Q3 2018 Update: My Go-To and No-Go Book Recommendation Sources

Q3 2018 Recommendation Sources Update


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 independent of publishers’ marketing machines.

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

My Q3 2018 Reading Quality

 % Successful Books ATTEMPTED (includes DNFs)  63%
 % Successful Books FINISHED (does not include DNFs)  86%

My Successful Books Attempted has increased almost 47% 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 Q3 2018

Read It Forward’s Best Books of the Month Lists  4
(CalypsoThe Banker’s WifeI Am, I Am, I AmEverything Here is Beautiful)
Annie Jones from From the Front Porch podcast  3
(Give Me Your HandLoving FrankA Cloud in the Shape of a Girl)
Novel Visits  2
(I Am, I Am, I AmEverything Here is Beautiful)
The Millions Great Second-Half Book Preview 2
(Give Me Your HandThe Wildlands)
Unsolicited from Publisher  2
(Where the Crawdads SingA Cloud in the Shape of a Girl)
Modern Mrs. Darcy  2
(CalypsoI Am, I Am, I Am)

My No-Go Book Recommendation Sources for Q3 2018

Read It Forward’s Best Books of the Month Lists  5
(Fruit of the Drunken Tree, The Incendiaries, Ohio, Anatomy of a Miracle, The Real Lolita)
The Millions Great Second-Half Book Preview  3
(Ohio, The Real Lolita, Ordinary People)
Amazon Best Books of the Month  2
(Bitter OrangeFruit of the Drunken Tree)
Library Reads  2
(Fruit of the Drunken Tree, November Road)
NY Post Summer List  2
(Fruit of the Drunken TreeOhio)
Bookpage  2
(Fruit of the Drunken Tree, The Incendiaries)
Annie Jones from From the Front Porch podcast
(The Incendiaries, Bitter Orange)
Tyler Goodson  2
(The Incendiaries, The Golden State)

Key Takeaways

  • My reading quality has improved immensely (by 47%) over last year with one quarter to go in the year! I’m thrilled, since this was my main purpose in tracking my recommendation sources.
  • My recommendation sources were really spread out this quarter. I had 26 different recommendations sources with one successful recommendation each. It appears I trusted lots of different people over the past few months and it panned out!
  • I’m liking my mix of recommendation sources: a couple traditional media sources, a podcast host / bookstore owner, a couple bloggers, and the always dicey “”unsolicited from publisher.”

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…

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  1. Happy to end up on the good side of your recommendation sources! It’s interesting how so many appear on both your plus and minus sides. Overall, are you DNFing at a higher rate than last year?

    Posted 10.9.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      It is, right?! And that’s been happening every single quarter. I wonder if it’s b/c I just read a lot from those sources because they’re overall similar to my reading taste…and you can’t win them all.

      Good question on the DNFing – and I didn’t include my DNF % in last year’s stats post! UGH! I’d need to manually figure that out b/c I wasn’t using the tracker then. So I don’t know!

      Posted 10.12.18 Reply
  2. Tina wrote:

    Wow! You have this down to an art! I am still having a hard time abandoning books. I just keep reading, which is silly. I need to work on this and only read what I love. Thanks for a great post!

    Posted 10.11.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      I used to be like you because I’m a check the box kind of girl, but once I converted, I’ve never looked back! Nothing will dump me into a reading slump faster than pushing through a book I don’t like!

      Posted 10.12.18 Reply
  3. Haha. It looks like everyone took a hit on Fruit of The Drunken Tree, which I loved! Super slow, though. Was that what got you?

    Posted 10.11.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      Haha! I could see it was a well-done book, I just felt like I was slogging through it. So, yes, that’s what got me!

      Posted 10.12.18 Reply
  4. Catherine wrote:

    Your numbers aptitude makes me feel like a complete dolt! I love using the tracker, but I don’t pay as much attention to the summary charts.

    As for go-to and no-go sources I’m still one of those people who is looking at book catalogs and reading books before others do so I’m happy to report that the advance sources I use still seem to be serving me well. My hit rate is about the same as yours for your sources who have already read the book. I really thought it would be lower, but it’s not. SO, I can still trust myself- which is always good news!

    Posted 10.13.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      I love that you’re finding out through numbers that you actually CAN trust yourself to decipher whether you’d like a book via just the publisher blurbs/info on Edelweiss! Numbers have told me I’m not so good at that! But, that’s the whole reason to track your rec sources…now you know!

      Posted 10.19.18 Reply

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