A Double Shot of What I’m Reading Now (4/9/18)

It’s been two weeks since my last reading update…because I was on vacation! We spent a week at the beach with the family and some good friends…and it was awesome! We got some warm weather, did some beach reading (see my Instagram pic below), caught some fish, rode bikes and ran on the beach, played tennis, ate an ungodly amount of delicious food, and drank an almost equally ungodly amount of wine and cocktails (new and possibly dangerous discovery: Sweet Tea Mojito made with Firefly vodka). It was so nice to get away from the daily grind and spend time with people that matter. 

I’m still ploughing through books for my 2018 Summer Reading Guide (coming in May) and still being especially quick to DNF books right now as I try to find the best fits for the guide. I did a bunch of this (details below) while on vacation.

Tools of Titans Tip
I’m slowly working my way through Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss, a collection of highlights from interviews he’s done with various stars of their fields. It’s chock full of awesome tidbits, so I thought I’d share the most helpful tip I pick up each week. I’m still in the ”Wealthy” section.

On Taking the Plunge:
This entire blog wouldn’t exist if I’d chosen not to do something I’m not qualified to do. Before I started this blog, I’d never read any book blogs before, much less actually know how to start one. If I’d asked myself if I was qualified to start one, the answer would have been h*ll no! Luckily, it never occurred to me to ask myself that question. 

“If I’ve learned anything from podcasting, it’s don’t be afraid to do something you’re not qualified to do.”

– From Dan Carlin, Host of Hardcore History and Common Sense podcasts

Hosted by The Book Date.
This post contains affiliate links (plus: here’s your Amazon Smile-specific affiliate link).

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Beach reading is the best reading! Sitting on the beach reading this week got me super excited to put together my annual Summer Reading Guide! I’ve already got a number of books on the list and Ill be working my way through a bunch more possibilities over the next month or so. ⠀ _⠀ ⠀ This week, I finished one book that will definitely be on my Summer Reading Guide (hint: it’s a May release about grief that is actually a light, hopeful book) and just started another one. ⠀ _⠀ ⠀ What are your favorite types of beach reads? Light and easy? Packed with page-turning suspense? Fiction with substance?⠀ *⠀ *⠀ *⠀ *⠀ *⠀ #bookstagram #amreading #bookworm #instabooks #bookblogger #booklover #booklovers #booksofinstagram #bookgram #bookblogger #bookaddict #bookaddiction #instareads #beachreads #summerreading #kiawah #kiawahisland ⠀

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I finished reading…

What I'm Reading Now

 

Brass by Xhenet Aliu (January 28, 2018)
I liked this gritty, coming of age story fine, but not as much as some others have. The writing was great, but I wish I’d been able to get more into the story and care more about the characters. 3.5 stars.

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Text Me When You Get Home by Kayleen Schaefer (February 6, 2018) – AUDIOBOOK
Same story as Brass. Liked it fine; not as much as some others. I did think the history of female friendship was fascinating and sad…how women were made to feel like they had to hide their female friendships or give them up because they were supposed to be devoting themselves entirely to their families.

Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

You Think It, I’ll Say It: Stories by Curtis Sittenfeld (April 24, 2018)
This is one of the best short story collections I’ve ever read! I adored every single story and I’m normally not a fan of short stories at all. It’s a great starter short story collection (i.e. for people who’re trying short stories for the first time…maybe for a reading challenge?) and it will absolutely make my Best Books of 2018 So Far list in a few months. Mini review to come.

Affiliate Link: Pre-Order from Amazon

Alternative Remedies for Loss by Joanna Cantor (May 8, 2018)
Weirdly, this novel is a light, easy read, but it’s about grief. I flew through it while on vacation! Mini review to come.

