What I’m Reading Now (1/21/19)

We took our kids skiing for the first time over the weekend…and I think they liked it? I know they liked apres ski at least (consisting of hot chocolate and hot tub). I mean, I can kind of understand.

I skied a little, but hadn’t skied in 10 years so it was definitely leisurely. I did spend almost a whole day relaxing and reading while my kids were in ski school, though!


Episode 3 of the Sarah’s Book Shelves Live podcast came out last week! Susie of Novel Visits shared her fiction audiobook recommendations and we talk audiobooks in general.

Episode 4, featuring Tina from TBR, Etc. is coming on Wednesday!

New on the Blog

  • January 2019 Books to Read (and Skip) – my rundown of what January books to read (and not to read)
  • An Anonymous Girl Spoiler Discussion – have you read the latest from the authors of The Wife Between Us? Let’s discuss!
  • 2019 Rock Your Reading Tracker – I used my “Rock Your Reading Tracker” this year to track all my reading stats in real time and figure out who my best recommendation sources are…and, my reading QUALITY improved 42% from last year! The new and improved 2019 tracker is now available for $14.99…get more details here!

Hosted by The Book Date.
This post contains affiliate links (plus: here’s your Amazon Smile-specific affiliate link), through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

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⭐⭐⭐⭐// [Thanks to #partner @stmartinspress for e-galley] I’m super finicky about psychological thrillers…too many of them rely on outlandish plot twists or endings to drive the story. But, I’ve figured out I DO like psychological thrillers that feature an actual psychiatrist or psychologist and that rely on the question of “who can you trust?” to drive the story. And, that’s why An Anonymous Girl worked for me!⠀ _⠀ ⠀ Jessica Farris signs up for a supposedly anonymous study only to find that Dr. Shields (the psychiatrist conducting the study) seems to be able to get into her head in a much deeper way than she imagined.⠀ _⠀ ⠀ Have you read this one yet? Come join my Spoiler Discussion (LINK IN PROFILE) and help me figure out the ending!⠀ ⠀ Recommendation Sources: @bookofthemonth, @notesonbookmarks from @currentlyreadingpodcast, @janbel37 (Thank you!)⠀ *⠀ *⠀ *⠀ *⠀ *⠀ *⠀ #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #bookgram #amreading #bookworms #instabooks #instabook #booktalk #booklovers #booklover #bibliophile #biblio #bookaddict #bookaddiction #igreads #booksofinstagram #badassbookbabes #ananonymousgirl #pageturner #psychologicalthriller @sarahpekkanen @greer.hendricks @stmartinspress @bookofthemonth #bookofthemonth

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I finished reading…

Talk to Me, Helter Skelter


Talk to Meby John Kenney (January 15, 2019)
Reviewed last week.
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

Helter Skelterby Vincent Bugliosi (1974) – Audiobook
I FINISHED IT! This audiobook is 26+ hours…more than double my previous longest audiobook I’ve ever listened to. And, it was super interesting…the Manson murders story is absolutely truth is stranger than fiction and I learned a lot about the story that I didn’t know. However, there Bugliosi definitely could’ve cut back on the details a bit.
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

I’m currently reading…

American Pop, Our Prince of Scribes


American Popby Snowden Wright (February 5, 2019)
I’m about halfway through this novel loosely inspired by the Coca-Cola family and it’s a juicy family saga so far. The writing is a little hit and miss, but more hit than miss.
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

Our Prince of Scribesedited by Nicole A. Seitz (September 15, 2018)
I’m slowly working my way through this collection of essays by friends, family, and fellow authors remembering Pat Conroy, my all-time favorite author. I read one essay every night and I just love hearing as much as I can about him. Plus, it’s a nice, comforting way to end the day.
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

I tried, but wasn’t feeling…

Bowlaway by Elizabeth McCracken


Bowlawayby Elizabeth McCracken (February 5, 2019)
DNF at 8%
I just couldn’t get past the language…it felt really old-timey and required more concentration than I felt like devoting.

Upcoming reading plans…

Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls


The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girlsby Anissa Gray (February 19, 2019)
This novel about an African-American family whose eldest sister and her husband are arrested out of the blue is being compared to An American Marriage and The Mothers, which would normally make me incredibly nervous. But, I’ve read the beginning and was immediately sucked in. This was also the book coming out this Winter I said I was the most excited about in Episode 2 of the podcast!

was reading…

One Year Ago: I was reading one of my favorite novels of 2018!

Two Years Ago: I was having an existential crisis about where to take the blog.

How was your reading week?

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  1. Amanda C. wrote:

    I started Helter Skelter years ago, but ultimately wade through it. Props to you!

    Speaking of Pat Conroy, I’m intrigued by Michael Mewshaw’s The Lost Prince.

    Posted 1.21.19 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      Me too! Such a weird story..I have an ARC of it and planning to read it in the next few weeks.

