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

Posted August 1, 2021 by Lisa Mandina in End of the month post / 34 Comments

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

Did I say June flew by? Well, so did July. And with the intense heat it was probably because I spent as much time indoors as I could! Except for the two full weeks I had to go over once a day to feed my dad’s dog while he and my stepmom were in Scotland. And my sister had to do it the other two weeks of the month.

I participated in Camp NaNoWriMo this month. And I got a lot done!

One big disappointment was thinking that I would get my 8 years of retirement money out to take care of some bills and other things that need to be done around the house this month. Unfortunately, when I called the Kansas retirement people, I was told I can’t even apply for the money until October 1st. Oh well, I guess I’ll be getting it in time for Christmas?

The training I thought I had the last week of July for my new job I found out I didn’t actually have to attend. However I do start back this coming first week of August, as I start back 10 days before all the other teachers, 6 days even before new teacher meetings. But I’m sure there is plenty to do in my library, decorating and fun stuff like that for now.

The amount of books I finished this month did suffer a bit compared to last month, probably because I was doing more writing. But I also think it is because I had 5 DNFs, and since I always try to give them more than one day of reading, to make sure it is not just my mood, that means I spent more time on them which gave me less time to fit in more books. To be fair, one of the DNFs may just be because I need to try a physical copy of the book. It had footnotes, which were at the end of each chapter in the ebook and so that meant I wasn’t sure exactly what they referred to by the time I got there. If it was in the physical book like that, it would be easier to flip back and forth between pages. So it’s possible I’ll go back and try that one again with a physical copy. Although it did also have some parts that I thought were different from what I expected, so I may not enjoy it anyway. I also had a book I thought I was on the review team for, but then I guess I wasn’t, so that book I would have read in a day or two I didn’t get, so it didn’t get fit in. Here are the books I read in July:

July Reviews:

Obviously a couple of these were from past months that were waiting for blog tours or else just waiting for me to have time to post a review, and there will be a few I finished this month that weren’t part of tours so I didn’t have time to post their reviews yet.


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 From Blood and Ash. I also finished another book that I hadn’t put on this plane, but that was a book I purchased back in 2018, Passion & Ponies by Tara Sivec. I might be able to reach my goal. I’ve read 7, so only have 5 left, and there are 5 months left, and I’ve had some review books get dropped or postponed, so maybe I can get 5 done in the rest of the year? May not be the ones in the picture, or maybe I just need to re-do it?

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 June I had 2,004 books on my TBR list. I looked at my list 3 times in July, so now I’m at 1,916. Not too bad! I’m noticing that the last almost 20 pages is going to be books I’ve added just in the last year. So it might be harder to get rid of them? We’ll see how it goes!

What to Expect in August:

I’m guessing with all the getting back to school with meetings and then with the students closer to the end of August, I won’t get a lot of writing done. And I’m wondering if my reading will suffer as well. While I’m not looking forward to getting up in the mornings again every day, I am really looking forward to getting back to school, and starting my new job!

And something exciting? August will be my 12th Blogoversary! So be prepared for a mega-giveaway of some sort in the next week or two!

Here is my proposed TBR for August:
  1. Under the Milky Way by Vanessa Barneveld: I have on my blog calendar that the publisher asked me to read this and review it, but I don’t have a physical copy of it, and I can’t find any emails telling me where to get a digital copy, so maybe a review for the publisher on the 3rd?
  2. How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland – I’ve got an ARC from the publisher and I hope to post a review on the 8th
  3. Totally Folked by Penny Reid – I’ve actually already read this one, and posted reviews on social media, but I’ll be posting my review on the blog as part of a tour on the 9th
  4. He’ll Be Waiting by Liz Alterman – for a blog tour review on the 12th
  5. Then You Saw Me by Carrie Aarons – for a blog tour review on the 12th
  6. Dagger Hill by Devon Taylor – for a blog tour review on the 17th
  7. The Introvert’s Guide to Blind Dating by Emma Hart – for a review on the 19th
  8. There With You by Samantha Young – for a blog tour review on the 23rd
  9. The Highland Fling by Meghan Quinn – for a review on the 24th
  10. Eyes of the Forest by April Henry – for a blog tour review on the 26th
  11. The Witch Haven by Sasha Peyton Smith – I have an ARC to review on the 28th
  12. All three of the books in the Last Man Standing series by Avery Flynn are supposed to come out on the 30th of August, so I might be reading one or two or all of them: Mama’s Boy, Neanderthal, and Mansplainer.
  13. Forever with the Mechanic by Allie York – for a blog tour review on September 1st
  14. Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston – as part of my Tackle My TBR Challenge read this month maybe?
  15. Sanctum by Hannah McBride – I feel like I really want to read this one soon, and I did purchase it at the beginning of the year.
  16. Berserker by Emmy Laybourne – part of my Tackle My TBR Challenge and also would help me get a book I requested a long time ago reviewed on Netgalley.
  17. The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon – I started listening to it again at the end of July. Maybe, I’m not getting into it as much as I thought. I might prefer to read this one.
  18. The Billionaire Boss Next Door by Max Monroe – the audiobook I am actually listening to now, since I was having trouble with the one I mentioned above.

