Tag: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

What I’m Reading Now (8/21/17)

August 21, 2017 It's Monday! What are you reading? 28

Whew! Last week was moving week…and things were obviously chaotic! I spent almost all day every day unpacking boxes (I now understand that it can take a full 1.5 days to unpack a kitchen) and did not do a ton of reading. However, podcasts made all that unpacking much more enjoyable!

Thankfully, we were able to take a break from all the moving nonsense with a quick family trip to the Chesapeake Bay area last weekend. Let me tell you, it was much needed!

#Buildsarahsbookshelves Library Update

I’m putting together a very selective library for my new (but small) built-in bookshelves and am sharing each book I acquire on Instagram (follow me at sarahsbookshelves)! And, I’m trying to acquire all these new books at rock bottom prices.

I didn’t acquire any new books for my new shelves last week, but I’ll do you one better…I actually got to see my shelves live and (almost) finished for the first time! 

My new babies…anxiously awaiting their books! @gates.interiors #buildsarahsbookshelves #bookstagram #bookshelves #bookshelvesofinstagram

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I finished reading…

Hate U Give, Getaway Car


The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (February 28, 2017)

High readable, super compelling, and heart-breaking. An “issue” book that happens to also be, at its heart, a flat-out great story about a family. I can see why people are buzzing about this one. Also, an excellent choice for book clubs.
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The Getaway Car by Ann Patchett (August 25, 2011)
This slim little book (or, essay is probably a better term as it’s only 45 pages long) is Patchett’s thoughts and advice on writing. I’m not an aspiring writer, but Patchett’s advice and outlook on life and work is down to earth and applicable beyond writing. Without the benefit of being a writer myself, I suspect this is a must read for anyone that is!

Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

I’m currently reading…

Resurrection of Joan Ashby by Cherise Wolas


The Resurrection of Joan Ashby by Cherise Wolas (August 29, 2017)
This debut novel about a woman’s view of work and marriage was a last minute Netgalley request…before I realized it was over 500 pages long! I’m about 25% through and enjoying it…Joan’s struggle between achieving her professional goals and being a wife and mother is real.

Affiliate Link: Pre-Order from Amazon

South Pole Station by Ashley Shelby


South Pole Station by Ashley Shelby (July 4, 2017)
I read about 10% of this one…it was fine, but wasn’t blowing me away. And, since it was a library hold, I wasn’t feeling any pressure to continue with something that didn’t blow me away.

Upcoming reading plans…

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid


Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (March 7, 2017)
I’ve been shying away from this critical darling because I’m not a fan of magical realism, but finally put it on hold at the library after reading the first few pages at a bookstore (the writing is great!) and seeing Susie at Novel Visits mention it’s a good choice for readers who think they don’t like magical realism.

was reading…

One Year Ago: I was on vacation and didn’t post a Monday update!

Two Years Ago: I had just finished my first Sprint Triathlon!

How was your reading week?

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What I’m Reading Now (8/14/17)

August 14, 2017 It's Monday! What are you reading? 26

I did a lot of reading last week, but it’s probably the last time this summer that you’ll see that out of me! We’re moving into our new house next week and life is about to get disorganized and hectic. I’ve got some posts pre-scheduled for this week, but the last couple weeks of August might be on the quieter side.

#Buildsarahsbookshelves Library Update

I’m putting together a very selective library for my new (but small) built-in bookshelves and am sharing each book I acquire on Instagram (follow me at sarahsbookshelves)! And, I’m trying to acquire all these new books at rock bottom prices.

Absolutely free via a gift certificate to Larchmont’s Anderson’s Book Shop (bringing my to date spending on this project to $2.00…pretty dang good for 2 hard cover novels!), my second acquisition is:

Book 2 in the #buildsarahsbookshelves (where I’m slowly accumulating a very selective collection of beloved books to live on my first set of built-in bookshelves!) series is here! _ IF WE WERE VILLAINS by M.L. Rio is one of my favorite books so far this year! It’s a dark, twisty campus thriller that takes me back to older favorites THE SECRET HISTORY and BLACK CHALK. @sureasmel @flatiron_books Link to my full review in profile. _ And, this addition to my library was basically free via a gift certificate to @andersonsbooks in Larchmont from my good friend (thanks, @marblong). And its local Larchmont roots inspired the location for this picture…Manor Park, the most gorgeous spot in Larchmont! _ Stay tuned to see what else makes the shelves! #bookstagram #amreading #indiebookstore #bookloversday

