Weekly Wrap-Up #166 – April 21st, 2024

Posted April 21, 2024 by Lisa Mandina in Weekly Wrap Up / 26 Comments

I’m connecting up once again with Kimberly at Caffeinated Reviewer.

Last Sunday I was at the MASL Conference and enjoying the day with other librarians! I started out with working the registration table for an hour. The opening session was introductions from the main officers of MASL, finishing with a speech from an author named Jarrett Lerner that was really inspiring. Then the membership committee that I’m on presented the New Librarian/New MASL Member/First time attendee session. The second session of the day I went to a great workshop on Media Literacy. Later in the evening I met with the Greater Kansas City region librarians and got the cool t-shirt they designed and we could order. I also had to buy a couple books for one of the authors going to be at the conference because I found the copies of other books of hers I’d donated to my last school’s library.

Monday, the second day of the conference, was the long one. Sessions all day, I had to go to the breakfast for our committee to be recognized. Then there was an author meet and greet and since I got to see the authors I wanted as well as get their autographs there, I skipped the autograph session after that. The big Readers Award banquet was in the evening, and that is always neat to go to. Here is my picture with the author Laurie Faria Stolarz. She had also presented at a session talking about how she became an author and started writing. Shared how she’d gone through 100 rejections before she finally found someone who wanted to publish her book. Her message was don’t give up, keep trying!

Tuesday was the last day of the conference. Started with another breakfast, this one much more relaxed but still earlier than I would normally get up at a conference, lol. Then there was one more workshop, followed by a general session with an author for a keynote speaker. It was a middle grades author, James Ponti, and he was hilarious, although he ended with a really touching and tearjerker/heartwarming personal story at the end. The drive was home was crazy as it was cloudy and really strong winds. At one point in my drive there was a torrential downpour, but I kept going, slowly, and was out of it in like less than 10 minutes. After picking my dogs up, I saw a giant tree had fallen in the yard of the house that my grandpa used to live in since we drive by that on our way home from where they were staying with my friend.

First day back from my conference, Wednesday, was not too bad. Other than finding out in the afternoon that I was going to have to readjust the schedule I made to have all the students bring laptops with different teachers for the rest of the school year. But, story of my life. I even tried emailing my principal and assistant principal with one of the ideas I got at my conference. But heard nothing back from either of them.

Thursday was another okay day for the most part. Still a little disappointed my principal hasn’t responded to my email whatsoever. Not even a comment in passing that he will talk to me when there’s time. Had planned to mow after school even though I did last Friday because the dandelions are tall and look bad, and Friday I had an appraiser coming to help me refinance my house and I just thought they looked bad. But it rained all day, so I ended up just taking the weed trimmer outside and cutting down most of the tall dandelions. Also, the fire alarm went off during the class period with lunches and we all had to go outside in the rain. It wasn’t a drill, so we had to wait for someone official to tell us when we could go back in. They think they have someone pulling it on one of the cameras. I also am a big fan of Bru-Mate cups/mugs. They’re like Stanley, only I like them better and I’ve seen that they might actually keep things colder longer too. At least one of the types is leak/spill-proof as well. I realized I didn’t have an orange one yet (my favorite color) so I ordered one along with their mystery gift. I don’t know if I’ll use that mystery gift, but it is still neat, and might make a neat gift for someone!

Friday was a crazy busy day at school. Nothing really bad, not a lot of great necessarily either. Found out what teacher it was that showed the admin my Facebook posts though. Had an appraiser come to the house to help see how much it is worth so I can refinance and pay off some debt. Not sure from how he seemed if it will turn out the way I want it or not though.

Saturday was lovely to sleep in again finally! Got up and did some blogging, went to have lunch with my stepdad while my mom was doing a rummage sale event where she was trying to sell her more expensive purses I guess. I ran to Kohl’s and Bath & Body Works, as well as Ross, looking for a few things. Came back home and blogged and hung out with the dogs. Put the new Taylor Swift music playing on Spotify in the background for a bit.