Affiliate Link: Pre-Order from Amazon

I’m currently reading…

Educated by Tara Westover

 

Educated by Tara Westover (February 20, 2018)
Everyone has been raving about this memoir that’s been compared to The Glass Castle and Hillbilly Elegy. I’m about 25% through and, so far, it’s living up to the hype and those two heavy-weight comparisons! 
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

I tried, but wasn’t feeling…

I’m on the hunt for candidates for my 2018 Summer Reading Guide (coming in May), so I’m being very quick to put books aside. I may come back to some of these if I hear good things from someone else. Or, some may be books I want to read eventually, but I suspected they wouldn’t be great fits for my Summer Reading Guide.

Love and Ruin by Paula McLain (May 1, 2018)
DNF at 27%.

The Italian Party by Christina Lynch (April 10, 2018)
DNF at 6%.

Campaign Widows by Aimee Agresti (May 22, 2018)
DNF at 6%.

Upcoming reading plans…

Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton

 

Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton (June 5, 2018)
A debut New York City thriller that has been compared to Gillian Flynn, Donna Tartt, Herman Koch, Megan Abbott, and one of my favorite books of last year, Dead Letters. Normally comparisons scare me, but this is a laundry list of very different authors, all of whom I adore. Also, Lionsgate has preempted the film rights and Tyler Goodson, one of my Go-To Recommendation Sources, rated it 4 stars.

was reading…

One Year Ago: I read a book that others loved, but I skimmed the second half.

Two Years Ago: I was reading one of my top 3 books of 2016 that I still haven’t found a good read-alike for.

How was your reading week?

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31 Comments

  1. Wendy wrote:

    I’m going to put myself on the waiting list for Educated–I keep seeing it on everyone’s lists!

    Posted 4.9.18 Reply
  2. Glad you had such a nice vacation and that cocktail sounds amazing!

    I just may have to give short stories a try after hearing how much you liked You Think It, I’ll Say It. I also want to hear why you didn’t like Love and Ruin. I’ve looked forward to it for so long. I hadn’t heard much about Social Creature, but now you’ve definitely piqued my interest.

    Posted 4.9.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      Please, please try the short stories! I really think you’ll love them. And it’s a short collection, so you can probably fit it in easily.

      Love and Ruin – it took a long time getting going and was just kind of boring. I remember loving The Paris Wife much more 🙁 But give it a shot…would love to hear another take on it b/c haven’t heard one yet.

      Posted 4.11.18 Reply
  3. Your trip sounds wonderful – there’s nothing like the beach for good reading. I read one of McLain’s previous books and struggled through it so decided to skip Love and Ruin – it sounds like I made the right decision.

    Posted 4.9.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      I loved McLain’s Paris Wife and Circling the Sun, so was kind of surprised this one was a bomb. Was super slow and kind of boring.

      Posted 4.11.18 Reply
  4. Angela wrote:

    Your vacation sounds heavenly! Hope you have a great week!

    Posted 4.9.18 Reply
  5. Kay wrote:

    Glad you had a nice vacation. Your reading view was lovely! Have a great week and I’ll look forward to seeing what makes the cut on your summer reading guide.

    Posted 4.9.18 Reply
  6. I put a library hold on Educated…but I may give up and buy it eventually, since the wait is long.

    Enjoy your new week…and thanks for sharing. Here are MY WEEKLY UPDATES

    Posted 4.9.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      Just finished it – it’s worth buying…was really good!

      Posted 4.11.18 Reply
  7. Kathy Martin wrote:

    Sounds like it was a nice vacation. I have been seeing Educated around but have been resisting because I don’t read memoirs. I may cave soon though because of all the positive reviews. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

    Posted 4.9.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      This is a memoir that I think would be great for people who don’t normally like nonfiction. Reads kind of like fiction!

      Posted 4.11.18 Reply
  8. Beth F wrote:

    All your DNFs are on my list. Hope I have better luck. That beach scene is plain cruel! (still freezing here in PA)

    Posted 4.9.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      Oh no! Hope you have better luck!

      And don’t worry too much – we returned to Virginia on Sunday to snow in April…karma!