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I finished reading…

The Heirs, Young Jane Young


The Heirs
 by Susan Rieger (May 23, 2017)
It’s a nice, easy read with good, if not overly elaborate writing. But, very different from The Divorce Papers (her debut novel).
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin (August 22, 2017)
I. Have. Thoughts. You’ll hear them on Thursday. Just know that they firmly hit opposite ends of the spectrum.

I’m currently reading…

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas


The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (February 28, 2017)
My library hold for this one finally came in after months and months of waiting. But, it’s been well worth it! I flew through the first 100 pages when I couldn’t fall asleep the other night. High readable, super compelling, and heart-breaking. I can see why people are buzzing about this one. 

Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

I tried, but wasn’t feeling…

Stay with Me, My Absolute Darling

Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo (August 22, 2017)

I had high hopes for this debut…and so does the publishing industry. Sadly, the writing style wasn’t for me. DNF at 5%. Yup, 5%.

My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent (August 29, 2017)
Another debut that has gotten some serious buzz. And it’s really tough to read at times (just horrible things happen to the 14 year old female main character), but that wasn’t why it didn’t work for me. I didn’t click with the writing style (yet again)…it’s too stream-of-conciousness for me and there is too much description of surroundings. I got interested when Turtle meets Jacob and Brett, but that interest waned again quickly. DNF at 37%.

Upcoming reading plans…

South Pole Station by Ashley Shelby


South Pole Station by Ashley Shelby (July 4, 2017)
Of course a couple of my library holds came in all at one time! I was excited about this book right when it came out, but haven’t heard much about it since. I’m going to give it a try if my hold hasn’t expired by the time I finish The Hate U Give. It’ll probably be one of those “if it doesn’t grab me literally immediately, I’m moving on” types of “tries.”

was reading…

One Year Ago: I was reading a quintessential NYC author.

Two Years Ago: I was reading one of 2015’s biggest books…that I was conflicted about.

How was your reading week?

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What I’m Reading Now (8/7/17)

August 7, 2017 It's Monday! What are you reading? 27

Last week was an awesome reading week…things are definitely back on track in that department! 

I also shared my first #buildsarahsbookshelves library acquisition! I’m putting together a very selective library for my new (but small) built-in bookshelves and am sharing each book I acquire on Instagram (follow me at sarahsbookshelves)! And, I’m trying to acquire all these new books at rock bottom prices.

For the bargain price of $2.00 courtesy of the Larchmont Public Library‘s sale cart, my first acquisition is…

For the first time in a decade, I’m going to have my very own built-in bookshelves! The only problem is I don’t have much to fill them with since I read almost exclusively on my Kindle. Yes, I am a book blogger with no books 📚! ______________ So, I need to assemble a library. I don’t have a ton of space on my built-ins, so this library will be very selective. And, my goal is to purchase all the books at bargain prices. I’ll be tracking all my purchases right here under the hashtag #buildsarahsbookshelves! ______________ My first purchase is THE MOTHERS by @britrbennett. It was one of my top 3 books of 2016 and the writing is just gorgeous. And, thanks to the Larchmont Public Library’s sale cart, I picked up this beauty for just $2.00! ______________ Stay tuned to see what else makes the shelves! #bookstagram #amreading #library #librarybooks @riverheadbooks

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And, I have to share an awesome and totally unexpected side benefit of this project…after seeing my Instagram post, a friend commented that they wanted to contribute a book to my library! What a fun surprise!

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I finished reading…

Shadow of the Lions, Emma in the Night


Shadow of the Lions
 by Christopher Swann (August 1, 2017)
A solid, 4 star campus mystery! Mini review coming.
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker (August 8, 2017)
Best psychological thriller I’ve read since Gone Girl! But, do not mistake this as a comparison to Gone Girl…they’re different books. What I mean is that this is the first time since Gone Girl that I’ve read a psychological thriller that is equally satisfying. If you’re going on one last vacation in August, grab this book for your beach bag! You won’t regret it.

