It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? (4/10/17)

April 10, 2017 It's Monday! What are you reading? 35

Oh my gosh, what a frustrating reading week! I DNF’d two books and one audiobook (Anna Kendrick’s memoir, Scrappy Little Nobody) and have just found myself generally distracted and unable to find books that actually stick. Thankfully, I finally got my act together towards the end of the week, but only after feeling like I spun my wheels during days of precious reading time!

I did finish S-Town (the new podcast from the producers of Serial) and, man, was that good! It turned out to be quite different than I expected, but no less captivating. I also watched the first episode of HBO’s Big Little Lies. I resisted because I hated the book, but was assured the series was darker and more focused on the parents’ deeply messed up personal issues (rather than mommy politics). And, the first episode definitely stood up to this description! I’m in for the duration!

I also saw Ariel Levy, author of the memoir The Rules Do Not Apply (which I loved), speak at our local library this weekend. I met her and of course chickened out on asking her for a picture. I need some serious lessons on how to attend author events! She was a super engaging speaker and her personality was exactly what you would expect based on her book.

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I finished reading…

Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk, Kathleen Rooney


Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney (January 17, 2017)
Delightful, playful, whimsical, and nostalgic. It’s a very New York book and Lillian is quite a New York character. One of those unique kinds of historical fiction novels that I really enjoy!
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I’m currently reading…

If We Were Villains, ML Rio


If We Were Villains
 by M.L. Rio (April 11, 2017)
Finally…campus novel that I’m loving (thank you, Susie at Novel Visits, for the recommendation)! I’m about over three quarters of the way through this debut and, after a rocky beginning with an overload of Shakespeare excerpts, I now can’t put it down. Think The Secret History and Black Chalk
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I tried, but wasn’t feeling…

Marlena, Julie Buntin


Marlena by Julie Buntin (April 4, 2017)
Though I really loved the first chapter of this debut, I kept zoning out after that point and put it aside around 30%. Yet another recent book I’m in the minority on…

Upcoming reading plans…

Anything is Possible, Elizabeth Strout


Anything Is Possible
 by Elizabeth Strout (April 25, 2017)
I’ve been long awaiting this companion book to My Name Is Lucy Barton (one of my favorite books of 2016). Fingers crossed it lives up to Lucy Barton!

I was reading…

One Year Ago: I was reading a book that everyone but me loved.

Two Years Ago: I was reading the very long sequel to Natchez Burning.

How was your reading week?

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35 Responses to “It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? (4/10/17)”

  1. Kathy Martin

    Some weeks are like that. I seem to be having a lot of them lately. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

  2. Beth F

    If We Were Villains is definitely on my list. I really loved Anything Is Possible, hope you do too. I hate it when I have to DNF several books in row. So frustrating.

    • Sarah Dickinson

      I just started Anything and was immediately reminded how much I love the beautiful simplicity of her writing!

  3. Susie | Novel Visits

    I can’t stand the feeling of not connecting with books, so I’m happy to hear that you’re liking Villains. It’s definitely one of my favorites this year. Here’s to Anything is Possible!

    • Sarah Dickinson

      Just finished it! So good – 4.5 stars! And is one of my favorites of the year as well.

  4. bermudaonion (Kathy)

    I’m scattered like that a lot lately. I think that’s why it’s taking me longer to finish books. Don’t be shy about asking for photos at author events – authors love meeting their fans!

  5. Tara

    Well, I may have to have a go at Lillian Boxfish; I love your description! I’m glad to hear that something is finally working out for you; those weeks are just the worst, right?

  6. Stacy (The Novel Life)

    Whew! You make me feel better when you’ve had to DNF a few books in a row. I keep thinking it must be me and I’m off my reading game. Nice to know someone else has similar issues! Though I hate it for you – I know it’s extremely frustrating!

    I’ve got to finish S-Town! I haven’t had a chance to get past Episode 4 yet as I listen mostly in my car on longer drives. I’ve got to try to finish before tomorrow or else my daughter will bop me on the head 😉 She’s the first one to tell me I had to listen to it!

    Hope you have a most wonderful week Sarah!

    • Sarah Dickinson

      I think it happens to everyone now and then, right?! I average at least 2-3 of these periods per year. Hope you love the end of S-Town!

