What I’m Reading Now (5/7/18)

I celebrated my 40th birthday this past weekend…though my actual birthday isn’t until later this week. I know many people view 40 as a big milestone…or tragedy…depending on how you look at it. But, I haven’t really thought much about it and haven’t done any sort of big taking-of-stock. I’m just keeping on for now…

I’m putting together personalized book recommendations for our $7/month patrons this week (you can now support the blog on Patreon and get some fun rewards as a thank you for your support!), so sign up on Patreon if you’d like to be included in the first batch of personalized recommendations! And, check out my post for more details about this whole Patreon thing.

Tools of Titans Tip
I’m slowly working my way through Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss, a collection of highlights from interviews he’s done with various stars of their fields. It’s chock full of awesome tidbits, so I thought I’d share the most helpful tip I pick up each week. I’ve now moved onto the “Wise” section, which is hit and miss so far.

On Sleep:
Amen, Amen, Amen. Nothing makes me more out of sorts than lack of sleep.

“Ours is a culture where we wear our ability to get by on very little sleep as a kind of badge of honor that symbolizes work ethic, or toughness, or some other virtue – but really, it’s a total profound failure of priorities and of self-respect.’”

– From Maria Popova, Founder of Brainpickings.org

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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Follow me at sarahsbookshelves

My new bookshelves are finally getting some accessories…including some cool bookends! I kind of wish I could sit in a giant wheel and read all day these clowns…⠀ _⠀ ⠀ I actually have a shelf solely dedicated to @bookofthemonth selections! Here’s just a smidge of it…⠀ – My favorite book of 2017 and possibly my favorite of the past few years as well.⠀ – A book I almost didn’t read because I didn’t like the sound of the premise, but ended up loving.⠀ – And, a fun, easy read that was on last year’s Summer Reading Guide (my 2018 Guide is coming out in mid-May!).⠀ _⠀ ⠀ Tell me about your favorite bookends! ⠀ *⠀ *⠀ *⠀ *⠀ *⠀ #bookstagram #bookgram #amreading #bookworms #instabooks #instabook #booktalk #bookblogger #booklovers #booklover #bibliophile #biblio #bookaddict #bookaddiction #amreading #bookgram #bookofthemonth #shelfie #bookends #bookshelves @ahoffmanwriter @doree @johnboyne @hogarthbooks @simonandschuster @littlebrown ⠀

A post shared by Sarah’s Book Shelves (@sarahsbookshelves) on

I finished reading…

Girl Who Smiled Beads, Tiger Woods


The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clemantine Wamariya (April 24, 2018)
An emotionally tough, yet powerful read…and a great memoir for book clubs. Mini Review to come.

Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

Tiger Woods by Jeff Benedict (March 27, 2018, Audiobook)
You might think you know a lot about Tiger Woods based on how heavily he’s been covered in the media and you’ve probably heard much of the scoop in this book in little snippets throughout his career, but Benedict puts it all together to paint a complete picture of Tiger as an athlete and a person. It’s a cautionary tale of the pitfalls of an elite athlete in the limelight who has been trained to be a machine, not a whole person. P.S. – Bill Simmons, one of my favorite sportswriters, finished this book in two sittings.

Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

I’m currently reading…

How To Walk Away


How to Walk Away by Katherine Center (May 15, 2018)
This novel about a girl who suffers a tragic accident the night she gets engaged was the May Book of the Month selection I was most interested in…and it’s not my kind of book at all (feel-good, romantic, a little sappy). But, I’m about 70% through and have been loving it so far…these elements that usually turn me off are working for me in this case. I’ve heard chatter about the ending, so I’ll be interested to see what I think of that.

Affiliate Link: Pre-Order from Amazon

Upcoming reading plans…



Circe by Madeline Miller (April 10, 2018)
This re-imagining of the story of Circe, a figure from Greek mythology, is not my usual fare at all, but it’s gotten so many rave reviews from people I trust that I chose it as my April Book of the Month pick.

was reading…

One Year Ago: I’d just read one of my favorite books of the first half of 2017…a translation!

