What I’m Reading Now (1/7/19)

Well, holiday break is finally over and the kids are finally back in school. I’m not sure why, but the break felt endless this year and the kids were super restless by the end of it. I’m glad to be back in our regular routine for sure.

As for my recent reading, I’m 3 for 3 on 2019 releases so far! I’ll take this success rate any day! More on my 2019 reading goals coming in tomorrow’s 2018 Reading and Blogging Stats post!


The first full length episode of the Sarah’s Book Shelves Live podcast came out last week! Bestselling author Georgia Hunter (We Were the Lucky Ones) talks (mostly) historical fiction book recommendations, her novels’ impact on her life and family, and behind-the-scenes of book tour (more details here).

Episode 2, Winter 2019 Book Preview with Catherine of Gilmore Guide to Books (special episode departing from our regular format), is coming on Wednesday!

New on the Blog

  • 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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The verdict is in! I read 96 books in 2018, which was 4 shy of my goal of 100. Do I care that I missed my goal? Not at all, which I’ll get back to in a second. The numbers I’m more focused on are the 64% and 86%. Of all the books I ATTEMPTED to read, 64% of them were “successful” (3.5 stars or better for me). Of all the books I FINISHED, 86% were successful! I’ll take that any day…because who has time to read books you don’t like?! Bottom line, I feel like 2018 was a great reading year for me, despite not hitting my quantity goal. Compared to 2017, when I blew past my quantity reading goal, yet felt really blah about my reading year. _ So, all this has led me to NOT set a reading quantity goal for 2019…and stick to quality goals. Because I’d rather feel satisfied with my reading than be able to say I read a certain number of books! Don’t worry, I’ll still track how many books I read in 2019…I just won’t set a target because I don’t want said target to influence my reading decisions…especially in December. _ PS – I track all this in my Rock Your Reading Tracker (screenshot in image). It tracks tons of reading stats and automatically compiles then into pretty summary charts in real time. This enables you to keep tabs on your reading as you go and make adjustments along the way. Because why wait until you tally your stats at the end of the year to learn some things that could drastically improve your reading life?! My tracker is available for purchase for $14.99. LINK IN PROFILE _ Did you achieve your 2018 reading goals? And, what goals are you setting for 2019? * * * * * #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #bookgram #amreading #bookworms #instabooks #instabook #booktalk #booklovers #booklover #bibliophile #biblio #bookaddict #bookaddiction #igreads #booksofinstagram #badassbookbabes #readingtracker #readinggoal #readinggoals2019

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I finished reading…

what I'm reading now


The Dreamersby Karen Thompson Walker (January 15, 2019)
Loved this one (like everyone else seems to!)…except I thought the ending was a touch anti-climactic. 4.5 stars. Mini review to come.
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

Otherwise Engagedby Lindsey J. Palmer (February 26, 2019)
Smartly written Brain Candy that has more layers to it than you’d expect! Mini review to come (in February, though, as the publication date for this book has been pushed back. 

Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

I’m currently reading…

The Suspect by Fiona Barton


The Suspectby Fiona Barton (January 22, 2019)
We’re only a week into January and I’m already on my second mystery / thriller of 2019…what has come over me?! I’ve never read Barton before, but I’m about halfway through The Suspect and am enjoying it! Two British girls go backpacking in Thailand for their gap year and go missing…the story goes from there. So far, it’s more mystery than thriller…
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

I tried, but wasn’t feeling…

Talent by Juliet Lapidos


Talentby Juliet Lapidos (January 22, 2019)
I made it a whopping 8% into this debut novel…a bit too much navel-gazing and entirely too much pontificating about Pop Tarts (yes, really). Also, Susie at Novel Visits had already finished it and didn’t love it, so I was confident quitting early if it didn’t grab me. 

Upcoming reading plans…

Sugar Run by Mesha Maren


Sugar Runby Mesha Maren (January 8, 2019)
This gritty, Southern fiction about a woman who goes to prison at age 17 for manslaughter…and tries to make a go of it in a small, West Virginia town with her female partner after her release was blurbed by Lauren Groff. I talk more about this book on the Winter 2019 Book Preview podcast, coming out on Wednesday!

was reading…

One Year Ago: I was just starting my 2018 releases and they weren’t off to a great start.

Two Years Ago: I read the last Chris Bohjalian thriller I liked.

How was your reading week?

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  1. The Suspect is on my list…I’ve read other books by the author(The Widow, The Child), so I’m eager for this one.

    I am tempted by Sugar Run. Thanks for sharing, and here are MY WEEKLY UPDATES

    Posted 1.7.19 Reply
  2. Now I really want to read Otherwise Engaged.

    Posted 1.7.19 Reply
  3. Good call on Talent. It only got worse and the Pop Tarts NEVER went away! I know I’ve read something by Fiona Barton in the past, but can’t quite remember what it was. I may need to try her again.

    Looking forward to hearing you and Catherine talk books on Wednesday!

    Posted 1.7.19 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      Oh Lord..glad I bailed then! That stuff was so annoying!

      Posted 1.7.19 Reply
  4. RK wrote:

    Adding Otherwise Engaged to my TBR!

    Posted 1.7.19 Reply
  5. All new titles for me… glad your year is off to such a strong start! Hope to listen to your podcast this week.

    Posted 1.7.19 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      Awesome – thanks!

      Posted 1.7.19 Reply
  6. Kathy Martin wrote:

    I’ve been seeing The Dreamers around a lot. It sounds interesting. I should add it to my endless wishlist. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

    Posted 1.7.19 Reply
  7. Beth F wrote:

    Otherwise Engaged is near the top of my list. Yay for your early reading success.

    Posted 1.7.19 Reply
  8. I’ve got the Suspect coming up soon too, I really like her books.

    Posted 1.7.19 Reply
  9. renee wrote:

    Just got a copy of Otherwise Engaged so I’m happy you liked it! I have The Dreamers coming up as well. Can’t wait to hear you and Catherine talk upcoming releases, there’s SO many good ones coming out this winter and spring

    Posted 1.7.19 Reply
  10. Anita wrote:

    I hadn’t heard of Otherwise Engaged so I may have to look into it. I have The Suspect coming up. I’ve read her earlier books, I like the first one more than the second, but it wasn’t a total bust. Need to make time for the podcast.

    Posted 1.7.19 Reply
  11. I’ve been tracking my reading by hand since 1987. I’ve gotten very good at knowing what sorts of books I will enjoy. First update of 2019

    Posted 1.7.19 Reply
  12. Jan wrote:

    I loved The Dreamers and have The Suspect from EW, so I’m happy to hear you’re enjoying it.

    Loved your first podcast and it inspired me to buy a copy of her book. I’m looking forward to listening in to you and Catherine tomorrow! I’m not feeling much excitement over the early 2019 releases so I hope you both have some good recommendations 🙂

    Posted 1.8.19 Reply
  13. Catherine wrote:

    Your mystery/thriller reading is what happened to me in December. I was just in the mood and they were all great!

    So far this week is…weak. One of my most anticipated books of January, The Current, is not wowing me. And I see you bailed on Talent and Sugar Run so I’m apprehensive about both. Given how much reading there is not be done, at the very least, I’m setting both aside and may try them later.

    Posted 1.10.19 Reply

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