Affiliate Link: Pre-Order from Amazon

I’m currently reading…

The Heirs by Susan Rieger


The Heirs
 by Susan Rieger (May 23, 2017)
I’m almost finished with this story about a wealthy family in Manhattan (shocking that I’m reading this kind of book, right?! Ha!) by the author of The Divorce Papers…and this one couldn’t be more different from The Divorce Papers! It’s a nice, easy read with good, if not overly elaborate writing. 

Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

Upcoming reading plans…

Unless one of my library holds comes in, I’m going to continue with August releases!

Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo


Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo (August 22, 2017)
This debut about a Nigerian married couple who reconsider polygamy after the wife has trouble getting pregnant. It’s been compared to Fates and Furies and Margaret Atwood (author of The Handmaid’s Tale) has apparently been supporting it on Twitter, but a blogger I trust was recently underwhelmed by it. I’m going in with tempered expectations. 

was reading…

One Year Ago: I read an awesome page turner that was a late addition to last year’s Summer Reading Guide!

Two Years Ago: I was reading one of the big books of BEA 2015…and it was a total stinker.

How was your reading week?

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What I’m Reading Now (7/31/17)

July 31, 2017 It's Monday! What are you reading? 26

After a nasty spat with DNFs, I feel like I’m back on track with my reading! It took jumping on a September release really early, but I’m glad I did!

In other exciting news, I’m going to finally have some nice built-in bookshelves for the first time in a decade! And, oddly, I don’t really have any books to fill them with since I read almost exclusively on my Kindle. So…I need to assemble a library and I. Can’t. Wait!

I don’t have a ton of shelf space, so I’m planning to be very selective about what makes the cut. I’m attempting to acquire the books for bargain prices (i.e. library sales, gently used hardcovers, etc), so it will take me awhile to get everything together. And, I’m going to share the process with all of you! Each time I acquire a new book for my library, I’m going to share it on Instagram! I might even ask for some recommendations and advice along the way. Follow me on Instagram at @sarahsbookshelves to keep track of the library building (#buildsarahsbookshelves)!

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I finished reading…

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng


Little Fires Everywhere
 by Celeste Ng (September 12, 2017)
This is probably the book I’ve been most anticipating all year…and, to my relief, it’s really good! It’s got a bit more action than Everything I Never Told You (my review) and I think will have an even broader appeal. Review to come closer to publication, but I recommend pre-ordering it or putting in an early hold at your library if you can!
Affiliate Link: Pre-Order from Amazon 

I’m currently reading…

Shadow of the Lions by Christopher Swann


Shadow of the Lions by Christopher Swann (August 1, 2017)
I’m a little over halfway through this mystery/boarding school novel (for my fellow Virginians, it’s set at a fictional version of Woodberry Forest School, the author’s alma mater) and the story has been gradually picking up speed. I’m totally into it! And fellow St. C grads, our alma mater gets name-checked a time or two!
Affiliate Link: Pre-Order from Amazon

Upcoming reading plans…

Unless one of my library holds comes in, I’m going to continue with August releases!

Emma in the night by Wendy Walker

Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker (August 8, 2017)
Walker’s last novel, All is Not Forgotten, kind of drove me crazy, but I also couldn’t stop reading and got a great Spoiler Discussion post out of it. So, I’m willing to give her latest thriller a chance. This time around, she writes about “two missing sisters, a twisted family, and what happens when one girl comes back…”. 

was reading…

One Year Ago: I was reading a recent Oprah’s Book Club selection that I thought was alright, but not mind-blowing.

Two Years Ago: I read an awesome Grit Lit thriller that was one of my favorite books of 2015!

How was your reading week?

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What I’m Reading Now (7/24/17)

July 24, 2017 It's Monday! What are you reading? 33

Apparently, last week was the week of DNFs…ugh. And, I wish I’d DNF’d the one book I did finish. So, in an effort to jolt myself out of this reading slump, I picked up a September release that I’ve been anticipating all year long. I loved the author’s 2015 debut and had already heard great things about her sophomore effort from a source who has steered me right multiple times this year (Annie B. Jones of From the Front Porch podcast)!

