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

Posted October 31, 2021 by Lisa Mandina in End of the month post / 25 Comments

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

October was a bit slower, although this month meant parent teacher conferences, as well as my library assistant being out two weeks because of illness and then a death in her family. I was able to get a couple more displays up this month though.

LGBT History Month
Halloween/Zombie display

October is also my birthday month, I’m now 49 years old. Next year will be the big 5-0! I got some nice gifts, money for a ticket to the NKOTB concert next year, and my mom got tickets for the two of us to go see Wicked in January. I also came home from work on my birthday, where no one really knew it was my birthday, to a fun sign on my door from my 9 year old niece and 3 year old nephew.

I did get my retirement money on Friday, so now I can get some bills paid off and do a few things around the house that I want to do, as well as put some into savings for the next big expense. Although I did find out when I went to pay off the couch I bought earlier this year that they don’t have my correct social security number connected to my account so I can’t get it taken care of. I’m going to try calling again, they want me to send them a picture of my social security card. I am a little leery of that.

I’ve had a couple more disappointments with ARCs, but in one case, I reached out to the publisher and got a copy so I got to read it, which was great because I loved it!

I wanted to work on getting my story planned for NaNoWriMo this month, and I got a little bit done, but nowhere near as much as I wanted. But planning also kind of stressed me out, I’m normally a pantser – prefer to just write – by the seat of my pants. So my friend who will be my writing partner this month told me to stop and just be a pantser. I’m just scared I’ll get stuck and once again won’t ever finish the story. And the closer it has gotten to November, the more I’m starting to think I don’t know if I even want to write anymore. Ugh.

Reading, once again with the SmartyPants Romance books being launched this month I got a bunch read! According to my Goodreads goal, I am one book behind, I was on track until this last week getting tired out with the parent conferences. I did have one DNF this month, it was part of a blog tour unfortunately, and an author I’ve enjoyed, I think with past SmartyPants Romance books.

Here are the 18 books I finished in October:

October Reviews:

I completed two reviews of books I read last month, both were for blog tours this month. And I had one I still need to review. I have a couple of audiobook reviews from this month that I did not get to post yet, not with a blog tour, they get to sit till I have time.


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 did not get anymore read in October. So I’m behind 3 even with the books I’ve read not on this picture for the goal I set. Ugh!

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 September I had 1,877 books on my TBR list. In October I went back 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. I got all the way through the whole list again and am now at 1,445 books and 49 pages. That’s down from 2554 books in December of last year. I think that’s pretty good! Now I did a bad thing though. I thought I’d start going through some other lists, like I have an ARC wishlist on Goodreads. Not thinking, I started deleting from that list. But instead of just moving them off that list, I deleted like from my TBR which means I actually deleted some books I have already read. I figured out a few of them, but I know there are more that are missing. Oh well. Maybe some day I’ll figure it all out!

What to expect in November:

Hopefully lots of weekly updates about word counts being on the way to 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo first of all! And with several days off for Thanksgiving mid-month, that should help me get some reading/writing done. I won’t be posting my usual Wednesday posts this month to save some time. However as I’m writing this post to get it ready to publish on Sunday, my writing motivation is way down.

I also have tickets to see The Monkees, or at least the two band members still alive, on November 10th.

I was hoping to get my Kansas retirement money this month, but they did say 4-6 weeks, and so I should have it this month for sure. I’ll be using part of it to pay off credit cards, and then maybe do one or two things to my house or get new appliances like a washer and drier, and then the rest is going in savings for big expenses. Oh, I hope to buy a plane ticket to go see my sister in Scotland next year! I’m tentatively planning to go see her the last week of June, and I’m going to try to book an Outlander tour while I’m there.