Books Finished

First two were SmartyPants Romance e-galleys, one review was posted on Thursday and the other will be posted Monday. Third was the audiobook I’m listening to for the read-along, my review was on Friday and then the read-along discussion was today!

New Additions to My Library




I finished the one before the first one and when I went to start the audiobook I’d been listening to before that one, I remembered I’d decided to DNF but couldn’t return it to Audible until I started my monthly payments again. So since that started up at the beginning of April, I went ahead and returned the book I wasn’t enjoying and used that credit to buy the next WTZ book for next month’s read-along. The second one here is actually a short story audiobook through bookfunnel for signing up, or already belonging to the author’s newsletter.

Bookish Stuff:

The monthly Picklegram from author J.J. Knight came while I was out of town, and it has those seed papers in them that you see in the second picture. I really need to try to plant those, plus I think I have another one somewhere I should do that with as well. I am the person that they put all the impulse buy stuff around cash registers because I found this book plushie by the registers at Kohl’s and had to buy it.


First one was from a publisher to download from Edelweiss, and I’ll review it in July. Second one was for the author’s review team, review coming up the end of this month! Third was one I am excited for that the publisher sent me a Netgalley link and I went ahead and grabbed it. It doesn’t come out till October though.

Free E-books:

First was an Amazon freebie I found listed on Bookbub on Wednesday. Second was also free on Amazon, but I saw it in another author’s newsletter. The third is a short story from the author’s newsletter. The last four were all freebies on Amazon as well, but I believe all are YA.

Physical Books:

I ordered this one from Jennifer L. Armentrout when she first announced them. It’s the third in the series and it may seem weird to just order that one, but I couldn’t afford to buy all of them. And while normally I’ll just buy the first special edition in a series I love, in this case I liked that we had Tink as the theme kind of for the extra stuff.

What I’m Watching

All the usual shows! A ton of The Big Bang Theory while I was at the conference because it was the easiest to find on the tv in my hotel room! Thursday night I finally got the STARZ app working on my tv again and so continued my umpteenth rewatch of Outlander. Saturday night after seeing a favorite author post about how good the movie Late Night with the Devil was, I did a free trial to Shudder to watch it.

Coming Up Next Week on My Blog

First is the second SmartyPants book review for the spring releases on Monday. Second is an ARC review I should be posting on Tuesday, third is an e-galley I hope to post the review on Wednesday, and fourth is an e-galley for a blog tour on Friday.

I think my DNF post will be coming next Saturday.

Final Thoughts

April has had some warmer than usual weather for us, then some cold too! But it was nice for my conference being able to sit outside on my hotel room balcony. My reading is going okay, but again I feel behind! How is your April going?

Here’s a picture of my mom and stepdad’s dachshund Lucy, posing for us one night at family dinner.

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26 responses to “Weekly Wrap-Up #166 – April 21st, 2024

  1. Suzie B

    April has been all over the map for us a Sunny 21c on Saturday to -2 and snow on Monday… It’s really hard on the system to adjust to these extremes! That being said, it’s been perfect for the spring purges and lots of relaxing time to get through my TBR list!

  2. danielle hammelef

    Jarret Lerner is an amazing talent and person–he gives back so much to his community. I’ve read a few of his books and have enjoyed them. April here has been typical push and pull of winter and spring. I’ve worn shorts and also my winter coat. My favorite part of the month so far was our two day trip to view totality on April 8. We had so much fun with the 60 member family from KY–they “adopted” us for the day.

    • Lisa Mandina

      He was such a great speaker and I want to read at least one of his books now! Yes with the weather here too! That’s so cool that you drove to see the totality. My friend and I had talked about it last year about this time, but then never got around to planning ahead. Have a great week!