In other news, I finally have some clarity about my back injury. It’s not actually a back injury at all! I have inflammation in both my SI joints and some tendonitis in my right abductor. All this is putting pressure on my lower back. I’m visiting yet another doctor about possibly getting a cortisone shot next week. I’m still not allowed to run or swim…but have been riding my bike and doing strength work instead.

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I finished reading…

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt


See What I Have Done
 by Sarah Schmidt (August 1, 2017)
I didn’t DNF this one, but I kind of wish I had. I quickly got bored with the story. Mini review to come.

I’m currently reading…

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng


Little Fires Everywhere
 by Celeste Ng (September 12, 2017)

Yep, I’m already reading a September release! I figured Ng’s sophomore effort following her runaway hit debut, Everything I Never Told You (my review), was a safe bet for jolting me out of my reading slump. I’m about 40% into this story about a family and the community of Shaker Heights and am engrossed! At first, I didn’t know what direction it would take other than “family novel” (I admittedly didn’t read the blurb very carefully), but it’s taken an interesting turn!
Affiliate Link: Pre-Order from Amazon 

I tried, but wasn’t feeling…

The Lauras by Sara Taylor, Careers for Women by Joanna Scott


The Lauras
 by Sara Taylor (August 1, 2017)
I made it through 28% of this novel before getting bored with the story. It’s a shame because the writing is good and I really liked her debut, The Shore (my review).

Careers for Women by Joanna Scott (July 25, 2017)
This Mad Men-esque novel had gotten excellent reviews and I initially loved the writing, but I couldn’t see the point of the story by 32%. There were two storylines that felt far away from each other with no signs of intersecting anytime soon.

Upcoming reading plans…

Unless one of my library holds comes in, I’m going to continue with August releases!

Shadow of the Lions by Christopher Swann


Shadow of the Lions by Christopher Swann (August 1, 2017)
This campus coming of age story was recommended (and blurbed) by Ed Tarkington (author of Only Love Can Break Your Heart, one of my favorite books of last year). Y’all know I’m a sucker for these types of books, so I hope this works out. Fellow Virginians – I peeked at the first few pages and thought the school in the book sounded familiar (my guess was Woodberry Forest School in Orange, VA). Turns out the author is a WFS grad, so I’m guessing the school in the book is a thinly veiled WFS! Should be interesting…

was reading…

One Year Ago: I was reading one of my favorite summer books of last year!

Two Years Ago: I was reading one of the big stinkers of 2015.

How was your reading week?

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What I’m Reading Now (7/17/17)

July 17, 2017 It's Monday! What are you reading? 24

I was at a wedding this weekend in Colorado, which was absolutely gorgeous. I had some solo travel time, so I got a fair amount of reading done. And bonus…I spotted Bachelor Ben Higgins in the Denver airport!

I’ve been on a hot streak with books about crime lately…both fiction and nonfiction. So, I’ll be doing a crime books round-up soon!

I also finished Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? by Alyssa Mastromonaco on audio and I highly recommend it if you’re interested in what goes on behind the scenes at the White House (and on the campaign trail). Though Mastromonaco was an Obama staffer, the book is not political at all from an issues standpoint. I haven’t gotten too far into another audiobook because I’ve been listening to lots of podcasts lately…and the comments section of my recent podcast round-up just generated even more for me to try!

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I finished reading…

Quicksand by Malin Persson Giolito, American fire by Monica Hesse


Quicksand
 by Malin Persson Giolito
 (March 7, 2017)
5 star good! Squarely in my dark, twisty, demented high schoolers wheelhouse. I was completely engrossed and the 500 pages flew by. Mini review to come and I’ll be adding this to my 2017 Summer Reading Guide.

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American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land by Monica Hesse (July 11, 2017)
If you haven’t read much true crime and think you might want to try some, American Fire is the perfect gateway book! It’s a well-told story about a crime, a unique community, and a doomed relationship. I loved it! Mini review to come.

Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

I’m currently reading…

The Lauras by Sara Taylor


The Lauras
 by Sara Taylor (August 1, 2017)
This story of a mother/daughter road trip where they explore the mother’s past is Taylor’s sophomore novel (her debut, The Shore (my review), was long-listed for the Baileys Women’s Fiction Prize and, after finally getting my head around the structure, I loved it!). I’m about 20% into The Lauras and not really into it at this point. I’ll probably give it a little longer before deciding whether to move on.

I tried, but wasn’t feeling…

Ill Will by Dan Chaon


Ill Will
 by Dan Chaon (March 7, 2017)
I’d had this novel about two unsolved crimes (one past and one present) on hold at the library for awhile now. Unfortunately, after initially intriguing me, I got bored and realized I didn’t care what happened to the characters. DNF at 13%.

Upcoming reading plans…

Unless one of my library holds comes in, I’m going to continue with August releases!

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt


See What I Have Done
 by Sarah Schmidt (August 1, 2017)
Continuing with my crime book theme, this debut novel is a fictional recounting of the famous Lizzie Borden murders of 1892. Sounds promising!

was reading…

One Year Ago: I read a delightful foodie/friendship memoir and was mentioned on The Book Riot Podcast!

Two Years Ago: I read one of my favorite debuts of 2015.

How was your reading week?

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What I’m Reading Now (7/10/17)

July 10, 2017 It's Monday! What are you reading? 29

I was on vacation and not posting on the blog last week, so here comes a double dose of books! Vacation was full of swimming (the kids…not me since swimming still hurts my back), boating, kayaking, fishing, and hanging out with family. I read some, but not a ton.

Highlights of the week were my son catching a good size Spanish Mackerel, which my brother turned into delicious fish tacos for dinner) and my daughter learning how to dive. Oh, and both my children participated in their first official running race. My son did great and I ended up carrying my daughter for the entire (fun?) run. 

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I finished reading…

Final Girls, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, Double Bind


Final Girls by Riley Sager
 (July 11, 2017)
Yet another thriller that totally disappointed me. This time, it was because the ending completely jumped the shark (a frequent occurrence in thrillers that always turns me off) and I had trouble buying the main character’s decision-making.

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (May 9, 2017)
This debut novel is getting so much buzz and I liked it alright, but it definitely didn’t blow me away. I’m still processing exactly how I feel about it…though I do know I loved Eleanor. Things were a bit too neat and tidy for my taste, but that will definitely make it appealing to others. Review to come (most likely).

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Double Bind: Women on Ambition edited by Robin Romm (April 11, 2017)
I’d been reading an essay here and there from this collection, so it’s taken me quite awhile to finish it! Like many essay collections, it was hit and miss for me. But, it’s definitely chock full of sage nuggets of insight into the various ways women view ambition.

Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

I’m currently reading…

Quicksand by Malin Persson Giolito


Quicksand
 by Malin Persson Giolito
 (March 7, 2017)
I saw this Swedish “courtroom thriller” about a school shooting on Read it Forward’s Favorite Reads of March 2017, but I literally haven’t heard a peep about it since…except when I went to put it on hold at my local library, the hold list was a mile long! So, people out there are reading it…just not the corner of the bookish internet that I normally frequent. Anyway – I’m just over halfway through and it’s awesome…has a deliciously dark Cruel Intentions vibe.

I tried, but wasn’t feeling…

The Windfall by Diksha Basu


The Windfall
 by Diksha Basu
 (June 27, 2017)
DNF at 34%. I liked the very beginning of this novel, but quickly got bored. Nothing much was happening and I was hoping for more biting social commentary about the wealthy.

Upcoming reading plans…

What She Ate, American Fire


What She Ate: Six Remarkable Women and the Food That Tells Their Stories
 by Laura Shapiro
 (July 25, 2017)
I haven’t read a food book in awhile and this essay collection focusing on the meaning of food for famous women including Eleanor Roosevelt, Eva Braun (Hitler’s mistress), and Helen Gurley Brown (editor of Cosmopolitan magazine) caught my eye!