      Posted 4.11.18 Reply
  9. Kim Kolk wrote:

    I’m glad to see you enjoyed ‘You Think It, I’ll Say It: Stories’. I’ve been on the fence about adding it to my list because I don’t really read short stories. But I do like Curtis Sittenfeld, so…

    Posted 4.9.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      Def give it a shot…esp since you like Sittenfeld. These stories will appeal to people that don’t normally like them…me included!

      Posted 4.11.18 Reply
  10. Andrea J wrote:

    Vacation sounds wonderful! so nice to see I’m not the only one who DNFs stuff I’m not feeling. I usually try to get through 50 pages before deciding, but sometimes I can barely make it to page 20.

    Social Creature sounds fantastic!

    Posted 4.9.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      Hooray for a fellow DNFer! I’m 100% on board. I usually try to get to 25% (I read on a Kindle) if I’m on the fence or if it’s a trusted author…otherwise I can be out super early.

      Posted 4.11.18 Reply
  11. Okay, this is now the third or fourth recommendation I’ve heard for Educated! I don’t read a lot of memoirs these days, but I am addicted to stories about fringe religions in modern times, so I might have to check this one out.

    Posted 4.9.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      Oh, definitely read Educated then! Just finished it and loved it. Hype is real.

      Posted 4.11.18 Reply
  12. renee wrote:

    You’re vacation sounds awesome, especially the cocktails and reading part:) I’m wondering what made you DNF Love and Ruin? I have that on my May tbr. I tried Social Creature and it wasn’t for me, I’ll be curious to hear your thoughts

    Posted 4.9.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      I loved Paris Wife and Circling the Sun, but it was just slow and kind of boring. Plus long.

      Posted 4.11.18 Reply
  13. Madeline wrote:

    I loved “Educated.” Scary, sad and uplifting. Similar to but also worlds away from “Hillbilly Elegy” given her father’s survivalist beliefs.

    Sorry you didn’t like “The Italian Party” — I thought it wonderfully frothy fun and an interesting view into 1950s Italy.

    Am I the only one who enjoyed “The Flight Attendant?”

    Posted 4.9.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      Just finished Educated…so good. Sad, but also inspirational.

      Honestly, I wonder if I’d be able to get into it in a less chaotic environment. I was at the beach with another family and a bunch of kids. I kept zoning out in the beginning, but I’m currently looking for books for my Summer Reading Guide and if I’m having trouble concentrating on a book at the beach, that’s a good sign it shouldn’t be in my Summer Guide 🙂

      I didn’t love Flight Attendant…

      Posted 4.11.18 Reply
  14. Brass is on my wishlist. Come see what I’m reading

    Posted 4.9.18 Reply
  15. Allison wrote:

    Social Creatures does sound interesting, with that array of comparisons. Looking forward to hearing what you think.

    I really like Curtis Sittenfeld but wouldn’t normally pick up short stories. It’s good to hear that she knocked it out of the park in a format that a lot of people seem to avoid. Maybe a great collection will inspire me to read more!

    Posted 4.9.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      I don’t normally like short stories either, but these were awesome!

      Posted 4.11.18 Reply
  16. Educated is my book of 2018 so far. Hope you continue to enjoy it.

    Hmm, you DNFed Love and Ruin…I set that one aside a while ago but wanted to go back to it before May to see if I can recommend it. We’ll see.

    Posted 4.10.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      Yup – with you on Educated! Just finished it!

      Posted 4.11.18 Reply
  17. Stephanie wrote:

    I had an ARC of The Italian Party and couldn’t finish it…it was so bizarre. Glad to know I wasn’t alone!:)

    Posted 4.10.18 Reply
  18. I’m excited for your summer reading list! It’s always one of mu go-to’s in the summer. I hadn’t heard of Social Creature before but it sounds like something I would LOVE so I’m looking forward to seeing what you think!

    Posted 4.11.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      I do think you would like it! Give it a shot for sure!

      Posted 4.22.18 Reply

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