  7. Naomi

    I’m with you on author events. We don’t have many around here, but when we do, I just quietly go and quietly leave, and the authors never know the difference. I don’t know if it’s lessons I need, or just a shot of gumption! Oh well, I enjoy them anyway, and am one more person filling up the room. 🙂

  8. Laurel-Rain Snow

    I also loved the Big Little Lies miniseries…and saved all the episodes so that I can binge-watch it.

    I’m glad you enjoyed Lillian Boxfish…she was one of my favorite quirky characters this year.

    I’m relieved that I can skip Scrappy Little Nobody, as I find Anna Kendrick annoying. I’m not sure why. LOL.

    Enjoy your week, and here are MY WEEKLY UPDATES

  9. Judy Krueger

    My reading is going splendiferously! (Don’t know if that is a word but it works for me.) Last week I read To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey, which I loved, and The Group by Mary McCarthy, a bestseller from 1963. McCarthy is one of my writing heroines, so acerbic, intellectual and snarky. Last night I took the plunge and started Joyce Carol Oates’ new novel, A Book of American Martyrs. Chilling to look into the mind of a militant anti-abortion dude. Her writing is more contained somehow than in earlier years but her attack on your sensibilities is just as strong.
    I hope this week goes better for you.

  10. Anita

    it’s been a while since I DNF a book, but I have put books down and then picked them back up when the timing was better. I also admit I recently read a book I enjoyed but skimmed a bit during the last quarter because it was fairly too predictable and too sweet…ha ha.
    On to better books!

    • Sarah Dickinson

      I’ve been skimming books a bit lately too…sometimes I’m kind of over it, but just want to find out how it ends. I mean, John Irving does say that grown-ups don’t have to finish books we aren’t enjoying!

  11. Gabby

    Sorry that Marlena didn’t quite work out for you either 🙁 I wanted to love it and it just never quite connected with me. I think I would have been disappointed with Scrappy Little Nobody in print, but in audio I found it pleasantly lightweight to listen to while walking the dog and such. The Secret History is one of my all-time faves, and I think I have an eARC for Villains, so I might have to pick that one up soon…

    • Sarah Dickinson

      Oh man, well then you definitely need to pick up Villains! It’s not quite the epic that Secret History is, but same kind of sinister campus feel.

  12. Greg

    I’ve had a few DNF’s so far this year but the last few reads have all been good, so I’m on a roll I guess there. 🙂 Hopefully it lasts. Hope your reading this week is great! I did like the HBO adaptation of Big Little Lies and hope you enjoy it as well. I agree it takes a little darker turn than the book, and I thought they did a pretty good job.

    • Sarah Dickinson

      I’m loving how much darker it is than the book! I just finished episode 2.

  13. Nise'

    Hope this is a better reading week. Hope Anything Is Possible lives up to the previous book. I have it on my TBR list.

  14. Steven

    I started reading “The Secret Wife” by Gill Paul. Just under 100 pages into it, I found it was not grabbing me but was rather “flat” and slow reading. I put it aside in favor of “The Power of One” by Bruce Courtenay, which just everyone raves about. I decided it’s time I give it a go. (If anyone wants to encourage me to get back to “The Secret Wife” after Courtenay’s novel, I’m listening).

  15. Catherine

    Big Little Lies is fabulous!

    I just started S-Town and, of course, want to binge listen. Trying to pace myself.

    I’m currently reading a novel about food in ancient Rome (Feast of Sorrows) and it’s really dishy (ha, no pun intended, but there you go!). I’m hoping to finish it before I get Villains because you and Susie have me freaking out that I need to read this book!

  16. Andrea

    I’m glad you are giving Big Little Lies the show a try! It is a much more intriguing and nuanced commentary on complex women and female relationships than the book.
    I only DNF about one or two books a year and I just had one last week as well! It was a NetGalley, too and I felt kind of bad – but not that bad, since the next NetGalley I picked up is going rather well (I think I can safely say I’d recommend The Last Neanderthal by Claire Cameron).

    • Sarah Dickinson

      Totally agree about BLL! And is Cameron the author who wrote Beartown? I haven’t read her, but have heard good things. And 1 or 2 DNFs a year is great! I average at least 20 a year!

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