American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land by Monica Hesse (July 11, 2017)
This nonfiction about a series of arson fires in a small town on the Eastern Shore of Virginia supposedly reads like a page turner and is great for fans of the S-Town podcast (check!), In Cold Blood (check!), and Hillbilly Elegy (check again!). Plus, that small Eastern Shore town is about 40 miles north of where my father-in-law grew up, where my husband and I got married, and where we still vacation every summer.

was reading…

One Year Ago: I shared Catherine at Gilmore Guide and I’s ridiculous texts about the U.S. Olympic Swimming trials…and read a backlist winner.

Two Years Ago: I shared my July 4th vacation reading…one of which was one of my Best Books of 2015!

How was your reading week?

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What I’m Reading Now (6/26/17)

June 26, 2017 It's Monday! What are you reading? 27

I actually finished two books and one audiobook last week…I’m shocked! I’m sure it’s because my kids finally finished school for the year and because both books were only around 200 pages. And, the audiobook I finished was My Year of Running Dangerously by Tom Foreman, which I really enjoyed!

I went to the doctor for my back and hip pain and will be getting an MRI this week. The good news is she didn’t think it was disc related. The bad news is she thinks I might have a tear or a strain in my glute connectors/attachments, which can also cause pain in the lower back area. We’ll see what the MRI says, but in the meantime, no running or swimming. I can ride my bike and do strength training, though…silver linings!

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I finished reading…

What We Lose by Zinzi Clemmons, Goodbye Vitamin by Rachel Khong


What We Lose
 by Zinzi Clemmons (July 11, 2017)

There were flashes of brilliance in this debut novel, but it was overall really jumpy and I had trouble getting into it. Mini review to come.

Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong (July 11, 2017)
A sweet novel about a young girl who goes home to help take care of her Dad, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. I adored Ruth’s (the narrator and main character) voice! Mini review to come.
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

I’m currently reading…

Final Girls by Riley Sager


Final Girls by Riley Sager
 (July 11, 2017)
Y’all know I’m skittish about thrillers, but Stephen King called this one “the first great thriller of 2017.” So, I’m giving it a shot. However, he also said you’d like this if you liked Gone Girl, which caused me to immediately lose a tiny bit of respect for him. Mr. King, you are too good to stoop to a Gone Girl comparison! 

I tried, but wasn’t feeling…

Outer Cape by Patrick Dacey, Who is Rich by Matthew Klam


The Outer Cape
 by Patrick Dacey
 (June 27, 2017)
DNF at 16%. One of the main characters is just insufferable and I couldn’t deal any longer…even though dislikable characters don’t generally bother me.

Who Is Rich? by Matthew Klam (July 4, 2017)
DNF at 5%. Meg Wolitzer (who I adore) called this novel “funny, dark, big, and bold,” but there was a massive rundown of characters right out of the gates and I got bored. However, given Wolitzer’s endorsement, I’d be willing to give this one another shot if another blogger I trust likes it.

Upcoming reading plans…

Unless one of my library holds comes in…

Tornado Weather by Deborah Kennedy


Tornado Weather
 by Deborah E. Kennedy
 (July 11, 2017)
This debut novel about a young girl who goes missing in a small town has been compared to Everything I Never Told You, which I loved. It sounds like it could be one of those books that includes a crime, but
the story is about much more than the crime, which I also love. 

I was reading…

One Year Ago: I read a disappointing book by an author whose previous book I loved.

Two Years Ago: I was on vacation and not writing blog posts!

How was your reading week?

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It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? (6/19/17)

June 19, 2017 It's Monday! What are you reading? 27

And the June weather nonsense continues where I live…we got a few nice days last week, but now it’s back to chilly rain and should continue that way through the middle of next week. Where is summer?!

I’d been doing well with rehabbing my back injury, but I swam last week thinking it would be great for my back (people say swimming is great for back injuries) and how wrong I was. It absolutely killed and I’ve also been fighting some hip pain, so I’m going to an actual doctor next week to figure out what’s wrong. 

Thank you to everyone who participated in my Personalized Book Recommendation free trial, which is now officially over. I fulfilled 74 recommendation requests…whew…and I hope you enjoyed the book recommendations you got! I’m still in the process of sending out feedback surveys, but once those are complete, I’ll do a summary post sharing what I learned (which was a lot)!

