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

Posted September 30, 2023 by Lisa Mandina in End of the month post, giveaway / 24 Comments

September still had a lot of hot days, but didn’t go quite as fast, and school/work was a tiny bit less miserable, but still days I am hating the job. My reading was around my normal amount, although not quite as good as August. I really only had one DNF this month, and I got 15 books read.

  • # of pages read: 3271 – less pages again than normal, but still better than I did in July!
  • Amount of time spent listening to audiobooks – Since I only count what I finished, my time spent was 25 hours and 31 minutes for 4 audiobooks, I picked a few shorter ones at the end of the month to get my total books “read” for the month up.

Here are my stats from StoryGraph:

September Reviews:

Of the 16 specific titles listed last month, I got 12 read and most reviewed (two have blog tours in October), one DNF, two that I didn’t get done/finished before the end of the month, one that I didn’t even start because once I read more closely what the storyline was, I decided I wasn’t interested in it anymore, and I didn’t get any of the Gateways that I listed as a last possibility read either.

Challenge Wrap-Up

My attempts at listening to the audiobooks of the other Gateway prelim list nominees have not been met with success. I’ve given up pretty quickly on the one I tried and then just switched to the books I wanted to listen to. I added three this past month though, one an audiobook that I got from Audible in November of last year, another one from Audible in May of last year, and the other a book in a series that I am slowly filling in the ones I hadn’t read. I’ve passed my goal of 12 for the year for sure!

  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
  20. Swing and a Mishap by Tara Sivec
  21. Shame On Him by Tara Sivec
  22. Twice Shy by Sarah Hogle

And I did not do a good job, still no new discussion posts. So I still need to do 5 to make my goal for the year. I’m going to write 5 onto my schedule for the next three months and try my best to get something done on those days!

  • Blogging:
    • 1. Keep my Netgalley percentage up to 80%. I’ve been at 81% all month!
    • 2. Discussion Challenge: See update above, I’ve now only got 3 months to get 5 posts done
  • Reading:
    • 1. As always is my Goodreads goal of 200 books. For a while I was about 5 books behind. But I added in a novella and some shorter audiobooks and am hovering between 3 and 4 behind again
    • 2. My TBR Challenge above.
  • Writing – Still think I’m done writing, but I’m trying to help my friend who has a bunch of self published books, trying to help her get more publicity. Working on getting her set up for the Flirty in Kansas City book convention next February.
  • Book Buying Ban – Once again I did a bad job on this. Spent almost $100 on books instead of my goal of $30. When I get stressed, I buy books, what can I say? I’m sure some of you get me on this. I did skip my Book of the Month again because they just haven’t had any books I want.

What to Expect in October

Still miserable with my job. But at least getting in a few moments to do library stuff with some teachers. But lots of books to get done this month, my blog calendar is packed full!

Here is my proposed TBR for October:
  1. Night of the Witch by Sara Raasch and Beth Revis – I was lucky enough to get an ARC of this, and I love Beth Revis, so excited to get it read, and hopefully post my review on the 3rd
  2. Meet Your Matcha by Nanxi Wen – another SmartyPants romance book, second by this author, should be posting my review on the 20th as part of a tour
  3. Wrath Becomes Her by Aden Polydoros – I got a finished copy from Bookish First and hope to post my review on the 7th
  4. A Holly Jolly Ever After by Julie Murphy and Sierra Simone – had to download the e-galley from Edelweiss, so plan to post my review on the 11th, and also pre-ordered a copy of it for the cool pre-order goodies.
  5. All Mixed Up by Heidi Hutchinson – another SPR, blog tour review on the 25th
  6. My Boyfriend is a Vampire by Eva Knight – I’m on this author’s review team, this is under a pseudonym, and hope to read and post my review either on the 14th or the pub day of the 19th, for some reason it doesn’t have a US release date yet, so that’s weird!
  7. A Bright Heart by Kate Chenli – an ARC I got from the publisher I think, not one I requested, but I am going to try to read and post my review by the 16th
  8. You Said I Was Your Favorite by Monica Murphy – another author’s team I’m on, should read and post my review on the 18th or 19th.
  9. Love is an Art by Kathy Strobos – an e-galley review for a blog tour on the 21st
  10. Hell of an Angel by Christi Barth – I think a publisher reached out and offered me an e-galley of this. I hope to read and review by the 23rd
  11. Guy’s Girl by Emma Noyes – another publisher offering, I think with this one and the last one that I didn’t download them yet, waiting to see if I have time, but if I get to this, I will post the review on the 24th
  12. Love Matched by Lainey Hatcher – another SPR, this one a historical romance, and I should be posting my review of this on the 30th
  13. The Lotus Flower Champion by Pintip Dunn and Love Dunn – an egalley from the publisher to read and hope to post my review on the 31st
  14. Maybe Oops, I’ve Fallen by Max Monroe – one I started for the TBR challenge this past month.
  15. Any audiobooks I listen to
  16. Any Gateway nominees I get to

Final Thoughts

So how was your September? The technology definitely slowed down for me at work, but didn’t completely go away. The fall weather slowly started moving in at the end of the month too. Unfortunately my family ended up with some not so great news about my stepdad’s cancer not responding to the current treatment, and him having to start chemo this month.

How are you doing on your reading/blogging/personal goals for 2023 so far? What are you looking forward to in October? I’m looking forward to my birthday, my trip to Tampa for the AASL conference, and Halloween!


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 $5 Amazon gift card somehow, so we’ll see how that works! Just fill out the Rafflecopter below the picture. My September Wrap-Up post got over 700 entries, so I will be picking 7 winners!

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

  1. Suzie B

    Im a little behind on my reading goals for this year, so I am hoping to catch up this month, especially now that it is cooling down and I am home more often

  2. You are doing fine with your challenges considering everything else. I am feeling hemmed in by challenges and RAT and such so this month I am going to do some reading I just want to read. That includes some new ARCs and I’m a bit behind, so this week is catchup. I try for 250 books a year which is 5 books a week but I almost always get 300+. I couldn’t do it without audio though. I only want to do discussion posts when I think of a good topic. I have one in mind now. But that ends up being one a year. lol

    • Lisa Mandina

      I really want to do better next year reading the books I have on shelves already and quit signing up for any tours other than authors I would already be reading. I’ve done a little better this year with it, but want to do a LOT better next year.

  3. Elaine G

    My September was ok. For October I am looking forward to Thanksgiving (Canada) next weekend and my great-niece Birthday on Halloween. Hopefully reading lots of books

  4. Melanie B

    September was good; nothing special except for celebrating a birthday. This month I look forward to getting out the spooky movies to watch all month long, and I’d like to read at least one supernatural book.

  5. danielle hammelef

    September seemed like I blinked and missed it. For this month, I’m looking forward to reading books I haven’t promised for review–just ones I have already waiting for me like Borrow My Heart by Kasie West. I hope you have a fun birthday and trip to Tampa! I have a band concert the Sunday before Halloween (we are playing all Disney music) and then rehearsal Halloween night–boo!

    • Lisa Mandina

      Right now my December looks like not a lot of review books, I have to make myself not take anything more on and just read what I have for a change. The band concert sounds fun!

  6. Suzie B

    September was great and October has been wonderful as well – Ive had the opportunity to do a lot of things I haven’t had the chance to do prior, like go to a NHL hockey game

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