What I’m Reading Now (8/6/18)

Last week, I mentioned I was having a bit of a hangover from Where the Crawdads Sing…and I’m now confident that I’m definitely having a hangover! I sampled a number of books last week and none really grabbed me. So, I reverted to an old favorite while I wait for some library holds to come in.

Also, I was a guest on a book podcast! I joined Laura Yamin on her podcast, What To Read Next (not to be confused with Anne Bogel’s What Should I Read Next?), and we talked about my all-time favorite books (talk about a hard question!), my auto-buy authors, what I think you should read now, a book I didn’t like, and some debut authors I’m keeping an eye on. This is the first time I’ve ever been on a podcast and listening to myself was no easy thing! I was cringing at all the “ums” in there…just thinking about what my high school teachers would think! I’ll have to tighten that up for next time…

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Book of the Month picks are due today if you haven’t gotten yours in already (check out my commentary on all the posts)!

August Book of the Month selections are here! We’ve got some chick-lity romance (not really my thing), books involving music (again not my thing), a Grit Lit that I’m about halfway through now, a police procedural, and a story about a complicated female friendship. And, shockingly, I’m not skipping this month! _ I’ve got commentary on all the selections (including my personal thoughts on the one I’m reading) AND my ULTIMATE GUIDE TO THE BOOK OF THE MONTH CLUB JUDGES to help you choose the right book for your reading taste. LINKS IN PROFILE #affiliate * * * * * * #bookofthemonth #bookofthemonthclub #botm #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #bookgram #amreading #bookworms #instabooks #instabook #booktalk #booklovers #booklover #bibliophile #biblio #bookaddict #bookaddiction #badassbookbabes @bookofthemonth @davidjoy_author @chiquinhapeebles

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I finished reading…

what I'm reading now


The Line That Held Us by David Joy (August 14, 2018)
I liked this one, but the ending fizzled a bit for me. Prior to the ending, it was going to be a solid 4 star Grit Lit. I’m debating on whether dock a half star for the ending, but it’s not super straightforward (which I will explain more in an upcoming mini review).
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A Beautiful, Terrible Thing by Jen Waite (July 11, 2017) – Audiobook
Waite’s memoir about her marriage to a sociopath had me riveted…I ignored a bunch of podcasts to keep listening (and I normally pause my audiobook to listen to the podcasts as soon as they drop) and was definitely thinking about people I know in real life who could be sociopaths based on their behavior.
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

I’m currently reading…

Living Out Loud


Living Out Loud by Anna Quindlen (1994)
Y’all know I adore Anna Quindlen, so after sampling a couple books with no luck, I decided to revert to my old standby. Living Out Loud is a collection of her New York Times columns about life, particularly for women, and it’s just what I need right now! I’m almost halfway through…
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I tried, but wasn’t feeling…

what I'm reading now


These DNF’s are a little different than my usual. They’re both super long books (almost 500 pages each) and I have to REALLY love a book to make those 500 pages worth it. Both these books were okay and I probably would’ve continued reading if they were shorter…and I haven’t abandoned them for good. I’ve just put them down for now until other readers I trust vet them for me.

Ohio by Stephen Markley (August 21, 2018)
Possible DNF at 7%
Loved the first chapter, but hated the second chapter, which was told from a different character’s perspective. The character was obnoxious and the writing was pretentious.

The Air We Breathe by Frances de Pontes Peebles (August 7, 2018)
Possible DNF at 9%
I was kind of interested in the childhood friendship between a wealthy sugar heiress and her kitchen girl, but I wasn’t completely drawn in. I wonder if I’d feel differently once I got past the childhood stage…I’m hoping someone will tell me!

Upcoming reading plans…

Everything Here Is Beautiful


Everything Here is Beautiful by Mira T. Lee (January 16, 2018)
This debut novel about two sisters, one with a mental illness, comes highly recommended by a number of readers I trust (Susie, Tara, Nicole Bonia, and Jan Belisle) and I’m finally at the top of the library hold list!  

was reading…

One Year Ago: I was starting a pretty good reading streak!

Two Years Ago: I’d just finished Megan Abbott’s fantastically dark gymnastics novel.

How was your reading week?

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  1. Beth F wrote:

    I remember thinking that Everything Here Is Beautiful would be a good book club choice. I have both your DNF’s on my list … maybe I’ll have better luck?

    Posted 8.6.18 Reply
  2. Wendy wrote:

    Oh, I loved Everything Here is Beautiful!!! I thought you had already read it?

    I’m reading Number One Chinese Restaurant. It’s about a dysfunctional (and not in a humorous way) Chinese family and the restaurant they own It’s probably going to be a 3-star read for me. I think it could have been so much better! Don’t you hate when you read a book and can see that some good editing would have improved it? I just want to see how it ends.

