The Looooong and the Short of It with a Giveaway: August 2023 Wrap-Up Post and What to Expect in September

Posted September 2, 2023 by Lisa Mandina in End of the month post, giveaway / 28 Comments

August was fast, and hot, and at times miserable with the start of the new school year. However being back into the “swing of things” and more normal schedules meant I got back to the amount of reading I normally do in a month. I really only had one DNF this month, and I got 17 books read.

  • # of pages read: 3860 – less pages read than normal, but I think a lot more audiobooks listened to if you look at that
  • Amount of time spent listening to audiobooks – Since I only count what I finished, my time spent was 50 hours and 37 minutes for 5 audiobooks.

Here are my stats from Storygraph:

August Reviews

Of the 15 specific titles listed last month, I got 13 read and reviewed, and then one DNF and one that I’m still reading.

Challenge Wrap-Up

I was kind of wrong about last month being the last for reading for the Gateway committee. We are expected even if we are done with the committee to make sure we read any left for the final 30 by the end of the year to vote with the reader selectors. So I still have about 10 of those to get finished. I didn’t get anymore added in August, although my goal was 12 for the year and I’ve already passed that with the list below.

  1. The Hunger Between Us by Marina Scott
  2. Twisted Love by Ana Huang
  3. Lord of the Fly Fest by Goldy Moldavy
  4. Always Jane by Jenn Bennett
  5. My Second Impression Of You by Michelle I. Mason
  6. Gold Mountain by Betty G. Yee
  7. Spicy Pickle by J.J. Knight
  8. My Mechanical Romance by Alexene Farol Follmuth
  9. Forging Silver Into Stars by Brigid Kemmerer
  10. Rima’s Rebellion by Margarita Engle
  11. The Lost Dreamer by Lizz Huerta
  12. One for All by Lillie Lainoff
  13. The Dachshund Wears Prada by Stefanie London
  14. Beyond the Wand by Tom Felton
  15. I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys
  16. The Warning by Kristy Acevedo
  17. Shame on Me by Tara Sivec
  18. Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
  19. Howl by Shaun David Hutchinson

Did not have any more discussion posts this month. So I’ve only got one of my goal of six for the year.

  • Blogging:
    • 1. Keep my Netgalley percentage up to 80%. I made it to stay at 80% most of the month, and last I checked I was actually at 81%! Yay!
    • 2. Discussion Challenge: None in August, which means I have 4 months to get the last 5 I need in order to meet my goal of 6 for the year
  • Reading:
    • 1. As always is my Goodreads goal of 200 books. I’m getting a bit closer to being caught up after my slow July reading month. I go back and forth between 3 or 4 books behind.
    • 2. My TBR Challenge above.
  • Writing – I think I’m done trying to be a writer. In fact I went to Amazon and took down the novella I wrote and self-published. I think I’m going to just concentrate on reading and blogging.
  • Book Buying Ban – With the craziness of the last month I ended up spending some extra money on books, because come on, you know how it makes us feel better to buy books, right? You’re all with me on that? lol I got my normal Audible credit, but skipped Book of the Month Club again because I didn’t like any of the choices. I did buy the hardback illustrated version of The Way I Hate Him by Meghan Quinn, and I found a copy of a book at an antique/flea market for 50 cents. Then I bought an audiobook credit on Audible for their 2 for 1 sale and got a couple more audiobooks. I decided to buy a paperback at Barnes & Noble when I stopped in one weekend in August. And then I saw a YA book that comes out in October that makes me think of my beloved Outlander, so I pre-ordered it just to get all the cool pre-order stuff! So I went over my hoped for approximate $30 a month budget and spent about a total of $100 for the month.

What to Expect in September

School is officially back in and making my life miserable once again. I think I’ve got to really consider a career change at the end of this school year, or even just consider attempting to be an elementary librarian, the age level I dread, if it would help me get my foot back into the door in any district I really want to be in instead of where I am now. I’m hoping to get a lot of reading done this month. Including the fact that the next round of SmartyPants Romance books will be coming out at the end of the month! Once again I’m also vowing to stop signing up for blog tours as much as possible and try harder to work on the books on my TBR shelves.