  3. OH MY GOSH! You got to meet Laurie Faria Stolarz?! I am so envious! She’s one of my favorite early days authors I read. I still need to read her Touch series! I didn’t think she did events or conferences anymore! But eek! That is SOOO Cool!! Glad you had a good time at your conference! I just wrote a post about my missing cons and big author events. There just aren’t too many of them anymore. At least not where I see a lot of authors I read all in one place. These days I’ll find maybe 2-3 but the event costs $200-300 for the event alone and then I add in travel and hotel and food and I’m like, I can’t justify this! But if it were Laurie I probably would’ve! Lol. Glad the rest of the week was mostly good. Sad to hear your principal not even acknowledging you’re wanting to talk about good things for the library though.

    Nice new reads too! These are all new to me ones but I hope you enjoy them all!

    Here’s my StS

    Have a GREAT day!

    Old Follower 🙂

    • Lisa Mandina

      Yeah, I miss conventions too! I attended the first three Book Bonanzas and loved them, but then they got so crazy busy I couldn’t go anymore. I almost got a ticket this time, but the hotel was already sold out and there were only a few authors I hadn’t met yet, so it wasn’t worth the money or the hassle of not staying at the event hotel. I am planning a discussion post next month about a list of dream authors I still have to meet. I need to go check out your post!

    • Lisa Mandina

      There weren’t a ton of authors, it was mostly just to network and get ideas with other librarians, but it was still so wonderful!

  4. Oh, Lucy is adorable! It sounds like the conference was a wonderful experience – I hope it recharged you mentally since school is such a soul-suck! That’s really frustrating that you haven’t heard a peep about your suggestion.

    I listened to TTPD all day Friday and some again Sunday. Overall I like it. There are so many songs, so I think it will take me a while to figure out my favorites. I do love how she’s inspired so many people.

    • Lisa Mandina

      The conference recharged me to want to do more. But we’ll see what happens as I don’t get any bites on my ideas. I did find out today that even more teachers were leaving than I’d thought! I am sure I’ll love some of her new songs, once I have time to really sit and listen to them.

  5. I’m jealous of your hotel balcony! Best I can do is work here at my corner window with windows open on two sides for a lovely cross breeze.

    That dog is so cuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuute!!!!!

    Jinjer recently posted: No Termites!
    • Lisa Mandina

      The balcony alone makes me enjoy going to that conference every year. The view, just being able to sit and read, it’s heaven! I can’t really open my windows at home with all my allergies, not to mention there isn’t a great flow of air between rooms. Lucy is a cutie!

  6. Can’t imagine going through 100 rejections before getting accepted. That perseverance paid off! Hope your ideas get some attention. Sounds like a great conference! Happy you got home safe with that heavy rain! Lucy is cute! Your dogs are cute when they show up on our chats, too!

    Rachel @Waves of Fiction recently posted: Sunday Post #247
    • Lisa Mandina

      I know! I would have given up, which she said is what she was trying to tell people to just keep trying! My dogs are a pain and that is why they show up in the chats because they can’t behave if I’m not paying attention to them, lol. But yes, they are pretty cute. Glad we all got to be on the chat again this time!

  7. Glad the conference went well and sorry it took me so long to visit. The weather here can’t make up its mind about what it wants to do. I guess as long as it isn’t pouring or snowing I’ll be fine. I got How to Help a Hungry Werewolf too and am really excited for it. We also watched Late Night With the Devil Sunday evening. You know, I sort of want to say it wasn’t that good and not very scary but I LOVED how it was filmed and would actually give it a 5/5 if I was rating it. It’s an odd one for sure but since we have AMC+, I didn’t have to pay any extra for it and was glad we checked it out. Hope you have a great week!

    Barb @ Booker T's Farm recently posted: A Rare DNF
    • Lisa Mandina

      No worries! I know things get busy and we all have to deal with life. Yeah, the weather is like that here too! I agree with your thoughts on Late Night with the Devil too. It definitely had some issues and wasn’t scary, but it was just done really well!

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