What I’m Reading Now (12/9/19)


I feel like I didn’t read at all last week because I finished two books very early in the week and then floundered around with a couple DNF’s before finally finding my groove again on Friday…only to be waylaid by a weekend with little downtime. 

I usually read mostly backlist in December, but I’ve been picking the wrong backlist books and not much has been working for me. But, I have been thrilled with the 2020 releases I’ve been mixing in with the backlist duds!


The regular podcast will be going on break for the month of December, but BONUS EPISODES for Patrons will NOT be going on break! I’m releasing two fun year-end episodes for Patrons (2019 Wrap-Up with Susie from Novel Visits and Goodreads Choice Awards Breakdown with Carla from Happiest When Reading). Support the show on Patreon for $5/month to get access to these bonus episodes!

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I finished reading…

what I'm reading now


Mystic River by Dennis Lehane (February 1, 2001)
I’m a little over halfway through this literary mystery and, after a bit of a slow start, it’s now off to the races. In this case, the slow start wasn’t a bad thing. This is a story about a community with a mystery involved, so the slow beginning was Lehane developing this community and its characters, which I’m fine with.

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Tell Me a Story: My Life with Pat Conroy by Cassandra King Conry (October 29, 2019) – AUDIOBOOK
Are you surprised I jumped on this audiobook soon after it was released?! I already reviewed it in my Best Audiobooks I Listened to in 2019 (Second Half) post.

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I’m currently reading…

We Wish You Luck


We Wish You Luck by Caroline Zancan (January 14, 2020)
Susie from Novel Visits put this campus novel (an MFA Program) on my radar and I’ve had great luck with books published by Riverhead lately. I’m about 30% in…and the writing is fantastic and there is simmering tension that things are going to combust at some point. An awesome start!

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I tried, but wasn’t feeling…

If you’ve followed my Instagram stories lately, you know I wanted to give J. Courtney Sullivan a try, I sampled both Maine and Saints for All Occasions and was bored. I’m not even counting them as DNF’s because I literally dipped my toe in to the first 10-15 pages or so of each to decide whether I wanted to read them.



Plainsong by Kent Haruf (October, 1999)
DNF at 18%

I loved Haruf’s Our Souls at Night (my review), so I’ve been wanting to try some of his earlier books. Just like with J. Courtney Sullivan, I was just bored. There were glimmers of something interesting coming, but they were too few and far between. When Susie from Novel Visits told me she had DNF’d it too, that sealed the deal for me.
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Upcoming reading plans…

Conversations with Friends


Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney (May 25, 2017)
I loved Sally Rooney’s latest novel (Normal People, my review), so I’ve been looking forward to trying her debut novel. It’s got mixed reviews on Goodreads, but so does Normal People. I think she’s one of those authors that’s not for everyone.

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How was your reading week?

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what I'm reading now


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  1. I’m happy to hear you’re going to try Conversations With Friends. I missed Rooney’s debut, too and if you like it, I’ll read it. Since finishing We Wish You Luck, the story has really stayed with me. I keep thinking about it, which is always a sign that my connection to it runs deep. Can’t wait to talk about it with you.

    Posted 12.9.19 Reply
  2. Beth F wrote:

    Plainsong and all the others are some of my very favorite audiobooks. I guess I like a quiet story. I also liked Maine (but that was an audiobook for me too). Maybe I’m your reverse barometer when it comes to books. LOL

    Posted 12.9.19 Reply
  3. Tina wrote:

    Ooo Wish you Luck sounds interesting!

    Posted 12.9.19 Reply
  4. Kathy Martin wrote:

    I had big plans to finish a trilogy but decided I needed a break from epic fantasy. So, I started my 2020 review books and my first is sort of struggle to get into. I hope the next grabs me more. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

    Posted 12.9.19 Reply
  5. Kathryn wrote:

    Reading backlist in December is a great idea, making time for such books is always a “fight”! I’ll miss the podcast in December, we don’t have similar reading tastes, but I’m a book lover and enjoy the podcast. I must look at the Tell Me a Story though. I like books like that.

    Posted 12.9.19 Reply
  6. Amy wrote:

    I am not a fan of K. Courtney Sullivan. I read both of the books, but was underwhelmed. Thanks for sharing We Wish You Luck, looks good! Did you read the first one from Karen Thompson Walker? I remember you saying you were going to try it in December. I just checked out of the library. Haven’t started yet, but excited since many people said they loved more than The Dreamers and I ADORED The Dreamers.

    Posted 12.9.19 Reply
  7. In December, I always try to read the books I own but haven’t read before I open a bunch in my Christmas presents. I’m so close to finishing them.

    Posted 12.10.19 Reply

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