Two Years Ago: I reading one of my favorite brain candy novels!

How was your reading week?

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  1. I LOVED How to Walk Away…but I’ve read everything from Katherine Center so far. And it is not my usual read, but when the author is someone I enjoy, I jump right in.

    Happy 40th! I vaguely remember mine…LOL. But I did enjoy that decade.

    Great quote On Sleep.


    Posted 5.7.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      She’s new to me…I’ll have to check out her backlist!

      Posted 5.16.18 Reply
  2. Beth F wrote:

    Happy birthday … age is what you make of it, and the decade divisions are just numbers. Cool bookends!

    Posted 5.7.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      Yup – I like that outlook!

      Posted 5.16.18 Reply
  3. RK wrote:

    Happy belated birthday! The tip you posted about sleep is perfect timing for me because I’m currently reading Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker and it’s really making me value sleep so much more than I did.

    Posted 5.7.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      Thank you! And that’s on my TBR! How is it?

      Posted 5.16.18 Reply
  4. Kathy Martin wrote:

    Nice variety of books. I hope you enjoy Circe. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

    Posted 5.7.18 Reply
  5. Happy birthday, Sarah. 40 is a breeze!

    Yay for sleep! It seems like the older I get the harder getting a really solid night’s sleep becomes.

    I’m so excited to hear how you’re liking Circe. Text me!

    Posted 5.7.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      My mom says the same thing about sleep 🙂

      Posted 5.16.18 Reply
  6. Allison wrote:

    Happy birthday! I’ll hit 40 next year and like you, I haven’t given it much thought yet. Related to your other point: I’m hoping it’s the decade of sleep. Because between babies, toddlers, and trying to get a few moments to myself, my 30s have decidedly been the decade of NOT sleeping.

    I love those bookends!!

    Posted 5.7.18 Reply
  7. Happy birthday!

    The Girl Who Smiled Beads sounds right up my alley.

    Posted 5.7.18 Reply
  8. Happy Birthday!

    I’ll be checking out Tools of Titans, that sounds like a great book, loved the quote you chose to include.

    Angelica @ Paperback Princess

    Posted 5.7.18 Reply
  9. Tina wrote:

    Happy Birthday! I try not to feel bad about getting older- its a privilege not everyone gets to enjoy. I’m really excited to read How To Walk Away!

    Posted 5.7.18 Reply
  10. Happy almost birthday. 40’s not so bad. I’m turning 45 later this year. What am I reading?

    Posted 5.8.18 Reply
  11. Happy birthday! Everybody has been reading Circe lately. I’m curious about it, but I’m nervous because I know nothing about Greek mythology. Have a great week!

    Posted 5.8.18 Reply
  12. Have a great birthday! I’m looking at 35 later this year and trying not to set too much store by the number.

    I’ll be really interested to see what you think about Circe. I am not at all interested in Greek mythology and the last updated myth book I read was pretty awful (Bright Air Black by David Vann), but if you tell me it’s worth reading I’ll give it a try.

    Posted 5.8.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      So….it was absolutely not worth reading for me. I think you have to be at least minimally interested in Greek mythology. Full review coming next week!

      Posted 5.16.18 Reply
  13. Michelle wrote:

    Happy birthday! I turn 42 on the 8th (today as I type this). I can’t say I find my 40s any different from my late 30s. I feel more confident, more comfortable with who I am. Even though I am noticing a slight need for reading glasses and injuries take longer recovery time, I am enjoying my 40s!

    Posted 5.8.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      Happy late birthday!

      Posted 5.16.18 Reply
  14. I got tired of Tim Ferriss’ voice in Tools for Titans, if that makes any sense. I’m super looking forward to Circe and The Girl Who Smiled Beads!

    Posted 5.8.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      It’s not bothering me b/c I feel like much of it is told in his interview subjects’ voices. But, I can see what you mean and do think it coud bother me if I read his books that are all in his voice.

      Posted 5.16.18 Reply

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