      Posted 1.22.19 Reply
  2. Laurie C wrote:

    Oh! I didn’t know Elizabeth McCracken has a new book coming out! I’m sorry to hear you didn’t care for it. I’m seeing mentions of An Anonymous Girl everywhere, and I only just listened to The Wife Between Us a little while ago, it seems. Of the newish psychological suspense audiobooks I’ve listened to recently, I think my favorite was SUNBURN by Laura Lippman. A departure from her usual type of book, I believe, but it’s the only book by her that I’ve read!

    Posted 1.21.19 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      Loved Sunburn!

      Posted 1.22.19 Reply
  3. renee wrote:

    Good news about The Care and Feeding and American Pop, I have both of them coming up. I’m with your kids on the hot chocolate and hot tub!!

    Posted 1.21.19 Reply
  4. I’m terrible at skiing but great at apres ski so I can relate to your kids. I’m dying to get my hands on American Pop. The author is coming here but the event cost $90 so I’m not going.

    Posted 1.21.19 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      Yikes – that’s steep!

      Posted 1.22.19 Reply
  5. Dotty wrote:

    I am excited about American Pop and Our Prince of Scribes so it’s nice to hear positive things about both.
    The Coca-Cola Company is a big deal here in Atlanta, and Pat Conroy is my favorite author. Also, Conroy lived in Atlanta for a period of time. February 5th is going to be an exciting day!
    I’m glad you had fun on you ski trip. I actually excelled at apres ski and the rest of it, not so much!

    Posted 1.21.19 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      I know! I lived in ATL for a year or so…huge there! I can’t wait to start Googling when I finish it!

      Posted 1.22.19 Reply
  6. Beth F wrote:

    I read Helter Skelter when it first came out. I can barely look at the cover of the book without getting spooked. I have American Pop, but who knows when I’ll get to it.

    Posted 1.21.19 Reply
  7. I loved An Anonymous Girl…and I am curious about American Pop. I read Helter Skelter a while ago.

    Thanks for sharing, and here are MY WEEKLY UPDATES

    Posted 1.21.19 Reply
  8. Kathy Martin wrote:

    I haven’t skied since I was a child. At my age, I’m afraid I’d break. I would be a champ at Apres Ski though. Sipping hot chocolate and reading works for me. Nice assortment of books. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

    Posted 1.21.19 Reply
  9. Skiing as a family can be so fun. We were big into skiing from the time our kids were little and now they’ve got my grandkids skiing, including the two who just turned 3!

    I’m eager to get my hands on a copy of Ravenous Girls since I didn’t score an ARC. Hope it is as good as it looks.

    Posted 1.21.19 Reply
  10. Congrats on finishing Helter Skelter! I’ve considered reading it several times, but am always put off by the length. I used to ski a lot in my teens and early 20s, but took up cross-country skiing instead when I met my husband. I mostly miss the apres ski part 😉

    Posted 1.21.19 Reply
  11. American Pop looks good. My weekly updates

    Posted 1.21.19 Reply
  12. Tina wrote:

    So funny to be reading along and see my name! Excited to hear the episode- it was so fun to record. Glad you were able to finish Helter Skelter- I might pick it up again someday.

    Posted 1.21.19 Reply
  13. Mel wrote:

    Helter Skelter is one of my favorite nonfiction books of all time! As a lawyer, I usually hate law-related books, but I thought this one was amazing. I read it in 2010 right before hearing him speak at a local event, the author is an amazing speaker, too!

    Posted 1.21.19 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      OOh – very cool!

      Posted 1.22.19 Reply
  14. Catherine wrote:

    I’m sorry to hear about Bowlaway, but your reason means it might still be something I’ll like!

    I cannot believe you made it all the way through Helter Skelter. That is a lot of listening and, if I remember the book correctly, a lot of really dry details.

    I’m finishing up a small book called The Falconer. There’s much about it I think you’d like: NYC, high school, girl jock, but it’s fairly introspective without a lot of action. Next up, I’m going to another one of my picks from your show- chick lit from Sophie Kinsella. It needs to be great because my stats are not!

    Posted 1.21.19 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      So I had my eye on The Falconer…you think I’d like it?! The premise is definitely appealing to me – makes me think of Mercy Louis from a few years ago!

      Posted 1.22.19 Reply
  15. A while back I read a novel based on the Helter Skelter story. Sorry I can’t think of the name right now. Anyone? Anyway, it made me feel I was ready to read Helter Skelter. And you did!

    Posted 1.22.19 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      Is it The Girls by Emma Cline?

      Posted 1.22.19 Reply
  16. Jeff wrote:

    Living the in the Georgia Low Country, there were two different book release parties with authors who had pieces published in the Conroy book, but I wasn’t able to make it. I suppose I date myself, but I read Helter Skelter in high school, right after it came out.

    Posted 1.25.19 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      Oooh – those would’ve been fun!

      Posted 1.27.19 Reply
  17. God, I love a long title! I know it makes life hard for cover designers but I just love them, and The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls is an excellent example of the genre. Fab.

    Posted 1.27.19 Reply

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