put another 10% in a savings account for taxes next year. I have 17 years of retirement in Missouri from when I taught before I finally got my library job. So it’s not like I’m getting rid of all my retirement money. And I’ve still got a while to go before I’ll be ready to retire anyway. So again, I’m not worried. I think not having any credit cards to be paying on monthly will be much better for me to have money in my paychecks. Of course I really want to make a nice little deck in my backyard to sit on, but with the price of lumber these days, that will probably not be on the list of things to do now.

My reading time was a lot this month! Got 20 books read, and I got almost all of my back logged books with reviews posted. Only one DNF this month too. Here is what I read:

June Reviews:

Obviously I didn’t get all of these reviewed this month, but most of them, and some of my reviews posted this month are ones I read before June.


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.

This month I finished Damsel. I might have to drop my goal down to the Safety, because right now I’ve only read 4, and at this rate, I won’t even make the Safety goal of 12. 🙁

Last year I was doing the posts about Cleaning Up My TBR. I quit doing the posts by the end of the year, and was just going through Goodreads and clearing out books. So at the end of May I had 2,086 books on my TBR list. I looked at my list 3 times in June, so now I’m at 2,004. Not too bad! The problem is I’ve sorted them by when they were added, and as I get closer to ones I’ve added in the last two years or so, it’s harder to get rid of them.

What to Expect in July:

I did get back into writing a bit this past month, and hoping that I will actually jump in and do some writing in July. What I have to remember is to just write, don’t worry if it’s perfect. It needs to be finished and then I can go back and edit and polish. The whole walking every morning thing I thought I’d do in June! Ha! One day. And it got hot and I got lazy and didn’t want to get up early enough to beat the heat. So yeah. That’s not happening. I did definitely do better about eating more protein for breakfast on the days I ate breakfast. Eggs and bacon. Either using my Pampered Chef microwave egg scrambler, or I bought one of those little machines that hard boils your eggs for you in about 10-15 minutes. And of course microwave bacon, because I’m that lazy of a cook.

My dad and stepmom went to visit my sister who lives in Scotland this past week, and they will be there for a whole month basically. Which means my other sister and I who live here in town have to go over once a day to feed their outside dog. For a month. Even splitting it up that is two weeks. It’s about 10 miles away, which doesn’t seem that far, but there seems to be a lot of traffic to get there no matter which way I choose. Oh well. The things we do for family, right? For free.

Here is my proposed TBR for July:
  1. The Mixtape by Brittainy Cherry – for a blog tour review on the 3rd
  2. Tell Me S’more by Beth Merlin – for a blog tour on the 6th
  3. The Introvert’s Guide to Speed Dating by Emma Hart – reading as part of author’s ARC team for a review on the 6th – postponed from a June date
  4. Rent a Husband by Everly Ashton – blog tour review on the 9th
  5. SWANK: The Arrangement by Maya Hughes – well, this was originally scheduled for July 8th as part of author’s ARC team, but with the last SWANK book just coming out this past week, I’m guessing it might be a while before this one is actually ready.
  6. You Spin Me by Karen Grey – audiobook review by request of author to post on the 15th or maybe the 26th? Not positive because I’ve got it both places on my blog calendar.
  7. Pause by Kylie Scott – well I’ve already purchased and listened to this one, but I signed up to wait and post my review as part of a blog tour on the 16th. Although I haven’t heard if I’m a part of the tour for sure yet.
  8. Backup Offer by Liz Crowe – I signed up for a blitz tour on the 17th, may or may not read it too?
  9. 5 Rounds by Nikki Castle – blog tour review on the 19th
  10. Knuckleball by A.M. Williams – blog tour review on the 22nd
  11. Love Next Door by Helena Hunting – reading as part of author ARC team for a review on the 27th
  12. My Always One by Aleatha Romig – blog tour review on the 28th
  13. Tempt Thy Neighbor by Teagan Hunter – author ARC team review on the 29th
  14. 21 Questions by Alexandria Rizik – publisher sent ARC in a review request, should post on the 31st
  15. Berserker by Emmy Laybourne – hoping to read this as part of my Tackle My TBR challenge, and since I had requested it on Netgalley back before it came out, if I read and finish it I can help raise my percentage on my profile!
  16. Totally Folked by Penny Reid – it comes out on the 20th, so I hope to read it by then, but I probably won’t post my review till part of the blog tour in August
  17. From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout – I am going to try to finally make myself pick this up and read it. I mean I had to buy it as soon as it came out last year and now there are 2 or 3 more in the series already out? I’m so far behind!
  18. Fresh by Margot Wood – I requested from Netgalley and hope to read and post a review at the beginning of August
  19. The Wild Ones by Nafiza Azad – I should be getting an ARC of this and it comes out that first week in August, so I should be reading it at the end of the month.

It’s possible there will be at least one more audiobook thrown into the list, since I’m in the middle of one and should start another.


Early in the month I actually got a surprise finished copy of a second book in a series I haven’t started yet, but do want to read. I just finally posted that picture this week! Hoping I can read this one without reading the first one.