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I finished reading…

One True Thing by Anna Quindlen


One True Thing
 by Anna Quindlen (August 30, 1994)
Anna Quindlen served the purpose I’d hoped she would (pulling me out of an epic June reading slump)! Though I didn’t love One True Thing quite as much as Every Last One (my review), it was still a solid 4 star read and I reveled in Quindlen’s “yes, that’s exactly how it is” writing about life. Mini review to come.

I’m currently reading…

Since We Fell by Dennis Lehane


Since We Fell by Dennis Lehane
 (May 9, 2017)
I’m almost finished with this psychological thriller and it’s the first one I’ve really enjoyed in a long time (maybe because it reads more like literary fiction, especially in the first half, than like a thriller)! It will definitely be going on my 2017 Summer Reading Guide!

Upcoming reading plans…

Outer Cape by Patrick Dacey


The Outer Cape
 by Patrick Dacey
 (June 27, 2017)
The Outer Cape is Dacey’s follow-up novel to his short story collection, We’ve Already Gone This Far, and is set in the same fictional town. It’s a story of family and small town life and sounds generally up my alley.

I was reading…

One Year Ago: I was reading a book that ended up on my Best Books of 2016 (So Far) list and did my first Sprint Triathlon of last year.

Two Years Ago: I’d just finished a totally demented book that ended up on my Best Books of 2015 list!

How was your reading week?

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It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? (6/12/17)

June 12, 2017 It's Monday! What are you reading? 38

Oh my gosh, y’all! June weather, June busyness, and June books…they’ve all stunk! This past weekend was really the first time we’ve had summer weather where we live. I was in jeans and long sleeves last week, but finally got some great beach time in this weekend. The schools are just crushing us with inconsequential tasks, events to attend, and early dismissals, so life has been pretty chaotic.

And, the icing on the cake has been that almost all my June review books have left a lot to be desired. I think I’ve sampled and/or DNF’d more books than I’ve actually finished this month. I guess this is payback for my epic May

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I finished reading…

Small Hours by Jennifer Kitses


Small Hours
 by Jennifer Kitses (June 13, 2017)
I probably made a mistake reading this book about marriage right after another book about marriage (Standard Deviation). The writing didn’t stick with me as much and it just seemed ho-hum compared to Standard Deviation.

I’m currently reading…

One True Thing by Anna Quindlen


One True Thing
 by Anna Quindlen (August 30, 1994)
Anna Quindlen is fast becoming a go-to author for me (though, I realize I’m super late to this party). She truly gets life and that shines through in this emotional gut-wrencher about a daughter going home to care for her mother while she’s dying of cancer. It’s exactly what I needed to pull me out of this epic June slump.

PS – I also just listened to her essay collection Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake and it was like seeing a therapist. She just has such a grounded, practical outlook on life that really puts things in perspective for me. Highly recommend for anyone craving a “life wisdom” type read!

I tried, but wasn’t feeling…

The Bright Hour by Nina Riggs, Stephen Florida by Gabe Habash
The Bright Hour by Nina Riggs (June 6, 2017)
I’d heard so many great things about this memoir prior to publication (even a comparison to When Breath Becomes Air), but the writing was uneven for me. There were poignant sections about Riggs’ illness, but then she’d go off on fairly boring philosophical tangents about various works of literature and authors. DNF’d at 14%.

Stephen Florida by Gabe Habash (June 6, 2017)
I’ve had fantastic luck with sports fiction lately (Trophy SonBeartown), but three times was not the charm. The protagonist in this novel was downright painful to listen to….I couldn’t even make it through the sample. It’s got a ton of 5 star reviews on Goodreads and Amazon. Not sure what’s going on there or whether I didn’t give it enough of a chance. Have any of you read it?

Upcoming reading plans…

Since We Fell by Dennis Lehane


Since We Fell
 by Dennis Lehane
 (May 9, 2017)
This psychological thriller was a Book of the Month Club May selection and my library hold has finally come in! I’m hoping it will make a good addition to my 2017 Summer Reading Guide.

I was reading…

One Year Ago: I was reading a thriller that ended up on my 2016 Summer Reading Guide.

Two Years Ago: I was reading a 5 star thriller (a rarity for me!).

How was your reading week?

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