December 2016 Monthly Round-Up

December 2016 Monthly Round-Up

December Reading

  • This month was all about backlist reading. Every December, a traditionally slow month for new releases, I try to make time to read a couple books from my backlist TBR. This year’s choices (The Book of Unknown Americans, This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, and Every Last One) were all winners.
  • Thanks to Catherine at Gilmore Guide, I’ve been on an Anna Quindlen kick. 2016’s Miller’s Valley got things rolling and Every Last One was even better!
  • My 2017 releases started with one winner and one disappointment. My friend, Georgia Hunter’s, debut novel, We Were the Lucky Ones, is a fast-moving World War II story based on her own family. Keep it on your radar for February 14 (from Viking)! Emily Ruskovich’s debut novel, Idaho, has gotten some good early buzz, but it didn’t quite gel for me.
  • I was shocked that I didn’t love Michael Lewis’ latest book, The Undoing Project. I’m a huge Lewis fan, but this was a disappointment.
  • I only managed to finish one audiobook (Grit), but it was a winner and it made me more mindful of reinforcing grit in my children.
  • I didn’t write a single book review in December and it was a nice break. I did share my Best Books of 2016 and Best Debuts of 2016. And, check back on Sunday for my 2016 Reading and Blogging Stats.
  • Finally, the blog had its best month of pageviews since inception by doubling its previous best month. This was mostly due to one post (Five 2016 Books That Deserved the Hype…And Five That Didn’t) that got repinned 362 times.

Best Book of the Month

Every Last One by Anna Quindlen (April 13, 2010)
Fiction, 299 Pages
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

Most Popular December Posts

Five 2016 Books That Deserved the Hype…And Five That Didn’t
My Most Anticipated Books of 2017
Ten New-to-Me Authors I Read in 2016

Favorite Posts by Fellow Bloggers

  • Amanda at Bookshelf Monstrosity‘s If You Like Ann Patchett… post was especially timely considering my recent love of Commonwealth and interest in delving into her backlist (starting with This is the Story of a Happy Marriage this month).
  • Stacy at The Novel Life‘s list of 13 Amazing Author TED Talks includes some authors I’ve read and enjoyed (Susan Cain, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Angela Duckworth) and some that I want to read/listen to (Brene Brown, Shonda Rhymes).
  • Books are my Favourite and Best shared the books that pop up again and again on various Best Books of 2016 lists (Top 3 are Homegoing, The Underground Railroad, and Swing Time). Getting all those lists confused in your head? This is post is for you!

Library Checkout

December was a big library month for me, so I thought I’d sneak in an update here. I’m linking up with River City Reading‘s Library Checkout feature.

Checked Out, Read:
The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez
This is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett
Every Last One by Anna Quindlen


Checked Out, To Be Read:
Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
Adnan’s Story by Rabia Chaudry (audio cheat)


The Pigeon Tunnel by John Le Carre
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch


Returned Unread:
News of the World by Paulette Jiles


Get Weekly Email Updates!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Toady wrote:

    I love these recaps. I look forward to seeing what you think of LabGirl. It is on my short list. Taking a break from writing reviews is always good. I have often thought of removing them entirely from the blog and just posting updates, discussion posts, etc. I listed myself on Netgalley as a consumer so I am not under obligation to review on my blog.

    Posted 12.30.16 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      Thank you! I’ve been writing more and more mini reviews and have toyed with focusing more on recommendations rather than reviews. We’ll see how that pans out in 2017!

      Posted 1.1.17 Reply
  2. I’ve really enjoyed your book reviews and recommendations over the past year. You seem to have pretty much the same taste in books as me and I’ve made a lot of selections based on what I’ve read here!! Looking forward to more!

    Posted 12.30.16 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      Thank you and I agree! I listened to Run the World on your rec and really enjoyed it!

      Posted 1.1.17 Reply
  3. Wow, the blog had a great month. I agree with you on The Undoing Project.

    Posted 12.30.16 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      Glad I’m not alone on Undoing Project 🙂

      Posted 1.1.17 Reply
  4. I love these monthly wrap ups. They are such a great way of going back and reflecting on what you’ve done. Doing some sort of monthly wrap up is one of my goals for 2017. (I have a month to think about it!) Looking forward to seeing what you do with the stats post. It looks like I need to go back and read some Anna Quindlen!

    Happy New Year!

    Posted 12.30.16 Reply
  5. Christine wrote:

    Loved the Book of Unknown Americans!

    Posted 12.30.16 Reply
  6. Amanda wrote:

    Aww, thanks for the mention! Also, I’m glad you enjoyed Every Last One. That book made me ugly cry like nothing else I’ve ever read.

    Amanda @ A Bookshelf Monstrosity

    Posted 12.30.16 Reply
  7. Andi wrote:

    Holy crap! I really need to figure out how to utilize Pinterest better! lol Off to read your thoughts on The Book of Unknown Americans!

    Posted 12.30.16 Reply
  8. Glad to hear your blog is doing so well. I enjoy reading your recommendations and look forward to your blog stats. Happy New Year Sarah!

    Posted 12.31.16 Reply
  9. Megan wrote:

    Sounds like a month of great reading. I am definitely going to have to get my hands on We Were the Lucky Ones next year!

    Posted 12.31.16 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      I hope you do!

      Posted 1.1.17 Reply
  10. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on Lab Girl! I have The Book of Unknown Americans on audio, but haven’t listened to it yet, but I keep hearing great things about it. I really need to start digging through my 2017 ARCs. I’ve been in a horrible reading slump and keep looking at the pile with a feeling of apathy which is so unlike me.

    Posted 12.31.16 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      Oh no! I hope 2017 can turn that around. I’m just starting on some 2017 ARCs – I was pretty comfy in my backlist bubble for awhile there 🙂

      Posted 1.1.17 Reply
  11. Thank you so much for the shout-out! TED Talks are my jam!

    I’ve only read one book {so far} by Ann Patchett, but it was enough to have me wanting to read everything she’s written. I plan to visit my library next week to get The Story of Happy Marriage. and I’ve got to get Commonwealth back from my daughter so I can read it! I’ve had your friend’s book on my radar since you mentioned it on The Novel Connection – I think she’s going to be visiting the bookstore near me and I’ve got that date on my calendar already. I can’t wait to read her book!

    Thanks again Sarah!

    Posted 1.1.17 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      Which Patchett have you read? And you must read Commonwealth – it’s my favorite of hers so far. The only other ones I’ve read are Bel Canto and State of Wonder…and wondering which one I should read next since I now want to plough through her entire backlist.

      That’s awesome that Georgia will be near you – I hope you can make it to the event! She’s super nice. I’m going to her launch event at a Barnes & Noble in NYC on Feb 16.

      Posted 1.1.17 Reply

Get Weekly Email Updates!

Join our mailing list to receive all new blog posts in one weekly email. Plus, news of special updates and offers!

You have Successfully Subscribed!