The Looooong and the Short of It with a Giveaway: January 2022 Wrap-Up Post and What to Expect in February

Posted February 2, 2022 by Lisa Mandina in End of the month post / 25 Comments

So while I can’t believe it is already February, it still feels like January lasted FOREVER! This meme about wraps it up.

The first week back to school after Christmas break the mask mandate was dropped. But then it was reinstated before we came back the second week. The first week or two after break are also the end of our first semester. So that meant the last two weeks of this month sucked because I was busy collecting all the final grades for the virtual students for the counselors and to decide if they got to stay virtual. They had to pass 6 of 7 classes in order to stay virtual or the school district would require them to come back in person since they weren’t being successful at home. Then I had to sit and wait on students who actually kicked in the last three days to get their grades up over 60% so they could pass and the online teachers had a week to get grades in. Once that was decided then I had to enroll all the kids staying. So that sucked. Plus my library assistant was being pulled to cover another secretary who kept being out because of Covid. Not to mention even getting pulled into sub in advisory classes a few times myself because of all the teachers gone. While some school districts in the area closed a couple days, like old fashioned snow days, no online learning even, so that they could get people healthy and back in, my district did not.

I was excited for an interview with a school district that is a little closer to where I live than where I work now, but I don’t think they will probably offer me the job. While the interview didn’t go badly, I just don’t feel like I would be their choice either. So pretty much all I did for the most part this month was work and read. One exciting thing was my Kansas City Chiefs and their wins, especially their crazy heart stopping win against the Bills. This was me after that game.

Of course we had a similar game for the AFC championship, only my Chiefs came back out the second half after being in the lead all the first half, and it was like they forgot how to play. Sadly we will not be going to the Superbowl this year for the third straight year. But in a way, I’m okay with that, I don’t like spending my night watching football all the time. I’m kind of ready to be done with this season. Here’s hoping they come back next year and do better.

Oh yeah, how do you like my new banner and button?! I had reached out last fall about this and working with what time she had as well as lots of back and forth about my ideas for it, Michelle at Lima Bean Designs did such a great job and got it done and to me this month!

My reading was a little less because of being back in school and crazy busy. So many lunches I didn’t really get to even read for more than a few minutes at work because when I was by myself I would be interrupted to help students or teachers constantly. And I did actually end up with a 5 DNFs, including one or two audios. Only 18 books finished this past month compared to 20 in December.

January Reviews:

All of my reviews except for the ones that aren’t due till February anyway are caught up for January.

Challenges Wrap-Ups:

If you remember from my sign-up post early this month, I decided to participate in a few. Not sure I actually did that well though!

My goal for this year is 12 books. I did not complete any that were on my cart. Didn’t really complete any for this challenge yet.

None of these done either.

Even though I can count any books here, I don’t necessarily want to count my review books, because I only take those when I have it scheduled to read. So really, going by my own rules for this one, I didn’t complete any here either.

  • Blogging: My first goal was to get my Netgalley up to 80%. Still at 78%, so no change there. My second goal was to complete my challenges, so yeah, nothing done there.
  • Reading: According to my Goodreads goal I am 1 book ahead of schedule, or right on schedule if I get a little slower. I’m actually contemplating just setting my goal at 200 books as I know I’ll probably hit that with no problem, and then I won’t worry as much about making it. I’ll just make sure to get my reading done. My second goal had to do with reading sequels in series that I needed to move on in, but I haven’t really done any of the ones that I had planned. And I’m only counting the ones that I already had, not ones that come out this year.
  • Writing: So I was thinking a lot about the story idea I had purchased the cover for. And was going to really get started outlining/planning this first week of February. But then as I was driving home the last week of January, another story I’d been thinking about and had started a little bit but that I had some issues with, well those issues kind of solved themselves or I found solutions as I was driving home from work. So now I think I’ll be working on planning/re-outlining that instead! So knowing what I want for that one, I think I’m getting more on track for my second writing goal.


I had a few this month!