With starting to drive to work again, and having an extra 20-30 minutes a day in the car since my new school is a little farther than my last one, I should be getting more audiobooks listened to as well!


I’m actually not really thrilled with most of the pictures I did myself this month. I just didn’t seem to have the perfect background for some of them. These are the three I liked the best from what I did.

Weekly Wrap-Up Posts:

Wednesday Lisa’s Looking Forward To Posts:

I did one fun tag post: The 2021 Mid Year Freak Out Book Tag

So, how was your July? Is it hot where you are? Are schools getting ready to start back up in your area like they are here?


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

    • Lisa Mandina

      Yep, I do still love the beginning of the school year, well, except for the years when I was miserable in my job, which weren’t too many. And even then, the beginning of the year is like you don’t know what will happen yet so you’re just ready to see if it will be good!

  1. Good luck back at school. A new school and a new school! Hope it all goes well. Wow! You DNFed 5 books? I think I had one or two, though I invested way too much time in one of them. I finished Moon Fuentez the other. It was so good! I hope you enjoy it. I think time spent on your writing is time well spent. You still read a lot of books.

    • Lisa Mandina

      To be fair, one was an audiobook that I just want to read a physical copy instead of listen to, and another DNF was an e-galley that again I want a physical copy of instead of an e-book. I’m enjoying Moon Fuentez right now! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Looks like you had a good reading month despite 5 DNF’s. That is always frustrating. I like your idea about always giving a book more than one day. Moods can definitely change. I hope all goes well as you are starting your new job and have a great August!

    • Lisa Mandina

      Same. And what you say is my exact reason. There are so many more books to read that it is not worth my time. And I don’t review because I feel like there may be other people who do like the book even though I don’t. Or, I do very minimal one or two sentence DNF reviews saying what I didn’t like. Thanks for visiting!

  3. I think you’re right when it comes to foot notes in a book… it would drive me nuts if by the time I got to the end of the chapter I would completely forget about whatever the footnote had been about. Lol.

    And good luck on the school stuff! I think in another life I would like to be a librarian. Decorating a library sounds like fun!

    Have a great August!

    Liliana recently posted: Sunday Post #271: Surviving So Far
    • Lisa Mandina

      First day down and it was a lot of figuring out what to do, but that’s okay, I have a lot of time before the teachers start to do that! Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Happy Blogoversary month! It’s mine too, but I need to figure out what I want to do to celebrate still.

    I hope you love your new job; that’s interesting you start so much earlier than even teachers!!


    • Lisa Mandina

      Yeah, I’m not quite sure what I want to do to celebrate. A giveaway of some sort, but that’s all I can think of. I’m glad I’m getting there early I guess, gives me lots of time to figure things out for my brand new job! Thanks for visiting!

    • Lisa Mandina

      Yeah, the extra stuff that is cool in a physical book doesn’t always translate well to ebooks. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Danielle Hammelef

    My July was really good! We got to travel for the first time since long before COVID and visited Philadelphia and Lititz, PA. Since this was our second trip there, we didn’t do all the typical tourist stuff and decided to spend time walking around the city, finding parks and statues and indie bookstores as well as dining at local small restaurants and markets. I was very happy to get there before the resurgence of COVID cases. August has flown by and today is my husband’s birthday. I will be surprising him with his favorite cookies–blueberry oatmeal–when he gets home from work.

    • Lisa Mandina

      Yay for getting to travel! Glad you were able to get out before the resurgence as well. Yum, cookies! What a great surprise.

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