Here is my proposed TBR for November:

  1. Forever with the Trucker by Allie York – for a blog tour review on the 1st
  2. Shopping for a Turkey by Julia Kent – I got the e-galley, but don’t know for sure when I’ll read it. I’d love to read and review on Thanksgiving!
  3. Before and After You by Hope Ellis – this is also for SmartyPants Romance, and I actually thought I was reviewing in October, but actually the blog tour date to review is November 2nd
  4. Cupcake by Cookie O’Gorman – I got an e-galley of this from the publisher and will be posting my review on November 3rd
  5. The Senior by Monica Murphy – I am part of this author’s review team and will be posting my review on November 4th
  6. Sweeper by Amy Daws – another author I’m part of a review team for, and my review will be on the 5th
  7. Elves with Benefits by Jana Aston – an novella I’m reading for a blog tour on the 8th
  8. Roxy by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman – I got an ARC from the publisher and I’m planning a review on the 9th
  9. One Night with a Nutcracker by Jana Aston – another novella to review for a blog tour on the 11th
  10. The Rhythm Method by Kylie Scott – another novella review for a blog tour on the 12th
  11. Our Violent Ends by Chloe Gong – I got an ARC of this from the publisher, can’t wait to read and review on the 14th
  12. Beard in Hiding by Penny Reid – reading for a review for the SmartyPants Romance tour and posting on the 15th
  13. The Singles Table by Sara Desai – reading for a blog tour review on the 19th
  14. White Wedding by Carla Luna – reading for a blog tour review on the 20th
  15. Bachelor on the Shelf by Jana Aston – a novella for a blog tour review on the 22nd
  16. Forever with the Bartender by Allie York – another novella/short story for a blog tour review on the 23rd
  17. They Stay by Claire Fraise – I signed up to do a blog tour review of this on the 25th or 26th, although I haven’t heard if I’ve been approved or not yet.
  18. Mansplainer by Avery Flynn – this is the series that for some reason the PR company no longer had me signed up for. Hoping I can get this third book on Netgalley if it is there if the publisher will work with me again! The pub date for it was postponed till the 6th, but if I can get it in time, I will post my review on the 29th.
  19. Hard to Love by K. Bromberg – this was one of the first books the past month when I found out I wasn’t actually on an author’s review team like I thought I was. I’d read all the others in the series, and so had this on my blog calendar, but not getting the e-galley meant the time I had planned to read it passed before I could get it. So I waited till it came out on audio and it is my current audiobook listen!
  20. And I should be posting a review for a couple audiobooks I listened to this past month at some point: The Relationship Pact by Adriana Locke, Sweet Talk by Cara Bastone, and Neutral Grounds by Jiffy Kate – one that was kind of part of a blog tour, but the audiobook wasn’t out till after the tour, so I just now finished the audiobook.


I got my unicorn ARC of the next book in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer universe through a trade on Twitter:

My birthday gift from my sisters
The biography of VC Andrews that I won with all my VC Andrews books!
Weekly wrap-up posts:
Wednesday – Lisa’s Looking Forward To Posts – which I’m skipping in November!

Final Thoughts:

So, how was your October? Did you get all the reading you wanted done? What are you looking forward to in November?


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

  1. Danielle Hammelef

    The last week in October, we got to go on vacation! We traveled to northern Michigan and hiked every day on trails through the woods out to bluffs overlooking Lake Michigan. We had excellent weather the entire trip and arrived at peak colors. It was even warm enough one day to walk along the sandy beach barefoot. I dipped my toes into the lake just to say I did (the water was ambient air temperature of 62, way too cold for me). So my October ended on a high note.

  2. Looks like you had a great month of reading! Cleaning up your TBR list is a great idea. I know I have many books on mine that I probably don’t want to read anymore.

    Glad you had a good birthday and hope you have good November!

  3. John Smith

    “How was your October or what are you looking forward to in November?” I will be reading some graphic novels by Kim Deitch!

    It sounds like October was pretty eventful for you!

    • Lisa Mandina

      October was crazy busy! Of course November is shaping up the same way! Thanks for stopping by, hope you enjoy those graphic novels!

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