April 2018 Monthly Round-Up

April 2018 Monthly Round-Up


April brought some great reading…much of which consisted of trying to fit in as many candidates for my 2018 Summer Reading Guide as possible! Hunting for Summer Reading Guide candidates also brought some DNFs since I was being extra picky, but I’m okay with that.

This month, I also had one of my very favorite reading experiences that I don’t get to indulge in very often…a full 3 days of beach reading! This is super rare in my current, kid-filled stage of life and I appreciate it immensely.

I read 7 books this month…and none of those were audiobooks. That’s mostly because I’ve been listening to the new Tiger Woods biography, which is over 15 hours long…about 3 times the length of my normal audiobooks. Hopefully, I’ll be finishing it up soon.



None! I was super diligent about DNFing what I didn’t like this month!


Best-Selling Book (via my affiliate links)

The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer (my review) – by a landslide!


  • Mother’s Day is just over a week away…I’ve got some books that would make awesome gifts for your Mom!
  • Personalized Book Recommendations and the Superstars Facebook Group are now available to anyone who supports Sarah’s Book Shelves on Patreon!
  • The 2018 Summer Reading Guide is coming in mid-May…with a couple new features!

April Quality and Recommendation Sources

Reading Quality 

April 2018

  • % Successful Books Attempted (includes DNF’s) = 70% (way above my 43% success rate from 2017)
  • % Successful Books Finished (does not include DNFs) = 100%

2018 Year-to-Date (through April)

  • % Successful Books Attempted (includes DNF’s) = 54% (still above my 43% success rate from 2017)
  • % Successful Books Finished (does not include DNFs) = 85%

Successful Recommendation Sources

If you’re interested in tracking these types of stats, my “Rock Your Reading” Tracker does all the heavy lifting for you! Enter your book details and it automatically compiles everything into Summary Charts in real time! Go here for more details.

May Releases I’m Excited About

The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner (May 1)
The Optimistic Decade by Heather Abel (May 1)

Alternative Remedies for Loss by Joanna Cantor (May 8)
How to Walk Away by Katherine Center (May 15)

The Ensemble by Aja Gabel (May 15)

Most Popular Posts

Posts Actually Published in April
Book of the Month April 2018 Selections: What Book Should You Choose?
12 Books That Would Make Great Gifts for Moms
Q1 2018 Update: My Go-To and No-Go Book Recommendation Sources

Overall Posts
Book Club Recommendations
Behind Her Eyes and THAT Ending: Spoiler Discussion (#WTFthatending)
Am I the Only One Who Didn’t Love Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine?

Favorite Posts by Fellow Bloggers

How was your reading month?

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  1. Three days reading at the beach sounds heavenly right now!

    It’s nice to have such a successful month of reading. It seems like your new method of choosing books is working well for you. I finished Alternative Remedies for Loss last night and I’m pretty blah on it. I liked the first half, but thought it just got a little too trite in the second half.

    Posted 5.3.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      It’ll be super fascinating to see how the voting goes!

      Posted 5.12.18 Reply
      • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

        Oops – replied to the wrong comment!

        Sorry you didn’t love Alternative Remedies!

        Posted 5.12.18 Reply
  2. Allison wrote:

    Thanks for the link! I’m really looking forward to The Great American Read. It may be a pipe dream, but I’m hoping it catches on and the voting attracts even a fraction of the excitement that shows like American Idol did.

    Posted 5.3.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      It’ll be super fascinating to see how the voting goes!

      Posted 5.12.18 Reply
  3. I could really use 3 days of beach reading right now. The weather is miserable, and I’m very stressed out. I hope you have a good May and get lots of reading done!

    Posted 5.3.18 Reply
  4. Sadly, I haven’t read any of your favorites. I’m listening to The Female Persuasion now and, so far, it’s not knocking my socks off. I’m not sure if it’s the story or the narration.

    Posted 5.3.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      Hmm – that’s the kind of book that would never work for me on audio, but that’s my personal issues with audio.

      Posted 5.12.18 Reply
  5. Wendy wrote:

    Loved Educated and I actually recommended it on my post today! I also loved Deena Kastor’s autobio–probably the best running book I’ve read. Now I’m on the waiting list for The Female Persuasion.

    Posted 5.4.18 Reply
  6. Hey Sarah! Thank you so much for sharing The Family Trip list! And if you come across any we need to add as your son reads more chapter books, shoot us an email!

    Posted 5.4.18 Reply
  7. Andrea wrote:

    Yay! Glad to have another positive review for The Gunners – I just picked it up from the library! I rather disliked Rich and Pretty, so I’m guessing I probably won’t like That Kind of Mother either..

    Posted 5.5.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      I never read Rich & Pretty, so it’s hard to compare them. Hope The Gunners goes well for you!

      Posted 5.16.18 Reply
  8. Now that I’m back in the reading game, I’m relying on your recommendations!

    Posted 5.5.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      I’m just glad you’re back to reading!!

      Posted 5.16.18 Reply
  9. Catherine wrote:

    I finally had a month that was more great than meh. And so much non-fiction!

    I’ve added the Sittenfeld to my hold list because so many people are raving about it. I’m just not so good with short stories.

    Are you going to review Alternate Remedies? I’d be curious to see your thoughts because it didn’t work for me at all. I finally gave up at about 45%.

    Posted 5.7.18 Reply
  10. I have Educated on my Kindle and can’t wait to get to it…hopefully soon!
    Sadly, I got an ARC of The Ensemble and it was a DNF for me. Maybe it just wasn’t the right time for me (I’m in a bit of a slump where not much is good) but I did not like any of the characters and couldn’t handle their attitudes towards life.

    Posted 5.8.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      Oh no! I have The Ensemble coming up. But, dislikable characters don’t generally bother me, so hopefully I’ll be ok.

      Posted 5.16.18 Reply

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