What to Expect in February 2022

Hopefully my craziness at work will slow down a little now that I have all the students enrolled except for any possible new ones for virtual schools. We do have parent teacher conferences this month, and they decided to go back to virtual and that we can work from home for these. Yes! Looking forward to that. Even though during conferences I can usually get things done in the library with no interruptions, I’m looking forward to the day I can just sleep in.

There is a home renovation show in my city the first weekend in February. I think I will go to get some more bids on things I want to do. Bathroom remodel, deck addition with roof. Don’t know that I’ll find anything I can afford, but I really want to do those things. Also that weekend we will celebrate my niece’s 10th birthday. As usual Valentine’s Day will be boring and sad for me as single as anyone can possibly be. But I am going to get back into writing this month I think.

Here is my proposed reading TBR for February:
  1. Finish up listening to Turning Back by J.A. Huss
  2. Cupid Calamity by Kelly Kay and Evie Alexander – for a blog tour review on the 3rd
  3. Group Therapy by B.B. Easton – for a blog tour review on the 4th
  4. You Truly Assumed by Laila Sabreen – an ARC review hopefully on the 6th
  5. All the Right Reasons by Bethany Mangle – an ARC review on the 12th
  6. The Heart of Us by Kennedy Fox – an author request review on the 13th
  7. Bright Ruined Things by Samantha Cohoe – an ARC review on the 14th
  8. The Player Hater by Sara Ney – author ARC team review on the 15th
  9. The Reunion by Meghan Quinn – author ARC team review on the 19th
  10. It Was All the Pie’s Fault by Elizabeth SaFleur – blog tour review on the 22nd
  11. Home for Christmas by Camilla Isley – blog tour review on the 24th
  12. Turning by Joy L. Smith – ARC review around the 26th?
  13. Freaks by Brett Riley – ARC review around the 27th?
  14. On the Honey Side by Staci Hart – author request review on the 28th?
  15. Well Matched by Jen DeLuca – possibly read for the Series Ender challenge
  16. Prey by Hannah McBride – possibly read for my own sequel/series challenge
  17. Ice Planet Barbarians by Ruby Dixon – possibly read for my TBR Challenge
  18. At least one other audiobook, not sure what yet

Final Thoughts

So, how was your January? Did you get all the reading you wanted done? Has anything changed in your world now that we are in 2022? What are you looking forward to in February?


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

And while you’re here, I do have a separate giveaway just for the first part of February going on HERE.

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25 responses to “The Looooong and the Short of It with a Giveaway: January 2022 Wrap-Up Post and What to Expect in February

    • Lisa Mandina

      Thanks! I always like to include my Sydney, even though I lost her about 11? years ago. She was my first dog that I had on my own, so I like having her in the banner too. My other two are still here and being their usual adorable and annoying selves! lol.

    • Lisa Mandina

      Yeah, I had a telehealth visit with my primary care doctor this week and when she asked me about my stress levels, I mentioned about my job, and she said pretty much everyone she talked to these days was feeling the stress. So I’m guessing that all jobs are that way these days. Good luck with your job search!

    • Lisa Mandina

      I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that most of this craziness is pandemic related and that maybe some day this will calm down a little? Who knows. Thanks for stopping by!

  1. John Smith

    January was fine!

    I just read about “Burn Down, Rise Up” today–it sounds like a really intriguing sci-fi/fantasy concept!

  2. Danielle Hammelef

    I love your new banner! I also like that you keep Sydney’s memory there. I hope your work life is going better now. Having to deal with lack of staff due to illness is something schools here are dealing with and that’s probably everywhere too. Michigan is trying to deal with lack of substitute teachers by allowing non-certified teachers to apply as subs.

    • Lisa Mandina

      Yeah, Kansas really lowered their sub requirements for the rest of the school year. Missouri hasn’t quite gone that far yet. It’s craziness everywhere still. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Lisa Mandina

      I loved the first one, started book 2, will have to see, it’s starting a little slow for me. Thanks for visiting!

  3. June S.

    We had a few good snowfalls here in northern Illinois in January, but not as many as past few years. I am still looking forward to Spring coming soon I hope.

    • Lisa Mandina

      I’m so ready for spring too! But we might have some more snow this week. We’ll see! Thanks for stopping by!

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