    Posted 8.6.18 Reply
  3. I’ve been having a hangover since HIF a few weeks ago! Hopefully Everything Here is Beautiful helps yours, it’s a definite favorite of the year so far!

    Posted 8.6.18 Reply
  4. Dotty wrote:

    The Air We Breathe was my BOMC selection. I knew it was a gamble. I will let you know when I get to it. I have seen very few reviews of this book.

    Posted 8.6.18 Reply
  5. I’m glad you’re going to read Everything Here is Beautiful. Really hope you like it. If I remember right, you might need to give it a few chapters.

    It’s too bad about the DNF’s, especially Ohio. I never requested it, but still thought I might try it if others loved it. I’ll still keep an open mind, but….

    Posted 8.6.18 Reply
  6. I need to get A Beautiful, Terrible Thing for my niece – I think she’ll be able to relate to it.

    Posted 8.6.18 Reply
    • @Kathy – your comment made me laugh. I want to know more.

      Posted 8.6.18 Reply
  7. RK wrote:

    Looking forward to checking out the podcast! The Air You Breathe is on my TBR.

    Posted 8.6.18 Reply
  8. Kathy Martin wrote:

    Book hangovers are no fun. I like your idea of reading an old favorite to get over one. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

    Posted 8.6.18 Reply
  9. Michelle wrote:

    I avoid memoirs, but you intrigued me with A Beautiful, Terrible Thing. Sociopaths fascinate me like they do so many others. I may have to check out the first chapter and see if it is a memoir I can stomach.

    Posted 8.6.18 Reply
  10. Allison wrote:

    A Beautiful, Terrible Thing sounds intriguing. I may need to check that out. Also Where the Crawdads Sing.

    How fun that you were interviewed on a podcast! I’m going to try to listen today 🙂

    Posted 8.6.18 Reply
  11. I love Anna Quindlen, and Living Out Loud is one I haven’t read…how is that possible?

    I had Ohio on my list, but I may need to rethink that now.

    Thanks for sharing, and here are MY WEEKLY UPDATES

    Posted 8.6.18 Reply
  12. Sarah I got drawn in my the Anna Q book which definitely must go on my wish list. And… definitely going to listen to the podcast, and maybe I have found a new one so yay. I know hard to hear your own voice but we’ll all think its great.

    Posted 8.6.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      Anna Q is amazing for the right age group…like women who are old enough to have a perspective on marriage, kids, career!

      Posted 8.8.18 Reply
  13. I would have skipped forward in The Air We Breathe to see if I like the adult friendship more or not. My weekly updates

    Posted 8.6.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      I may still do that, we’ll see.

      Posted 8.8.18 Reply
  14. Oh, cool! I’ll have to check out that podcast. (I could never be on a podcast. I have the most awful voice ever.) I’m glad you mostly liked The Line That Held Us. I hope you enjoy your upcoming reads.

    Posted 8.6.18 Reply
  15. renee wrote:

    Great news about the podcast, I’ll have to listen on my walk today! I’m happy to hear we’re on the same page about Ohio, I tend to think I’m being too picky when I DNF a book so quickly and one that’s getting a lot of buzz as being so well written. Going to check out A Terrible Beautiful Thing, that sounds interesting!

    Posted 8.7.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      So, I just picked up Ohio again…we’ll see.

      Posted 8.8.18 Reply
  16. I thought Everything Here is Beautiful was great, and I enjoyed A Beautiful, Terrible Thing — like you, I was wondering if there might be one or two people like her husband in my life.

    Posted 8.7.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      I thought Everything would be coming in from the library any day now, but still nothing! GRR.

      And unfortunately I’m pretty sure a family member of mine is like Jen’s husband 🙁

      Posted 8.8.18 Reply
  17. ribbonrx wrote:

    I’m reading an ARC of Ohio right now and am loving it! I do agree though that it’s hard to get used to a different voice because the chapters are so long. I’m partway through the second chapter (Stacey). But I think what really draws me in about this one is that I’ve lived in this general area of Ohio for the last 12 years, and what the author is writing is as close to nonfiction as you can get while still being fiction. I chuckle (or grimace) every few sentences because of the truth of the narrative. This area of the country really is THAT unfortunate.

    I got The Air You Breathe for my BOTM, but haven’t started it yet, so we’ll see how it goes!

    Posted 8.7.18 Reply
  18. Catherine wrote:

    I realize it’s the end of the week, but I’m slow these days! I’m having your book hangover- and from the same book. Such beautiful writing- reminds me how well it can be done and makes me think ‘why the hell did I think everything else was good?!’.

    Now, of course, I need to know who you could know that you think is a sociopath! That is funny. Actually, I read the book about sociopaths and a lot of people are- just in different degrees. Apparently, most CEOs.

    You DNFed my next two August reads! I’m going to give both a try, but without much hope.

    And you already know this but I’ll say it again. You were SUPER in that podcast!

    Posted 8.11.18 Reply

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