It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? (1/30/17)

January 30, 2017 It's Monday! What are you reading? 38

Hosted by The Book Date.

Thanks so much to everyone who shared their thoughts on the state of this blog last week! The basic gist of many of your comments boils down to this:

  • I should create whatever content brings me the most satisfaction (my blog readers be damned…haha!).
  • I have some readers who don’t necessarily share my taste in books, which is interesting. I’m curious what keeps them reading if its’ not the books.
  • Lists and discussion posts are popular (lining up with my pageviews data).
  • Others are struggling with the book review dilemma (i.e. least favorite posts to write and least viewed posts) as well, but no one has really figured out the key to this castle.
  • People seem to be (cautiously?) intrigued by the book recommendations project, which I’ll share more about later.

I’m still mulling over my next steps. But, I’m going to try some different things over the next few months to see what sticks. You might see me occasionally branch out from writing just about books, cut back on (though not eliminate) traditional book reviews, and try some new features.

And, I’d love to hear your feedback whenever you see new content!

This post contains affiliate links.

I finished reading…

Most Dangerous Place on Earth, Lindsey Lee Johnson


The Most Dangerous Place on Earth
 by Lindsey Lee Johnson (January 10, 2017)
This wasn’t the twisty page turner about demented high school students that I expected…it was more about the characters (don’t worry, some of those characters are definitely demented) and the writing was stellar. I preferred it this way.
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller (February 7, 2017)
Another novel that wasn’t quite what I was expecting. But, I ended up really liking it. I’ll post a review after thinking on it a bit more.

Affiliate Link: Pre-Order from Amazon

I’m currently reading…

Desperation Road, Michael Farris Smith


Desperation Road
 by Michael Farris Smith (February 7, 2017)
I’m only 15% into this Grit Lit novel from the author of 2013’s Rivers. It didn’t grab me immediately, but I also don’t feel like I need to put it down just yet.

Upcoming reading plans…

A Separation, Katie Mitamura


A Separation
 by Katie Kitamura (February 7, 2017)
This might be the Winter 2017 novel I’m most excited about. It’s about an unraveling marriage and Rebecca Schinsky mentioned on Book Riot’s Holiday Recommendations podcast that she was also excited about this one. I don’t have an advance copy, so will have to wait for February 7.

How was your reading week? 

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Focusing on new fiction!

38 Responses to “It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? (1/30/17)”

  1. Carmen Perez

    What keeps me reading this blog, despite not liking the same genres, is your voice. I’m sure it’s true for most readers with the same issue.

    I look forward to your reviews of the first two books. A Separation has me intrigued now.

    • Sarah Dickinson

      Thanks for sharing that! And I remember one book we both loved – Concussion – I remember reading it on your recommendation and it ended up on my Best of 2015 list.

  2. Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home

    I was reading Jodi Picoult’s book but I didn’t finish it before the 2 weeks e-book limit. Even though I took my iPad off the wi-fi, the book magically disappeared from my library! Boo! Hiss! So I’m back on the list.

    In the meantime, I’m reading The Winter Over (a Kindle Daily Deal). It’s a thriller set in Antarctica–I was intrigued–and it’s not disappointing me. Kind of claustrophobic, if you want the truth!

    • Sarah Dickinson

      I hate when that happens with library books…and am a little nervous to hear keeping your wifi off didn’t do the trick. Have they figured out a way around it?! I hope not!

  3. Beth F

    I had that problem with Rivers … liked it okay but it didn’t totally grab me and I don’t think I ever finished it. I still have the book, so maybe I’ll give it another try one of these days…. or not.

  4. Kay

    I just love to hear what you have to say – plus, we do read a few of the same books. For example, I’m interested in A SEPARATION too. And I already have THE MOST DANGEROUS PLACE ON EARTH in my Audible library. Look forward to reading whatever you’d like to share with us.

    P.S. You seem to visit me as well, even though I mostly read from the mystery/thriller end of things. LOL

  5. Kathy Martin

    Even though we don’t often read the same kind of books, I like to know what is out there and what others are reading. I am also currently in a mystery/thriller period. Come see my reading week here. Happy reading!

  6. Susie | Novel Visits

    I’m excited for A Separation, too (and also no ARC). Desperation Road? It got more interesting for me at about 55%, I’m at 80% now and it’s a good character study, but there are definite flaws. Not much help, I know! (I’ll email more tonight.)

  7. Lindsey

    It’s tough to figure out! It’s boring to write (and I imagine, read) just book reviews. But on the other hand, we’re all here because we love books and want to know which ones are worth our time. I’m not sure I have any answers either, but I will be interested to see what new directions you take!

    Have a great week!

    • Sarah Dickinson

      Agreed! I’m hoping to figure out ways to still talk about books and share which ones I think are worth reading…just not in the book review format. Or…less in the book review format.