Here is my proposed TBR for September:
  1. Body Check by Teagan Hunter – e-galley for a review to post on the 7th
  2. The Name Drop by Susan Lee – I got the finished copy of this off of Bookish First and plan to read and review by the 9th
  3. Thank You for Sharing by Rachel Runya Katz – I got the ARC of this and hope to read and post a review on the 12th
  4. How to Score Off Campus by Sara Ney – should be reading the e-galley of this for the author’s review team and hope to post on pub day which should be the 14th or 15th?
  5. Every Duke Has His Day by Suzanne Enoch – I think I have the e-galley of this and hope to post a review on the 18th.
  6. For Girls Who Walk Through Fire by Kim DeRose – I have 2 ARCs of this. I’m reading it at the beginning of the month because I see one expected pub date of September 5th, so I’ll have my review ready to go by then, but I also see maybe not till September 26th.
  7. Peaches and Dreams by Juliette Cross – should be getting an e-galley for review for the SmartyPants Romance launch that starts in September. Hope to post the review the first week of October with the tour, but need to have finished to post reviews on other sites for the day it is published which I believe is the 21st.
  8. Secrets Never Die by Vincent Ralph – I have an ARC of this from the publisher and plan to read and probably post the review on the 23rd, but maybe post on the 16th just because of how packed my calendar is at the end of the month.
  9. A Scottish Island Surprise by Holly Wyld – reading an e-galley of this novella for a blog tour with Rachel’s Random Resources on the 25th
  10. The Wedding Shake-up by J.J. Knight – got the e-galley of this from Netgalley to read and post a review on the 26th
  11. Fling by Joseph Murray – got an ARC of this one that I plan to read and post a review on either the 21st or 28th depending on scheduling
  12. Beholder by Ryan La Sala – I really love his books and got an ARC of this that I plan to read and hopefully post my review on the 29th
  13. Night of the Witch by Sara Raasch and Beth Revis – I got an ARC of this and hope to read at the end of the month to post my review on October 3rd, its pub date
  14. Maybe I’ll finish Swing and a Mishap by Tara Sivec that I started in July for the TBR challenge.
  15. Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams – the audiobook I’m currently listening to, plus any others I listen to this month.
  16. To catch up on the last 10 Gateway titles I’m hoping to read The Getaway by Lamar Giles and The Sunbearer Trials by Aiden Snow this month, and also possibly This Golden State by Marit Weisenberg, possibly the first and third as audiobooks if they are available. I tried the second as an audiobook but couldn’t keep my attention that way.

Final Thoughts

So how was your August? Mine started off okay, but then the first two weeks of school kind of ruined it for me. How are you doing on your reading/blogging/personal goals for 2023 so far? What are you looking forward to in September? I’m looking forward to fall, hopefully by the end of the month we’ll get some of the weather I love!


Below are ARCs I’ve finished and also a couple of finished copies, the winner will get to pick out 2 books from the list, and I add any others I finish between the time I post this and the end of the month. Now that The Book Depository is closing, the only way I can really do international is if I can send you a $10 Amazon gift card somehow, so we’ll see how that works! Just fill out the Rafflecopter below the picture. My August Wrap-Up post got over 400 entries, so I will be picking 4 winners!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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28 responses to “The Looooong and the Short of It with a Giveaway: August 2023 Wrap-Up Post and What to Expect in September

    • Lisa Mandina

      I’m hoping to get things a little more on the path I want. Tech seemed to slow down a tiny bit on Friday, keeping my fingers crossed that continues!

  1. danielle hammelef

    August flew by and we ended the month with a visit to my parents in Michigan’s UP. The trees are already showing peeks of color up north so fall in on its way. My parents have many deer around, but this year so have we and ours are less fearful because no one’s going to be hunting them in the subdivision. One morning we had a pack of howling coyotes very close and my dad followed me in his truck while I ran my 4 miles–even though my dad rarely says it, I’m still feeling all the love from this protective gesture.

    • Lisa Mandina

      Wow! Crazy! I know we’ve had coyotes sighted near where I live lately too. But I don’t think it was more than one at a time from what I’ve heard. Sounds like it was a nice visit for sure!

  2. Melanie B

    August wasn’t too bad considering; hoping for not so stifling temperatures this month and reading more good books!

  3. Piroska

    September whizzed by too fast. We normally have an early frost, but until now, we still haven’t had to put the heat on. Yay!!

  4. Suzie B

    Both August AND September were great months filled with activities, visiting family and friends out of the city…I am now looking forward to October and my birthday!

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