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

Posted October 2, 2021 by Lisa Mandina in End of the month post / 28 Comments

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

So, while the laptop distribution obviously slowed way down this month, and the enrolling online students into classes is mostly done, things still aren’t great at my job. This last week I finally have been able to do more than just enroll students in online classes or deal with laptop checkout. But my library assistant has been pulled out all week for at least half the day to cover other secretaries in the building who are out. I have been able to do a couple of displays though.

National Hispanic Heritage Month
Banned Books Week

On the blog front I had a HUGE disappointment when I thought I was on an author’s review team, but somehow I am not? And I guess because I thought that, I didn’t sign up through the PR company to read a book that I have loved the whole series. I guess I might not be doing as good of a job with my blog planner as I had been? Or else just the craziness with this whole new job and not being able to really do any blogging at work now has made me miss out or think I’ve done something but not have actually done it. I’m just hoping this author’s book will be on audio soon, because I’ll just buy it and listen to it then! I have no time to add books into my schedule really with all the review books and the books I already have sitting on shelves waiting to be read.

I also participated in an all day virtual writer’s conference the last Saturday of September. I’m feeling a little bit inspired to get back on the NaNoWriMo train. But I’ve got to take some time in October to plan out what I want to write. Or else November will be another month of just working on finishing something I’ve already started. We’ll see.

Reading, well, I actually got quite a bit read this month. Mostly because I had to jump on the ball and read read read the last couple weeks to get caught up with the crazy review/blog tour schedule I set up for myself. Nineteen books! That’s so awesome! Of course I did end up with one DNF this month, kind of two, because I barely started one I was supposed to be part of a blog tour for before I gave it up based on all the bad reviews as well as being behind on reading. I am still a bit behind. Wish me luck at getting caught up! According to my Goodreads goal at the end of August I was 5 books behind. But thanks to the quick reading I’ve had to do to try to get caught up at the end of the month, at the time I’m posting this, I’m only 2 behind.

Here are the books I finished in September:

September Reviews:

No overdue reviews to complete this month. I did have three books I didn’t get the reviews posted for yet. But two are for blog tours that are in October, so that is why.


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.

I didn’t get any more read in September. So even with the books not on this image, I still have 3 left to read this year to reach my 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 August I had 1,916 books on my TBR list. Now I made some time in September to do the list more. And the last pages of the list were actually mostly added over the past two years, so a lot of them weren’t going anywhere. But I have gone all the way through all the pages in my Goodreads TBR and I finished with 1877. That’s with adding more books the last week or so of the month too. I kind of want to go back and go through the beginning pages of the list again because there were some things I was doing by the end of my checking that I didn’t do at the beginning. Like if it was a free e-book, I might not have taken it off that list and added it to the right one. So we’ll see. I’m still down from 2554 books in December of last year. So I have moved over 677 books off the list. That of course includes books read, DNF books, and with adding new books I wanted. So I’d say that’s not too bad.

What to Expect in October:

My goal is to get planned what I want to work on in November for NaNoWriMo. I’ve got to take one of my story ideas and do the pre-writing this month. So wish me luck at actually doing that!

While school has somewhat slowed down with the laptops and virtual student enrollment, this month will be parent conferences, and I’ve been told I have to reach out to my virtual students’ parents about conferences. Even though I’m not their teacher. And I have to contact every week if they’re already failing. So, feeling like this month will be a little sucky too. But, it is my birthday on the 22nd, and fall weather is finally starting to get here, so that is good!

I am able to apply to get my Kansas teacher retirement money this month. My hope is it doesn’t take the full 6 weeks they’re saying to get it. But if it does, it does. I just want to get some bills paid off that built up over the past year when I didn’t have a second job. That way I can actually see some difference in my paychecks. I mean I’m able to pay more towards those credit cards now, but I want to be able to save and do things I need to do around my house.

On the reading front, we are still in the midst of the SmartyPants Romance launch, so I’ve still got lots to read. A few that I should have read at the end of last month are getting read at the beginning of October because of getting a bit behind!

Here is my proposed TBR for October:

  1. Why We Fly by Kimberly Jones and Gilly Segal – the publisher sent me an ARC and I’m actually trying to get read and review by or on the pub date of the 5th
  2. Bluebird by Sharon Cameron – reading for a blog tour review to post on the 4th.
  3. Love, Comment, Subscribe by Cathy Yardley – reading for a blog tour review on the 7th.
  4. Not Your Average Hot Guy by Gwenda Bond – I never got a physical ARC like I wanted, but did get approved with a last minute request through Netgalley. Hope to have read and post a review on the 9th.
  5. Forever with the Nurse by Allie York – reading another novella in this series for a blog tour review on the 11th.
  6. Forrest for the Trees by Kilby Blades – reading for part of the SmartyPants blog tour and review should be on the 12th.
  7. Hotshot and Hospitality by Nora Everly – another SPR for blog tour review on the 15th
  8. Highland Games by Evie Alexander – for a blog tour review on the 16th.
  9. Forcing You Away by Kennedy Fox – I think for a blog tour review on the 19th.
  10. Love Language by Emma Hart – for a review on the 20th.
  11. Key Change by Heidi Hutchinson – for another SPR blog tour review on the 21st.
  12. Before and After You by Hope Ellis – another SPR, blog tour review on the 22nd – my birthday!
  13. Neanderthal by Avery Flynn – blog tour review on the 25th.
  14. Love in a Pickle by L.B. Dunbar – another SPR, blog tour review on the 27th.
  15. Puck Shy by Teagan Hunter – blog tour review on the 28th, hope I actually filled out the sign up this time!
  16. Blame it on the Mistletoe by Beth Garrod – I think I have an e-galley of this to read and plan to review on the 29th. Fingers crossed!
  17. A Not So Meet Cute by Meghan Quinn – as part of the author’s review team, I hope to post my review on the 30th. We’ll see, maybe the 31st.
  18. Neutral Grounds by Jiffy Kate – this is an audiobook that I thought I’d be listening to and posting a review on the 8th, but it doesn’t actually come out till the 17th, so the code they gave us for Audible was only for a pre-order, and I won’t get to start listening to it by then.
  19. The Relationship Pact by Adriana Locke – I will definitely finish this audiobook in October during my drive to and from work since I’m already halfway through it, and won’t be listening to the one above.

It’s possible there may be one more audiobook, and I may finish one of my Tackle My TBR books that have been started and are sitting on my nightstand bottome shelf too. I’ve been trying to go take my 30 minute lunch in the back room of the library where no one can see to bother me, and it has helped with getting to read. Although there have been a few days when my library assistant is covering for other secretaries in the building and I’ve had to eat lunch while I work.


First was really just a note and a cool sticker that I won from an author on Instagram. The other two are ARCs that I can’t wait to read!

Weekly wrap-up posts:

Wednesday – Lisa’s Looking Forward To posts: I’m actually thinking of changing these a bit because they take so much time. But that’s a thought for maybe next year?

Final Thoughts:

So, how was your September? Are you starting to get fall weather where you live? Or maybe Spring for some of you? Did you get all the reading you wanted done?


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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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28 responses to “The Looooong and the Short of It with a Giveaway: September 2021 Wrap-Up Post and What to Expect in October

  1. John Smith

    “How was your September or what are you looking forward to in October?” I enjoyed audiobook CDs of books by Richard Kadrey, “The Everything Box,” “The Wrong Dead Guy,” and “Sandman Slim.” I will probably spend another 6-12 months reading the rest of the “Sandman Slim” books, because there are, like, 12 of them now.

    The voice actor of the first two is very good–Oliver Wyman. So I plan to listen to more of his work, especially humorous books by Christopher Moore, and three middle-grade books, the Cold Cereal Saga, by Adam Rex. So I’m looking forward to some inventive, silly fun when I get to those!

    • Lisa Mandina

      I do like Christopher Moore. I’ve enjoyed his books that I’ve read. Hope you enjoy the books you read!

  2. That’s so odd that you are responsible for communicating with online student’s families although you are not an instructor. Are you supposed to get reports from the students teachers or what? Or do they not actually have teachers? Either way, weird. Maybe not being on the review team was a blessing in disguise. Frees up some time for more “free reading”. I feel you on not being able to blog during work hours any longer. I used to blog hop when I had nothing to do during work from home. Now, I just stare into space waiting for things to happen while I sit in the office. Mind numbing.

    • Lisa Mandina

      I get weekly reports from the online program that tells me how far they are in the class and how much time they’ve spent. But that’s it. And they do have online teachers, so there are people they can reach out to. I was able to actually do some blogging at my last school. But I’ve got so many extra duties at my new job it doesn’t seem to fit in. And yeah, it has definitely been a bit of a blessing to not be on one or two of the review teams, but one of the authors is one that I always fit in for that, so that is a big disappointment. Oh well. Ugh, that sucks that you can’t do anything but sit at the office. Boring and makes the day longer I guess.

  3. Danielle Hammelef

    My September as far as reading goes was excellent and my first book of October is now one of my all time favorite books EVER. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe–it was published in 2012 and when I kept seeing so many awards and excellent reviews I bought it last year. Then when I saw the sequel coming in October, I made myself start it and after less than 100 pages in, I pre-ordered the sequel (thank you for my gift card, Lisa!).

    • Lisa Mandina

      I have heard great things about that book as well! I need to pick it up and read it myself. Glad to hear you liked it so much as well!

  4. Sorry the job front is still a bit sucky. It’s crazy all the things you have to do that don’t really align with your job. I hope it gets better!!

    I’m a bit behind on ARCs, etc. but I’m trying not to stress too much…read what I can, when I can. hah

    • Lisa Mandina

      It gets a little better, but then things seem to get crazy again. Oh well. I’m stressed because of the SmartyPants Romance release and then hoping to do NaNoWriMo next month. But that may just not happen. Thanks for stopping by!

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