  8. Julia @ Vivacious Reads

    Glad to see you still liked The Most Dangerous Place On Earth even if it wasn’t what you expected. I finally got my hands on a copy from the library, so I’ll be reading it soon! Not knowing anything about Desperation Road, I have to ask – what is grit lit? Haha

    • Sarah Dickinson

      Haha – Grit Lit is like dark, kind of violent literature…often set in the South…hence the “Grit”. I read a lot of it 2 years ago and haven’t read much since. Unfortunately, this one wasn’t holding my attention, so I put it down.

  9. Naomi

    I think I missed your post last week, so I’ll weigh in now… I love 1) the way you organize your blog and posts, and 2) the personable way your write. I know a lot of book bloggers say the reviews are their least favourite posts to write and read, but they’re actually my favourite. I like the other stuff, too, but I love reading what others have to say about books almost as much as reading the books! Reading reviews often takes more time, though, so I find it tough to keep up with all the wonderful blogs I follow.

    I’m looking forward to your experimental content – it’s always fun to change things up a bit, even if you are perfectly content with the way things are!

    About the books… I read Rivers when it came out and thought it was okay, but not great. It’ll be interesting to hear what you think of his new one. And I’ll be watching to see what you have to say about Swimming Lessons!
    I’m hoping A Separation will be a good one to add to the Literary Wives list.

    • Sarah Dickinson

      I do love hearing what everyone thinks about books I’m interested in and sharing my own thoughts…I’d just love to figure out a different format.

      And – I ended up giving up on Desperation Road. I just didn’t care that much what was going to happen next.

  10. Anita

    All 4 of these books, while not new to me, are not on my reading list. See how much I learn from you. I simply can’t add every book I see, some I have to admire from afar.
    I’m enjoying your introspective look into your blog. I consider mine in flux too, often wonder if I should have added “book” to the title, leaving room for other topics. I don’t think it really matters….write what matters to you. 🙂

    • Sarah Dickinson

      I hear you – so many books, so little time!

      And I’ve had the exact same thought about my blog’s name! But, I still want to write 80-90% about books…that’s the only thing I’m passionate enough about to devote all this time to, I just want a tad more flexible to do occasional posts about other things. Which I think I can just fit in anyway since they’ll be so sporadic 🙂

  11. Kathryn Trask

    All new to me books. Hope your plans for changing up your blog work out, at least it is going to be a leap outside your box which is always fun.

  12. Gina

    Oh, dang! I do come here for your reviews and I had Swimming Lessons high on my list to read. I think I’ll check out your review first. We seem to like many of the same books.

    • Sarah Dickinson

      Thank you 🙂 I don’t think I’m going to eliminate them entirely, just cut back some. Swimming Lessons review will be up next week!

  13. Jenny @ Reading the End

    Okay, how did I not know about the designation “grit lit”? I only discovered it on Sunday in the New York Times Book Review, and here you are already saying it again to me ONLY A DAY LATER. “Grit lit.” It’s a real thing. How have I not known about this??

    • Sarah Dickinson

      Haha! And I didn’t see it in the NYT Book Review! I have no idea where I first heard it, but it was a couple years ago.

  14. Michelle

    I cannot wait to read Swimming Lessons, and I am going to have to see if BOTM still has copies of The Most Dangerous Place On Earth. Too many people are saying great things about it!

  15. Arianna

    Whoah, sounds like you are exploring the same existential book dilemma that we are over at Shelfnotes! I look forward to seeing how things shake out here – I totally understand where you are right now. With such a wonderful blog and such strong readership, I am sure you’ll find just the right fit.

    • Sarah Dickinson

      Haha – yes – I thought about that when I read your recent post! At least you have the excuse of a new baby…which does completely shake things up.

  16. Madeline

    I just finished “Faithful” which I found from an Independent Bookstore email I get via Green Apple Books in San Francisco. It’s short but excellent.

    I have “The Most Dangerous Place in the World” on hold and glad to hear you enjoyed it (although I’m hoping it’s not along the lines of Megan Abbott, whose books I despise).

    Your lists are great: even though you loved “Commonwealth” and I loved “Gentleman In Moscow.”

    I like reviews because there is more depth. From reading a well written review, I can figure out (usually) if it’s something I’ll like or not; regardless if it’s a positive or negative review. Good reviewers are hard to find.

    • Sarah Dickinson

      Errr….I would say that Most Dangerous Place on Earth reminded me a bit of Megan Abbott. But, give it a shot and decide for yourself!

  17. Tara

    Okay, well, I’ll be curious to read your thoughts on Swimming Lessons; I have this horrible (not quite that bad!) post that’s already scheduled to publish on its release day – ha! A Separation sounds intriguing; I need to look this one up!

    • Sarah Dickinson

      I’m so interested to read your Swimming Lessons review. I definitely had some issues with it, but I really liked other parts. Will be interested to see if our issues are the same 🙂

    • Sarah Dickinson

      I ended up bailing on Desperation Road. Just couldn’t get interested enough.

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