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.

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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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24 Responses to “What I’m Reading Now (7/17/17)”

  1. Meaghan Gerard

    You are on a roll!
    I’m interested in American Fire. My mom’s hometown (and where my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. still live) was terrorized by an arsonist for a couple of years. He started with long-abandoned buildings in fields and eventually set fire to an old factory in the downtown. It was really scary for awhile. They finally caught him. Some dumb guy, barely out of high school, you worked for the volunteer fire department. They caught him because he kept “responding” to the fires too quickly. Lame.

    • Sarah Dickinson

      Well, my roll has since ended…2 DNF’s and am now reading one I want to DNF but will probably finish.

      That’s crazy! American Fire talks about how it’s really common for arsonists to actually be firefighters, which is so messed up to me!

  2. renee

    How fun you spotted Ben Higgins in the airport! I’m really interested in your review of American Fire, I’ve put that on my library waitlist. I also couldn’t get into Ill Will, the concept sounded good but the execution didn’t work for me.

    • Sarah Dickinson

      Glad to hear I’m not the only one! And I agree about the concept vs. execution.

  3. Susie | Novel Visits

    I’m now about 25% of the way into American Fire and am really starting to enjoy it. I loved the chapter that talked about arson vs. pyromania and the history/science behind both. Good to know The Lauras takes a little work, since I plan on getting to it this week.

    Your life is crazy busy right now. I’m surprised you have time to read at all!

    • Sarah Dickinson

      I loved that too – so fascinating!

      Let me know what you think of The Lauras. Could go back to it if someone tells me it picks up.

  4. Kathy Martin

    Nice assortment of books. I read a lot of mysteries but not much about crimes. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

  5. Laurel-Rain Snow

    Quick Sand caught my eye last time you featured it, among other books. I am also curious about American Fire.

    I’ll pass on The Lauras, as I didn’t like The Shore. I read your review, and had issues, like you did, with the structure and how the author didn’t clue us in on who was narrating some of the sections.

    There were sections that were quite appealing, however. I did love how the author showed the setting, and the issues were important ones.

    Enough about that…it’s okay not to like a book,right? LOL.

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    • Sarah Dickinson

      I loved how Taylor handled the setting of The Shore…she really nailed it! And she can really write a sentence.

      The Lauras is really different, but is kind of a boring story.

      And – of course it’s ok not to like a book!

  6. Pat @ PFN

    I’ve been in the mood lately for crime/mystery/suspense. I will look forward to your review of Quick Sand. I’m glad you loved it.

  7. Michelle

    Quicksand sounds good! I had passed on The Lauras because there was something about the synopsis that made me want to steer clear of it. Based on your reaction, I’m glad I did so!

    • Sarah Dickinson

      The story is just kind of boring and the synopsis didn’t really grab me, but I went for it anyway b/c it was Sara Taylor.

    • Sarah Dickinson

      Ha – I wish I still was…I’ve hit a mini slump this week after this post went live.

  8. Sarah R

    I just started Standard Deviation and think I’m going to like it! I also finished Dead Letters and Do Not Become Alarmed this week. I like both but I need to talk to someone about the ending of Do Not Become Alarmed…

    I’m so glad you liked American Fire. It was my BOTM pick and I’ll start it once I get through my library stack. My past BOTMs have been misses for me so I need my mojo back! I also got Mastromonaco’s book in a recent Kindle sale and I’m excited to start it.

  9. Amanda

    Oh I am glad you loved American Fire! I really want to read it now. I hope the Laura’s improves, I have high hopes for that one.

    And isn’t solo traveling time just amazing! Glorious reading (or sleeping) time.

    • Sarah Dickinson

      Solo traveling is my favorite! Wish I’d slept more, though!

      I gave up on The Lauras 🙁

    • Sarah Dickinson

      Ugh! Me too! I’m on my 3rd stinker in a row! Anyway – I recommend Quicksand if you want something to pull you out of the doldrums!

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