Weekly wrap-up posts:

My Wednesday Lisa’s Looking Forward To Posts:

How was your June? Can you believe the year is half over now?


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. I’ve added some books from an older ARC stack I had too, ones I just don’t know that I’m going to get to. 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.

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38 responses to “The Looooong and the Short of It with a Giveaway: June 2021 Wrap-Up Post and What to Expect in July

  1. The best thing I did a few years ago was take a 401K loan. I paid all the credit cards and was left with a lot lower interest payments AND the money goes to my account. I think you made a good decision there.

    • Lisa Mandina

      I wish I had a 401K to do that with. But I don’t since I’m a teacher. However I think it is better to pay off the high interest credit cards than just have the money sitting waiting for 20 years or so when I may or may not need it till then. This way I can try to save money without giving the credit card companies a ton of extra interest since I can’t pay off those cards without taking forever. Glad to hear that is what worked for you!

  2. I can relate to hot and muggy. It that way often here in FL but especially lately with all the rain. Ugh. Frizzy hair is not a good look. LOL I see several books up there that are on my July TBR. Grace and Glory, The Mixtape, Fortunate Son, and From Blood and Ash. So excited for those!

    • Lisa Mandina

      The mugginess is the worse! It’s at least a little less muggy here after the week of rain we had. But still hot! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. danielle hammelef

    Excellent financial decision to get rid of credit card debt, for sure. My favorite book of June was Better than the Movies followed closely by Tokyo Ever After. I’m looking forward to our subdivision picnic tomorrow and seeing some neighbors for the first time in many months. My garden is already producing tomatoes, beans, and peppers and I love having the fresh produce right outside my door. My blackberries are also in peak production right now.

    • Lisa Mandina

      I loved Better than the Movies! I didn’t get a chance to read Tokyo Ever After, but it is on my TBR. Glad to hear you liked it so much! Hope you have a nice picnic tomorrow. It is nice to get to start seeing people again!

  4. June did seem to fly by. I have a feeling July will for me as well, if only because I have so much going on. Paying off your credit cards will be such a relief, I am sure. We did that a couple years ago, and have managed to keep it manageable so we can pay off each month. We just paid off the car in the last month or so and it is so nice not to have a car payment anymore. I just hope nothing major happens so we can enjoy it for awhile. I am glad you liked Ready Player Two! It seems have gotten mixed reviews, but I really liked the first one and so would eventually like to read the second. You’ve got some great reading ahead of you by the look of your TBR list. Have a great July and happy reading!

    • Lisa Mandina

      I think it will be a relief. I hadn’t been too far behind on my credit cards before the pandemic hit and then I lost my part time job and turned to using them more than I should have. I did really enjoy Ready Player Two. I can see what people might not have liked, but with Wil Wheaton narrating the audiobook again, and all the fun pop culture references to the 80s and my fun years, I couldn’t help but enjoy i t! Thanks for visiting!

  5. John Smith

    “How was your June or what are you looking forward to in July?” June was fine, and I am starting the audiobook version of “Peter & Max: A Fables Novel,” by Bill Willingham, read by Wil Wheaton.

  6. The dog doesn’t mind all this heat? Hope he has a cool place to hang out! My dogs are out for just a half hour right now and they’re panting like crazy, but they aren’t used to it, so I guess that probably makes a difference. Just make sure you guys give him plenty of water when you bring his food! (I’m now hearing you say, “Yes, Mom” in a sarcastic voice to me. LOL!)

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction recently posted: June 2021 Monthly Wrap-Up & Best of the Bunch
    • Lisa Mandina

      Well, their backyard is pretty shady. And they do let the dog go inside the garage if it wants, which I hope worked for the 4th of July. Yeah, she’s used to it. Believe me though, I don’t understand the point of a having a dog that lives outside all the time. But we’ve argued with our dad about that for years. In the past they had two at a time outside, so at least they had company. But this one is alone and it makes me sad. Oh yeah, she gets lots of water and we’ve been filling up the little kiddie pool for her to lay in or play in or whatever! 🙂

    • Lisa Mandina

      Same here! I am not a fan of this heat and humidity. Having to mow is not fun! Yeah, this year is going crazy fast. I’m excited for my new job, but also getting really nervous! Thinking about how some things at my old job were really nice and easy and familiar! Thanks for visiting!

  7. Wow! What a great reading month!! You’ve read several that are on my tbr so I’m happy to see they’re ones you enjoyed. Instructions for Dancing, The Layover, and My Contrary Mary, to name a few. Good luck with Camp Nanowrimo! I should be participating but I decided to spend the month reading books off my shelves while I’m ahead on my ARCs. I’m currently reading The Black Kids that I won from you. 🙂 Happy July!

    Dedra @ A Book Wanderer recently posted: June 2021 Monthly Wrap-Up
    • Lisa Mandina

      I am getting words written, but feeling like my book is dragging and I need it to wrap up at some point! But anything I try to do to do that seems like really blunt. So I’m just letting it go for now and I’ll hopefully finish it this month and then go back and edit to fix it. Hope you’re enjoying The Black Kids as much as I did!

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