Q2 2018 Update: My Go-To and No-Go Book Recommendation Sources

Book Recommendation Sources


As many of you probably know, I adopted a new method for selecting books this year. I’m choosing books that have already been read and recommended by trusted recommendation sources rather than from publishers’ catalogs or various “Most Anticipated” book lists. The key to success is the “already read” part because it provides an opinion beyond “does the premise sound good on paper?” and that of independent of publishers’ marketing machines.

Each quarter, I’ll share how this is going…my Go-To and No-Go recommendation sources and whether the quality of my reading has improved or not.

My Q2 2018 Reading Quality

 % Successful Books ATTEMPTED (includes DNFs)  56%
 % Successful Books FINISHED (does not include DNFs)  83%

My Successful Books Attempted increased almost 30% over last year (43%). My goal is to keep this success rate above 50% all year long, so I’m pleased with this so far!

The second number gives me an extra incentive to DNF books that aren’t working for me.

My Go-To Book Recommendation Sources for Q2 2018

Read It Forward’s Best Books of the Month Lists  9
(You Think It, I’ll Say It: StoriesEducatedThe GunnersHow to Walk AwayThe Favorite SisterTin ManThe Great BelieversThe Book of EssieA False Report: A True Story of Rape in America)
 Library Reads  5
(EducatedYou Think It, I’ll Say It: StoriesThe Girl Who Smiled BeadsThe Favorite SisterTin Man)
Novel Visits  5
(EducatedThe GunnersTin ManUs Against YouThe Great Believers)
Tyler Goodson, Manager at Avid Bookshop in Athens, GA  4
(You Think It, I’ll Say It: StoriesSocial CreatureThe GunnersThe Great Believers)
Annie Jones from From the Front Porch podcast  4
(Alternative Remedies for LossEducatedThe Mockingbird Next DoorThe Book of Essie)
Running N Reading  4
EducatedThe GunnersThe Favorite SisterUs Against You)
Gilmore Guide to Books  4
EducatedThe Favorite SisterTin ManCharlotte Walsh Likes to Win)

My No-Go Book Recommendation Sources for Q2 2018

Read It Forward’s Best Books of the Month Lists  5
(The High SeasonThat Kind of MotherFloridaOnly Child, A Place for Us)
Annie Jones from From the Front Porch podcast  4
(Campaign WidowsThat Kind of Mother, A Place for UsFlorida)
Amazon Best Books of the Month  2
Library Reads  2
CirceBaby Teeth)
Trusted Authors (Paula McLain, Lauren Groff)  2
(Love and Ruin
Modern Mrs. Darcy  2
(A Place for Us
What We Were Promised)

Key Takeaways

  • Read it Forward, Annie Jones, and Tyler Goodson made my top Go-To Sources list two quarters in a row. I’m thinking I should start a Hall of Fame?
  • Some of my top Go-To Recommendation Sources are also my top No-Go Recommendation Sources. Wha?? I’m guessing this is based on sheer numbers…I go to these sources often and I’m not going to like every single book they recommend.
  • Trusted authors have let me down two quarters in a row. Last quarter, trusted authors were my top No-Go Recommendation Source with 3 unsuccessful books. This is unexpected and disappointing. Maybe my reading taste is changing?

What have been your best and worst recommendation sources lately?

How I Keep Track of My Reading Quality and Go-To/No-Go Recommendation Sources…and You Can Too!

Are you thinking it takes me hours to calculate my reading quality and keep track of my Go-To and No-Go recommendation sources every month? Well, it totally could, but it doesn’t. I use my “Rock Your Reading” Tracker, which automatically calculates my reading quality for me and helps me easily keep track of my recommendation sources.

If you’re interested in tracking your own reading quality and recommendation sources, you can purchase my tracker for $11.99! Go here for more details or purchase below!

Rock Your Reading Tracking Spreadsheet Summary Charts

Track your book recommendation sources


Purchase here…

Get Weekly Email Updates!

Leave a Comment

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


  1. It’s cool that you track where your recommendations come from. I get mine from random blogs. I love mid-year/year-end “best of” lists. I look at as many as possible and read the books that I see popping up on the lists multiple times. I also read a lot of award winners.

    Posted 7.10.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      I do all that stuff except Award winners. Those tend to fall flat for me. If something wins an award, that will actually make me avoid that book!

      Posted 7.19.18 Reply
  2. Glad to see I’m hanging in there with Library Reads which is a reading source I’m going to have to pay more attention to. Also, thank you so much for switching up the way you select books. I feel like I’ve benefited from all of your hard work i.e. The Book of Essie, How to Walk Away,

    Posted 7.10.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      Haha! Well you’re welcome! So glad it’s working for you!

      Posted 7.19.18 Reply
  3. Torrie wrote:

    Ooo, many of these sources are brand new to me, so I’m excited to check them out! My #1 source for finding books to read that I’ll probably like are a handful of bloggers I’ve found whose taste is VERY similar to mine. In fact, one of the blogger’s taste is SO similar that I regularly check out her backlist on Goodreads and anything she’s rated 4 stars or more, I’ve added to my to-read list, ha ha.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I’m excited to check these out.

    Posted 7.10.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      That’s great to hear! I obviously pull for bloggers 🙂 And, I think we’re probably the most honest rec source out there. Many of those big media publications that put out reading lists and reviews are in the pockets of various publishers.

      Posted 7.19.18 Reply
  4. Wow, that is a lot of tracking! I am impressed. I mostly use Goodreads friends and fellow bloggers reviews but I also consult pro reviewers. After a while I have come to know the tastes of these sources and can kind of read between the lines in their reviews. Another thing, don’t laugh, is I look at the blurbs. If they are from authors I don’t enjoy I can be pretty sure I won’t like the books they are blurbing.

    Posted 7.11.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      I look at blurbs too, but have found them to be very misleading sometimes! And, some authors blurb so many books I wonder if I can trust them. I also know that sometimes authors blurb books just b/c the 2 authors share an agent or publisher, so I’m just a lot more skeptical of them as a reliable recommendation source.

      Posted 7.19.18 Reply
  5. I find it very interesting that the same source topped both your go-to and no-go lists! I’m curious what your lists would look like if you used percentages instead of counts 🙂 I also really love this idea, but I think I’d have a hard time implementing it. I don’t think there is typically one source that cause me to pick up a book. I suppose I could try giving all sources credit? I’ll have to think about it.

    Posted 7.17.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      Ooooh – what a great idea! You’ve got me thinking about how to change it up for next year and maybe percentages is the answer.

      I do credit all sources I follow that loved a particular book (like Educated had a number of sources). I definitely don’t narrow it down to one.

      Posted 7.19.18 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!