January 2018 Monthly Round-Up

January 2018 Monthly Round-Up

It was a rocky month on the personal front, which definitely impacted my reading. I still read 9 books, but only thanks to some super short ones! It was also a big month for backlist and audiobooks. But, I’m thrilled with my reading quality (see below for details) so far in 2018…I improved my “successful books” percentage from last year and DNF’d mostly the right books.





  • I’m going to leave the Sarah’s Book Shelves Reader Survey open until the end of this week, so get your responses in if you want them included in my summary blog post (coming once I can compile all the data, hopefully by the end of the month).
  • January Book of the Month Club selections are due today! As always, I have commentary on all the selections.

January Quality and Recommendation Sources

Reading Quality

  • % Successful Books Attempted (includes DNF’s) = 53% (improved from my 43% 2017 success rate!) 
  • % Successful Books Finished (does not include DNFs) = 89% (yay!)

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.

February Releases I’m Excited About

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones (February 6)
All the Castles Burned by Michael Nye (February 13)
The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore by Kim Fu (February 13)
Sunburn by Laura Lippman (February 20)
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara (February 27)

Most Popular Posts

Posts Actually Published in January
Book of the Month Club January 2018 Selections: What Book Should You Choose?

Eight 2017 Books I Missed
What I’m Reading Now (1/8/18) and a Quick Catch-Up

Overall Posts
Book Club Recommendations
Behind Her Eyes and THAT Ending: Spoiler Discussion (#WTFthatending)
Most Anticipated Books of Winter 2018

Favorite Posts by Fellow Bloggers

  • Amen to Brianna Wiest at Thought Catalog for reminding us that “self-care is “making the choice to build a life you don’t need to regularly escape from.” Perfectly timed reminder as we kick off a new year.
  • Brianna from Pages Unbound Reviews shared her predictions for 2018 book blogging…one of which is more audiobook reviews, which I’ll be implementing here.
  • Check out these actual steps in Julie’s from Julz Reads‘ actual house that she actually painted herself. Astounding.
  • Looking to add more nonfiction to your reading life? Check out Katie at Doing Dewey‘s Beginner’s Guide to Nonfiction
  • I’m admittedly terrible about reading the classics, but this list of 25 Must-Read Classics for Women from Modern Mrs. Darcy made me want to change that. 
  • I’m always a sucker for those “books you can read in one sitting” lists…and doubly so when they come from a recommendation source I trust! Here’s Amy at Read a Latte‘s version.
  • Most Anticipated Books of 2018 lists: The Millions, Bustle, Novel Visits (debuts), Read a Latte (thrillers)

How was your reading month?

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  1. Wendy wrote:

    I’m anxiously awaiting An American Marriage!

    Posted 2.6.18 Reply
  2. I’m surprised you were able to get so many books in with the month you had. I’m keeping Sunburn in mind for when I need a change of pace. I want to hear more about All the Castles Burned. How does it rank with other campus novels? Also, did you get an ARC of The Lost Girls and was it in Kindle format?

    Loving the tracker!

    Posted 2.6.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      It’s only because a couple were crazy short!

      I’d rank Castles with Shadow of the Lions or slightly above. Not as good as If We Were Villains. But, a stellar debut and an easy to read book that kept me turning the pages.

      Glad you’re loving the tracker!

      Posted 2.6.18 Reply
  3. I feel like my quality of reading has improved this year too. I just started The Girls in the Picture on audio and, so far, it’s okay. Not much has happened yet.

    Posted 2.6.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      So glad to hear that! And I felt the same about Girls in the Picture…nothing was happening…I didn’t make it very far 🙁

      Posted 2.6.18 Reply
  4. It looks to me like you did a LOT of reading last month! I only finished 3 books!
    I’ve been hearing so much buzz about An American Marriage—I’m going to have to take a closer look.
    I’m looking through your list of DNFs and was surprised to see that 2 books that I really enjoyed are on it; The Girls In The Picture and The Almost Sisters. I guess it just shows that there is an audience for every book!

    Posted 2.6.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      I lot of people loved those – I know I’m in the minority!

      Posted 2.6.18 Reply
  5. It’s cool that you have so much math in your wrap-up. Other than my reading stats at the end of the year, I don’t pay attention to my book math. I hope you have a good February!

    Posted 2.6.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      Thank you! This is the first time I’ve kept up with them throughout the year…but the Rock Your Reading Tracker makes that easy. I don’t have to actually calculate stats as I go..the tracker does that automatically.

      Posted 2.6.18 Reply
  6. Tayari Jones will be in town for the Savannah Book Festival. Can’t wait!

    Posted 2.6.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      Oooh – I’m jealous!!! Would love to see her!

      Posted 2.6.18 Reply
  7. Tara wrote:

    I love that your DNF list is as long as your winners list; we’ve come a long way with our DNF status, haven’t we? 😉 I am still loving the tracker; I can hardly wait until I have more data to see some progress with my goals of adding a little more diversity and trying to read books in the month I receive them (or they are due for review!). What a great month, Sarah!

    Posted 2.6.18 Reply
  8. Catherine wrote:

    Whoa…I didn’t know you DNFed Girls in the Picture! That’s a heartbreaker. A Trusted Author fail. I finished it but, well, my review goes up tomorrow so you can see for yourself.

    I put An American Marriage on hold but Oprah just claimed it for her club so the list is insane.

    My January was similar- very hit or miss. February is starting the same way. I’m really trying to figure out why but no answers yet.

    Posted 2.6.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      Yeah – it was during my December period of missing a couple Monday updates, which is where I talk about my DNFs so I don’t think I ever really covered that.

      Posted 2.13.18 Reply
  9. Looks like a great month of reading! I can’t wait for An American Marriage to come in the mail, I’ve heard so many good things about that one.

    Posted 2.6.18 Reply
  10. Renee wrote:

    What a great monthly wrap up post! I need to get myself better organized blogging wise and do this for feb. I love that you listed your dnfs as well. I didn’t get too far in The Girls in The Picture either. I’m thinking I may pass in The Almost Sisters which I still have on my tbr from the summer, you and several others didn’t finish it so it’s not calling me

    Posted 2.7.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      It’s a nice way to take stock at the end of every month. I’m glad I’m not the only one on Girls in the Picture!

      Posted 2.13.18 Reply
  11. Michelle wrote:

    I am so excited for the release of An American Marriage and to watch people’s reactions as they read it. It’s going to be fun to see all of the crushing that is going to happen!

    Posted 2.7.18 Reply
  12. It sounds like you’ve had a great month! I feel like I’m suddenly hearing good things about An American Marriage everywhere and the peer pressure is working – I’m getting much more interested in picking it up. Thanks for sharing my nonfiction recommendation post 🙂

    Posted 2.9.18 Reply

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